New growth, new business, new opportunity…

Some spectacular news to end another busy week is that we have just expanded our scope of architectural services to now offer energy assessment and construction technology consultancy services on architectural developments in KwaZulu Natal. We have done this by forming a working partnership with Structatherm Projects, an existing well-respected and well-established energy consultancy practice with offices currently in Pretoria and Cape Town.

In complying with new energy efficiency regulations in South Africa all new projects need to conform with the prescriptive standards set by the SANS 10400XA Building Regulations. Following a ‘deemed-to-satisfy’ compliance route however typically defines a requirement of double-glazed low-emissivity window units with thermally broken frames and shading on every north facing window, which one would agree is largely ridiculous for a sub-tropical KwaZulu Natal climate.

Utilising 21-years post-graduate experience in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates specialising in energy efficiency, green building design and construction technology we are able to use Agrément-approved energy analysis software to run SANS 10400XA 4.2.1c ‘Reference Route’ energy assessments on projects to identify alternative construction technologies that produce developments with energy efficiency standards that are equal to or even better than that required by the Building Regulations.

On projects that we have been assessing at Zimbali, Hawaan and Brettenwood Estates we have comfortably been able to develop cost-effective design solutions that keeps the fenestration at a minimal single-glazed clear laminate specification with traditional frames and total energy use at well within the prescribed standards. 

It’s an exciting new development for us and we are very pleased to be getting our teeth back into analysing and solving challenging construction technology dilemma’s. 

We will of course still be offering our usual architectural photography service and remain quite heavily booked with projects in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in the run up to Xmas. We are also currently in process of setting up a new joint-venture business in Dubai, that we will also launch in the next week or so, which will help up expand our exposure across the Middle East North Africa region.

Be sure to give us a call if you need any help in value-engineering your projects or if you are looking for ways to maximise the glazing you are allowed; we are sure to be able to help.


Yas Viceroy Hotel

In celebration of yet another successful Etihad Airways Formula 1 weekend on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi some photographs of the incredible Yas Viceroy Hotel. I was very fortunate to be there when it was originally being built in 2008 and I am very fortunate to have been back to stay in it and to photograph it professionally many times since. It’s a spectacular destination and one of my own favourite places to visit and photograph.


WINNER: KwaZulu Natal Institute for Architecture

I’m very excited and pleased to hear that the Unilever ‘Indosa’ warehouse I shot previously for Elphick Proome Architects has just won a 2013 Award for Architecture from the KwaZulu Natal Institute for Architecture in South Africa.

This project is without doubt one of the most spectacular warehouse architectural designs I have seen anywhere in the world – the architecture is innovative, it’s bold, and it sets a benchmark for industrial architecture that will be sure to elevate the standard we expect from architects everywhere. Students will be studying this project at university, architects will be trying to emulate the creative concepts and clients will be excited at what is actually possible with their own future schemes.

Well done Elphick Proome Architects in adding yet another award to your long list of accomplishments and for continuing to set the industry standard for spectacular architecture in South Africa.



Digest of South African Architecture

The Digest of South African Architecture, endorsed by the South African Institute of Architects, is a hefty high-quality manual published annually as a showcase and celebration of the best architectural projects that were completed in the previous year.

The 2012 Digest showcases 70 of the best architectural projects in South Africa across a range of categories and I’m rather excited that four of the projects I photographed last year are showcased in the publication. On top of that the ‘Gottlieb Group Distribution Warehouse‘ which I photographed (by Elphick Proome Architects) received an official Commendation by the SAIA, the ‘Mbombela Stadium’ (R&L Architects) which I photographed for FIFA received an Award of Merit and the ‘Investec Regional Head Office’ (by Elphick Proome Architects) also received an Award of Excellence.

The four projects which were extensively showcased in the Digest included the ‘Unilever Indosa Factory‘ in Durban by Elphick Proome Architects, the ‘Ballito Lifestyle Centre Extension‘ by Evolution Architects, the ‘COP 17 Climate Smart Cape Town Pavilion‘ by ST&AR Architects, and the ‘New Jerusalem Children’s Home‘ by 4D and A Architects.

It’s very exciting and rewarding to be involved with so many of South Africa’s leading architectural designers and to have these projects showcased in such a prestigious industry publication.


Unilever ‘Indosa’ Warehouse

As showcased in the Digest of South African Architecture 2012…

Architect: Elphick Proome Architects, Westville, KwaZulu Natal

Structural Engineer: Sutherland

Mechanical Engineer: RCE Consulting Engineers

Wet Services: AURECON

Environmental: Guy Nichols

Quantity Surveyor: Mbatha, Walters & Simpson

Contractor: Stefanutti Stocks Building

Branding & Marketing: The Hardy Boys

Fire Engineers: WSP

Photography: Dennis Guichard


New Jerusalem Children’s Home

As showcased in the Digest of South African Architecture 2012…

Architect: 4D&A Architects, Johannesburg, South Africa

Structural Engineer: Gerrard Consulting

Contractor: IDC Construction

Photography: Dennis Guichard


COP17 Climate Smart Cape Town Pavilion

As showcased in the Digest of South African Architecture 2012…

Architect: ST&AR Architects, Cape Town, in conjunction with ‘Touching the Earth Lightly’

Structural Engineer: Stephen Lamb, Martin & Associates

Contractor/Project Manager: Touching the Earth Lightly

Alternative Energy Specialists: MLT Drives

Photography: Dennis Guichard



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