R100m world-class facility built for SAPS aims for 4 Green Star Rating

Posted On Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:22 Published by eProp@News
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The new R100 million South African Police Service (SAPS) 10111 Radio Control Centre in Korsten, Port Elizabeth, designed by Matrix for the National Department of Public Works (NDPW), is a world-class facility built with the intension of achieving a four star Green Star SA 

The building's footprint is orientated along an East West axis aligning itself to the North as opposed to the sites North East boundaries. According to Fisher the Project Architect, this juxtaposition intentionally reinforces the building's form as a pavilion with its massing defined by the levels of the site. The central Call Centre/Radio Control is perceived as the hub of the facility and designed as an independent entity inside the space of the building's structure, defined by a single mono-pitched roof. All supporting accommodation feeds off this central space, taking advantage of the views and promoting transparency throughout the facility.

The underlying design intension was to create awareness through detail of materials across a limited palette. The client's brief to provide an uninterrupted space for call takers required an intricate steel structure to both span and support a service platform above over an area of 800m².

Although conceptually there was a need for transparency, it was also fundamental to ground the building to provide a firm base to work from. This was achieved by detailing the four outer corners of the buildings structure in face brick. These corners wrap around textured plaster and seemingly elevate just off the surface of the surrounding finishes though a recessed shadow line of raw terelyne to help soften its connection.

"The bottom two courses of face brick above the recessed plinth is in essence a result of the need for a composite beam to form the cantilever in the brickwork," notes Fisher.

The brick-on-edge and soldier course in the brick work rests on a continuous length of 5mm galvanised steel plate – over the full width of the wall – and a concrete cavity filled to the height of the soldier course. "The differing course configuration also facilitated the need to tie back into the required brick courses of the inner skins," he says.

The choice in using brickwork was also taken a step further through the use of carefully detailed reveals and the combination of travertine and satin faced bricks. Light naturally reflects off smooth surfaces which intentionally created a 'mosaic' effect across the face brick facades. Corobrik's Terracotta Travertine and Satin mix, batched 50/50 was specified for the exterior brickwork, while internally, Corobrik's Firelight Satin was used.

Internalised purpose-made galvanised steel brick shelves, fixed to concrete ring beams, allowed for full height brick work with horizontal expansion joints at roughly 3,5m centres. These shelves allowed the face brick work to continue across the cantilevered concrete canopy slabs to allow the brick to wrap around the scratch plaster.

Furthermore, all openings are finished with header courses forming the side reveals and brick-on-edge courses to the lintel and sill of openings. Lintel and sill brick work intentionally projects past the face of the facades as capping pieces.

The versatility of face brick was significant in allowing the architects to utilise the material successfully in many guises in the Radio Control Centre effectively adding a further layer to the inner space of the building in the form of a brick with a lighter shade and of a satin finish.

"The building has been registered with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) with the intension of achieving a four star Green Star SA – Office 'as built' accreditation that would recognise the building as being Best Practice," says Fisher.

"A central Building Management System (BMS) was incorporated to drive, monitor and record all operational data of the building which includes electrical/mechanical services and water consumption to ensure their optimal performance and use. Other noticeable features would be rain water harvesting for 100% irrigation requirements, double glazing, solar glare control, acoustics, steel disassembly and intrinsic design features such as orientation and daylight views."



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