Five new Green ratings for V&A Waterfront buildings

Cape Town, 15 March 2018 — The V&A Waterfront is proud to be awarded five Green Star Ratings from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) this week. This is in an outstanding acknowledgement of the V&A Waterfront’s commitment to sustainable development.

The five ratings bring to 12 the number of Green Star ratings awarded to various buildings at the V&A Waterfront, elevating the precinct still further as a benchmark for environmentally responsible development.

Speaking at a plaque handover ceremony held at The Watershed on Thursday, 15 March, Manfred Braune, Executive Director and Chief Technical Officer of the GBCSA said: “GBCSA congratulates the V&A Waterfront and the professionals involved with these buildings on this fantastic achievement, and making the V&A Waterfront one of the greenest precincts on the continent. The V&A precinct attests to the power of long-term planning and how everyone can be brought along through gradual changes. It is a beacon of future possibilities”.

The first-ever 6-Star Green Star – Office v1 As Built Rating in South Africa was awarded to No. 1 Silo (home to Allan Gray) in June 2014, and as well as the following:

  • A 6-Star Green Star - Office As Built Rating for No. 5 Silo (a multi-tenanted commercial building, including PwC), making it one of only four buildings in South Africa to have achieved a 6 Star As Built rating;
  • A 6-Star Green Star - Existing Building Performance v1 rating for the Watershed, the property’s unique craft market and home for African design at the Waterfront;
  • A 5-Star Green Star - Custom Hotel Design rating for the No.6 Silo which houses the new Radisson Red Hotel in the Silo District;
  • Two 4-Star Green Star - Existing Building Performance v1 ratings were also awarded for the West Quay Offices on Port Road and the Granger Bay Court offices on Beach Road.

Explaining the V&A Waterfront’s sustainability philosophy, CEO David Green said: “Sustainability underpins our entire development strategy and lies at the heart of everything we do. As a business we are pragmatic and commercial, but it is also our responsibility to ensure that the legacy we build today does not negatively impact on the future.

Our buildings are an important asset to the V&A Waterfront and we take pride in preserving our natural environment. With this in mind, we had produced an energy model for our new developments, which includes No. 5 and No. 6 Silo’s, that uses the district sea water cooling plant to heat and cool the building with a renewable energy source, allowing us to save energy by 65% when compared to other buildings. This translates into a significant reduction in our environmental footprint by using less water and drawing less power from the grid”.

Housing offices for PwC and Werkmans Attorneys in the newly opened Silo District, No. 5 Silo received the 6-Star rating in the ‘As Built’ category, which recognises buildings that not only incorporate sustainable principles in their design but can also offer proof that these plans have been constructed in accordance with the original design.

The GBCSA acknowledged the Watershed’s initiatives to enhance energy efficiency, minimise greenhouse gas emissions, undertake operations and maintenance to improve the overall environmental footprint of the building in operation, by awarding it a 6-Star Green Star Rating -Existing Building Performance v1. All principles considered in the ratings are subjected to rigorous testing, and achieving the certification is benchmarked as ‘World Leadership’ in environmental sustainability.

The Watershed, has emerged as our flagship enterprise development space with more than 55% of the space dedicated to small business, 234 small business employing over 1 000 people in a building that uses low energy and has a higher occupant satisfaction with regard to thermal and lighting comfort,” said Green.

The newly completed No. 6 Silo is home to the new Radisson Red Hotel overlooking the reimagined Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in the Silo District. The building, which was awarded a 5-Star Green Star -Custom Hotel Design rating, consists of a ground floor reception with welcome areas, event and meeting spaces and a public restaurant. The first floor houses hotel operations, while floors two to eight house guest bedrooms. The gym, lounge bar and pool deck with panoramic views are located at roof level

The West Quay Offices in Port Road and the Granger Bay Court on Beach Road were recently refurbished to make them more energy efficient and sustainable, allowing the operational performance of the building to be enhanced. Both buildings received 4-Star Green Star -Existing Building Performance v1 ratings.

Green Star is  a points-based green building rating system that evaluates whether the building incorporates global best practice in sustainability, and allocates points across nine categories including management, energy, innovation and water to name a few.

The five buildings form part of the V&A Waterfront’s ongoing environmental programme to promote green business practices as a strategic focus point throughout the property. The programme has achieved electricity savings of 35%, a 25% reduction in water consumption (using 2009 as a baseline), and 50% waste recycling. In addition, by implementing appropriate systems, the V&A has actively reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with operational activities and increased awareness about environmental management among staff, tenants and visitors.


