A new prestige office development in Sandton, Johannesburg is using a combined smoke and natural ventilation system, involving automatic window vents in the building’s elliptical glazed central tower, which is actuated and controlled by an integrated solution from SE Controls Africa.
Located in the Sandton business area, which is regarded as one of South Africa’s prime commercial locations, the R208 million (£10.7 million) Capital Hill development combines seven floors of office space with residential apartments, as well as covered parking for almost 400 vehicles.
Designed by MWLF Architects, the building not only provides high quality business facilities and residential accommodation, but is also highly energy efficient and is constructed to achieve a ‘Four Green Star’ rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
As part of this process, the building’s 12 storey elliptical central tower features a fully glazed external facade within an aluminium lattice structure, which incorporates an automatic window and vent opening system to provide natural ventilation and overnight cooling, as well as smoke ventilation in the event of a fire.
To achieve the necessary level of versatility and control required for the automated vent system, SE Controls supplied 49 SECO N 24 25 twin chain actuators with a 350mm stroke length together with 7 SHEVTEC® control panels and manual control points (MCP), which were networked using the company’s OSLink network cards. An external weather station was also installed to provide an information feed on ambient conditions into the system.
In normal operation, the windows open and close automatically, to provide cooling and a supply of fresh air, but in the event of a fire this is over-ridden and vents are opened to allow smoke to be vented, enabling escape routes to be kept smoke free.
Russel Cramb, General Manager with SE Controls Africa, explained:
“Capital Hill is an iconic building and has already attracted a lot of attention for its eye-catching design, green credentials and the quality of facilities it provides. We have an immense amount of experience in combined natural and smoke ventilation solutions, which we used when working with the architect to create a solution that wouldn’t compromise the smooth architectural lines of the external glazed facade.”