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Ground Floor, Collingwood Building, Black River Park, Fir Street, Observatory, 7925
Cape Town
South Africa

+27 82 462 5423

Misplon Green Building Consulting specialises in assisting property investors who are orientating their property portfolios towards “going green” and who need help in taking practical steps towards their goals.

Latest from Misplon

Black River Park snatches another award



17 Feb 2017

Redefine Properties announced today that it’s Black River Park, an office precinct in Cape Town has been adjudged the winner in the Sustainable FM Operations category at the recent South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) Awards.

Redefine beat six other nominees in the category including its own The Towers office precinct also in Cape Town.

The award aims to recognise efforts by individuals, teams or corporates involved in Facilities Management, which have delivered the best sustainability initiative during the course of the year.

Black River Office Park is the first office precinct in the country to receive Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) certified Green Star existing building ratings for all of its eight buildings, with a combined 75,000sqm of office space. Amongst its many firsts, Black River Office Park is also home to the first Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) certified building and the first building to receive a 6 Star Green Star SA EBP rating.

“The award validates our commitment to providing tenants with work spaces that are in itself conscious of the environment in which they operate and cost effective to run. It further demonstrates to our tenants, the community and all other stakeholders that our properties are managed to the highest standard of excellence,” says Ilse Swanepoel, Head of Utilities at Redefine Properties.

Black River Park also acclaimed with having Africa’s largest integrated rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system. The roof top installation at the office park in Observatory is rated at 1.56MW and is made up of approximately 6,000 panels spread over 9,000sqm of roof space. It ranks amongst the world’s top 20 commercial roof top solar installations.

The office precinct has also implemented best practices in water, waste, energy, and overall sustainability. The park has retrofitted all of its common and parking areas with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) as well as instituted a cost-benefit sharing agreement with tenants to further the roll out of energy saving technology. The park has also engaged with tenants to reduce their energy consumption through tenant education and active audits.

Aside the potential energy savings the park has been able to ratchet, its environmental policy also extends to waste management with over 75% of waste collected being diverted from landfills. All waste from the park is sorted on site into recyclable and non-recyclable materials including correct disposal of fluorescent tubing. The park also maintains ecologically friendly gardens with water sourced from boreholes on site.

Sustainability is not a nice-to-have but rather a mindset that is embedded throughout the organisation. We have not rested after improving energy efficiencies and implementing water saving at our developments, we now assess our carbon footprint every year to determine the environmental impact of the company according to Swanepoel.

As a leader in the property development sector, we are fully conscious of and active in our role in protecting and enhancing the environment.

“The Black River Office Park is exemplary for its commitment to and achievements in sustainability and our drive towards sustainability is based on overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the impact of green buildings on productivity and wellbeing of its occupants,” Swanepoel says in conclusion.


Growthpoint’s Greenfield Industrial Park achieves SA’s first industrial Green Star rating


Growthpoint Properties’ Greenfield Industrial Park in Cape Town has been awarded South Africa’s first ever Green Star SA rating for an industrial property.

In a milestone achievement for green building in South Africa, Greenfield received a 4-Star Custom Industrial As-Built Green Star SA certification from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).

Growthpoint’s green building consultants for Greenfield, Sally Misplon from Misplon Consulting and Francois Retief from Sow & Reap, examined this opportunity further. Collaborating with GBCSA, they jointly developed a custom new build certification for the industrial facility, which is a progressive approach to ensuring more building types can be certified by the GBCSA. The custom process uses around 80% of existing Green Star SA tools making minor changes to allow application to other sectors for which tools have not yet been developed. To ensure robustness and relevance, the custom process goes through an independent peer review before it is finalised as a rating tool for the project.

The Greenfield project was a wonderful opportunity to apply this process, which proved successful due to, among other things, the Green Star experience that Misplon and Retief added to the process.

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Upper Eastside Hotel’s Green Transformation


Cape Town’s Upper Eastside Hotel, owned by Spear Properties has achieved a 5-Star Existing Building Performance (EPB) Green Star SA rating.

Always striving for exceptionality, Upper Eastside, which is a franchised Hilton Hotel and the first DoubleTree in South Africa, started implementing greener policies over the last six years. This made for a relatively smooth Green Star SA submission process and although originally targeting a 4-Star EBP rating, achieved a 5-Star rating straight out of the starting blocks.

