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New office a net-zero carbon early adopter

by Ofentse Sefolo
New office a net-zero carbon early adopter

The new office for MDA Attorneys is one of the first buildings in the country to receive a net-zero carbon pilot certification. Designed by Activate Architecture, with Solid Green Consulting as sustainability consultants, MDA’s new home in Houghton, Johannesburg, is intended to give its users a workplace that both enhances their productivity and reduces natural resource depletion.

Vaughan Hattingh, director at MDA, played an active role in the project’s design and construction and commended the professional team.

A new steel and glass structure hovers over the old single storey, providing an eye-catching new image for the building.

Actions taken:

1. Activate’s approach was to re-orientate the building to allow a view and frontage over the M1 highway, and to add a floor to the building to bring the gross floor area up to 912m².

2. Chilufya Lombe, director at Solid Green, explains that the office areas are designed to be naturally lit for a significant portion of the year, and high-performance double glazing has been used for all curtain walls.

3. 74 photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed on the roof above the new floor, completely offsetting the building’s electrical needs.

4. To further reduce dependency on natural resources, the building was fitted with a rainwater harvesting system.

5. Water-efficient sanitary fittings were installed throughout the building, and the site is xeriscaped to reduce the need for irrigation.

MDA Attorneys’ new office demonstrates commitment to a more resource-efficient way of being, which will ultimately enhance the workplace experience of the building’s occupants and stand the business’ bottom line in good stead during the operational portion of the building’s lifecycle.

The space planning allows for various spaces to work privately and collaboratively, and to interact socially.

Project team:

Owner, quantity surveyor and project manager: MDA Property Holdings (Pty) Ltd.
Sustainable design review: Solid Green Consulting.
Sustainable building consultant: Solid Green Consulting.
Architect: Activate Architecture.
Electrical and mechanical engineer: Izazi Consulting Engineers.
Structural engineer: Struxit Projects.
Main contractor: Radon Projects.

Acknowledgement and thanks go to Solid Green Consulting for the information contained in this article.

Solid Green Consulting
Tel: 011 447 2797
Website: www.solidgreen.co.za

Main image: The addition is a separate steel structure that accommodates a large open-plan office space, without adding loads to the structure below.

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