Black river park news

What's happening at Black River Park

Tenants plant Trees for Arbor Month 2015

Posted 10/01 by Admin

​Our tenants love to get involved with greening at Black River Park! Last year they helped launch our first sustainable vegetable garden and orchard.

This year, they sponsored trees which we planted together on the fields opposite the Park.

We thank them for their continued support!

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Tenants plant Trees for Arbor Month 2015

Posted 10/01 by Admin

​Our tenants love to get involved with greening at Black River Park! Last year they helped launch our first sustainable vegetable garden and orchard.

This year, they sponsored trees which we planted together on the fields opposite the Park.

We thank them for their continued support!

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Liesbeeck River Clean Up with Tenants

Posted 05/05 by Admin

On 5 May 2015, Black River Park tenants got involved in cleaning up a portion of the Liesbeeck River. Approximately 60kg of rubbish was collected from the river and the embankment within an hour. The waste was then sorted by our onsite waste management staff to see what materials could be recycled.

Tenants who got involved with this initiative were: Green Building Council of South Africa, Kumon, RGA, Misplon Green Consulting, Lwandle and Thomas International.

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Liesbeeck River Clean Up with Tenants

Posted 05/05 by Admin

On 5 May 2015, Black River Park tenants got involved in cleaning up a portion of the Liesbeeck River. Approximately 60kg of rubbish was collected from the river and the embankment within an hour. The waste was then sorted by our onsite waste management staff to see what materials could be recycled.

Tenants who got involved with this initiative were: Green Building Council of South Africa, Kumon, RGA, Misplon Green Consulting, Lwandle and Thomas International.

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Black River Park is THE GREENEST office precinct in SA!

Posted 05/08 by Admin

Black River Park in Cape Town has become the first office precinct in South Africa to receive Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) certified Green Star SA ratings for all its buildings.

The eight buildings at Black River Park office precinct in Observatory, offering a combined 75,000sqm of office space, have earned unparalleled green building credentials. Besides being the first full office park to have all buildings Green Star SA rated, it is also home to the first Green Star…

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Black River Park is THE GREENEST office precinct in SA!

Posted 05/08 by Admin

Black River Park in Cape Town has become the first office precinct in South Africa to receive Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) certified Green Star SA ratings for all its buildings.

The eight buildings at Black River Park office precinct in Observatory, offering a combined 75,000sqm of office space, have earned unparalleled green building credentials. Besides being the first full office park to have all buildings Green Star SA rated, it is also home to the first Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) certified building and the first buildings to receive a 6 Star Green Star SA Existing Building Performance rating.

Brian Wilkinson, CEO of GBCSA, comments: “This is a major achievement, both for Black River Park and for GBCSA. Certifying all eight of Black River Park’s existing buildings is quite a feat, especially for a precinct of this size. It is an exciting example of outstanding sustainable innovation, and confirms the vision of its management team and their outstanding commitment to sustainability.”

He adds: “We would like to see more business parks following this leading example. All the buildings at Black River Park were certified using the EBP rating tool. The EBP tool means that South Africa’s many existing buildings in established office parks can now be retrofitted with green innovations and certified. This has huge potential for positive impacts to our environment, our businesses and our economy.” Nedbank Corporate Property Finance sponsored the EBP tool.

Black River Park is home to more than 110 companies, including the GBCSA’s head office and South African Property Owners Association’s Western Cape offices. It is now owned by JSE-listed Redefine Properties. Redefine acquired the landmark green office precinct as part of its Leaf Capital deal earlier this year.

Redefine CEO, Andrew Konig, comments: “The Black River Park complex has set itself apart with pioneering green initiatives and sustainable building management. We are exceptionally pleased to acquire this property, which perfectly supports our commitment to sustainability.”

The Black River Park buildings received maximum points on all credits targeted in their Green Star SA submissions. Three buildings received a 6-Star Green Star SA rating, three received 5-Star certifications and two earned 4-Star ratings.

Sally Misplon of Misplon Green Building Consulting, the Green Star Accredited Professional and principal participant in the green project team, guided Black River Park right from the very start in its certification project.

