Friday, 12 August 2011

Romead Business Park - an inspiring green approach

Romead Business Park is quite an exciting project that I've been working on over the last year.  A prominent developer was looking for a new home for their offices, and rather than finding a cookie-cutter building for their offices, they decided to create their own space, and hopefully attract others with their same ideals.

Common Areas Landscape Plan for Romead Business Park
Their approach to the entire project has been quite refreshing. They found a property that was nestled in the escarpment below Kloof which was ideal from so many perspectives - a beautiful piece of land right between the Umbilo river and a part of the Durban Metropolitan Open Space System (D'MOSS). Part of the trade-off of developing on a slightly degraded section of this site, was to give a large portion of the property to be used as Open Space.

Grassland above Romead - the landscaping should eventually return to this
Their ethos behind the development has been quite inspiring - they have been looking for any viable opportunities to approach the project from an environmental perspective, which in these tough economic times is quite a brave stance. But altogether necessary from a long-term point of view. It's been an ethos that has come at a cost - both emotional and financial!

The design code for the development has been quite comprehensive and pioneering, and - I believe - one of the best guides for development from an architectural and landscaping perspective in Durban.

Some of the ideas that have been looked at, and in some cases, written into the design codes are solutions like rainwater harvesting, wind-turbines, creating mulch and compost from the existing vegetation on site, the use of indigenous planting and an approach that places an emphasis on the balance between aesthetics and function.

As the Business Park begins to gain momentum, I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.
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