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V&A Waterfront's The Ridge installs long-awaited facade


V&A Waterfront's The Ridge installs long-awaited facade

Category Property News

The first cross laminated timber (CLT) and glazing panels arrived and have been installed along Marine Road.

These custom-made panels with openable windows are one of the development's key sustainability features; it will assist in the natural ventilation of the office floors. Cross-laminated timber is a green and sustainable material made from renewable wood. It sequesters carbon and it does not require the burning of fossil fuels during production.

About the Ridge

The Ridge is a landmark commercial office development currently under construction. The new 8 500 square meter building follows a string of bespoke developments situated at the iconic 123ha V&A Waterfront.

The new custom designed green building is designed to meet and to exceed the accommodation requirements of global consulting giant, Deloitte, which has commissioned the building as its Cape Town regional office.

The developed site will form the main connection between Dock Road on the main route to the original parts of the V&A Waterfront and Portswood Road, which runs just outside the north-western boundary of the property.

Along Portswood Road, the Ridge will form the apex of a new waterfront zone, dubbed the Portswood District, a green development forming a natural linkage to the Greenpoint Fringe of the Atlantic Seaboard.

The site was previously a parking lot which serviced the renowned UCT Graduate School of Business campus, the Breakwater Lodge building and, other existing commercial buildings in its vicinity.

On the ground, the Ridge will feature a few firsts for the green building and sustainability industry. These include energy efficiency, passive climate control measures, the usage of renewables, sustainable water handling and, the lowering of the building's carbon footprint with a focus on the usage of natural lighting.


The Ridge has embraced the concept of dematerialisation whereby the usage of fewer materials (compared to the conventional design solution) lowers the environmental footprint of the building.

This has been manifested at the Ridge through the design of the concrete structure (as efficiently as possible). The project has sequestered plastic waste collected from a variety of sources and encapsulating this in the building core in the form of 'eco-bricks'.

These 'eco-bricks' are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles. These bottles are filled constant density with waste plastics which includes chip packets, candy wrappings, shopping bags and waste generated on site.

Mark Noble, Development Director at the V&A Waterfront:

"Often, builders incorporate void-forming materials into concrete slabs. These are much lower weight than concrete. They are sometimes made of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Under normal loads, these voids do not undermine the structural strength of the slab, but they offer many other benefits, which is why we use them"

"To the best of our knowledge, the Ridge is the first commercial building in the world to do this."

The total void volume in the entire building is 41m (3) which equates to approximately 12 500 ecobricks. Each bottle has a mass of approximately 418g equalling 5.2 tons of used, single-use plastic that is being reused.

It has been estimated that in South Africa, 16% of plastic is recycled. 10% of this ends up in the waterways and ocean, and the remainder (74%) ends up in a landfill.

By using material already manufactured rather than purchasing material still to be manufactured, the project has saved 30t C02 - the same saving as taking 6.5 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.

Project milestones:

Handover to Deloitte for the beneficial occupation has been bench marked for late October 2020 with the building being fully operational by late November 2020.


  • Landlord: V&A Waterfront
  • Tenant: Deloitte
  • Architects: Studio MAS
  • Engineering team: Arup
  • Project Managers: Mace
  • Quantity Surveyors: Smith & Co
  • Interior Architects: Paragon Interface
  • Main Contractor: GVK Siya Zama
  • Geo-tech Engineers: Core Geothech
  • Landscape Architects: Planning Partners
  • Acoustics: SRL
Author Property Wheel
Published 01 Jul 2020 / Views -

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