Convention Tower will set a new benchmark for Glazed Buildings in energy saving

Energy saving has been treated as a top priority at Redefine Income Fund’s R250 million 16 storey Convention Tower office development at the foot of the Heerengracht on Cape Town’s Foreshore, says Lance Hoffman, development manager at Madison Property Fund Managers, project managers for the development on behalf of Redefine.

“From the outset,” said Hoffman, “Madison decided that on this project they would explore energy efficient methods and incorporate these into the design.”

Particular attention was paid to the façade treatment. The professional team, led by architect, Dennis Fabian, specified that a tinted heat-reflecting performance glass should be used for the seven floors encasing the office floors – and double glazing has been installed on the north facing façade.

Internally all offices and meeting areas will be equipped with infra red detectors which cause the lighting in the area to be switched off when not is use. This will further reduce energy consumption of the building.

The Convention Tower is “framed” by a light band that runs up both sides and across the top. This, said Hoffman, enhances the aesthetics of the development by “tying it together” and, more importantly, hides the fire escape staircases at either end.

“It is a striking design feature but it looked at one stage as if this band would have to go because it did not comply with the brief on energy saving. Then our professionals came up with the idea of using LED lighting for the band and we discovered that this would cut energy consumption by a staggering 93% in comparison with conventional lighting. We were, therefore, able to keep this distinctive and very attractive external feature.”

Hoffman said that the extensive glazing gives a translucent impression to the building which could be construed as excessive electricity use, but this is not the case.

Hoffman said the possibility of using solar energy to supplement the power consumption of the building is also being investigated.

At the end of June half the tenants had already moved in. A major tenant whose space includes the penthouse, has taken occupation this month (July). The penthouse has spectacular views both of Table Mountain and of Table Bay.

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