Some of the green initiatives undertaken by the office precinct to secure its ratings include:
• The largest roof-mounted photovoltaic system in Southern Africa.
• Feeding electricity back into the grid.
• A high-performance green cleaning programme.
• 68% of the tenants in the office park signed a Green Lease. These leases encourages collaboration and govern the relationship between the building owner and the tenant to manage and operate the building along environmentally sustainable principles, to the benefit of both.
• For comfort and well-being, the building features performance glass and balcony overhangs, to reduce heat and shield harsh sunlight.
• All lights in common areas were replaced with LEDs, with owners and tenants both benefiting from cost savings achieved as a result. A financing option was also offered to tenants to enable them to retrofit to LED in their own premises.
• Indoor air quality testing and management.
• All 6 Star rated buildings stood out for water and energy performance. They outperformed the Green Star benchmarks and achieved significant improvement on their baselines.
• Sustainable management and operations that optimise the buildings’ environmental performance.
• A green travel plan to encourage alternative modes of transport to and from work.
• Sustainable procurement and purchasing practices. For every product or consumable purchased by Black River Park, the most sustainable one is selected.
• All waste at the park is sorted into recyclable and non-recyclable materials. It also correctly disposes of fluorescent tubing, batteries and e-waste. Garden waste is recycled and reused as mulch.
• Ecological gardens, including a vegetable garden and fruit orchard, are maintained with borehole water pumped on site.
Perhaps some of the most exciting green innovations at Black River Park are those involving the park’s tenants. These include holding a ‘cycle to work’ day, a clean-up of the Liesbeeck River that runs past the park and other activations with the precinct’s tenant community. Numerous other presentations and showcase tours are held for parties such as UCT, African Utility Week, Iziko museum and the like.

“It is wonderful to see an office park owner going above and beyond what’s required for certification,” says Wilkinson. “These initiatives encourage people to do more within green spaces and enjoy their many benefits. They bring sustainable environments to life and encourage the wider community to become an active part of the green building movement.”

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Mayor signs first commercial agreement to buy back surplus energy from Black River Park

Posted 09/30 by Admin

The City of Cape Town is to tap into Africa’s largest rooftop solar power system, at Black River Park, making it less dependent on Eskom for electricity.

‘This project is the first significant project of its nature and size in Cape Town. But to show other members of the industry, such as the Waterfront, that this is possible to implement on a large scale and that it is viable, we have to produce returns for shareholders and show that it makes rand and sense. It really does make money…

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Mayor signs first commercial agreement to buy back surplus energy from Black River Park

Posted 09/30 by Admin

The City of Cape Town is to tap into Africa’s largest rooftop solar power system, at Black River Park, making it less dependent on Eskom for electricity.

‘This project is the first significant project of its nature and size in Cape Town. But to show other members of the industry, such as the Waterfront, that this is possible to implement on a large scale and that it is viable, we have to produce returns for shareholders and show that it makes rand and sense. It really does make money and together with the city it can happen quite quickly,’ said PJ Rabie, of Black River Park Investments.

He said one-third of the total spend on the R20 million project was for local skills and materials from Cape Town, meaning that R6m was injected back to the city.

The office complex’s photovoltaic (PV) installation has already produced about 1 368 megawatt hours, which is equivalent to running 157 houses for a year, during its initial implementation phase.

Mayor Patricia de Lille signed a contract yesterday that will see Black River Park feeding a limited amount of the extra energy generated by its solar panel system back into the electricity grid. This will be offset against the office complex’s monthly electricity account.

De Lille said this would be the first of many small-scale embedded generation installations to be connected to the city’s grid.

Consumers would have to instal a bidirectional advanced meter at their own cost if they wanted to feed into the city’s power grid.

De Lille said the city had set a target of sourcing 10 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

South Africa’s electricity generation was ‘notoriously environmentally unfriendly’, as it relied heavily on coal, she said.

‘Our over-reliance on fossil fuels for our energy needs therefore can’t continue unabated, and we as a city need to do everything possible to pursue alternative, cleaner sources of energy.’

Brian Jones, head of green energy for the city, said that while strides were being made with installation of solar water heaters for residential users, the municipality was ‘a way off ’ when it came to meeting its target for other renewable energy installations. But he added that there was ‘huge potential’ for PV systems as an alternative energy source.

Dominic Chessell of Sola Future Energy said the panels had a life of about 25 years. The cost of installation would be recovered within six to eight years, making this a financially viable energy option.

The solar panels on the Black River Park complex roof cover 11 000m2, roughly equivalent to two full-sized rugby fields, and they generate between 20 percent and 30 percent of the complex’s electricity requirements.

The expansion in phase two of this project will bring the total installed solar capacity to 1.2 megawatts, making it among the 30 largest roof integrated solar PV systems in the world.

Cape Argus

Posted at 06:17AM Sep 25, 2014 by Editor in Cape Town |

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Black River Park creates a Little Library

Posted 03/13 by Admin

​Throughout the year we collect “penalty” payments when vehicles park illegally in reserved parking bays. At the end of each year we donate the funds to a charitable organisation. This year we decided to support the Little Libraries initiative and created a library. Tenants were invited to get involved and with their contributions, we created an entire Little Library that was delivered to a creche in Philipi.

