Africa’s Tallest Building Opens its Doors

  • The Leonardo, the tallest building in Africa has officially opened its doors in Sandton, South Africa.
  • Project developers Nedbank Property Partners and Legacy Group have announced that the building is ready for occupation.
  • Earlier this year, the developers terminated their contract with troubled construction company,
  • The Leonardo is a 55-floor mixed-use property development which stands at a height of 234m.
  • There is no information available regarding its expected occupied performance in terms of carbon emissions, electricity and water use.

Designed by South African firm Co-Arc International Architects, the Leonardo is a mixed use development consisting of office and retails space, apartments and hotel rooms. At 55 stories measuring 227 meters in height, the Leonardo is just 15 feet taller than the previous record holder, the Carlton Centre, which has dominated the Johannesburg skyline since 1973.

According to the architects website, ‘the tower is an appropriate response to climate and social factors as well as a highly innovative commercial model, designed to be complete and viable at a variety of heights. The structure and servicing are expressed in the form of the building, resulting in an articulated slender tower that has exceeded commercial expectation. The orientation and layout of the plans provide flexible floor space at every level of the tower, maximising views and minimising climatic effects.’

‘With due regard to South Africa’s high level of unemployment, to maximise safety and labour utilisation, the building is largely constructed from concrete and masonry with the external skin consisting of transportable components, assembled and erected from the inside. Its groundbreaking use of engineered ‘stone’ as a cladding material allows for a lightweight perimeter skin that forms a weather shield and creates shaded deep recesses for glazed balconies at every level: The refinement and the detailing and careful consideration of materials results in an apparently simple yet timelessly elegant facade.’

No information is available on the buildings performance in terms of water and energy use plus carbon emissions.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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