17 June 2019
By Wendy M. Mhlanga
Harare: TALK OF ENERGY efficiency and the first thing that invariably comes to mind are electrical appliances. Few may be aware that buildings, especially commercial buildings, consume a significant amount of energy.
In fact, the International Energy Agency (IEA) notes that buildings and building construction sectors combined are responsible for 36% of global final energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions.
Increasingly, calls for architectural designs to incorporate energy efficiency are getting more pronounced across the world as an acknowledgment that current energy consumption is not sustainable.
In Zimbabwe, energy efficient buildings are relatively uncommon with Harare’s Eastgate Mall being one of the few buildings that is internationally acclaimed for being energy efficient.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority’s (ZERA) Head Office is set to join the noteworthy list.
Nestled in the leafy suburb of Mt. Pleasant, the double storey dream conceived in 2015 is shaping up: the Authority’s new home.
Taking it also from Eastgate Mall, the ZERA head office has a sustainable design with a balance of aesthetics and cost-effectiveness. The building will be a magnificent sight and will save on energy by using renewable sources.
Occupying about 6 000 square metres of land, the office complex has capacity to shelter about 90 staff members. More than 200 people are working tirelessly to fulfil the vision of a model energy efficient structure.
The building is approximately at 50% complete in terms of construction and the super structure and much of the concrete work has been done. Construction work is being carried out by Zimbabwe Nantong International Group.
To save on space, the building will have underground parking space –which has been completed- while the ground floor awaits a few touch ups and the second floor is shaping up.
Brick work and fittings has been started and the super structure and the concrete work has been fully done. The occupants are expected to move in by end of year at the latest.