Construction World March 2018


“I n mid-2015 we were commissioned to design a new office building for Caldas Engineering, a supplier of crusher parts to the mining industry,” says principal architect, Mike Rassmann. As Caldas had expanded steadily over the years, their current premises in Meadowdale had become cramped and didn’t possess good views into the yard and over their stock, something which was imperative for a company which relies on the fact that they can dispatch stock quickly. Caldas required more yard space (for stock storage) and more office space (to accommodate their increasing staff complement). The company acquired a 4 300 m² rectangular property in Activia Park, Germiston, which met their requirements for more yard space but unfortunately did not have any quality office space on it. “The property had limited derelict office space at the back of the site, and we had to maximise the yard area due to the fact that every spare square metre of space would be beneficial for the client,” explains Rassmann. Hence the starting point for the design was to locate and size the new office building, named Rubela Park, on the site in order to maximise the yard space, while still ensuring that the new building would have an optimal solar orientation. A challenge This proved to be quite a challenge as the position for the access road on the east boundary and the orientation of the site, which runs lengthways east to west, meant that laying the building out for optimal north/solar exposure would firstly impede on the yard space and secondly reduce the street exposure of the building. Rassmann explains that AOJ paid very close attention to, and made use of, the town planning requirements to take advantage of the guidelines and get the maximum number of storeys in the building in order to lay the square meterage out over more floors and thereby reduce the footprint of the building, which in turn increased the amount of yard area. Energy needs After careful consideration and analysis it was decided to orientate the building lengthways in a north-south direction to maximise the yard space, and place as much of the office space on the north side of the building and locate all the service spaces to the south of the building. As the length of the structure would be facing east and west, large windows were placed on the east façade, to maximise natural light and thereby reduce the electrical consumption of the building. On the west façade, high, narrow clerestory windows were strategically placed to reduce the heat gain from the west sun in the afternoons, but to still provide a sufficient amount of additional natural light into the offices that had to be located on this side of the building. To further improve the amount of natural light entering the building, a mezzanine level, which allows for a generous double volume along the east façade, was located between the ground and first floor. This double volume meant that the size of the windows on the east façade could be maximised, flooding the ground and mezzanine floors with natural light. Direct morning sunlight is dealt INDUSTRIAL-CHIC On a challenging site, Architects Of Justice (AOJ) have created a geometrically striking industrial- chic office building which employs forthright sustainable design methodology and technology.

Project team • Architects: Architects Of Justice • Project Managers: Condor & Co Project Management • Quantity Surveyors: Lyndon Projects • Structural Engineers: V&H Consulting • Civil Engineers: Klunene Consulting Civil Engineers • Contractor: Zatmar Construction



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