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Urban green design seminar was a huge success

by Darren
Architecture day Jnl 4 15

Another exciting event with the theme Urban Green Design was a huge success and engaged all industry players who attended the seminar.

It was a full house at the Urban Green Design architecture event at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria on 16 April where architects, designers and other professionals from the built environment connected and exchanged ideas around urban design and sustainability.

Hosted by WALLS & ROOFS and FLOORS magazines in conjunction with the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA), this prestigious CPD-accredited seminar was once again a great success. The key speakers impressed with their knowledge and experience in urban green design, while the product representatives kept the audience captivated with more than just product knowledge.

First up, Ludwig Hansen from Ludwig Hansen Architects and Urban Designers talked about how the evolution of university thinking from a stand-alone model to one engaged with the host city can instigate a process of shared growth, in which a university can expand within the city while attempting to reduce any negative impact. He discussed the development of the Sol Plaatje University as the first new university to be built in South Africa since 1994 and shared experiences and challenges facing build environment professionals to establish these complex institutions.

Safintra’s Sally Stromnes spoke about getting the most out of built-up metal roof systems. She pointed out that a roof must be specified as a complete system and the total thermal resistance (R-value) of the whole system, not just of individual products, should be considered.

Theresa Venter from FloorworX wowed the audience with her video presentation on the company’s new catalogue and augmented reality App, showcasing a new way of presenting product samples and applications.

Putting landscaping into context, Anton Comrie, principal architect from GREENinc Landscape Architecture, discussed several projects illustrating different approaches for buildings to better fit into an environment. “Landscapes add an open-endedness and continuity to buildings and, as working ecological systems, enhance building processes instead of just being a pretty feature,” he commented.

Belgotex’s Philip Button rated the top ten sustainable flooring materials and gave sound advice to specifiers on selecting locally manufactured products. He also highlighted the benefits of these various floor types and which are best suited for specific spaces and commercial environments.

Addressing energy usage and efficiency through rational design, Mark Russell from Isoboard explained how a competent person can juggle interventions to achieve the most cost-effective and energy-efficient building, while allowing architects freedom of design. “Don’t build for the absolute worst case and over-design – use what is good enough,” he advised.

Gary White from GWA Studio looked at how urban designers deal with sites for large-scale spatial framework developments and discussed how large trees in Angola and social spaces in Zanzibar are used as a generator for urban space, as well as how simple opportunities and environmental preservation can lead to a strong skeletal framework that provides an equitable, balanced and high-performing environment.

Concluding the official programme, Lafarge’s Herbert Groenewald talked about building durable, connected cities and used as an example a concrete building extension project in Johannesburg.

In between the presentation sessions, delegates had the opportunity to visit an exhibition and get first-hand information from product suppliers. To make the day even more interesting, prizes were up for grabs throughout the day, including two coffee machines that were given away.

A big ‘thank you’ goes out to all the sponsors who made the day possible: FloorworX, Isoboard and Safintra (platinum); Belgotex and Lafarge (gold); Bosch and Global Roofing Solutions (silver); Dezzo Roofing, Mapei, Sika and Technical Finishes (bronze).

The next Architecture Day will be held on Friday, 9 October. To book your place, phone 012 347 7530. Seats are limited.

What visitors had to say

–    PW Hattingh – It has been a while since I’ve attended a workshop of this high calibre and standard. Thank you for a very well-organised and presented function. The goody bag was filled with useful information and the refreshments were of a good quality. The presentations and the keynote speakers were worth attending and the information gained out of the sponsors’ presentations was inspiring.
–    Muzi Ntuli – Thank you for hosting such an informative seminar with such well-renowned professionals. I’m looking forward to the next one.
–    Mervin Motan – Very well organised. Excellent combination of design and product specifications.
–    John Manning – Very informative. Another great event – full of excellence and professionalism. Thank you.

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