RACA Journal June 2016 - Page 49

Projects generous number of green building features that contribute to energy-saving, reducing environmental impact and improving indoor environmental quality. RPP Consulting Engineers (now WSP Group Africa) was appointed in 2012 to design the air-conditioning and ventilation and building management system (BMS) for this project. The professional design team was faced with many challenges in the field of reducing the electricity energy demand and working within time constraints. This building was designed and constructed using the US-instigated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification criteria. LEED is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Leaders around the world have made LEED the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, with around 18.5 million square feet being certified daily. LEED awards points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels, in ascending order of points: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. LEED features To counteract the build-up of indoor pollutants, and to improve the indoor environment, the ventilation rates in this building exceed the national standards by more than double, which means that people are provided with more outside air than is required by national standards. More outside air will decrease levels of pollutants and body odour, and experts say that people’s productivity should increase due to a healthier indoor environment. From the onset, it was decided that all the buildings on this project would be smoke-free. The basement extraction fan system is connected to Carbon Monoxide (CO) sensors. These fans will not operate unnecessarily and only run when required, saving electricity. The CO-sensors operate independently of the smoke extract system and the smoke extract system has priority over the CO-sensors system. Special care was taken during the design phase of the project to ensure that noise levels be kept as low as possible. That’s why the basement is equipped with special acoustic louvres and low speed fans. During the construction process, the team took special care to recycle demolished elements such as bricks, window 1. 2. 3. 4. 1 2 3 4 The Novartis BMS. The chilled water pump sets. The Ciat chiller. The Blue Hemisphere team did a neat job of making the plant room on the roof look tidy. www.hvacronline.co.za RACA Journal I June 2016 47