The transformation of the South African property industry to ensure that buildings are designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way continues apace.
Apart from building green, property owners are taking the opportunity when refurbishing existing buildings to use resources efficiently and address climate change while creating healthier and more productive environments for people and communities.
One refurbishment which has captured industry awards is that of the Midrand head office of BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd. Originally designed by Hans Hallen in 1984/85, the architecturally iconic building adjacent to the Pretoria-Johannesburg highway won the South African Property Owners’ Association 2015 award for refurbishment.
It also achieved a GreenStar 5 star “as built” rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa – an impressive acknowledgment of the efforts to enhance the building’s natural light, energy efficiency and thermal comfort, as well as achieve a considered, productive working environment.
A further honour was its nomination as a finalist for GIfAwards 2015, the awards programme held every two years by the Gauteng Institute for Architects to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements and excellence for architecture and the built environment.
The modernisation, devised by Boogertman + Partners Architects, reflects BMW’s corporate identity (defined in the NEUE ABEITSWELTEN – new working environment) while embracing South Africa’s energy efficiency and sustainability principles.
In equipping the building to face the future on an equal footing with contemporary developments, the lighting and ventilation solutions underwent a complete renovation.
Another significant area of renovation involved roofing and the facade. The old slate was removed for reuse in feature walls in landscaping and replaced by the contemporary aesthetic of zinc sheeting.
The chosen titanium-zinc alloy, RHEINZINK prePATINA blue-grey, was installed on a 2 600m² area by Rohde Roofing CC using a double standing seam system – a complicated installation since all the roof sheets had to be tapered and crafted on to the circular roof.
RHEINZINK prePATINA blue-grey was also chosen for a 500m² facade area and installed through use of a flat-lock tile system with an angled standing seam.
Rohde Roofing CC, which has been installing RHEINZINK since 2005, is led by Fred Rohde, a master roofer who learned the trade of hard metal crafting in Germany.
The choice of RHEINZINK for the BMW refurbishment is yet another example of how South African architects are increasingly turning to the titanium-zinc alloy, as a long-lasting and maintenance-free building material, to enhance design options and to meet the challenges of energy efficiency and sustainability.
Energy use and sustainability are essential design considerations both during the construction process and for life-cycle building costing and with RHEINZINK’s low primary energy demand and 100% recyclability, all criteria area successfully fulfilled. Consequently RHEINZINK carries top German and European quality certificates and the environment certificate IBU based on LCA (life cycle analysis).
Stephen Wilkinson, RHEINZINK’s sub-Saharan Africa regional director, says durability is a vital consideration in the choice of roofing and cladding material and together with the aesthetical quality of the pre-weathered sheet finish, RHEINZINK provides a complete technical and sculptural solution.
As an alloy, RHEINZINK consists of 99.995 % high purity zinc and precisely defined amounts of titanium and copper and is not merely coated with zinc, as with galvanised steel. This allows for maximum structural integrity which last for generations.
RHEINZINK GmbH & Co. KG
Tel: +49 2363 605-301
Fax: +49 2363 605-868