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Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre awarded 5-star Green Star rating

The Green Building Council of South Africa has awarded the V&A Waterfront's Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre a five-star Green Star - Existing Building Performance v1 rating (EBP v1) - the highest rating for any existing shopping centre in South Africa. To retain the new rating, it will have to show that its operations and maintenance consistently achieve the same high standard over a three-year period.

Existing buildings are rated according to an Existing Building Performance (EBP) measurement tool. The environmental categories used by the GBCSA to assess existing buildings and new buildings are the same, but the focus for an existing building is on ensuring that its ongoing operations and management are efficient. The EBP tool is therefore only available as an as-built rating.

The Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre was first constructed in 1992, and has since been extended several times to 88,647m2. Improving the rating required significant effort from the Waterfront’s operations team and the tenants. The Victoria Wharf complex houses over 450 retail outlets and over 80 eateries, has five undercover parking garages and four open parking areas.

Items such as energy and water monitoring, and management policies and plans are required in order to achieve the five-star rating. The EBP measurement tool also addresses the relationship between landlord and tenants, setting up a win-win situation with the Green Lease toolkit.

According to Petro Myburgh, operations manager at the V&A Waterfront: “We have done a lot to decrease our water consumption since our 2015 four-star rating. We have further improved our waste management systems and implemented a wildlife management programme. With the four-star rating we committed to implementing the Green Lease toolkit and we now have just below a quarter of our tenants signed. This is quite an achievement given the size and complexity of the area.”

Assessment categories

The categories according to which the Victoria Wharf was rated are management, indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovations. Stand-out sustainable building features noted by the GBCSA include:
  • Excellent recycling initiatives, incentives for tenants to recycle and an on-site waste handling facility.
  • Skylights throughout the Wharf provide a large amount of natural light, saving on energy.
  • Energy efficient LED lighting has been installed throughout the common areas.
  • The building has access to public transport facilities, most notably the MyCiti bus system.
  • The V&A property has cycle facilities, including dedicated lanes and bicycle storage right next to buildings.
  • The V&A uses paints, flooring, adhesives and sealants without toxic emissions. Tenants are encouraged to do the same.
  • All taps and toilets are water efficient, while the roll-out of hand sanitiser also assists with water saving.
  • ‘Green cleaning’ practices are applied in the building.
  • Construction materials with a low environmental impact receive preference.
  • There is an operational drive to eliminate single-use plastics from the shopping centre.

In addition to the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre’s five-star rating, the V&A Waterfront has amassed a total of 12 GBCSA awards, making it one of the greenest precincts. The V&A Waterfront has also recently retained its Platinum Status through the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme.
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Read more: GBCSA, green buildings