The five-star Green Star public transport holding facility in Waterfall City was selected as one of the top clay masonry projects by the Clay Brick Association (CBA) of South Africa.
The facility, built on a former dump site with no existing structures, today provides a base for the various taxi associations operating in the area.
The brief called for robust buildings to house a mixture of spaces that the taxi drivers could engage with. Empowered Spaces Architects came up with an innovative solution using core materials of sheeting, steel and face brick.
Clay brick walling is dense with a high CR-value, which saves energy in heating and cooling, which together with the hardscape surfaces and roof sheeting minimise the urban heat-island effect. Exposed brick is also low maintenance and reduces the carbon debt associated with continually refurbishing plaster and paint.
A variety of spaces
Built around a central courtyard, four offices serve as a base for taxi association managers, while the canteen space allows for community entrepreneurs to set up micro shops.
The ablution block is naturally ventilated and ClearVu panels let in natural light that in turn reduces power consumption. On the roof, the solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installation provides power to the facility and stores power in a battery bank located at the back of the structure.
A rest area features four steel “trees” that provide partial shading, while solar panels on the sheeting are used to generate power to USB-ported charging stations, allowing drivers to charge various devices. In time, two mini football fields and an outdoor gym area will be added.
The dedicated refuse area was designed with educational signage to facilitate and encourage sorting and recycling.
A net positive facility
Water and energy consumption is tracked using sub meters and digital reporting. Operational energy use has been minimised with the solar installation producing 6 177kWh of electricity, resulting in a net positive building requiring no electricity from the grid.
The Clay Brick Association of South Africa
Tel: 011 453 5229
Caption main image: Roller shutter doors serve as primary security for each space and sheeting wraps the face brick.
Courtesy of Empowered Spaces Architects