Company leads by example in new green premises
Engineering consultant WSPAfrica will be moving into its new head office in Knights-bridge office park, in Bryanston, in September, providing its clients with a stellar example of a sustainable building project.
Construction on South African real estate investment trustEmira Property Fund’s R795-million redevelopment of Knights bridge Manor began in January, with WSP providing all engineering services for the project, including civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire, wet services and electronics for the first phase of the project. WSP also assumed the role of sustainability consultant, ensuring that the office park achieved a four-star Green Star design rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
“WSP continues to play a leading role in South Africa in terms of sustainable buildings and we take pride in our ability to advise clients with regard to achieving green star ratings. “It was, thus, important for us to lead by example and carry this philosophy over into our own operations,” says WSPAfrica MD Mathieu du Plooy.
“South Africa has a very strong environmental stance, supported by powerful legislation. The awareness of the Green Star system in building development in the country is ramping up, following a similar trajectory to that of its uptake in Australia, where the Green Star rating system was developed. Our clients are definitely looking more at being responsible in terms of the kind of property they are leasing or developing, and its environmental effects.”
He adds that WSP also offers specialist consultancy to its industrial clients in areas such as air quality control and water security.
WSP’s new premises will serve as the headquarters for projects throughout South Africa, as well as further into Africa. Additional support comes from regional offices in Durban, Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Bloemfontein.
WSP is actively involved in the renewable-energy space and has completed several commercial solar projects that have reduced companies’ reliance on the grid through rooftop solar installations. The company is also advising on gas-to-power projects and upgrades to coal-fired power stations, transformers and switch gear infrastructure, and has assisted independent power producers in connecting to the national grid in South Africa.
In addition, WSP is supporting humanitarian endeavours by the United Nations (UN) in South Sudan, Sudan and Ethiopia through infrastructure development. The company is involved with the development of ports, roads and airports in these countries that will increase their accessibility and facilitate the delivery of UN packages and other aid to the people who require them.