Management centric

EBP is designed to reward facility management practices, ensuring that a building operates optimally. Where projects have achieved a base building rating it recognises management actions that ensure the building operates as intended by the design. For all projects targeting EBP, the main actions require auditing installed performance, monitoring on-going usage and taking corrective steps to remedy inefficiencies. In essence, it rewards best business practice on an on-going operational basis and the certification is renewable every three years.

Sally Misplon, green building consultant appointed to execute the Green Star SA certification submission, agrees with hotel general manager Francois Steyn that for buildings that pre-date the current trend in green infrastructure, “achieving EBP certification can be a greater challenge”. Older existing buildings are coming off a lower performance base, which can limit the opportunity for effective intervention and make achieving that targeted star rating a costly exercise.

In the case of the Cape Town Upper Eastside Hotel, Misplon conducted audits of lighting lux levels, carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO1) and thermal comfort in each and every room, and facilitated audits of green cleaning products and transport usage. Consequently, management plans were established for maintenance, landscaping, cleaning product procurement and alternative transportation – and the effects of implementation are noticeable.



Black River Park first Green Star SA rated office precinct in SA


Black River Park in Cape Town has become the first office precinct in South Africa to receive Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) certified Green Star SA ratings for all its buildings.

The eight buildings at Black River Park office precinct in Observatory, offering a combined 75,000m² of office space, have earned unparalleled green building credentials. Besides being the first full office park to have all buildings Green Star SA rated, it is also home to the first Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) certified building and the first buildings to receive a 6 Star Green Star SA Existing Building Performance rating.

Sally Misplon of Misplon Green Building Consulting, the Green Star Accredited Professional and principal participant in the green project team, guided Black River Park right from the very start in its certification project.

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Redefine concludes Leaf Capital deal, emphasises value of green buildings


JSE-listed Redefine Properties on Thursday said it had completed the R4.1-billion acquisition of the Leaf Capital portfolio of properties, a deal which significantly boosted the company’s Western Cape office portfolio.

This included Black River Park, which offered 74 000 m² of office space, Wembley Square and The Boulevard and equated to nearly two-thirds of the acquired portfolio, with average property values at R900-million each.

“This is a very important deal for us. The acquisition of the Leaf portfolio is in line with our strategy to invest in a diversified portfolio of high-quality assets. Importantly, it also changes the face of our Western Cape portfolio, which will now include the top 5% of [high]-quality office blocks in Cape Town and a number of the country’s greenest complexes,” Redefine CEO Andrew Konig CEO said.

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NorthPark Scores 5 Stars


(Earthworks Magazine - Feb/March 2015 issue)

Getting South Africa’s first existing building Green Star SA certification proves that Black River Park in Cape Town has a “better product” to offer, says office park co-owner PJ Rabie.

“We have found that green space is becoming increasingly more important for both local and international tenants” says Black River Park facilities manager Matt Rich. “Tenants are starting to be mindful of the environmental impact of a building, and are looking for the benefits that a green space offers.”

While greening of new buildings is imperative to lessen the environmental impact of the built environment, sustainably managing the existing building stock is where significant efficiencies and savings can be made. The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) says the EBP rating tool provides indicators to ensure a building’s environmental performance is efficiently maintained or improved upon over time. Black River Park’s North Park received its 5 Star Green Star SA rating in October 2014, under the Existing Building Performance (EBP) pilot tool.

(Earthworks Magazine - Feb/March 2015 issue)


Cape Town’s Black River Park awarded first-ever existing building green rating


The 18,675sqm North Park in the Black River Park office park in Observatory, Cape Town, has become the first building in the country to be awarded an "existing building" certification from the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA), under the council's newly launched Green Star SA Existing Building Performance (EBP) pilot tool.

Black River Park, owned by Leaf Capital and Joubert Rabie, has made it their mission to secure green certification for the entire 75,000m2 office park - one of the largest business parks in the Western Cape. The park, consisting of a North and South Park, is home to more than 110 companies, including the GBCSA's head office and SAPOA's Western Cape offices.

