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Vodacom Group

Vodacom / Vodafone Innovation Centre in Midrand wins Mail and Guardian Greening the Future Award

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Africa's first 6-Star Green Star building wins prestigious environmental award

The Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Center in Midrand is the winner of the Mail and Guardian's prestigious Greening the Future Awards for Innovations in renewables.

The building, situated at Vodacom's head office in Midrand, has a 6-Star Green Star rating and is the greenest building in Africa due to its water, energy and emissions efficiency. The building houses a team of engineers who investigate and design ways in which Vodafone can implement additional cost efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions worldwide.

"It it a great honour for our innovation centre to be a winner of the Mail and Guardian Greening the Future Award," says Pieter Uys, CEO of Vodacom. "Sustainability is a key strategic priority for both Vodacom and Vodafone.  Over the last few years we have worked hard to reduce our impact on the environment and the Innovation Centre plays a critical role to lower our carbon emissions."

According to the Mail and Guardian, the Greening judges singled out the Vodafone Site Solutions Innovation Center and its designers for setting the bar for renewable resource innovation. The entry demonstrated a reduction in environmental damage, increased access to low-impact technologies and proven economic savings because of eco-friendly innovations, they said.

The centre is a carbon neutral building that houses a team of 12 experts who look at technological ways to reduce the company's carbon footprint across the globe as well as reduce the cost of rolling out and maintaining cellular networks.

What makes this building so environmentally ahead of the curve, is the following:

Recycling: Wherever possible, demolition material from the site has been reused or recycled. 

Structure of building: The project reduced the amount of concrete used in the foundations and sub structure by 34%.

Energy efficiency: Usage of the photovoltaic panels reduced the wind load, absolute weight and ultimately the total amount of wood and structural material required for the roof.

Water efficiency: Efficient water fixtures and fittings have been installed resulting in significantsavings in water consumption.

Indoor environmental quality: The mechanical air conditioning, heating and ventilation system is designed to deliver 2 500 litres/second of fresh air to the office during normal operations, and 1 250 litres/second of fresh air in heating mode. 

Emissions: The chiller uses Lithium Bromide as the refrigerant which has both a zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) and a zero Greenhouse Warming Potential. All thermal insulants have an Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) of zero.

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