Carbon Prices — 31 October 2016

Vehcle and asset finance group WesBank and sister company First National Bank (FNB) have announced a R60-million project to replace the shade-net carports at its shared offices in Fairland, Johannesburg, with solar-panel carports.

The project will hopefully nudge the 150 000 m2 campus towards a five-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

More than 5 000 WesBank and FNB employees are based at the Fairland campus, which has 978 outdoor parking bays.

Over the next 11 months the ageing car ports will be replaced by 7 019 photovoltaic panels.

Along with providing shade for vehicles, this installation will be capable of providing 1 806 kWh of energy (at peak) to the building, with a total expected supply of 3 000 000 kWh a year.

This would be enough to power the average South African household for nearly 800 years.

This project forms part of a raft of existing measures to reduce electricity consumption at the Fairland campus.

Current measures have saved the campus around 40% in energy consumption, which equates to R9-million a year.

The carport solar-panel project will be rolled out in two phases, with the first to be completed by March next year.

The second phase is scheduled for completion by September next year, when the campus will switch on its solar grid – a move that will save the group around R3.9-million in electricity costs during the first year of operation.

The project manager is LTM Energy, based in Midrand.

“It is our social and environmental duty to reduce our carbon footprint wherever it is possible to do so,” says WesBank CEO Chris de Kock.

The Fairland campus currently already has a 4-star rating from the GBCSA.

Offices are equipped with population density sensors that power off lights when no human activity is detected.

A separate solar-panel installation is also used to heat water for ablution facilities.

Sun screens on the exterior of the building provide insulation, aiding the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems.

Extensive water-saving measures are also in place. The air-conditioning system is able to harvest condensation, allowing for 30 000 l to 60 000 l of water to be collected and used for irrigation purposes.

An on-site water pond is also used to collect storm water and serves as a safety mechanism to assist in preventing soil erosion on the banks of the nearby Klein-Jukskei river.

Source: Intellibuild who in turn sourced from:


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