The new FUCHS Isando head office has been certified as net zero carbon
11 July 2023: FUCHS LUBRICANTS SOUTH AFRICA has clinched an accolade from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) Leadership Awards for 2021-2022 for its Net Zero submission. In addition, the new FUCHS Isando head office has been certified as being net zero carbon, valid from July 2022 until June 2025, reports Sustainability Director Esther Seabi.
Not only has the head office been designed to be as energy efficient as possible, it generates renewable energy in excess of its requirements. This translates into net zero carbon emissions from energy usage on a yearly basis.
The process started at building design phase, where the focus was alignment with natural climatic elements to minimise the need for artificial illumination, heating and cooling required for a comfortable indoor environment. For example, the use of shading and glazing specified.
The next phase was the use of energy efficient equipment and systems such as automated LED lighting and energy-efficient appliances and HVAC system. Lastly, the solar PV system generates renewable energy equal to or exceeding the energy requirements of the building.
The current certification is based on design and is valid for three years. To maintain the rating following this, FUCHS has to submit data on actual usage to demonstrate whether or not it is net zero. “We have online metering for the various energy consumers. This also helps us with management, as for instance we can see if aircons are left on when the building is unoccupied. We have also had instances where we were alerted when the PV system tripped,” explains Seabi.
Other sustainability features include a rainwater harvesting system, supported by double piping the plumbing system to separate potable and grey water. “This enables us to use the rainwater harvested in the bathrooms. It also assists in the event of any water outages because the toilets can still flush. We did not only focus on energy efficiency but conserving water as well, with all our fittings being water efficient,” highlights Seabi.
FUCHS has staked its ambition to be the most sustainable lubricants company and has also set a net zero target. “To have one net zero building is already a good start. It is great to see such a level of commitment to social responsibility,” concludes Seabi.