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Visualisation of the new headquarters

Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa

The Department of Environmental Affairs’ head office in Pretoria is the first national government-owned green building. It is one of only four 6-star green-rated buildings in South Africa and the largest by floor area. Mott MacDonald PDNA served as the sustainability building consultant and provided full engineering services for the development.

One of the central features inside the new headquarters
Showcase for sustainable design
Showcase for sustainable design One of the key sustainability features of the new headquarters includes optimised daylighting and lighting controls.
Image credit Boogertman + Partners

Key facts

  • We provided design and construction management over a two-year period.
  • The head office was designed to support green output specifications outlined in the government’s climate change policy, while showcasing energy and resource efficiency.
  • It demonstrates the Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) leadership as an ambassador of environmental protection to other government departments.

Key sustainability features

  • Landscaping including indigenous plants to reduce the need for regular irrigation
  • Large scale rooftop photovoltaic installation for on-site electricity generation
  • Optimised daylighting and lighting controls reduce electricity use
  • Waste recycled / diverted from landfill = 73%
  • Direct access to ventilation to reduce air conditioner use
  • Extensive rainwater and greywater collection to serve the building functions on a daily basis, substantially reducing municipal water usage
  • Internal air quality is enhanced through the application of materials with low levels of VOC and chemical emissions

Measuring over 44,000m2, the building is set on 3,1309ha of previously derelict land and can accommodate 1300 employees. It incorporates an advanced building management system and one of the largest photovoltaic installations on a single office building – a testament to its sustainability commitment. The building systems and fabric provide its occupants with a healthy and efficient environment, and its training venues, conference centre and catering facilities can support international events for the promotion of sustainability and green buildings to the private and public sectors.

Construction was completed in June 2014 and undertaken through a public private partnership between the DEA and the Imvelo Concession Company.

Value and benefits

As one of the leading sustainable buildings in South Africa, the six star Green Star-rated building raises the bar for future developments in the country across private and public developments.

The office was awarded the highest rated protect for 2012/13 at the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Green Star Leadership Awards.

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