By Desie Heita
Windhoek will have its first ‘green’ and tallest skyscraper by mid-2010.
Currently under construction along Werner List Street, the building will house the headquarters of Old Mutual Namibia, Nedbank Namibia, and Mutual and Federal Namibia.
With 21 storeys, of which four would be underground, the N$265-million building will have retail space and a courtyard with water features.
The height of the building is not what is of interest, however. The interest is in the green concept design, a first for Namibia and, most likely, one of very few green buildings in southern Africa.
The skyscraper would feature 40 percent less energy consumption, utilize 50 percent of Windhoek’ underground water – thus reducing half of its reliance on water supply from the City of Windhoek – and use an evaporation cooling system that reduces usage of electricity by another 40 percent, and reduces carbon emissions significantly.
To an ordinary person, these figures and architectural jargon may sound meaningless. Nevertheless, behind the jargon are many features that would present the occupiers with health benefits besides the long-term savings on maintenance costs.
Consider the energy consumption, for instance. Instead of only using electricity for lighting, the building will rely much on natural sunlight.
The architects from Leon Barnard Architects have designed the building that with large expanses of glazing to provide maximum daylight into the building on each floor in such a way that tenants will not feel as though being in the sun. Protection from the sun is provided by landscaped trellis fa??????’??