World-class shopping in a ground-breaking green setting


The team
Developers: Atterbury; Pick n Pay
Architects: Boogertman + Partners
Quantity surveyors: Pentad
Structural and civil engineers: WSP
Electrical engineers: ESE Consulting
Mechanical engineers: VMG Consultants
Main Contractor: WBHO Construction

An innovative joint venture between Atterbury Properties and Pick n Pay has given rise to a R160-million flagship 10 000m2 next-generation “green” store. The Falls Pick n Pay, situated on the corner of Hendrik Potgieter Road and Johan Street in Roodepoort is a culmination of many years of hard work and innovative thinking by a dedicated team.

The design concept was informed by Pick n Pay on Nicol. However, as the planning of The Falls was unique, the architectural theme took on a fresh approach, while recognising the language that was adopted with the previous development.

Taking the lead in energy efficiency

“A big supporter of sustainable design, The Falls is another example of Pick n Pay’s commitment to a greener, healthier lifestyle by reducing environmental impact and encouraging customers to follow suit.”

With Boogertman + Partners Architects at the helm, The Falls shopping centre successfully combines a design offering aesthetic ambience, energy efficiency and responsible use of natural resources. In terms of construction, energy efficiency was a key consideration in the design of the store and a range of energy efficiency initiatives were implemented to reduce electricity consumption.

Although the developer opted not to develop a Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA)-rated centre, every measure was taken to comply with the guidelines and rating criteria of the GBCSA to ensure that an energy-efficient and sustainable development was built.

Skylights were installed to ensure that natural light filters into the store, thus reducing electrical demands during trading hours. Horizontal louvers were locally-manufactured from a composite wood-plastic compound, which were used to screen off the shopfronts along the external walkway from exposure to the sun. This helped reduce the heat load.

Outside the store, LED lighting is used for illumination, while inside the entire store is fitted with dimmable fluorescent fittings for optimum energy usage, which adjust automatically, depending on the ambient lighting conditions. Customers are also able to view the amount of electricity used in the store, through a ‘real time’ building power usage display incorporated in the overhead till bulkheads.

Refrigeration and air conditioning
Heat pumps are used for heating water and solar control glass has been applied to the west-facing facades to reduce heat loads, making the air conditioning more effective and reducing power consumption.

With cold chain integrity being a priority for Pick n Pay, detailed attention was paid to refrigeration and air conditioning within the store, which can account for as much as half of a store’s energy bill. Specialised roof insulation material with very high thermal properties, was used to reduce the amount of heat entering the store through the roof. External cavity walls prevent heat entering the store from outside and conversely, stores heat inside the building on cold days.

Through monitoring the carbon dioxide (CO₂) levels in the store, the fresh air intake can be controlled, reducing the demand on the air-conditioning system.

Rainwater harvesting
Rainwater run-off from the roof, as well as water from other areas, is filtered and stored in steel tanks and used for irrigation, while boiswales, which are designed to remove silt and pollution from surface run-off water, assist with retaining rainwater before it is absorbed into the ground. Only indigenous and waterwise vegetation has been used and watered through drip irrigation.

Design concept
According to Boogertman + Partners Architects, Pick n Pay is prescriptive in the materials and finishes used on their stores. Carel van Graan, store design and construction architect at Pick n Pay, says that the retailer is stringently prescriptive about materials and finishes for construction of their stores. “As a matter of fact, we issue a comprehensive specification document to each developer and construction team when new premises are being built for us,” he notes. For example, according to the retailer’s specification sheet, all bricks, whether facing or stock bricks should be hard, well-burnt clay bricks. Importantly, samples should be approved by the architect. Moreover, no load-bearing brickwork is permitted on the premises.

Furthermore, where necessary walls were provided with stiffeners, according to the project engineer’s specifications. Importantly, mortars and design mixes for mortars should be in accordance with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) codes of practice and must be approved by the supervising engineer and architect.

The aforementioned – and other key specifications – was used as a benchmark to set the standards for the rest of the development.

The line shops were finished as “white boxes”. However, the finishes and interior design proposals received from the individual line tenants were scrutinised critically to ensure that the same standards were maintained. This philosophy was carried through to the exterior, landscaping, parking and surrounding road networks.

The contemporary architecture is a fresh approach when compared to the themed developments undertaken elsewhere. It is a uniquely different centre offering a high-end experience for the shoppers.

The Thyme is now
The interior of Thyme at The Falls restaurant was designed by Boogertman + Partners Interiors, and took its inspiration from natural elements and textures. The finishes are a juxtaposition of warm timber, chocolate brown face brick and natural earthy colours. Splashes of lime greens, blues and tangerine create contrast in the space.

Future-focused design
Pick n Pay is only the first phase of this development, which has built in expansion potential of an added 10 000m2 retail and 15 000m2 of office space. Expansion of The Falls will be demand-driven, in line with retailer demands and consumer needs.

Boogertman + Partners Architects