Transformation begins

2016-04-05 06:00

Contractors are on site to transform Beaufort House, a heritage building on Bree Street, into a new electricity depot for the City of Cape Town.

Beaufort House, the site of the old City Housing offices situated between Bree and Buitengracht streets, will be revamped to accommodate the electricity depot which has been housed on the corner of Strand and Hudson streets (“Empowering a green future”, People’s Post, 10 July 2014).

The development, which is set to cost around R120m, has suffered delays with the contractor originally expected on site last year.

Mayoral committee member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg, says the pre-construction phase took longer than originally planned.

“We had hoped for the contractor to be on site in the second half of 2015, but despite delays we are pleased that site handover was able to take place this month,” he says.

The move will allow for alternative uses of the Strand Street quarry to be explored by the City (“Electricity depot on the move”, People’s Post, 27 November 2013).

The site forms part of a historic precinct within the City Bowl, Sonnenberg says.

The City aims “to ensure that the new depot enhances the precinct and blends in with the historic buildings”, he explains.

Other sites considered were the Solid Waste Depot in Beach Road and the Cleansing Depot in Selkirk Street, both in Woodstock.

The step-down transformer, which is linked to the electricity depot, located in Hudson Street, will remain and not accompany the depot when moved.

But not only will the building be given a new lease on life, it will also be eco-friendly, says Sonnenberg.

The City is also aiming for a Green Star rating for energy efficiency on the new depot.

This rating will make it the first new electricity depot in South Africa where energy efficiency requirements are blended in with historical and environmental requirements, Sonnenberg says.

“Given the historical importance of the area, the City needed to ensure a functionally complex building that is green-rated, complements the surrounding buildings, and meets all the heritage requirements,” he says.

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