One Airport Square in Accra is West Africa’s first commercial green building

The nine-storey 20 250m2 building, designed by renowned sustainability architect Mario Cucinella, won the coveted International Property Awards Africa in 2014. It brings together a number of innovations not seen before in the rapidly-growing West African oil hub. These include the maximum use of natural light, a façade with overhangs to minimise solar exposure which in turn reduces demand on the air-conditioning system, motion sensors to control the lighting, and the harvesting of rainwater for ablutions and irrigation.

‘One Airport Square is located in Airport City, a few minutes from Kotoka International Airport, a modern business precinct that is already proving to be highly desirable. It’s also about four kilometres from Accra Mall – West Africa’s first large-scale shopping centre,’ says Adriaan Otto, general manager: JHI Africa.

‘The development offers almost 1,500m2 of retail space that includes a restaurant, bistro and coffee bar and there are two floors of underground parking serving the commercial component. The building has sufficient water storage for four days use and its own standby generators. In spite of depressed oil prices there is still demand for prestigious business space in Ghana by both local and international companies. Rental rates for quality office space remain in the US$37 to US$35/m2 zone and I’m pleased to report that vacancies in the portfolio managed by JHI are remarkably low,’ adds Otto.

One Airport Square is a joint-venture project between Boston Investments and Boston Investments, the latter one of the most successful emerging market investors with US$7.6billion in assets employing more than 114 000 people.

Depending on specifics, green buildings can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 35%, reduce electricity use by 30 to 50% and cut water usage by 40% compared to traditional design and construction methods. In addition, by making better use of natural light and – where appropriate – natural ventilation the working environment for occupants is greatly enhanced leading to improved productivity. A win:win for people and the environment.

The Ghana Green Building Council promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by using a building rating system that measures five key areas; sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environment quality.

JHI provides a bouquet of property-related services in 16 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa in addition to its operations in South Africa. Assets under management amount to almost US$7billion and comprise over nine million square metres of space. One Airport Square is but one of the certified Green Buildings under JHI’s care.

Source: eprop

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