NMMU Business School – PE



The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly University of Port Elizabeth) in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, had last year (Q2/2011) embarked on an ambitious project for the design and construction of a new, purpose built building to house the NMMU’s Business Faculty. The current faculty is housed in a historic building on Bird Street, Central PE. While the remainder of the NMMU, made up of the North and South Campuses, is located in Summerstrand, it is an attempt by the NMMU to consolidate all schools under its name in one area.

During the tendering period, the design brief indicated that the new building must meet minimum standards as prescribed by the Green Building Council of SA. However, at the time, the GBCSA did not have a rating tool specific to this type of building. When the tender submissions were handed in to the adjudicating committee September 2011, news from the GBCSA was announced that they would be releasing the Public and Educational Building rating tool in its Pilot format. Calls were thus sent out to various projects around SA inviting them to register their projects for certification under the PEB Pilot rating tool. The GBCSA now releases its rating tools in Pilot format and accepts projects that cover a wide range of buildings under that format. The Pilot tool, with the registered projects, is thus used to develop full version of that rating tool, usually a year after the release of the tool itself.

Of the 23 submission for the tender, which included the design elements of the project, the winning submission was a local consortium made up of The Workplace Architects, GAPP Architects and Urban Designers, while Engineering and GBCSA certification would be undertaken by internationally renowned ARUP Engineers. The design brief took one major aspect of what the building should achieve and the design team decided that the Indoor Environment Quality was the key aspect of the building that would allow all users to benefit from it. Natural ventilation, daylight harvesting & thermal comfort dictated the design end result.

The NMMU hierarchy was very excited about the GBCSA PEB Pilot certification. In order to qualify for certification, a building must score at least a 4 star rating, with the maximum rating available being 6 star. Due to budget constraints, the NMMU Business School will target a rating of 4 star. The tender documents and approvals are currently being finalized with actual ground breaking to commence over the coming weeks.

The design brief calls for a ground, first and second floor approach. The building will house 3 auditoriums, classrooms, computer labs, archive, cafeteria with braai area, a small library, public and private, offices and support offices as well. Total floor area works out to approximately 5200m². The location of the building allows for easy access to public transportation from the main road. Future provision has also been taken into a consideration for a working hotel that would be used as a training facility for students of the Hospitality industry.