'Green architecture: a first for SA'

A R21 billion city within a city is being constructed in Midrand. Named Waterfall City, it has been described as the biggest property development in South African history constituting at least 5 to 10 percent of Gauteng's construction GDP.

The 640ha area, which is being built in an environmentally-friendly manner, will be mixed-use with houses ranging from R200 000 to R70 million.

The estate will consist of:

  • An upmarket equestrian estate.
  • A shopping centre near the Allandale Road turnoff.
  • Two retirement villages.
  • Light industrial parks.
  • A private hospital.
  • International schools.
  • A business park.
  • A five-star international hotel.
  • Petrol stations.
  • Polo fields.
  • 17km of walking trails through 300ha of green belts with several bird hides, park benches and drinking fountains.
  • Horse and cycle trails.
  • A gym and a retail park.
  • A lake for non-motorised water sports larger than Emmarentia Dam.
  • Squash courts and swimming pools.
  • A country clubhouse, which will include a fitness centre and spa.\

Century Property Development is putting in the infrastructure.

The Equestrian Estate already has about 80 houses constructed, with some fetching prices in the region of R70m.

It has stables, bridal paths, paddocks, training tracks, veterinary and tack rooms, a jumping arena, a lungeing ring and dressage areas.

Waterfall City is 33 percent complete.

Sasol will pump LP Gas into the development as an alternative energy option to the property.

With tanks ranging from 6 200 to 22 500 litres, this is the biggest project of its kind to be undertaken in the South African retail sector, according to Pieter Claassen, manager of new business development for Sasol.

This can be used to meet 70 percent of household energy requirements.

"South Africa's national power grid has become increasingly strained as new commercial and property developments have come alive.

"Sasol Homegas will ease the burden on the power grid, enabling building to have a reliable alternative energy source at all times, while mitigating escalating electricity costs," he said.

Mark Corbett, chief executive of Century Developments, said this was a first for South Africa.

"By following basic environmental guidelines property owners will operate on a 60 percent reduced carbon footprint," he said.

Residents will be encouraged to use solar geysers, energy-efficient lighting and low-consumption fittings and appliances while recycling will take place within the estate.

Storm water will be captured and reused.

The residents are using green architecture consisting of styles that are both classical and contemporary, and have interpretations in keeping with the Highveld such as barns, manor houses, sheds and the use of materials such as wood, stone and concrete in its natural state.

The existing ecologies are being rehabilitated with green belts and parklands done in consultation with environmental consultants.

A lake on the property has been rehabilitated.

A number of viewing decks, a riverside lapa and a country clubhouse are being constructed.

Waterfall City also has a retirement village that was voted the best in the world by the CNBC International Property Awards, the first time a South African company has won an international title in this competition.

It offers an indoor heated pool, a special gym for the elderly, a cards and cigar room, a deli that delivers fresh bread and milk to the residents each day, a cinema, a horticultural centre, a bowling green, a putting green, a croquet lawn, a business centre, a library, travel agent, frail care, an arts and crafts studio, a restaurant, a billiards room and a hair and beauty salon.

The Equestrian Estate won the CNBC International Property Award for "Best Residential Estate in Africa" last year. The entire estate is bounded by 4m-high reinforced concrete walls.

Corbett said a lot of work was being done on road infrastructure, including the extension of Maxwell Drive.

"Traffic congestion will be alleviated as motorists will be able to connect from Main Road straight through to Allandale, leading towards Carlswald.

"The bridge that will carry Maxwell Drive over the Jukskei River has been renovated and designed in such a way as to pay homage to the history of the farm, which belonged to the Mia family.

It has large archways that will allow the river to flow unhindered.

The properties are all sold on a 99-year leasehold basis.

Article by: www.pretorianews.co.za