Sisonke district office ‘a jewel’ in green design

2011-10-24 00:00

THE government’s first “green” building, the Sisonke District Office in Ixopo, is over 50% complete.

“This building will be the jewel in our crown,” said Maggie Govender, the provincial MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, who led a delegation of members of the legislature on Friday to view the work in progress.

The 7,6 hectare office park on the outskirts of Ixopo is being built according to “green design” principles and will consist of a main office block, a garage section and a maintenance block.

The project will be applying for a Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa and it is expected that at least a five-star rating (out of six) will be achieved.

According to John Wilkins, project leader for Public Works, Ixopo’s “green building” was initiated in 2007 in the context of global warming and the national energy crisis.

Provincial budget restrictions saw the project put on hold until mid 2010 and the contract for construction was awarded to Cyclone Construction later that year.

The roof of the north facing office block is literally green — it is being covered with soil and will be planted with indigenous plants designed for their ability to absorb carbon.

Such a roof also provides protection for people working below from heat fluctuations and ultra-violet rays.

Architect Steve Kinsler’s design also incorporates green design principles in regard to energy, materials (mostly sourced locally), waste and water. “All toilets are flushed by rainwater,” says Kinsler.

“And there will be no irrigation after an initial three-month period.”

Heating and cooling in the office block is provided by a single continuous water pipe coiled under the floor and made from a composite material with a predicted lifespan of 480 years.

The construction period is also environmentally friendly. All trees felled on the site — an old plantation — have been used during construction and no waste material has gone off site.

“There are so many lessons to be learnt from this building,” Govender said.

“What we learn here we can incorporate into standard designs for offices, schools and hospitals.”

“Though the cost of R19,5 million is 1,5% more than for a conventional building, the long-term savings will balance that out.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.