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The JPC Reflects on “Green” Initiatives Implemented Throughout the City

With Earth Hour having taken place this past weekend the Joburg Property Company (JPC) reflects on "Green" initiatives implemented throughout the City of Johannesburg in support of eco-friendly and environmentally conscious projects. Earth Hour is a global movement that sees city's across the world take action in support of the planet. While the event is exemplified by an hour long abstinence from the use of lights, what has become the world's largest grassroots movement, today sees individuals, business owners and entities dedicate behaviours to contributing to sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices.

The JPC is proud to share initiatives, projects and practices that positively contribute to building a greener City of Johannesburg.

The Johannesburg Council Chamber
Having recently received a 5-star Green Star SA Public and Education Buildings (PEB) Design certification, the JPC's Council Chamber in Braamfontein, Johannesburg was constructed while adhering to a full environmental management plan enforced by the contractors. With aims to reduce the impact of the construction process on the environment as well as limit the impact of dust, noise and traffic, the construction of the Council Chamber also complied to a strict waste management plan implemented to reduce the amount of construction waste to landfill by over 70%. Concrete with high fly-ash content was used to offset the clinker content of the concrete which, together with a high post-consumer recycled content in the steel structure, helped to reduce the embodied energy associated with the structure.

Surrounded by a glass façade, the new Council Chamber is illuminated by natural lighting using highly efficient glass that allows light, but not heat, into the space.
The HVAC system is a variable air volume (VAV) system with an air-cooled chiller. Conditioned fresh air is released into the Chamber at floor level through a displacement ventilation system; the warmer air rises naturally and is expelled through a central chimney in the building.

The design also attempts to mitigate the urban heat island effect by utilising a lightweight steel roof with a low solar reflective index (SRI = 58) which reduces the radiant heat effect of the roof on the surrounding environment and minimises heat radiation into the Chamber space.

The high air quality is supported by the choice of materials, fittings and finishes, selected for their low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). In addition, the carpets have been locally manufactured and the insulation has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP).

The adjacent piazza has been designed for stormwater attenuation through the use of permeable paving which delays the release of stormwater from the site into the municipal system, thus relieving the system of copious volumes and offsetting the erosive effect of peak storms.

Furthermore, no hot water is being provided for the ablution block, and low flow taps along with dual flush toilets have been specified. Energy and water metering has been provided for major services and each level of the building, so that each part of the building can be monitored for performance in relation to the whole.

Optimally located in close proximity to public transport – the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT), the Metrobus and the Gautrain, the Johannesburg Council Chamber is also well located near amenities such as banks and shops. This convenience factor should prevent unnecessary use of private cars and no additional parking has been provided in the new building.

Green Trading and Public Convenience (PC)
Located in a 1370 m² compound adjacent to the 3rd Street Bridge in Region C, Florida CBD, the JPC avails a Green Trading and Public Convenience (PC) Facility on the major pedestrian route between the Florida CBD and transport modal interface. Offering male and female toilet facilities, catering to disabled users as well as a baby change facility, the new Green Trading and PC facility ensures both comfort and an upmarket feel to its users.

Roofed and naturally ventilated, recycled and re-purposed shipping containers have been fitted not only to provide for PC facilities but for commercial entities too, including a chesa nyama, spaza shop, family store, hairdresser, barbers, tailor, cobbler, vegetable shop and a cell phone kiosk.

Designed to be a visible but completely secure facility, the entire site is provided with LED solar driven security lighting along with rainwater harvesting facilities collected in five 5000 litre plastic tanks, which in turn supply all the required ablution water. Capacity has been made for an additional four 5000 litre tanks in the service yard should it be deemed necessary. All lighting on the site is LED and solar powered with roof mounted solar panels, batteries and inverters all housed within the secure caretaker component of the PC.

The only external grid connections are the sewer (Joburg Water) and dedicated pay-as-you-go power sockets in each of the commercial stores. The external service points supplied by Joburg Water and City Power are seen as back-up rather than as primary sources.

Green Public Toilet Installation in Ivory Park
Leading the city with innovative, green solutions, the JPC provides for a green public toilet near the busy Ivory Park taxi rank in Region A. This is the first-ever green public convenience facility that the JPC has built in the area with an upmarket feel, modern floor finishes and scratch-resistant walls. The environmentally friendly facility was built using breeze blocks with openings that allow for the free flow of air and permanent ventilation. It also has a flat concrete roof that allows for better insulation.

Erected using durable, modern materials to help reduce water and electricity consumption, the facility is also equipped with two 5 000 litre water storage tanks for rainwater harvesting that will be used for cleaning and filling the toilets.

With the objective to build a greener city and minimise the impact on the environment, this is the first of its kind to be introduced to the community, conscious of the current water crisis while still equipped to cater to around 300 people per hour.

Continuing to set their own benchmark on all future projects, the JPC are committed to maintaining and improving the standards of the refurbishments of old buildings throughout the City of Johannesburg as well as "green" developments of new properties and public facilities each in line with pioneering eco-friendly and environmentally conscious practices.