The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University hosted the grand opening for its new Business School on Monday, 31 August.
The new R116m 2nd Avenue Campus building is the first in the education or public sector to achieve a “4 Green Star design rating” from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). It will be an official benchmark standard for future Green Star building designs in South Africa.
“Nelson Mandela Bay now has a business school ranked among the top 3% worldwide. The new green Business School expresses our NMMU Vision 2020 and values. We hope that everyone will join us in celebrating the fulfilment of a dream held by so many to have a world-class business school facility in our city,” said NMMU Business School Director Prof Steve Burgess. The opening took place during NMMU’s 10-year celebrations.
Donne Atkinson of the GBCSA delivered an address at the opening and handed over a plaque in recognition of the Business School’s green design rating.
The Business School is a signatory to the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education and incorporates green principles into all programmes, including the new Incoko online blended learning interface designed by NMMU IT engineers. The School has implemented “paperless” delivery for degree programmes and will complete implementation for executive education and training programmes shortly.
The new building forms part of the University’s award-winning Urban Design Framework, incorporating a computerised Building Management System that measures air quality, controls airflow in the building and manages temperatures and air quality indicators such as CO2 levels. Rooftop photovoltaic cells feed electricity into the national grid. Special systems manage lighting and other energy use, reducing energy use by up to 65%. A weather station helps manage rainwater harvesting for use in toilets and decide when to water specially chosen carbon-hungry indigenous plants using drip irrigation.
The new School incorporates cutting-edge teaching facilities, including video-conferencing facilities, a 137-seat auditorium, multiple classrooms seating 30 to 90 people, syndicate rooms, an expanded Business School Library, a Computer Lab and a modern café with indoor and outdoor seating.
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