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Black River Park creates a Little Library

Posted 03/13 by Admin

​Throughout the year we collect “penalty” payments when vehicles park illegally in reserved parking bays. At the end of each year we donate the funds to a charitable organisation. This year we decided to support the Little Libraries initiative and created a library. Tenants were invited to get involved and with their contributions, we created an entire Little Library that was delivered to a creche in Philipi.

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Redefine Properties acquires Black River Park

Posted 04/23 by Admin

Following an initial announcement on SENS in January, Redefine Properties has completed the acquisition of the Leaf Capital

portfolio of properties, a deal which significantly boosts the company’s Western Cape office portfolio and also underpins Redefines commitment to sustainable business practices.

Andew Konig CEO of Redefine says: This is a very important deal for us. The acquisition of the Leaf portfolio of properties is in line with our strategy to invest…

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Redefine Properties acquires Black River Park

Posted 04/23 by Admin

Following an initial announcement on SENS in January, Redefine Properties has completed the acquisition of the Leaf Capital

portfolio of properties, a deal which significantly boosts the company’s Western Cape office portfolio and also underpins Redefines commitment to sustainable business practices.

Andew Konig CEO of Redefine says: This is a very important deal for us. The acquisition of the Leaf portfolio of properties is in line with our strategy to invest in a diversified portfolio of high-quality assets. Importantly, it also changes the face of our Western Cape portfolio, which will now include the top five percent of quality office blocks in Cape Town and a number of the country’s greenest complexes.”

Konig points in particular to the Black River Park complex, a development in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs offering 74,000m² of office space. Within the complex, Black River Park North was the first office complex to be rated in terms of the Existing Building accreditation and Black River Park (the entire complex) is the first office complex to get each of its buildings Green Star SA rated, which includes a first 6 Star Green Star SA rating.

“The Black River Park complex has set itself apart due to its pioneering green initiatives and sustainable building management – from the indoor environmental quality, energy emission, materials and waste management, to transport solutions. We are exceptionally pleased to acquire this property which so perfectly supports our commitment to promoting sustainability in the industry. “

According to Konig, green buildings are becoming more attractive to both tenants and investors, due in large part to their triple-bottom line commitments to building efficiency, social sustainability, and environmental sustainability.

“Environmentally-friendly buildings are rapidly gaining popularity among both tenants and companies as businesses look for buildings which will complement their sustainability ethos and practice. The industry has begun
to recognise the increasing importance of green buildings to achieving both environmental sustainability and lower operational costs, but also as a valuable differentiator for landlords. “Turning either new or existing buildings into green buildings not only makes them more environmentally friendly, but also makes them more profitable and contributes positively to the economy. In South Africa, the benefits of adopting energy efficient initiatives are even higher in comparison to other regions due to the massive impending hikes in electricity tariffs and increased risk of load shedding which in many cases is crippling businesses,” he says.

New technologies and a better understanding of green construction – such as that displayed at the Black River Park complex, are also driving rapid, positive change in the sustainable design and construction process.

“Designing smart, sustainable communities makes good business sense and we can already clearly see that people and businesses are looking for safe and liveable places to live, work and play, with good quality urban design and buildings. By embedding these principles of good design from inception we can also make them affordable communities, where the sustainable benefits reach further than just the physical buildings. Acquiring assets such as the Black River Park complex is an important step in that direction.”

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Harvesting our Sustainable Vegetable Garden

Posted 01/23 by Admin

​Since the launch of our sustainable vegetable garden on Mandela Day 2014, we have harvested twice. Each harvest goes to the families of our onsite contractors. They pick vegetables of their choice - green peppers, spinach, beans, tomatoes, chillies, basil, cauliflower, beetroot and more.

This garden forms one of the many sustainability initiatives we have at Black River Park.

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Harvesting our Sustainable Vegetable Garden

Posted 01/23 by Admin

​Since the launch of our sustainable vegetable garden on Mandela Day 2014, we have harvested twice. Each harvest goes to the families of our onsite contractors. They pick vegetables of their choice - green peppers, spinach, beans, tomatoes, chillies, basil, cauliflower, beetroot and more.

This garden forms one of the many sustainability initiatives we have at Black River Park.

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Cape Talk does solar powered broadcast from Black River Park

Posted 03/13 by Admin

​On 12 March 2015 Cape Talk did their first solar powered broadcast with Kieno Kammies at Black River Park. The broadcast was to celebrate solar energy and sustainability. Interviewed on the show was PJ Rabie of Black River Park, Chris Haw of SOLA Future Energy and Brian Wilkinson of the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Sound clip: http://bit.ly/1ByGP2B

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Cape Talk does solar powered broadcast from Black River Park

Posted 03/13 by Admin

​On 12 March 2015 Cape Talk did their first solar powered broadcast with Kieno Kammies at Black River Park. The broadcast was to celebrate solar energy and sustainability. Interviewed on the show was PJ Rabie of Black River Park, Chris Haw of SOLA Future Energy and Brian Wilkinson of the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Sound clip: http://bit.ly/1ByGP2B

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Mandela Day 2014 at Black River Park with KFM

Posted 08/04 by Admin

​Black River Park was buzzing on Mandela Day with tenants and members of the public supporting the two initiatives on site.

