By Willem van der Westhuizen, C3 Climate Control Consulting Engineers

Sandton Gate’s award of a 4-star certification under the Green Star SA Sustainable Precincts Tool is a first for a South African mixed-use development.

A bland and Tiber joined forces to establish Sandton Gate as a world-class precinct. The development was created as a sustainable and smarter choice for businesses, residents and the general public.

The precinct is strategically located on William Nicol Drive, within minutes of Sandton, Hyde Park, Rosebank and Bryanston in Gauteng. Sandton Gate is an ambitious mixed-use development that will seamlessly integrate commercial, residential and retail space with a number of lifestyle amenities in a connected, green, pedestrian-friendly setting.


The precinct overlooks the Braamfontein spruit – one of Johannesburg’s longest natural greenbelts – and on the doorstep of South Africa’s financial central business district. The developers have envisaged less traffic, better business and all-round smarter living.

Phase one (Building A) has reached completion and offers tenants P-grade office space from 50m2 to 6 000m2

A tertiary chilled water pump supplying the building. Image credit: RACA Journal

Green star certification and sustainability

With a shared vision of demonstrating sector leadership in sustainability, the Sandton Gate has achieved a first by obtaining a Green Star Sustainable Precinct certification for the mixed-use precinct under the Green Building Council South Africa’s (GBCSA) new Green Star Sustainable Precincts Tool.

In order to obtain the precinct rating, one of the minimum requirements is that each individual building attains a minimum 4-Star Green Star rating.
The first residential buildings are under construction.

Following on from an emphasis on a ‘smart precinct’, smart technology elements have been incorporated into the building, resulting in a 5-Star Green Star Office v1.1 rating. This is a speculative building that needed to adhere to very strict common area ratios and project costings, and the building was designed to be as cost-effective as possible.

The development has taken sustainability beyond its boundaries and incorporated green living principles into the surrounding community. The precinct offers numerous incentives for sustainable living, which include:

A car-pooling scheme: to save on travelling costs, the Sandton Gate app will give all users of the precinct the opportunity to either get a lift from or give a lift to a fellow precinct occupant, with the option of sharing travelling costs between passengers.

Bus shelters with solar powered charging facilities, offering users free charging for their devices while on the move.

Fan coil unit tenant installation with FES to allow wireless connection to the BMS. Image credit: RACA JournalFan coil unit tenant installation with FES to allow wireless connection to the BMS. Image credit: RACA Journal

A reverse vending machine (RVM) which accepts recyclable materials in exchange for credits or tokens from the machine to be utilised at pre-arranged venues for discounts on goods. The RVM accepts only certain products such as cans, bottles and cartons. The initiative encourages recycling and rewards users of the precinct for doing the right thing.

HVAC and telemetry systems

One of the systems that the team was extremely proud to have been a part of is the innovative HVAC system. The system offers individual control via variable air volume diffusers that can be accessed via an app on a tablet or a smart phone.

The building is conditioned by a four-pipe chilled water thermal storage system. The phase-change material thermal storage system reduces the building’s overall electrical consumption by more than 25% when compared to an already efficient chilled water installation, resulting in an average monthly electricity saving of R6.40 per square metre.

The telemetry system allows users to control various elements of the building like the air conditioning systems and extractor fans. Image credit: C3 EngineeringThe telemetry system allows users to control various elements of the building like the air conditioning systems and extractor fans. Image credit: C3 Engineering

The bleedingEdge Building Telemetry System was developed as a replacement to legacy Building Management Systems using a secure dedicated Wi-Fi IP network. Users can control and monitor the air conditioning system, lifts, generators, UPS installation, extractor fans, basement smoke extraction, sump pumps as well as the fire and security systems.

The system continually interrogates the operating conditions and not only report faults but also provides alerts if equipment does not operate within its design parameters. The system monitors and archives all the building’s data and compiles all the readings from the electrical and water consumption meters, displaying live data from the building, and compares the building’s performance to the same building without any of its energy saving enhancements.


The bleedingEdge Field Equipment Station (Wi-Fi enabled protocol converter) converts the information from any BACnet or Modbus enabled devices that can then be communicated to the automation server on site, or to the bleedingEdge cloud servers, using open standardised protocols and services.

The system further monitors and archives all the building’s data and can compile all the readings from the electrical and water consumption meters to enable remote billing. Numerous third-party systems like switching of lights, access control via licence plate or facial recognition can further be incorporated onto the platform in future. The system has the functionality to display live data from the building services that can be displayed on any Smart-TV or monitor.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a bleedingEdge Touchless Lift Operation system was also installed. By scanning a QR code with a smart phone camera the system allows you to select your required floor and call the lift without touching any of the lift buttons. What make this unique is that you can operate the lift without first installing an app on your phone or being on the same Wi-Fi network as the building.

List of professionals:


Pod Property Fund


Abland Tiber Investments

Project Manager:



Boogertman + Partners

Quantity Surveyor:


Civil & Structural Engineer:

L & S Consulting

Electrical Engineer:

CKR Consulting Engineers

Mechanical Engineer:

C3 Climate Control Consulting Engineers

Fire Consultant:


Green Building Consultant:

Solid Green Consulting

Landscape Architect:

Landmark Studios

Main Contractor:

Tiber Construction

Building Management System:


HVAC contractor:

HVAC Installations

HVAC equipment supplier:



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