Could Chelsea yet launch a serious challenge for the Premier League title this season? Some oddsmakers seem to think so.Having lost talisman Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, and with an inexperienced new manager in Frank Lampard hampered by the Blues’ transfer ban, they were initially seen as unlikely to challenge at the top.But they went into the international break with that perception beginning to change.They are certainly big favourites to win their next game, at home to Newcastle, with one of the best online gambling sites in the UK, 22Bet.Incidentally, you can get 25/4 on Chelsea’s struggling rivals Tottenham losing at home to Watford when the Premier League resumes.Beyond then, it looks like it could be a campaign to remember for Chelsea despite the early-season gloom following the 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in their opening game. The youngsters are deliveringThat transfer ban looks a blessing in disguise as it has led to a raft of youngsters being given their chance to shine. And they’ve stepped up emphatically, with the likes of Tammy Abraham making their mark.Abraham’s opener in the 4-1 win at Southampton was his eighth in the league this season and continued the brilliant form which led to him being recalled to the England squad.He was joined in that squad by fellow academy products Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who have been superb since being promoted to the first team by Lampard, having played under him on loan at Derby County last season.Reece James has also caught the eye and with Callum Hudson-Odoi now back from injury – not to mention the slightly older Ruben Loftus-Cheek also on the comeback trail – the years of waiting for homegrown talent to emerge might soon seem a distant memory.More to comeThe exciting thing for Chelsea is that there is reason to believe the season can only get better – and they went into the international break in fifth place, just two points behind second-placed Manchester City.Hudson-Odoi will need time to regain his sharpness and James to find his feet in the top flight, while N’Golo Kante is building up his fitness after injury problems and Antonio Rudiger is on the way back from injury along with Loftus-Cheek.And with the possibility of new signings in January if Chelsea’s appeal against the transfer ban is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Blues could well become significantly stronger in the coming months. Shut the back doorOn a less positive note for Lampard, Chelsea have looked vulnerable at the back at times. Rudiger’s return is important and should have an effect. The German has been a big loss and if he can get himself fully fit again, he could make all the difference.If Lampard’s side can tighten up at the back, the attacking flair they’ve shown suggests they will be a force to be reckoned with this season. A top-four finish is certainly the least they should be aiming for. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebookby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksRecommended for youAspireAbove.comRemember Pauley Perrette? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowAspireAbove.comUndoLifestly.com25 Celebs You Didn’t Realize Are Gay – No. 8 Will Surprise WomenLifestly.comUndoUsed Cars | Search AdsUsed Cars in Tuen Mun Might Be Cheaper Than You ThinkUsed Cars | Search AdsUndoHappyTricks.comHer House Always Smells Amazing – Try her Unique Trick!HappyTricks.comUndoFood World Magazine15 Fruits that Burn Fat Like CrazyFood World MagazineUndoTopCars15 Ugliest Cars Ever MadeTopCarsUndoDrhealth35 Foods That Should Never Be Placed in the RefrigeratorDrhealthUndoTopexpensive.comThe 20 Most Expensive Cities for Your VacationTopexpensive.comUndo
Vodacom’s new Innovation Centre hasbeen awarded a six-star Green Star SArating – the first building in South Africa toachieve such status.(Image: Vodacom) Nedbank’s head office in Sandton wascertified as South Africa’s first Green Starbuilding.(Image: Nedbank) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jean RobertsonSpecialist: Media RelationsVodacom+27 11 653 5082• Nick MulvanyGreen Building Council of SA+27 21 659 5990/1RELATED ARTICLES• Green Buildings now the law in SA• Sustainable building on the rise in SA• Nedbank achieves carbon neutrality • SA becoming a renewable energy hub Wilma den HartighMobile telecommunications company Vodacom has set a new record by claiming the most prestigious accolade in the green building industry.The company’s new Innovation Centre has been awarded a six-star Green Star SA rating – the first building in South Africa to achieve such status.The achievement is a major step forward for green building in the country and means that South Africa’s green building industry is in line with global best practice.The six-star Green Star SA rating means that the Vodafone Innovation Centre can now be counted as one of the most progressive green-designed buildings in the world.Bruce Kerswill, executive chairperson of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), said that the council’s rating systems recognise excellence in sustainable design. A six-star rating, considered to be the highest ranking that a building can achieve, is only reserved for world-class projects.“This is a fantastic achievement for Vodacom and Vodafone,” Kerswill said.Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys said that the Innovation Centre, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2012, will function as a hub for the company’s creative thinking around a low-carbon future. It will play an important role in helping the group to reduce its carbon emissions.