Around the Mother City, people are doing what they can to lessen their impact on the environment, and another development in Cape Town is joining in. The Ridge in the V&A Waterfront will be an eco-friendly commercial building built with innovative sustainable construction methods including the use of ecobricks as void formers within the concrete structural frame.

Located next to Merchant House, the four storey, 8500m² building will be built with sustainability and environmental awareness in mind, the ecobricks consist of recycled plastic bottles packed full of discarded plastic waste. Some 12,000 eco bricks have been used as void formers within the concrete structure which has replaced the traditional expanded polystyrene products. This contributes to dematerialisation, a concept that focuses on consciously using fewer materials than conventional design solutions and thus lowering the building’s environmental footprint. Wherever possible, natural materials are being used in the construction to ensure that the Ridge is environmentally sensitive. It will also make use of a pioneering timber façade and mixed mode natural ventilation mechanical systems, a first for the country.

Inside the building are even more firsts for the sustainable building front, such as energy-efficient and passive climate control measures, the use of renewables, sustainable water handling and usage, the lowering of the carbon footprint of the building and a focus on the use of natural lighting.

Artist impression of The Ridge. Credit:

The new development will be the home of Deloitte’s Cape Town financial consulting offices.

V&A Waterfront chief executive David Green explains that The Ridge was built to be a break from city life.

“The Ridge effectively offers an oasis in the city,” Green explains. “Inhabitants will enjoy its inspiring views, its inner green space, including a groundbreaking ‘central street’ concept, naturally ventilated with fresh air, breakaway zones and a reflective environment.

The V&A Waterfront’s ethical development approach defines the master planning for The Ridge, focusing on sustainability and care for the people who will use the building. We call this ‘Our Natural’, a vision and approach setting the tone for sustainable green building, guiding our planning and development strategies,” said Green.

The development will be completed and handed over the Deloitte in October, and joins other popular eco-friendly locations like the Silo District and Zeitz MOCAA.


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