A clean, green skyline addition

2014-06-01 15:00

Cape Town’s tallest new skyscraper, the R1.6?billion glass-encased Portside building, is now open for business.

The 32-storey skyscraper is South Africa’s first four-green-star high-rise building, and is considered to be one of the cleanest and healthiest working environments in the country.

This week, City Press was shown 16 electrical car chargers on one of its seven parking floors – white boxes with five-prong sockets – where electrical cars will be plugged in and charged in future.

Faieda Jacobs of Old Mutual Properties said wiring was in place for 40 more car-charging points to be built soon.

Portside, a joint development between FirstRand Bank and Old Mutual Properties, was completed last month, though this week construction was still under way on pavements around the building in Buitengracht Street, where 260 bicycle racks are being put up. “There will be showers and lockers inside as we want to encourage people with offices here to cycle to work,” said Jacobs.

She added that the building’s grey water – diverted from washing basins and shower drains – will be reused to flush toilets.

At the building’s reception area, standing under abstract seagulls dangling from the roof, security guard Godfrey Williams looked unperturbed by the hype.

“Yes, it is a beautiful building, isn’t it,” he smiled.

At 139m high, Portside is South Africa’s seventh-tallest building.

The 1970s 50-floor Carlton Centre in downtown Johannesburg (at 223m) and Hillbrow’s Ponte City (173m) are first and second.

This is still a far cry from the highest building in the world, the 829.8m Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Portside was designed by Louis Karol Architects and DHK, whose previous projects include Cape Town’s Safmarine building and the Melrose Arch Piazza in Joburg.

Cape Town’s tallest skyscraper

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