Menlyn Park Shopping Centre turns what used to be a parking lot, into a farm

Posted On Wednesday, 18 May 2022 07:27 Published by
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Remember the days when farms were sold to become shopping malls? Menlyn Park Shooping Centre has done a 180 on that past trend and turned what used to be a parking lot, into a farm, with the help of the very bright and hard-working Andile Matukane.

 

Andile Matukane approached Menlyn Park Shooping Centre with a proposal for a rooftop urban farm, and the idea was so outlandish and brilliant. It’s a project that’s doing so much good it’s difficult to know where to start.

Our rooftop is now a farm

Firstly, there’s a whole roof of plants that turns carbon dioxide into oxygen. Literally a breath of fresh air. As this is a hydroponic farm, meaning the produce grows in water and not in soil, it uses less water. The produce is organic, as no pesticides are needed because of the plastic tents it’s growing in. One great kicker is that Andile’s produce is bought by many of the restaurants in the centre. This means she doesn’t need refrigeration or transport. She delivers orders by foot. And it doesn’t stop there.

Andile has plans to make her rooftop farm a benefit for the community at large. She has created training centres to teach people about hydroponic farming, enabling them to do it for themselves. Everyone wins here. The environment and the community. We’re proud to be a part of it!

Andile and her hydroponic farm is one example of how Menlyn Park Shooping Centre is doing its best to become a responsible and sustainable shopping destination. In recent years, the word Sustainability has become a much-used buzzword. And for good reason. For many years now, we’ve been living life on this planet in a rather unsustainable way. And it’s starting to catch up with us. All over the world we’re seeing evidence of a planet in crisis. Global warming is part of our everyday lives, and you must be living under a rock to not have heard of it or felt its consequences.

The solution is no longer simple, but one thing that is certain is that we all must play our part in turning our behaviour around to get us, and our planet, back onto the right path.

We’re very aware of the part we need to play, by doing our best to create sustainable ways and by setting an example for our community. Over the past few years, we’ve worked hard to find solutions to reduce our carbon footprint, to be more sustainable and future-focussed, and to create opportunities for our community to do the same. All whilst maintaining a world-class shopping experience.

Property owners globally are being put under pressure to increase efforts when it comes to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG). At Menlyn Park, various projects have seen the light of day where we’ve addressed these issues. We see ourselves as a leader in the field, especially on the local front, especially as in 2016 we received a 4-star Green Star Retail Design rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the substantial effort undertaken on environmentally friendly design and construction principles.

We went solar

Very few countries are better equipped than South Africa for renewable energy, and the Tshwane climate is great for solar power. We installed a solar photovoltaic system to ensure our electricity source is sustainable (and always on!). It generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 260 homes a year. Not bad for a centre our size. The benefits don’t stop there. Our CO2 emissions are down by 1 926 tons, and we’ve reduced our oil use by 1 229 barrels a year.

What to do with water?

We’re doing our best to be responsible with the way we use water. We’ve implemented various initiatives to optimise the water performance of the centre. We harvest rainwater, practise water-wise landscaping and have low-flow sanitary fittings in place. It’s not perfect but we’re doing even more to increase our efforts in this regard.

Quality fresh air and natural light

There are other rather important aspects that make Menlyn Park a leading environmentally friendly building. This includes access to daylight and air quality. As far as fresh air is concerned, Menlyn Park exceeds the minimum regulatory fresh air requirements set out by the SABS. This is complemented by an energy-efficient heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that significantly reduces the energy consumption of the building. Add to this the excellent use of skylights and glass that gives more than enough access to daylight, and it’s safe to say that Menlyn Park shoppers and tenants are surrounded by well-lit, clean air.

EV Charging Stations

Another part of our attempts to be more sustainable on all fronts, is enabling our community to do the same. This includes facilities for alternative transport, preferential parking for fuel-efficient vehicles and integration into mass public-transport in the region. With the recent shift towards electric vehicles, we’re especially proud of the 13 electric vehicle charging bays we have installed at various entrances. This convenient feature enables your vehicle to charge, while you shop around, enjoy a meal or anything else at Menlyn. And of course, it makes a few petrolheads jealous!

These exciting initiatives are just the start of our efforts to make Menlyn Park a world-class sustainable centre that cares for the environment and our community. We hope it inspires similar centres, other corporates, and our valued visitors to do their bit and help insure the future of our planet.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 07:46

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