Issued on behalf of:

Donald Kau | Head of Communications, V&A WATERFRONT


Tel: 021 408 7631


Notable green features shared by all five buildings include:

  • Energy efficient fluorescent and LED lighting, which uses less energy and consequently lasts for longer, having a lesser environmental impact than standard fittings. Less maintenance is also required for fittings with a longer lifespan;
  • Public transport links via the MyCiTi bus service and numerous cyclist facilities, safe cycle lanes and storage for bicycles;
  • Recycling waste management, green cleaning practices and green tenant criteria. Regular audits are conducted to review indoor environment quality, transport trends and other sustainability. All water fittings (taps, toilets, etc.) are designed to be low-flow / low-flush (with waterless urinals in some areas), which means less water is wasted for every use. Hand wash basins in toilets are equipped with automated on-and-off sensors to help save water;
  • A comprehensive waste management plan was implemented across the property, and over 70% of all construction waste was diverted from the landfill and recycled; and
  • The buildings make use of paints, flooring, adhesives and sealants without toxic emissions, and tenants are all encouraged to do the same.

Sustainable features in No. 5 Silo:

  • High-performance, unitised façade using well-designed building fabric, glazing specification, insulation and shading to reduce solar gain and control heat;
  • The addition of photovoltaic solar panels to the roof to provide over 122,000 kWh/year, leading to an energy saving of over 140 tons of CO2 per year;
  • CO2 sensors to ensure only the required amount of fresh air is provided, to manage the natural flow of fresh air. This also eliminates energy waste associated with air conditioners;
  • An air-tightness test was done to check the building for any uncontrolled air leakages. Air leakages can have a significant impact on energy consumption for the HVAC system;
  • Fresh air rates were provided at over 200% of SANS10400-O required levels to improve the quality of the indoor environment;
  • The following innovative design initiatives were awarded points:
  1. Electric car charging points are provided in the basement;
  2. The sea-water cooling plant for cooling and heating of the building’s interior spaces;
  3. Public and community facilities are provided by way of the public boulevard and precinct area; and to improve the place-making and communal benefit of the project.

Sustainable features in the Watershed:

  • The building takes advantage of natural daylight, minimised heat gain and the use of artificial light, in its design;
  • Most of the building is naturally ventilated, which reduces the need for mechanical ventilation (fans) and air-conditioning. This also means that the air is of excellent quality;
  • The Watershed has retained much of the old building’s original structure and finishes. This includes the original timber warehouse floor, refurbished windows on the South-East, and hanging the first floor from the original gantry structure (as opposed to constructing new columns). All of this means that less materials were used in developing the Watershed, reducing its embodied energy;
  • A solar energy system of 300 kWp has been installed on the roof of the building, providing an abundance of solar energy for consumption in the building. This results in the building consuming less than half of the energy that a similar retail centre would;
  • All stores in the Watershed are SMMEs supplying local African produced/assembled product; and
  • The Watershed has access to public transport, with a MyCiTi bus stop directly outside the building. There are also prominent cyclist and motorcycle parking areas around the building, and safe pedestrian paths to adjacent amenities and communities. As a testament to the success of these initiatives, surveys in the building show that virtually all retail staff make use of alternative transport to single-occupancy cars.

Sustainable features at No. 6 Silo:

  • As with all buildings in the Silo district, the No. 6 Silo is connected to a central seawater cooling and heating plant, minimises demand on resources through efficient water and electrical design, manages water consumption through water and energy metering systems;
  • The building is spatially efficient and low VOC finishes and good levels of natural lighting, together with appropriately designed façades ensure maximum efficiency of resources; and
  • An Independent Commissioning Agent was appointed to manage the commissioning and tuning process which ensures optimum operations of the building.

Sustainable features at West Quay Offices:

  • As with the Watershed, the building offers excellent daylight hours and views across most of the space, reducing the need for artificial lighting; and
  • The building boasts a solar energy system of 128 kWp, providing for the energy consumption by tenants.

Sustainable features at Granger Bay Court:

  • A solar system provides the building with clean, renewable energy.
  • The building consumes in the region of 450 litres/m2/year. This is more than a 30% improvement on similar sized buildings.
  • The building has achieved almost a 50% improvement in energy consumed, over a typical building of the same size. This is largely thanks to efficient habits of tenants, energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives implemented. The consumption in 2017 was also 15% lower than the year before.