WSP Group – engineering consultants

WSP Africa

The Villa Mall, Pretoria

South Africa's first retail development that received Green Star SA certification on 15 September 2010. Based in Pretoria, it will provide for over 300 tenants. From the outset of this project, all aspects of sustainability have been considered as well as during construction phase.

The Villa Mall, Pretoria

WSP has been awarded the consulting engineering contract for the wet services design for The Villa shopping centre currently under development in Pretoria East. The Villa Mall is South Africa’s first Green Star SA rated retail development. It is appropriate that WSP’s wet services team be involved in this project as WSP was the technical consultant to the Green Building Council of South Africa for the development of the Green Star SA rating tool for retail and shopping centres.

WSP is a registered member of the Green Building Council of South Africa and is committed to ensuring that The Villa’s wet services are designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way. Furthermore, WSP’s Lesley Padayachee, who is responsible for the wet services design, is a Green Star- accredited professional and as such has also been appointed to do The Villa’s submission to the GBCSA. This will be done in collaboration with WSP Green by Design’s Marloes Reinink.

The 90 000m² shopping centre portion of the multi-use development, which also entails office space, a hotel and life style centre, will feature sustainable design throughout in order to comply with the requirements for a Green Star SA Rating.

WSP is implementing several green initiatives on the project, including the following:

  • Rainwater harvesting – run-off water from the roof will be collected and stored in tanks, this will be used to flush public toilets and for drip irrigation. Up to a third of all roof rainwater will be re-used in this way.
  • Water management through individual water metering systems for each retail space and a pulse meter system to regulate water use by automatic metering.
  • No water pipes will contain PVC, instead HDPE pipes will be used throughout.
  • Sanitary fixtures will be specified to reduce water usage, for instance automated sensory taps in public facilities and dual flush systems to water closets.
  • A grey water system will be installed that will recycle all of the water from the hand basins in the toilet blocks. This will be used to flush the toilets and urinals and reduce the sewerage connected to the municipal system. It will also be used to supplement the rainwater harvested for drip irrigation.
  • A centralised hot water plant will generate 50 per cent of its heating capacity via solar panels, with a gas heating system providing back up. In addition, heat recovery from the HVAC plant will be used to generate hot water.
  • All hot water pipes will be lagged to prevent heat loss.

WSP’s Jack la Grange adds, “We have just completed work for this client, Capicol, on the Zambesi Mall, also in Pretoria, which also included some green elements. Our design philosophy is to encourage our clients to adopt a green approach wherever economically viable. Whereas previously the emphasis was on saving energy, conserving water is now becoming equally critical, with the emphasis being on reusing and recycling wherever feasible. We have been implementing water saving measures since the 1960s, long before it became a norm in the industry. While we realise that there is an initial cost implication for clients, in the long term they will effect savings in both usage and costs.”

La Grange points out that one has to balance practicality with the project’s specifications and the client’s desire for sustainability: “For instance, on The Villa it was impractical to recycle all of the grey water as the mall stretches some 500m end-to-end, and the cost in terms of pipe work would have been prohibitive. So we designed a compromise that recycles as much water as is economically viable.”

The professional team comprises the client, Capicol, the architects, Osglo Pretoria and the quantity surveyors, Mclaughlan and Battico. Work on The Villa got underway in June 2009, with the shopping centre opening for trading in September 2011.

To download the Project Profile, click here.

Related Sectors