Property Flash


May 21 2024 17:30

As part of a mission to “embed sustainability into every facet of its operations, Morningside Shopping Centre has highlighted significant advancements in its environmental strategies”, the group said on Tuesday.

Morningside Shopping Centre has enhanced its solar power, battery backup, and generator hybrid system, which became fully operational in March 2024.

Morningside Shopping Centre, located in Sandton, Gauteng, is a retail destination centre. It is co-owned by shopping centre investor and developer Flanagan & Gerard Property Group and Grapnel Property Group.

A newly implemented solar power, battery backup, and generator hybrid system represents a shift from traditional diesel generators to a more comprehensive approach that integrates solar panels, batteries, and existing generators. The centre is addressing frequent power outages and reducing diesel consumption, thereby ensuring uninterrupted service and an enhanced experience for tenants and customers, it said.

“By integrating cutting-edge technology and sustainable practices, Morningside Shopping Centre is setting a new standard for the industry. Our commitment to sustainability is not just about enhancing operational efficiency but also about making a positive impact on the environment and our community,” said Sharon Henry, centre manager of Morningside Shopping Centre.

The fully synchronised system incorporates 275kW of solar power capacity, two 500kWh batteries, and two 500kV diesel generators. The battery system can power the entire shopping centre load for up to two hours, providing a critical buffer during power cuts. This reduces reliance on diesel-powered generators and minimises environmental impact.

The centre has also expanded its backup water system, adding 10 new tanks to the existing fourteen 5,000-litre tanks. This enhancement ensures a more reliable water supply.

Morningside Shopping Centre has introduced the Neighbour Roots urban farming initiative. This is a venture between Flanagan & Gerard Properties and urban farmer Zandile Khumalo, and includes an urban rooftop farm.

It is located on the roof of the shopping centre and measures 300m² in size. I uses hydroponic technology, which substitutes traditional soil with water-based, nutrient-rich solutions, to reduce water usage by up to 80%. This method maximises limited urban space and enhances the environmental efficiency of the farm. Neighbour Roots provides the centre’s restaurants with fresh, pesticide-free produce.

The introduction of energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the centre’s basements and the installation of the third electric vehicle charging station in Gauteng align with efforts to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainable transportation options.

The shopping centre has enhanced its waste management system by introducing Biobin technology, which converts restaurant waste into compost. This initiative reduces landfill waste and provides an affordable and sustainable waste management option and supports the centre’s landscaping with compost.

Landscaping efforts are focused on including more Spekboom, an indigenous plant known for its low water requirements and carbon-absorbing properties. This succulent is a replacement for more water-thirsty plants and is easy to maintain.

Morningside Shopping Centre is collaborating with the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) that has enabled the integration of the traffic lights at the intersection of Rivonia Road and Outspan Road with the centre’s power system, easing traffic congestion during power outages.

“Collaborating with Morningside Shopping Centre allows us to extend the reach of our Traffic Signal Backup Power initiative which has already seen 40 companies currently powering 113 intersections providing power from their reserves during load shedding,” the JRA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Zweli Nyathi.

JRA’s next step is to achieve smart and adaptive traffic signals systems, and the entity will request proposals for ideas on SMART Traffic Signal controllers that will propel JRA and the City towards achieving the “ideals of being a Smart City”, according to Nyathi.

“JRA commends Morningside Shopping Centre for their initiatives and sees the centre’s efforts as highlights of the leadership of Morningside Shopping Centre and its owners in adopting eco-friendly practices and in the process set a new benchmark for sustainability in the retail sector and ensuring a better future for all involved,” he said.

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