CTICC plans ‘SA’s greenest building’

30 October 2008

The Cape Town International Convention Centre and the South African government are at an advanced stage of negotiations on a partnership to expand the hugely successful conference and expo venue, and in the process to create “the greenest building in South Africa”.

A comprehensive feasibility and economic impact study of the proposed expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has been the focus of a team headed by CTICC CEO Rashid Toefy over the past six months.

Toefy, who spoke about the expansion at a press conference in Cape Town on Friday, said the construction of a “six-star green building” was an opportunity for the city to provide the kind of global leadership Capetonians could be proud of.

“In the context of climate change, sustainable business development and being in a competitive industry, CTICC’s focus must be on minimising its carbon footprint and the environmental impact of any planned expansion,” Toefy said.

CTICC Phase 2 – to be located on the site of Customs House on Cape Town’s foreshore – would be built to requirements set by the Green Building Council of South Africa. It would be designed to use 40% less energy per square metre than the present CTICC, consume 95% less potable water, and produce 25% less waste to landfill.

Water and energy saving technologies

The planned 30 000 square metre development, of which 9 500 square metres would be exhibition space, would incorporate state-of-the-art water and energy saving technologies, including special wind turbines to harvest electricity while simultaneously ventilating the parking garages.

“We plan to incorporate some of the most progressive environmentally friendly building techniques available, and will set the highest possible international standard in sustainable building design and management,” Toefy said.

Reduction in energy would be mainly through the building’s “passive energy design”, extensive use of “daylighting”, and provision of renewable energy using wind and solar.

Potable water usage would be reduced mainly through recycling of rainwater and an on-site water treatment system, while the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites would be reduced by providing adequate space for on-site sorting and recycling.

A planted green roof would also be provided, as well as bicycle facilities, integrated with planned city cycle routes, for staff and visitors.

The business case

Making the business case for expanding the CTICC, Toefy said there was an “unquestionable need to expand from a purely operational business point of view”, with record occupancy levels pushing the CTICC’s existing space and resources to the limit in 2007/08.

The CTICC had also commissioned a study on the impact of the expansion by economists Barry Standish and Anthony Boting of the UCT Graduate School of Business.

The report found that the expansion, and the hotel and offices which form part of the project, would result in direct spending in Cape Town of R2.27-billion over an anticipated three years of construction.

Spin-offs from the CTICC expansion would contribute in the region of R457-million to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012/13, increasing to more than R1.7-billion a year by 2018.

In addition, 513 “direct jobs” and 720 “indirect jobs” would be created in 2012, increasing to 1 276 direct jobs and 1 892 indirect jobs by 2018.

Toefy said that all planning was on track and was now dependent on final negotiations with the Department of Public Works, adding that, if successful, this would “result in a unique new partnership in which all three tiers of government – city, provincial and national – have equity in the holding company of the CTICC.”

The City of Cape Town currently owns 50.2% of the CTICC and Western Cape provincial government 25.1%. SunWest International is the main private sector shareholder.

“If we get the go-ahead in the next three months we could expect building completion in mid-2012,” Toefy said.

“The CTICC expansion will not only propel Cape Town into the forefront of sustainable building design and management, but will continue to drive the city’s rise as one of the leading business tourism destinations worldwide.”

SAinfo reporter

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