Saving water and energy in Western Cape Government buildings

(Western Cape Government)

May is National Energy Month.

The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) is playing its part in saving water during the Western Cape’s current drought crisis and has already implemented water and energy-saving methods and technology in a number of Western Cape Government (WCG)-owned buildings.

We’ve been innovative and realistic in our approach to reduce our carbon footprint while saving water in a sustainable way.

Solar PV Panels

PV Panels

The Department started the solar photovoltaic (PV) panels project in 2016 to:

  • reduce the need to buy grid electricity,
  • reduce the WCG’s carbon footprint, and
  • provide skills training in renewable energy technologies.

We’ve since increased the budget for this project to R20,3 m in 2017/18 with solar PV installations at the Green Building on the Karl Bremer hospital site, the Khayelitsha Shared Services Centre, and the Government Motor Transport (GMT) building.

PV panels have also been installed at these WCG-owned buildings:  

  • 9 Dorp Street, Cape Town
  • Vangate Shared Services Centre, Athlone
  • 27 Wale Street, Cape Town
  • Alfred Street library building, Green Point

Read more on our solar PV panels project:

Water Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

dual flush toilets

As the custodian of WCG buildings, the Department has taken the lead in preparing the Water BCP to help ensure that the delivery of essential services continue even if the supply of municipal water becomes severely constrained.

These essential services include:

  • health services,
  • education,
  • social development services, and
  • office accommodation for command and control structures, and critical service points.

Reducing water use will remain a high priority, even beyond the current drought.

The Water BCP will focus on reducing water consumption in all WCG-owned buildings and making sure that there is enough drinking water for hygiene and fire-safety purposes.

Read more on TPW’s Water BCP

Construction features

Hillside clinic

We include sustainable design features when building and upgrading education, health and general facilities.

One example is the Hillside Clinic in Beaufort West.  The designers reduced the need for air conditioning in the building by using appropriate design and natural materials. Other green design features include energy-efficient lighting and solar water heating.

Khayelitsha Shared Services Centre is the first public building in the Western Cape to be awarded a 5-Star Green Star Design Rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa. Green features include a waste recycling storage area on the lower ground floor, recycling bins in all the office areas, toilets with dual flush systems, waterless urinals, and a rainwater harvesting system to reduce the facility’s water consumption.

Watch: 110% Green celebration of Khayelitsha Hospital

Watch: Together we can save energy in our homes

The content on this page was last updated on 9 May 2018