DoE Ugu District offices

Exterior view of the 4 Star Green Star SA certified KZN Department of Education Ugu District Office. It is the first green building in Port Shepstone.

The Ugu District Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education recently received a 4 Star Green Star SA Office Design v1.1 certification from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) further reiterating the public sector’s commitment to sustainability.

Dorah Modise, CEO of the GBCSA says this certification once again places the public sector at the forefront of green building in South Africa.

“We congratulate KZN’s Provincial Department of Public Works on embracing green building principles and practices to add to the growing number of green public buildings around South Africa.”

Sustainable design

Green building is all about designing, building and operating buildings in a sustainable way. The Department of Education: Ugu District Office, which is located in Port Shepstone, integrates this with all the amenities that come with its central location, including easy access for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, thus lightening its environmental footprint.

The building features generous natural light with all office spaces having been designed and placed to have a direct line of sight to the outdoors. It has an energy-efficient lighting system and low volatile organic compound finishes.

A further push towards sustainability includes parking spaces allocated specifically for two wheeled and fuel efficient vehicles in close proximity to the entrance of the building as an incentive to encourage the use of these vehicles.

Tackling waste and carbon emissions

During construction, the majority of materials used were sourced within close proximity to the project, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

Embodied energy was reduced through the use of industrial by-product in the concrete mixture and a large percentage of recycled structural steel.

Dedicated areas for waste sorting and storage were allocated during construction and have been retained to date.

Derrick Edwin Classen, Director of Zatovect, which developed the project, says: “This is the first green building in Port Shepstone, and how wonderful that it is a government building showing leadership in this region. We are privileged to have been involved in this project and hope to build many more green buildings.”