The KFM breakfast team broadcast live from the North Park Courtyard, encouraging people to drop off food at the truck stationed on site which would later make its way to soup kitchens in underprivileged areas. By the time the truck left it was almost choc-a-block full!

As part of the 67 minutes for Mandela Day, the KFM team joined tenants in the launch…

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Mandela Day 2014 at Black River Park with KFM

Posted 08/04 by Admin

​Black River Park was buzzing on Mandela Day with tenants and members of the public supporting the two initiatives on site.

The KFM breakfast team broadcast live from the North Park Courtyard, encouraging people to drop off food at the truck stationed on site which would later make its way to soup kitchens in underprivileged areas. By the time the truck left it was almost choc-a-block full!

As part of the 67 minutes for Mandela Day, the KFM team joined tenants in the launch of the Black River Park sustainable garden - an initiative which will help support families of the on-site garden staff as well as local soup kitchens.

Photos are on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/blackriverpark and we will continue to post updates on the sustainable garden.

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Black River Park - North Park gets 5 Star Green Star Rating

Posted 10/28 by Admin

Black River Park - North Park has been certified as a 5 Star Green Star rated building and is the FIRST existing building in South Africa to be Green Star Rated in accordance with the newly launched Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) pilot tool by the GBCSA.

Greener buildings are becoming more attractive to both tenants and potential investors, due in large part to their triple-bottom line commitments to not only profit and social sustainability, but environmental…

READ FULL ARTICLE

Black River Park - North Park gets 5 Star Green Star Rating

Posted 10/28 by Admin

Black River Park - North Park has been certified as a 5 Star Green Star rated building and is the FIRST existing building in South Africa to be Green Star Rated in accordance with the newly launched Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) pilot tool by the GBCSA.

Greener buildings are becoming more attractive to both tenants and potential investors, due in large part to their triple-bottom line commitments to not only profit and social sustainability, but environmental sustainability, ie they consider profits, people and planet.

Black River Park has been committed to sustainability from the original development in the late 90’s and our Green Star Rating is not a once off process but an ongoing commitment from the landlord to work alongside tenants to ensure Black River Park remains at the forefront of sustainable real estate.

Our Management Team, again with Misplon Green Building Consulting are in the process of preparing the Green Star application for the South and Central Park which we expect to be finalised by the end of 2014.

Some of the green initiatives that have been undertaken to secure the EBP certification include:

  • The installation of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rooftop Photo Voltaic System which produces electric power from sunlight. This 1.2MW system is being used to supplement and reduce the electrical load from the City’s electrical grid. It produces around 1.9GWh of electricity per year, enough to power over 1000 average-sized houses. This equates to between 20-30% of total amount of energy used in the Park, and reduces the peak demand by around 18%. It is also the first commercial project to be allowed to feed back into the grid and be remunerated for it.
  • Energy efficient lighting has been installed throughout common areas of building and is currently being rolled out into tenant’s premises through a joint financing initiative.
  • Ecologically friendly gardens, including a vegetable garden and fruit orchard, are maintained with borehole water pumped on site. Recycling of all garden waste is also done onsite to create mulch.
  • The park engaged with a new recycling focused waste contractor in order to reduce the amount of solid waste going to landfill and improve recycling. This is aided by the procurement and placement of recycling bins around the park to encourage sorting of waste from the source and minimising contamination.
  • Indoor air quality was a major focus with temperature, humidity, CO and CO2 tests being undertaken. This was done in conjunction with natural and artificial lighting tests.
  • Shopfronts with performance glass dominate the buildings’ façade in order to maximize views to outdoors for building users. This visual connection to the external environment in combination with floor to ceiling heights in excess of 3.5 meters, has the benefit of reducing eyestrain for the building occupants and contributes to a better working environment.
  • Cycling and shower facilities were made available to tenants in the park’s Crossfit Gym, to encourage alternative modes of transport and a healthy and active lifestyle.
  • Education and raising awareness of greening initiatives through talks, interviews and presentations. Publication of this Building User’s Guide which includes procurement and purchasing of paints, carpets, adhesives and sealants for maintenance and fitout work.
  • Standard cleaning consumables have been exchanged with an environmentally friendly range of cleaning products and equipment
  • Implementation of a storm water management plan to recognise site related practices which limit the disruption of natural hydrology, minimise pollution and site deterioration.
  • Development of a hard services management plan to encourage environmentally sensitive hard services maintenance practices that reduce the environmental impact and improve ecology value.

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