The V&A Waterfront is ahead of the game when it comes to sustainability. It recently received yet another award when the Green Buildings Council of South Africa (GBCSA) recognised it for the sustainable the Silo District’s No. 6 Silo building.

It’s all in keeping with the Waterfront’s commitment to sustainability. Vusi Nondo, Executive Manager for Development said, “We value this latest accolade and all that it signifies as our buildings are an important asset to the V&A Waterfront and we take pride in applying a rigorous approach to sustainable development. As a business, we are pragmatic and commercial, but it is also our responsibility to ensure that the legacy we build today does not negatively impact on the future.

“We take a holistic approach to sustainability, and this was the key principle behind our developments at the Silo District, and elsewhere in our developments. Every element of new developments are scrutinised to maximise the efficiency of the design and the operation of the buildings.”

The building, which now houses the new-concept 252 room Radisson RED Hotel, won the award for the Best ‘Other’ Development making it the first new hotel to receive a 5-Star Green Custom Hotel Design rating. It has also received a 5-Star Green Hotel As-Built rating.

The Green Star is a points-based green building rating system that evaluates buildings according to global best practice in sustainability. The system allocates points across nine categories including management, indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, innovation and water, materials used, land use and ecology and emissions. As no Green Star existed for hotels, a customised tool was developed for the project.

GBCSA head of technical Georgina Smit, said when presenting the award “Congratulations to the V&A for pioneering leadership within the hospitality sector. When No. 6 Silo was conceptualised, there was no locally available green building certification tool for hotels. The V&A’s ambitious commitment to green, however, resulted in the project initiating the first Custom Hotel tool to be developed in South Africa, by making use of the GBCSA Custom Tool process.

“The GBCSA acknowledge the role that the hospitality sector plays in raising awareness about sustainability and how travellers are increasingly requesting accommodation and transport options that reduce their carbon footprint. No 6 Silo is an example of a green hotel that connects guests to alternative city transport options, precinct scale services that optimise efficiency (such as the innovative central seawater cooling plant) and attention to detail when it comes to dematerialisation in the interior finishes.”

The Silo District as now been the recipient of several awards for green development and business practices, making a truly innovative space. 

A number of sustainable elements were considered.

The surrounding industrial and warehouse setting of the working harbour and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa (MOCAA) has been articulated in the design of the building. Concrete and face brick therefore form an integral part of the architecture, giving the hotel a contemporary aesthetic look and ensuring low maintenance.

The building is spatially efficient with low VOC finishes. Good levels of natural lighting, together with appropriately designed facades, ensure maximum efficiency of resources. 

The Radisson RED has become quickly become a highlight in the City’s accommodation offerings. The ground floor of the hotel houses the reception and welcome area, event and meeting spaces and the restaurant. The first floor is set aside for back-of-house functions while floors two to eight house guest rooms. A gym, lounge bar and pool deck with panoramic views are located on the roof level.