Forward-thinking office parking design contributes to five-star Green Star rating.
One of the most exciting attributes contributing to the five-star design rating of the Portside office building in Buitengracht Street, Cape Town, is the forward-thinking design of the parking facilities, which includes electric car charger points and dedicated bicycle parking bays.
Designed by dhk architects, the layout encourages the use of alternative methods of transport by providing preferential parking, ease of access and support facilities for alternative methods of transport. This is aimed at reducing the large amount of energy and fuel used by vehicles, which leads to greenhouse gas emissions that are detrimental to the environment.
Motor vehicles in general, and private cars in particular, are responsible for a large percentage of carbon emissions, through fuel consumption and oil production required to produce fuel.
“The parking design for Portside has been developed to promote the use of fuel-efficient transport, using the Green Building Council of South Africa’s (GBCSA) technical manual credit criteria as a guideline,” says David Talbot, an associate at dhk architects.
The GBCSA awarded the building this prestigious rating under its Green Star rating system for offices last year, making it the first five-star Green Star SA certified high-rise office development in South Africa and in Africa.
Hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle parking
“Approximately 70 parking bays within the Portside building are dedicated solely for the use of hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles,” Talbot notes. “About 20% of these hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle bays are provided and fitted with electric car charger points, with an additional 35% wired to facilitate the future connection of chargers. These bays are all located in preferential areas closest to the lifts and lobby access,” he explains.
In addition, Portside has secured bicycle parking for approximately 220 bicycles for staff located within the building. A cycle route is clearly marked and signposted to facilitate safe and easy access to the parking spaces. An additional 30 community bicycle parking bays are located outside on the Portside entrance plaza. All these bays are provided with racks so that bicycles can be securely locked.
Shower and change facilities are also provided for cyclists, with lockable lockers, some of which are fitted with cycle battery charge facilities.
According to Derick Henstra, head of dhk architects, the design innovations and environmental considerations incorporated into the design of the Portside project make it one of the first buildings in Cape Town to provide such futuristic parking facilities.
“The design was sensitive to both the environmental and aesthetic requirements of the building. We believe that we have successfully balanced the two imperatives whilst laying down the blueprint for similar eco-sensitive designs in the future, bringing benefit to the City of Cape Town and all its citizens.”
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