What's your carbon footprint?

What's your carbon footprint?Climate change - caused by excessive quantities of carbon being injected into our atmosphere - isnít just a widely accepted scientific fact these days.

Itís actually looking worse than experts originally thought and South Africa is a major contributor to this challenge. Our buildings - both in their construction and in their day-to-day running -- are woefully energy inefficient. On top of this our South African energy is primarily coal based. Built environment professionals need to respond.

Activate is transforming its business in three important ways:

1. Green building design: We are designing green(er) buildings. Activate Architecture strives to engender a more sustainable high performance architecture. Our firm is a member of the Green Building Council of South Africa and all the architects are accredited professionals with the GBCSA. With each project, we carefully consider how to maximise the performance of the buildings and minimize each structureís negative impact on the environment. And to ensure we stay abreast of the latest strategies in green building and we pro-actively engage with the existing knowledge-base here in South Africa.

2. Solar Power: Being immersed in the design of green buildings, activate is acutely aware of the energy consumption of buildings as well as the advantages of renewable energy resources. Putting two and two together: Activate has installed a 5 KVA photovoltaic array in the roof of the office in abundantly sunny Johannesburg. Sized to provide 80% of the offices annual electrical demand. The system regularly delivers 100% of our electricity on sunny days!

Activate Architects tree planting in Thembisa

This intervention reduces activateís carbon footprint and ensures that we remain productive regardless of the stability of the city power grid. Attractive return on investment is best achieved with larger scale facilities however, we forecast that our considerable investment will pay for itself in 6 years based on our consumption requirements, energy price forecasting and the mitigation of lost production time from excessive load shedding.

3. Activate is committed to reducing our carbon footprint. To this end, Activate use the nongovernmental organisation; Food and Trees For Africaís National Tree Distribution Programme (www.trees.co.za), to offset our carbon emissions. To date activate have planted 250 trees at the following schools in South Africa:

Activate Architects tree planting in Thembisa
  • Moriteng Primary School (Thembisa) 100 trees
  • Cowan High School (New Brighton, PE) 100 trees
  • Mmathabo Senior Secondary (Makwang, Free State) 50 trees

Telephone: 011 788 8095 email © activate architects 1997- 2017
activate architecture is a B-BBEE Level 2 contributor