BMW South Africa has been awarded a 5-star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for its environmentally friendly head office situated in Midrand, Gauteng. The rating makes BMW South Africa the first automotive company in South Africa to receive the rating.
The GBCSA rating system took into consideration the indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions as well as innovations.
The variables that contributed to BMW South Africa’s GBCSA 5-star rating included:
- Glass and solar controlled louvres installed within the internal façade of the building, enabling enhanced daylight and thermal comfort,
- 90% of the office’s usable area now has an external view, providing good levels of daylight for occupants,
- The peak electrical demand on the building was reduced by 30%, which included an extensive use of LED lighting throughout the building,
- 5% of the parking bays are now dedicated to alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles while 5% are reserved for motorbikes, mopeds and scooters,
- Water efficient sanitary fittings were installed throughout the building,
- Water meters were installed for all major water uses and connected to a Building Management System to support proper facility management of water consumption,
- A dedicated storage area was provided for waste recycling, and
- All topsoil impacted by the construction was separated and protected from degradation, erosion or mixing with fill or waste, and still remains onsite.
“The rating is indicative of BMW Group’s philosophy worldwide. That is, as the leading premium car manufacturer, our holistic approach to sustainable practices can be seen throughout our entire value chain. With the refurbishment of our head office, we have achieved a state-of-the-art building that is both environmentally friendly and one that we are extremely proud of,” said Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW Group South Africa.
The refurbishment involved completely stripping the inner façade to increase visual connections, efficiency of the circulation space and transmission of natural light via a fully-glazed façade. This included a sustainable transformation of the lighting, ventilation solutions as well as maintaining optimum temperature (thermal comfort) and energy efficiency throughout the entire building with the installation of a satellite Energy Centre and PV installation (i.e. solar panels) – all monitored by an online, visual metering system.
According to the GBCSA, “The light, lines and simplicity define the outcome of the carefully considered refurbishment of BMW South Africa’s head office; reiterating the automotive company’s world-renowned brand image of design, passion, technology, innovation and its attention to the finest detail; even in architectural design.”