East Africa’s First Registered Green Star Office Development - Dunhill Towers, Westlands
Dunhill Consulting Limited, is delighted to launch East Africa’s First Registered Green Star Office Development - Dunhill Towers. A combination of functionality and design. Located 450 meters from Westlands Roundabout on Waiyaki way, this iconic building is creating the new benchmark for Grade A Offices.
Providing light for the workplace has always been at the top of the list for developers and facility managers. However, they have tended to focus on the effects lighting has on a building’s performance, often at the expense of the people who work there. The cause of this focus has been the rising costs of real estate and energy.
Dunhill Towers has taken a different approach by providing LED office-standard lighting by considering the architectural integration, visual amenity, costs (capital & operating) installation, energy efficiency and visual function. Within the range of illumination, building users have a preference for how much and what kind of light they want. The development encourages and has implemented a tenant fit out criteria that includes lighting designs that provide artificial lighting with minimal energy consumption.
Consideration for Solar lighting was abandoned after a detailed analysis of the available space to mount solar panels provided a low yield that did not justify the capital investment for the system. An alternative approach on passive design through increased daylighting was adopted to reduce the amount of artificial lighting used.
100 % Solar water heating has been integrated into the design to serve the kitchenette and cyclist showers in the development.
The development has not integrated rain water harvesting due to its narrow floor plate design the available catchment area is minimal for substantial amount of rainfall harvesting. The developers have instead put in place water efficiency measures such as low flow sanitary fitting for the taps, toilets, urinal and showers that significantly reduces the use of portable water by the development.
The design has achieved a 0.41 l/day/m2 consumption in comparison to the Green Star office benchmark of 0.83 l/day/m2.
As the benefits of natural ventilation, including reducing operation costs, improving indoor air quality and providing satisfactory thermal comfort in certain climates, are recognized, passive cooling of houses using natural ventilation has become an attractive alternative to alleviate the associated problems with air-conditioned buildings.
Nairobi is situated at 1.2921° S latitude with average temperature of 21 and average relative humidity of 68% in the whole year. For thermal analyses of the local climate data, thermal conditions of one typical year data set of weather conditions were modeled to analyse the natural ventilation of the development.
All office spaces and dwelling types achieve natural ventilations as per SANS 10400-0:2011 which requires each naturally ventilated space to have an opening of area at least 5% of floor area and all Internal operative temperatures are within the 80% Acceptability Limits given in ASHRAE Standard 55- 2004 for 90% of occupied hours in the year.
i. Reduced energy demand as there is no use of artificial heating or cooling
ii. Improved air quality
iii. Because of the way air moves in a building, and removes pollutants, it provides consistent flow of clean air throughout the building. This ultimately contributes to improved health and productivity of the building users
High performance glass
Selecting windows that combines high performance glass with a quality frame and long-lasting weather resistant seals results in a high performance, long lasting window. Accounting for up to 90% of the thermal performance of windows glass is the most influential factor in determining window energy efficiency.
Dunhill Towers has invested in high performance glass that provides:
i. Thermal comfort: Through its solar control and effective insulating properties, high-performance glazing increases thermal comfort in both high and low temperatures. Solar gains in the high temperatures are reduced so that the office space neither overheat nor require air-conditioning. In low temperatures, the cold stays outside and the heat inside – which reduces the need for heating.
ii. Daylight: As a transparent medium, the glass lets natural light penetrate to the heart of a building and provides an opening to the world outside for views. The glass also diffuses light, safeguards privacy and creates convivial and contemporary living spaces.
iii. Acoustic properties: External sources of noise pollution which damage our quality of life are inevitable and ways of reducing or eliminating them are imperative. The selected glazing plays a decisive role in reducing these disturbances. It enables a gain of up to 10 decibels compared to traditional glazing.
The development is providing 70 bicycle racks and 32 bicycle parking spaces allocated for staff and visitors respectively locked by tyre and frame. The racks are conveniently located near main entrances and showers & locker facilities have been provided as well.
Cost of Green Buildings
‘Building green is more expensive’ has been, and still remains one of the biggest myths surrounding Green Buildings. It’s considered the biggest myth because "expensive" is a relative term. More expensive than WHAT?
Expensive today loses meaning when life-cycle costs are considered. Upfront investment in green building makes properties more valuable, with an average expected increase in value of 4 percent. By virtue of lowered maintenance and energy costs the return on investment from green building is rapid. Many green building designs, strategies, materials and practices can and do save everyone money because they generally reduce energy costs, labor costs and medical costs now and in the future.
Benefits of Green Buildings
Environmental benefits of green building:
• Enhance and protect biodiversity and ecosystems
• Improve air and water quality
• Reduce waste streams
• Conserve and restore natural resources
Economic benefits of green building:
• Reduce operating costs
• Improve occupant productivity
• Enhance asset value and profits
• Optimize life-cycle economic performance
Social benefits of green building:
• Enhance occupant health and comfort
• Improve indoor air quality
• Minimize strain on local utility infrastructure
• Improve overall quality of life