Consistently and consciously practising and maintaining efficient waste-management and recycling practices has earned Cape Town’s Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre a 5-star Green Star Existing Building Performance v1 certification (the highest green rating for any existing shopping centre in the country) from the GBCSA after ramping up its environmental efforts following its 2015 4-star Existing Building certification.

The site was rated according to its management practices, indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovations. ‘With the 4-star rating, we committed to implementing the Green Lease toolkit and we now have just below a quarter of our tenants signed,’ says V&A Waterfront operations manager Petro Myburgh.

While the Existing Building Performance Tool is similar to the same environmental categories as the Green Star New Buildings and Major Refurbishments Tool, it differs in that the focus is on making operations and management of the building more efficient to maintain optimal performance, according to the GBCSA. Valid for three years to ensure that green practices are maintained and well operated, the As Built rating encompasses energy and water monitoring as well as management policies and plans.

Completed in 1992, the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre has gradually been extended to cover 88 647 m², with more than 450 retail outlets and 80 eateries; five undercover parking garages and four open parking areas. It offers recycling initiatives for tenants through its on-site waste-handling facility and features energy-efficient LED lighting, and skylights for natural light; non-toxic paint, flooring, adhesives and sealants; green cleaning practices; and low-environmental-impact construction materials.

Steps are also being taken towards eliminating single-use plastics at the centre.

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