Hurlingham retail complex & supermarket epitomise ‘green’ design trends

A new Pick 'n Pay supermarket is nearing completion in Hurlingham, Sandton. Designed by Bentel Associates International (BAI), it will be the third Pick 'n Pay store to incorporate a significant number of sustainable elements including the use of natural refrigerants.

Bentel Associates International has used its considerable commercial design expertise to implement innovative architectural designs and store planning for Pick 'n Pay for over 39 years. The long collaboration and synergy between the Pick 'n Pay group and BAI are evident in top shopping centres and the many Pick 'n Pay anchor stores around the country and will again be evident in the new Hurlingham store.

The development at the intersection of William Nicol and Republic Roads consists of a multi-level complex with a receiving basement, a level for staff facilities, trading and mezzanine levels and a 300-bay basement parking area. The complex includes the 5,600m2 Pick 'n Pay supermarket, 750m2 of adjoining line shops, a Pick 'n Pay liquor store and a Pick 'n Pay Cooking School. Construction of the R160-million complex started in August 2009 and completion is planned for October 2010. 

In terms of the design brief and recognizing that the higher costs of 'greening' a building are outweighed by the medium to long-term savings that come with energy efficiency, BAI has incorporated several green elements into the supermarket and overall complex design by utilising appropriate 'green' design elements, materials and systems. In particular, they sought to incorporate viable initiatives that would enhance the overall aesthetics of the building while significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

BAI point out that a multi-disciplinary team designed and refined the available design technology as the project progressed, focussing on issues such as payback, ease of maintenance and product availability. A circumspect approach was also taken with regard to the learning curve. BAI say that the design is not the conventional inverted type of architecture normally used for retail complexes. The inclusion of contemporary full height glass facades, together with numerous skylights in the roofscape and a dimmable light system, allows for considerable daylight harvesting and adds to the natural ambience of the interior of the complex. The large facades also allow exposure to the interior from the main intersection and the entrance. 

A 'green' supermarket

The move towards more natural design and ambience, combined with the need for energy efficiency and sustainability, are at the forefront of current global store design trends. Air conditioning and refrigeration form an integral part of equipping a shopping centre and supermarket. Improving energy efficiency is a key challenge for food retailers whose priorities include keeping perishables chilled correctly, maintaining the cold chain and keeping customers comfortable in buildings with large front doors that are constantly opening and closing. Typically, refrigeration utilizes a significant portion of power in a supermarket and usually accounts for more than half the electricity consumed followed by lighting and HVAC systems. 

Having been nominated in 2009 as the company that most actively promotes sustainable living, Pick 'n Pay are committed to ensuring that their performance continues to meet and exceed the expectations of their stakeholders. The company continues to demonstrate its environmentally friendly consciousness in their new Hurlingham store. 

Pick 'n Pay's criteria for the new store and complex were that the design and technology had to be commercially viable with a realistic return on investment. Thus, careful consideration was given to each aspect from air conditioning and refrigeration to water and energy usage and choice of paint and lighting. 

The new store will use almost 40 percent less energy than a comparable conventionally designed store due to the utilization of high performance refrigeration, lighting and HVAC systems. The store also uses renewable energy sources to help light, warm and cool the site. No VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints have been used and solar panels are used to power external signage at night.

Pick 'n Pay is installing 100 kilowatts of photovoltaic capacity that will generate between 8-20% of the store's power when in operation. This system is expected to reduce energy consumption by at least 30 per cent compared to a similar sized store using synthetic refrigerants. The refrigeration plant also incorporates a heat recovery system, which is used to provide the entire store's hot water requirements.

The integrated energy-saving system also manages the store lighting, bakery equipment and staff facilities. A single 1,600 litre hot water tank has also been provided for the hot water reclaim system supplying domestic hot water to virtually the entire building. 

In addition, a rainwater harvesting system has been installed to be used as irrigation for the largely indigenous landscaping and back up for the air conditioning system. Careful consideration has also been given to the restoration and enhancement of the substantial reserve between the building and the Braamfontein Spruit that forms part of the surrounding urban greenbelt.

Architectural innovation and a sound reputation for high standards of commercial design and planning are the principles that Bentel Associates International has continued to demonstrate since its inception 1960. The multi-award winning firm celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and continues to successfully create aesthetically significant buildings of excellence by utilizing an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to design. 

For further information please contact:

Bentel Associates International (BAI) - Paul Gladulich
Tel: +27 11 884 7111
Fax: +27 11 884 7110

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