“We are delighted that our building has achieved this accolade. Over the past few years, we have worked hard to reduce the group’s impact on the environment – it is a core strategic priority for both Vodafone and Vodacom,” Uys said in a statement.Top-class green credentialsAccording to the GBCSA, a “green building” has to be energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible. It must incorporate design, construction and operational practices that considerably reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and occupants.Specific green building measures include building design that reduces heat loads, maximises natural light and promotes the circulation of fresh air. Energy-efficient air-conditioning and lighting, the use of environment-friendly, non-toxic materials and the reduction of waste is also required.A green building also has to use recycled materials, it should have water-efficient plumbing fittings, harvest water and use renewable energy sources.It is no small feat to achieve a rating of this kind, but every aspect of the Vodacom building’s design is in keeping with the required standards.The centre, which is located on what used to be a parking lot at the Vodacom World complex in Midrand, Johannesburg, will be carbon neutral and its electricity requirements will be provided by photovoltaic (PV) solar power.PV systems convert solar radiation to electricity by means of static panels.The centre is located close to public transport, which should encourage the use of public transport and reduce emissions from cars. The Gautrain feeder busses, which form part of the Gauteng province rapid rail development, also stop near the entrance to the building.LED lighting has been installed and, as most of the facade is made from glass, it reduces the need for artificial lighting.In terms of water efficiency, the building will capture and use grey water and harvest rainwater. The garden is water-wise and indigenous, which reduces the need for frequent irrigation.Finding energy efficiency solutionsOnce completed, the centre will house a team of experts to find solutions to reduce the company’s global emissions.One of Vodacom’s main goals is to find alternative power options and reduce the footprint of its mobile phone network, considered to be a major power user.Vodacom hopes that research will yield results into the use of different fuel mixes, such as hybrid fuel cells and solar electricity to power its network. The research will help Vodacom reduce its reliance on conventional energy.In the future, research at the centre will also look into new products and services for customers.SA leading the way in green buildingSouth Africa is fast becoming a leader in the green building movement. More companies are opting to build environment-friendly offices and the GBCSA has reported a major increase in Green Star rated buildings in the country.Nedbank’s head office in Sandton was certified as South Africa’s first Green Star building under the GBSA’s Office version one (v1) rating tool.SA Commercial Property News reports that, in September 2011 alone, the GBCSA certified three new green buildings in South Africa under the Green Star SA rating system.The Tshwane offices of the engineering, management and specialist technical services company Aurecon, Richefond Circle (an office development situated in the Ridgeside Office Park in Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal) and the Nedbank Menlyn Maine Falcon Building in Tshwane all achieved four-star ratings.The Aurecon’s Cape Town offices received the first five-star rating in the country.Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA, said that these innovative buildings are setting the standard for commercial green buildings. “There are many more in the pipeline which have submitted applications for certification under the Green Star SA system,” Wilkinson said in a media report.He said that the increasing number of certification submissions shows that the local property industry is keeping up with international trends and is embracing global best practices in green building.According to Nick Mulvany, senior technical coordinator at the GBCSA, there is also a good business case for green building. Studies have proved that users of green buildings are more productive. “This is due to increased fresh air, more natural light and fewer toxic materials. Tenants are becoming aware of these benefits,” he said.Changes to the built environmentAccording to the World Green Building Council, the built environment is one of the main contributors to climate change.SA Commercial Property News reports that the Vodacom Innovation Centre is a good example of how South Africa’s built environment can be transformed.International reports suggest that green building is an opportunity to use resources more efficiently and address climate change while creating healthier and more productive environments for people to work and live in.The Green Star ratingGreen Star SA, based on the Australian Green Building Council rating tools, is a voluntary and objective green building rating system for the property industry.Each Green Star SA rating tool reflects a different market sector, namely office, retail or multi-unit residential.Within each sector, there are rating categories that contain various credits that a company can earn in the rating procedure.The Vodacom Innovation Centre was rated according to the office v1 rating tool. Each category in the office tool carries a particular weighting in the final score. The categories are: indoor environment quality, water, innovation, emissions, transport, land use and economy, management, energy and materials.Other rating tools such as multi-unit residential v1, retail centre v1 and public & education building pilot can also be used, depending on the type of building.The Green Star SA rating allows for certification of buildings based on the following levels of achievement: four-star Green Star SA Certification, which signifies “Best Practice”; five-star Green Star SA Certification indicates “South African Excellence”; and the six-star Green Star SA Certification which signals “World Leadership”.