Absa’s eco-friendly office tower

first_img22 July 2011The Absa Campus, located in downtown Johannesburg and home to the bank’s headquarters, consumes at least 12MW of electricity a day – but hardly any of this is drawn from South Africa’s national grid.Absa has built has an eco-friendly energy centre to generate its own electricity from low-pressure gas in Towers West, one of eight high-rise blocks of offices on the campus.Power generated from the centre is mostly used between 6am and 10pm, during which electricity consumption peaks in local businesses. The co-generation scheme used at the centre means that Eskom’s power mainly comes into play at night after 10pm, when the demand for energy is less. This keeps the electricity bill in check.“The energy centre has the capability to power the entire Absa Campus. The campus becomes independent off Eskom’s grid as demand peaks,” Shaheed Hendricks, head of Absa’s corporate real estate services, said in an interview last month.Dedicated gas pipelineThe energy centre has four gas-powered engines generating a combined 11.2MW of power. Each of the four GE Jenbacher J620 gas generators is enabled to peak at 2.8MW. Diesel units are on standby to generate a further 6MW during an emergency.The gas used in the engines is generated from Egoli Gas, the city council-owned natural gas supplier. Absa’s demand magnitude meant it had to install its own pipeline that stretches from Egoli’s location site in Auckland Park, some 6km from the Absa Campus.Egoli Gas has 1 200km of gas pipelines that reach various users around Johannesburg.“There’s a dedicated pipe from Egoli Gas to the Absa Campus. That makes us the biggest user of their services,” said Sandile Mthiyane, Absa’s head of energy. “Because of our energy requirements, we had to have our own dedicated pipe.”Absa’s decision to introduce the gas-generation system at its headquarters was largely driven by power outages experienced in South Africa between 2007 and 2008. The new headquarters were being built during this period.“All the power outages were a major motivator. We were forced to think differently,” said Mthiyane.Minimising its carbon footprintAbsa’s decision was also in response to Eskom’s appeal for responsible electricity usage. The utility continues to urge South Africans to do this, with a special focus on high-energy consumers.The surrounding environment is also benefiting from the scheme. Gas emits 40% fewer greenhouse gases compared to coal- or diesel-based generation models.The centre does not emit any smoke or exhaust gas fumes. “Besides reducing our energy consumption, it contributes to the wellbeing of society,” Hendricks said.The carbon footprint of Absa Campus has also been reduced quite significantly, which is enabling the bank to trade carbon credits.CO2 emissions from the campus have been cut from 97 000 tons to 78 000 tons per year.Absa, one of the four major banks in South Africa, is hoping to expand the centre in future by adding two more engines that could generate an extra 6MW.Once this happens, the centre could be able to supply power to neighbouring facilities like the Carlton Centre, which houses Transnet offices and a shopping mall. Residential blocks of flats in the vicinity could also score, and in turn reduce pressure on Eskom’s national grid.“In future we can export power onto the grid,” said Hendricks.Towers West’s energy-efficiencyBesides being home to the energy centre, the Towers West is the greenest building on the campus, and certainly beats all those in the Johannesburg CBD.A number of energy-efficient designs put it above the rest.The 3 000-plus employees working from the campus rely on a heat-recovery steam generator to exploit wasted energy from the gas turbines. It’s harvested and then used for air-conditioning as well as warming up water for showers.“Instead of using electric heaters, we’re capturing exhaust heat from the machines to heat up the air that we use to either cool or warm the building,” Mthiyane said. “We use exhaust heat that would otherwise be wasted.”The roof over the building’s wide atrium is transparent enough for natural light to pierce through, ensuring that there’s no need to use light bulbs.“The building has been designed to capture as much natural light as possible. There’s no chance of leaving light bulbs switched on for 24 hours in Towers West, as lighting has been designed to direct itself.“The lights automatically switch off if there’s no-one in a room. They sense the movement of people in the building.“As soon as you walk into the room, the lights will switch on,” Hendricks said.Now the challenge for Absa is to transfer similar technology to other buildings on the campus, as well as introduce such interventions at many of its branches spread across the country.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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Show of grit

