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Menlyn Park Shopping Centre gets a green star

| Going green

The extension of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria has been awarded a 4-star Green Star Retail Design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the environmentally friendly design of the first phase of the project.

This forms part of the R2 billion redevelopment of the centre, which began in 2014. Due for completion in November this year, the shopping centre will become the largest centre in Africa, with over 500 shops and a trading area of 170 000m2

The design of the reconfigured centre includes facilities for alternative transport, preferential parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, and integration into the region’s mass public-transport system.

“We wanted to reward our customers and tenants for using alternative transport,” says Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited, owner of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. “For example, we provided parking bays for scooters or motorbikes close to mall entrances to incentivise people to be part of our low-carbon-emission philosophy.”

The use of building materials that did not have a negative impact on the environment was vital to keep within the prescribed GBCSA guidelines.

“Great effort was made to source all material locally, which helped in lowering our CO2 and other harmful emissions from transporting the materials,” says Neil Graham, project manager and CEO of Origin Project Management.Timber had to be from environmentally responsible forests and reinforcing steel used in the project has high recycled content.

Use and disposal of waste was another key issue.

“It was essential that waste from pre-construction and construction was either reused or recycled,” explains Graham. “We made mulch from wood offcuts, for example, while surplus building materials, such as bricks, were ground down to be used for landscaping or fill.”

Efficient water use involved several strategies. Municipal water consumption had to be limited. A number of initiatives were implemented to optimise the water performance of the centre, of which the most notable are rain-water harvesting and water wise landscaping. In addition, low-flow sanitary fittings and metering of the major water uses for continuous monitoring contribute to reduction of municipal water use.

Other important aspects of an environmentally friendly building are access to daylight, connection to the external environment and air quality. Ample access to daylight is made possible throughout the extension via the use of glass and skylights.

Aurecon mechanical engineer Brandon Huddle says an energy-efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning [HVAC] system were installed. The centre runs all proficient lights on occupancy and time controls, which are monitored through an integrated building management system, ensuring energy levels are checked regularly for any incongruities.

A waste and recycling management plan (WRMP) was put in place at the shopping centre to manage the collection, storage, treatment and disposal of all waste. The end goal is to recycle 57% of waste generated, which will ultimately result in diverting up to 80% of waste produced away from landfill.

“This project took the work of many dedicated people, and we are elated to finally see all our hard work and many hours of planning acknowledged by this prestigious Green Star rating,” says Muller.

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