Auto & General Park is located at the junction of William Nicol and Helderfontein Spruit, a tributary of the Jukskei River, 4km North of Fourways and 5 km South of Diepsloot. It is bordered to the West by Dainfern Estate, to the South by the river, to the West by William Nicol and to the North by the upcoming Steyn City development.
View images of Auto & General Park
In an effort to enhance the current infrastructure to the area, Telesure has agreed to house a Telkom exchange on site that will boost Telkom’s capacity in the area, and assist with growth as future developments materialise.
As part of the development of the site, the existing William Nicol Road from Fourways up to the site will be upgraded to dual carriageways in both directions with a new quarter link exchange at the site.
This will substantially alleviate the current congestion between Broadacres Road and Fourways, and provide some much needed relief to local residents.
To reduce harmful carbon emissions arising from motoring, Telesure implemented a system that encourages the use of public transportation or car pooling over private single person motoring.
From the project’s onset, the Architects worked together with an environmental consultant and the City of Johannesburg’s Environmental Management Department to ensure that the adjoining wetland was treated with due importance and care. A full study of the wetland was generated and documented, and through several design meetings with the Environmental Management Department the building was repositioned and redesigned until it was well above the agreed wetland delineation line, with a substantial buffer zone between the two.
A Site Specific Environmental Management Plan was created that outlined how groundwater, flora and fauna would be protected both during and after construction, to ensure that the impact of the development would be as minimal as possible. In addition to undertaking to use only indigenous landscaping within the site, the developer also undertook to plant the roofs of the lower blocks to create a green roof of nearly 5000 square metres, which reduces the net impact of the development of the site.
In response to the energy crisis facing South Africa, the decision to make the development as energy efficient as possible was taken early on this project.
Architecturally, the building is thermally treated to reduce the cooling and heating load by way of a landscaped and insulated concrete roof, double glazing on the full height south facades, and single performance glazing on the north facades. A number of energy efficient features in the design of the air conditioning system ensures that the building’s impact on the environment is reduced while at the same time, also creating a more healthy and comfortable environment for the occupants.
The cooling and heating system is optimised in terms of equipment selection and operating conditions, and is constantly controlled and monitored by a computerised Building Management System (BMS). An economy cycle increases the outside air up to 100 percent when outdoor temperatures are moderate. The Data Centre cooling is done by a Kyoto Cooling System which maintains conditions in the data centre for 87 percent of the time without any mechanical cooling, making it the most efficient cooling system available.
In addition, a heat recovery cycle is introduced on the Data Centre which captures the Data Centre heat and pre-heat fresh air to the building in winter, reducing the heating load by approximately 50%.
Lighting is controlled by the BMS via sensors located throughout the building. Emphasis has been placed on the utilisation of natural day lighting, with artificial lighting activated only as and when required. During the evenings, the BMS controls the switching of lights to the office, public, service, and circulation areas to ensure that lighting is always available to those working late, but that lighting to all uninhabited areas are automatically switched off.
Incorporated into the design is the concept of rainwater harvesting. Rainwater from surface parking and from the soft landscaped northern end of the site is channelled to subsurface drains which reroute the water to the southern end of the building, and then release it slowly back into the wetland via silt traps and French drains. This ensures that the wetland will continue to grow and eventually thrive.
Similarly, rainwater from the roof slabs is channelled via full-bore outlets to an attenuation dam on the southern end of the site where it is used for the irrigation of the landscaping.
To further limit the reliance on potable water for irrigation of the landscaping, only indigenous planting has been chosen for Auto & General Park.
As part of the construction of the building, a database of all available local labour from the neighbouring communities of Diepsloot and Cosmo City has been set up, and the building’s contractor has, from the first week of construction, begun employing people from this database.
Telesure foresees that much of their future Call Centre recruitments will come from these upcoming communities, as well as from the bordering Steyn City and Helderfontein Estate developments.