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments The Ginebra victory and Phoenix Petroleum’s 104-100 conquest of GlobalPort in the first game knocked Blackwater out of the playoff race.The Fuel Masters will face TNT KaTropa on Sunday for the remaining quarterfinal berth with the winner clashing with twice-to-beat San Miguel Beer in the quarterfinals.Magnolia battles GlobalPort armed with the same advantage, while NLEX and Alaska clash in the other best-of-three quarterfinal series.Facing elimination, the Fuel Masters survived GlobalPort’s furious comeback in the first game. Matthew Wright had 32 points, but the Phoenix nearly blew a 31-point lead before winding up with a 5-6 record like Talk ’N Text and GlobalPort.ADVERTISEMENT Streaking Petron, F2 Logisitcs renew rivalry Ginebra finally made key plays in the third overtime against a suddenly cold-shooting Rain or Shine squad to forge a 100-92 victory and secure the fourth seed in the quarterfinals.Jervy Cruz hit a jumper with 34.1 seconds remaining and LA Tenorio buried cushion free throws as the Gin Kings avoided a difficult knockout duel against Blackwater for the eighth seed in the quarterfinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutInstead, the Gin Kings will end up as the fourth seed with a duel against the same Rain or Shine team that pushed them to the limit on the final day of the elimination round.Japeth Aguilar had 20 points in 51 minutes to lead Ginebra, which wound up with a 6-5 record just like NLEX and Rain or Shine. The Gin Kings, however, grabbed the fourth seed when quotient was applied. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa LATEST STORIES Ginebra vs Rain or Shine. PBA IMAGESDragged into a dogfight, Barangay Ginebra showcased its trademark grit and resilience to come away with a victory that could go a long way in its hopes of going deep in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.But if this was a sign of things to come, the road to the top won’t be any easier for the Gin Kings.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citycenter_img LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Read Next Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

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Hashflags, the new cool on Twitter for 2014 World Cup

first_imgHashflags are the new phenomenon on Twitter. A concept, appearing in its second avatar on the occasion of the football world cup in Brazil, has taken over fans on the popular social media platform.A hashflag allows football fans to display a country’s flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by a three-letter country code. The feature lets fans express the love for their team through an emoticon. #BRA, for instance, when mentioned in a tweet, will automatically put a Brazilian flag after #BRA in a tweet.Twitter has reintroduced its popular hashflags, allowing fans to display their countries flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by the three letter country code.Shakira, who sang ‘Waka Waka’, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature. Twitter launched hashflags in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but it did not catch much attention.The Indian flag, sadly, does not have a hashflag yet because this feature is currently restricted to the 32 participating teams in the football world cup.Shakira, who sang Waka Waka, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature.Clicking on the hashflag code in a tweet takes a user to the team’s official Twitter account, with the exception of Iran which has blocked Twitter. The team’s official Twitter account lists statistics and information of the team.This world cup, Twitter will be tallying all the tweets containing hashflags and unveil the “World Cup of Tweets”. The winner will be the country with the most number of hashflags tweeted.advertisementlast_img read more

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Netflix has inked a programming deal with the Wein

first_imgNetflix has inked a programming deal with the Weinstein Group. The content streaming and delivery service’s deal with the movie producer and distributor gives it access to a raft of features including The Artist, which will now debut on Netflix ahead of premium cable in the US.The multiyear deal also gives US-listed Netflix Weinstein’s Undefeated, which will also debut on Netflix ahead of cable. The features covered by the deal will be available on Netflix within a year of their theatrical release. Other titles include The Intouchables, W.E. and Bully.“We couldn’t be happier to be working again with Harvey and Bob, who have an unmatched track record of creating critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.“It is a fantastic coup for Netflix to acquire The Artist and the package of additional titles,” said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, “It’s exciting that we can offer consumers a supremely convenient way to see the kinds of movies that made us want to be in this business in the first place.”last_img read more

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