SU to unveil new energy-saving Facilities Management Building
A symbol of the 21st century workplace, sustainability and energy conservation: this describes Stellenbosch University’s (SU) new Facilities Management Building with its emphasis on minimalism and unobstructed views. The new three-storey building in Hammandshand Road in Stellenbosch will be unveiled on Wednesday, 16 May.
The building brings together the subdivisions of the University’s Facilities Management Division namely Property Services, Risk and Protection Services, Planning and Development and Facilities Services.
Mr Chris Munnik, Chief Director: Facilities Management, says that the 1 412m2 building is unique, not only based on space utilisation and the effective use of technology, but especially with regard to sustainability and energy saving.
“The building boasts many innovative green features. A thorough shadow-analysis was done to keep the heat-load to a minimum, yet let enough light into the building. The large eaves and the strategic use of wood panels on the outside also help keep the building cool in summer and warm during winter. Wood panels are also used on the outside of the building to eliminate as much as 50% of the heat-load. Another innovative aspect of the building is its air-conditioning. Cold water is extracted from the Eerste River and used in the air-conditioning system and then pumped back to the adjacent sports fields as irrigation water.”
Energy-saving lighting has been fitting throughout the building. “As more natural light is available in the building, the lights dim automatically in order to save electricity. With all the energy-saving elements of the building, it boasts a 35% reduction according to the Energy efficiency index, known as the SANS 204. This amounts to an annual saving of at least R128 000,” explains Mr Munnik.
Munnik says that in accordance with the University’s Campus Master Plan it was decided to move the building to the periphery of the campus. “Thus we are making space available for the academic and research divisions which need to be at the centre of campus. The ‘Old Conserve’ where some of the Facilities Management departments were housed, is now available for the Bureau of Economic Research which will be moving to campus from Technopark. This will lead to a significant saving in rental costs.”
The building also houses the University’s World Class Facilities Operations Centre which among others monitors the street cameras and those at the buildings. The Centre monitors fire, smoke and burglar alarms and the University’s emergency generators , and controls the central air-conditioning and energy management systems. Facilities Management’s 24-hour helpdesk for all facilities is also operated from the Centre.
Prof Russel Botman, Rector and Vice Chancellor, says that the building is an example of the type of office design that the University advocates. “As a prototype for the new spacial norms on the SU campus the building has capacity for 70 workstations in open plan offices and interactive rest areas. That in itself has brought about an improvement in communication and productivity. However, it is about more than just bricks and mortar, it is actually about flesh and blood and the welfare and success of the people of not just this university, but eventually this town, province, country and continent. Through the HOPE Project, the University is well-positioned to change the world, but in order for us to fulfil this ambitious task, we need the proper facilities. The new Facilities Management building is an excellent example of how we want to learn, live and work in future.”
The building was designed by TV3 architects and costs nearly R24 million. Construction started in May 2011 and was completed at the end of February this year.
- Liaise with Mr Schalk Opperman, Director: Planning and Development, at tel (021) 808 4655 for more information about the building. Media inquiries: Martin Viljoen at tel (021) 808 4921, cell 082 775 2396 or firstname.lastname@example.org .