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The new 35 Lower Long is an elegant 24-storey tower designed by DHK Architects and developed by owners, Abland and Ellerine Bros, on Cape Town’s Foreshore precinct. With Solid Green as sustainability consultants, the project received a 4-star Green Star Design certification after Round 1 in December 2018.

The building is located on the site of the old Ernst & Young offices, and construction is set for completion during the second quarter of 2020. The tower will house 13,452sqm of premium-grade office space, 9 above-ground parking levels and a penthouse on the top floor. The street edge along Lower Long and Jetty Streets will be activated by a new 323sqm ground level retail component, multiple entry points to the office building and a prominent double volume main entrance.  

“35 Lower Long is a significant project for Abland as we are aiming to transform the Cape Town skyline,” comments Marios Michaelides of Abland. “Not only is the timeless design visually important, but it also had to take into account sustainable practices. As a market leader, Abland recognises the importance of driving change and, through obtaining a Green Star rating, we are able to do that as well as partner with tenants that share the same vision.”

The development’s prominent location allows building occupants to easily access surrounding amenities with reduced reliance on private occupancy vehicles. It is within 150m walking distance of MyCitiBus stops on various routes that connect to city districts in the north, south, east and west; and is also within walking distance of Cape Town Station, which connects to various Metrorail Stops and to the MyCityBus network. Close to the popular foreshore precinct and the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the building is within easy walking distance of various amenities in the area, including hotels and restaurants, retail outlets and schools.

Built on a very constrained brownfields site, the new office building is specifically designed to equip tenants with knowledge and skills around sustainability, and to give them a workplace that enhances their productivity – with interiors boasting various spaces to work privately and collaboratively, and to interact socially. Green building features were incorporated from the outset to enable employee wellbeing and to reduce the overall consumption of resources.

Lighting levels were designed to be 80% less than the prescribed standard, while still being above the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) requirements. Only high frequency luminaire ballasts will be installed, eliminating the chance of discomfort to building users caused by the flicker of low frequency lamps. All individual or enclosed spaces are less than 100sqm in size and are individually switched in order to provide greater flexibility, making it easy to light only occupied areas. Lighting sensors have also been specified to assist with this target. And, to reduce energy consumption, the lighting power density for 95% of the useable area is less than 1.5W/m2 per 100m2.

The behaviour of occupants is critical to reducing the building’s overall consumption, and gathering information is key to understanding and managing building systems, and to assessing opportunities for energy and water savings. Accordingly, sub-metering of lighting, power and all substantive energy use items greater than 100kVA is provided, along with an effective mechanism for monitoring energy consumption. The estimated operational saving for energy is R48,500 per month based on a notional building improvement of 48%, with carbon emissions reduced by 34kgCO2/m2/yr.

Management of water consumption was also a key consideration. Water meters and an automated monitoring mechanism are in place to effectively monitor and manage consumption. This monitoring system will also be able to detect leaks and alert management, ensuring that little to no water is wasted. These measures have resulted in the building’s outflow from occupant usage being reduced by 50% against an average practice benchmark. The operational saving for water is estimated at R3,700 per month based on a projected consumption of 0,46L/day/m2.

In addition, the project’s Variable Refrigerant Volume HVAC System has an air-cooled chilled water plant, which reduces water wastage as water is not required to cool down the system. The system also makes use of refrigerant with an ozone depleting potential of zero. Hot water is provided by a heat pump, for use in showers and bathrooms throughout the building.

A 40sqm waste recycling storage area has been provided in the basement to encourage recycling of resources used within the building to reduce waste going to landfill (for paper and cardboard; plastic, glass and cans; metals; and general waste), with recycling waste to be collected weekly.

Paints, carpets, adhesives and sealants and composite wood products used within the building will be specifically selected to minimise emissions typical of these materials. The construction is targeting a 30% reduction of the quantity of Portland cement, as an average across all concrete mixes; a 60% recycled content of all steel by mass on the project; and that 95% (by cost) of all timber products used in the building and construction works should be specified to be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Timber, reused or recycled timber.    

Jesse Hamman, sustainability consultant on the project, observes, “The fact that the project team was knowledgeable on the Green Star submission process and green building design requirements made the certification process much easier.”

As an iconic new addition to the Foreshore precinct, this sculptural edifice will further entrench in the construction sector the green building and occupant wellbeing principles that we are beginning to expect from leading developments in the country.


Project Team:
Owner: Abland (Pty) Ltd and Ellerine Bros (Pty) Ltd.
Architect: DHK
Electrical Engineer: Converge Consulting
Fire Engineer: Sutherland Engineers
Mechanical Engineer: Ekcon Engineers
Quantity Surveyors: Du Toit Pienaar Quantity Surveyors
Structural Engineers: Aurecon Engineers
Sustainable Building Consultant: Solid Green Consulting
Wet Services: Sutherland Engineers
Main Contractor: Stabilid Cape
Project Manager: Abland (Pty) Ltd
Environmental Consultant: Green Direction

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