New building a ‘pioneer of sustainability’

Waterfront CEO David Green on the rooftop during a site visit.

The Waterfront has announced its newest development and first green office development, called The Ridge, which will push boundaries with sustainability.

The Waterfront team held a site visit on Thursday January 30, where they announced that the building, in the Portwood District, will be constructed from 12 000 eco-bricks and natural materials, and will include lots of greenery, natural ventilation and support for non-motorised transport.

The Ridge will also feature a number of “firsts” for the green building/ sustainability industry. These include energy-efficient and passive climate control measures, the use of renewables, sustainable water handling and usage, the lowering of the carbon footprint of the building and a focus on the use of natural lighting.

Chief executive officer of the Waterfront, David Green, said much of the building features a cross-laminated timber façade that significantly reduces the building’s carbon footprint.

Once complete, the development, built to accommodate the Cape Town offices of international professional services firm, Deloitte, will have four floors of office space, and three floors of basement parking.

Construction is expected to be complete by October. The site was previously a parking lot which serviced the UCT Graduate School of Business Campus, the Breakwater Lodge building and other existing commercial buildings in the vicinity.

The Ridge will also form the centre point for a new Waterfront zone, dubbed the Portswood District, a green development forming a link to Green Point.

Existing developed buildings there include the Merchant House building and the Breakwater Lodge and campus to the east.

Mr Green said the building takes sustainability one step further, as the Waterfront already has the highest concentration of green-friendly buildings in the city.

“We are constantly pushing, and staying on the forefront of green-friendly buildings.”

Mr Green said the building seeks to create an unparalleled internal environment with the highest level of natural light and fresh air.

“The Ridge effectively offers an oasis in the city. Inhabitants will enjoy its views, its inner green spaces, including a groundbreaking ‘central street’ concept naturally ventilated with fresh air, breakaway zones and a reflective environment.”

The development executive director at the V&A Waterfront, Vusumizi Nondo, said they were aiming for a six-star rating at the Green Building Council of South Africa.

They had received five Green Star Ratings from the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) in 2018 for the Allen Gray building at the Silo District (“More green stars for V&A Waterfront” CapeTowner, March 22, 2018).

The rating brought the number of Green Star ratings in the precinct on various buildings to 12 at the V&A Waterfront.

He added that the building will also encourage behaviour change, and will have added features such as cycling facilities and showers, and leafy balconies for a relaxed environment.

The eco-bricks, used in construction, were collected from the Two Oceans Aquarium, and from the communities at Long Beach Mall.

Marius Alberts, the regional leader at the Deloitte office in Cape Town, said that the Deloitte journey of sustainability has been behind their move to such a green building on the southern tip of Africa.

“Deloitte already occupies The Edge building in Amsterdam South, one of the highest rated green buildings in the world as confirmed by the British BREEAM rating standard. The Edge building uses connectivity to optimise its energy efficiency and promote employee mobility and wellness goals. So we incorporated this approach into our new office at the Waterfront Ridge. We are driven by an overall corporate commitment to sustainability, demonstrated by our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into corporate responsibility and sustainability vision.”