As part of the GBCSA's first-ever "existing building" rating, the North Park was recognised with a 5 Star GBCSA EBP certification.

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SA’s Brightest Green Stars are Honoured


September 17, 2014

South Africa’s top rated Green Star buildings and top green building professionals were announced at the Green Star Leadership Awards 2014, held at the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) Convention, sponsored by Nedbank, in Cape Town last week.

For their stellar contributions to green building in South Africa, this year’s big winners of these coveted awards are No.1 Silo at V&A Waterfront, Atrium on 5th at Sandton City, Chilu Lombe of Solid Green Consulting and Sally Misplon of Misplon Green Building Consulting.

Brian Wilkinson, CEO of GBCSA, says: “We have the audacious goal of wanting to change the way the world is built – to inspire, design, build and operate better, greener buildings that tread lightly on our stressed planet. The winners of the Green Star Leadership Awards have stepped up and are making this happen, and doing so with extraordinary passion and flair.”

The annual Green Star Leadership awards consist of four categories. For buildings, there are the Highest Rated Building and Best Quality submission, while individual professionals are recognised as either a Rising Green Star or an Established Green Star. The awards officially named No.1 Silo at V&A Waterfront, the new head office of Allan Gray, the winner in the Highest Rated building category of the awards.

Wilkinson explains that No.1 Silo was the highest rated green building in the country during the year, earning the most points in its final Green Star SA rating. No 1 Silo at the V&A Waterfront dazzled with South Africa’s first 6-Star As-Built rating. No.1 Silo is developed by the V&A Waterfront, owned in equal parts by Growthpoint Properties and the Government Employees Pension Fund represented by the Public Investment Corporation (SOC) Limited. The Green Star SA Accredited Professional for this project was Georgina Smit from ARUP.

Runners up in this category included the National English Literature Museum developed by the Department of Public Works with Green Star SA Accredited Professional Marloes Reinink from Solid Green Consulting, followed by the Group Five head office in Waterfall City developed by Atterbury for Attacq Waterfall Investment Company with Green Star SA Accredited Professional Alison Groves from WSP. Both buildings earned a 5-Star Green Star SA design rating.

The refurbishment of the Atrium on 5th offices at Sandton City won the best quality submission award. Formerly the Sandton City Twin Towers, this project was developed by owners Liberty Group and Pareto Limited and its Green Star SA Accredited Professional was Jeanne Butler from Aurecon. It received a 4-Star Green Star SA rating. No.1 Silo at V&A Waterfront was chosen as the runner-up in this category.

For outstanding and ongoing contribution to green building in South Africa, Chilu Lombe of Solid Green Consulting was awarded the Established Green Star. Jaco Kemp of Arup was named the runner up in this category.

“This award is given to people who have continually contributed to the green building economy and are actively changing the way the world is being built,” says Wilkinson. “The accolade recognises Lombe’s leadership, passion and contribution to the green building space.”

Lombe has been involved in developing energy and thermal modelling capacity in South Africa since 2009 and worked on at least 15 Green Star SA project submissions and certifications in the same time. Lombe is also a member of the GBCSA’s education faculty and its project assessment panel.

Sally Misplon of Misplon Green Building Consulting was named this year’s Rising Green Star. Etienne Terblanche of PJCarew Consulting was the category’s runner up.

Misplon has acted as Green Star SA Accredited Professional for eight buildings to date, including the first building to be submitted for an Existing Building Performance rating, which uses a tool that she helped to develop. She’s also in training to become an assessor for the tool and is on its technical advisory group.

“The future is indeed bright with professionals like these working together for a better built environment,” Wilkinson notes.

In the last seven years the GBCSA has certified a million square metres of commercial space, and has another million in the wings. It has trained almost 6 000 professionals and nearly 1 000 of these have become Green Star SA Accredited Professionals. GBCSA has over a 1 000 corporate members and a reach of about 10 000 green building enthusiasts.

Wilkinson points out that this is thanks, in large part, to the Green Building Leader Network – an exclusive community of outstanding corporate citizens comprising Growthpoint, Liberty and Standard Bank. “Through their support of the GBCSA these companies capacitate the council’s goal of changing the way the world is built, for the better,” says Wilkinson.