With an increase in the number of green-building projects certified by the Green Building Council South Africa, 121% since 2009 to be precise, it seems we’re realizing that it isn’t all that difficult to go green after all. DECO chats to Cube Workspace founder Anthony Manas about businesses going green.

Leading the pack are private sector establishments, with Nedbank launching their Sandton head office extension back in 2009, which prompted others across the country to follow their lead in differentiating themselves as pro-green.

“In May this year, we launched our fourth serviced-office-space building in two years,” explains Anthony Manas, Chief Executive for Cube Workspace.

The properties Cube Workspace renovate are designed and furnished as green as possible, with solar panels on the roofs, insulation in the concrete, double glazed windows, LED lighting with light-switch timers, gas cooking, furniture made out of recycled materials and the use of chemical-free paint.

Image Source: http://mundadaa.blogspot.fi/2014/12/home-office-diy.html?m=1
Image Source: mundadaa.blogspot.fi

“A business’ choice of suppliers can aid an organization in becoming more environmentally friendly”, says Manas.

With no fewer than 100 buildings, both private and public, designed to score ‘green’ in the GBCSA’s Green Star SA rating tool, and with perks including a better investment return and savings when it comes to utility bills, South African businesses seem to finally be opening their eyes to the future of ‘greener buildings’. And aside from the financial benefits greener buildings provide, there are substantial health benefits for employees too.

“Future-proofing your assets, but also mitigating the onslaught of increased utility costs through energy, water and waste savings, is an imperative,” says Manfred Braune, GBCSA’s Chief Technical Officer.

Braune says that the top five measurements to consider in an informal green-audit of a building are:

  • Your total annual energy consumption (and sub-meter your larger energy users such as HVAC, lighting and power)
  • Your total annual water consumption (and sub-meter your larger water users such as HVAC and irrigation)
  • Your annual operational waste production (and determine how much of this can be recycled)
  • Your staff comfort levels through surveys of aspects such as lighting, acoustics and thermal comfort
  • Your office equipment kW load to see whether some equipment (computers, fridges, copiers) can be replaced with more energy-efficient versions

For more information, visit gbcsa.org.za and cubeworkspace.co.za

ELLE Decoration Green Issue coverThe Green Issue edition of ELLE Decoration South Africa will be on the shelf of your nearest magazine retailer from 28 September. Packed with sustainably stylish interiors, it’s full of all your favourite features and decor tips plus the green spaces of Patrizia Moroso and Pietro Russo. Order your copy today – across South Africa wherever magazines are sold – and tell us what you think on Twitter @ELLE_Deco, sharing your #GreenIssue #DECOselfie.