A green vision of the future
The World Green Building Council has included South Africa in its latest global trends report. We’re part of the universal movement towards greener building practices. The Amdec Group’s R15 billion Harbour Arch development, coming soon to Cape Town, will be a large-scale proponent of many of the compelling elements mentioned in the report.
The levels of green activity within the construction sector are on the rise. Despite the challenges and barriers that still exist, local property developers like the Amdec Group are making significant progress. They are incorporating sustainability and the environment into their projects from the earliest phases, and drawing it through to construction, completion, and beyond.
As a founding member of the Green Building Council of South Africa, the Amdec Group takes its responsibility very seriously. It retains majority ownership and full management control of all its large-scale developments, including Melrose Arch in Johannesburg and The Yacht Club and upcoming Harbour Arch in Cape Town, to give it end-to-end control over implementing environmentally friendly, sustainable measures.
Creating healthier buildings and enabling the health of the people who dwell in them, is becoming increasingly important and South Africa is one of countries leading the way in this regard. The benefits are not limited to feel-good factors, however, as there are also distinct business benefits. These include significant operating cost savings, as well as asset value increase for a new green building, versus a traditional one. Harbour Arch will embody many of the positives associated with green building. There is a strong case to be made for building green from the outset – as the Amdec Group believes in doing – versus having to retrofit, which often proves costly.
Far from putting profit above all else, these business benefits are of crucial importance because they form the foundation upon which future growth of the green building industry can be based.
Some of the strongest forces that are driving the need to build green, are clients and the government – the pull of the market and the push of legislation. Hearteningly, the belief that it is the right thing to do is an additional stand-out factor in South Africa, versus many other countries. But as environmental campaigners have said, it matters little which of these predominates, as the end-product is the important thing.
Understandably, given the rolling blackouts of recent months and the prolonged drought faced by the Western Cape, the other two factors at the top of South Africa’s green building list, are reducing energy consumption and costs, and saving water.
In all of these instances, Harbour Arch will be a leading example. Its energy-efficient lighting, back-up power, rainwater harvesting and desalination, waste recycling and world-class building management systems, will make it one of the greenest, most sustainable buildings in the country. Engineers are even working for ways to harness windpower from the southeaster. No stone will be left unturned in bringing to fruition this particular vision of the Amdec Group to build a greener future.