First Green Commercial Building in West Africa Tops Out

International consultancy and construction firm Mace and Laurus Development Partners have jointly celebrated the topping out of One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana.

One Airport Square

International consultancy and construction firm Mace and Laurus Development Partners, a real estate investment, development and management company focused on West Africa, have jointly celebrated the topping out of One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana.

The project is a joint venture between investors Actis – a private equity firm investing solely in the emerging markets of Africa, Asia and Latin America – and Myma Belo Osagie of Boston Investments Ltd. and is being developed by Laurus Development Partners, a company supported by Actis. One Airport Square’s value has not been disclosed.

Located in Accra’s Airport City zone, the booming commercial district near Kotoka International Airport, One Airport Square will offer 182,986 square feet of mixed-use commercial space. The ten-story mixed-use development will comprise a nine-story office block atop 21,528 square feet of street-level retail space. The project also includes 256 parking bays, of which 234 are below grade and 30 are surface parking spaces. A landscaped public piazza will be home to cafes, restaurants and other small businesses. The public piazza will hold a permanent sculpture by local artist Kofi Setordoji, while the building’s lobby will showcase temporary exhibitions by other local artists. Building amenities include a shaded rooftop terrace acting as an informal meeting space, access-control system and high security, sheltered car drop-off, separate passenger and goods elevator, driver’s rooms as well as showers and lockers at basement level. The building’s striking exoskeleton design, evocative of the diamond-patterned bark of the Ghana palm tree, is the work of award-winning project architects Mario Cucinella Architects. The award-winning project’s accolades include Best office Architecture, Ghana at the international property Awards Africa.

One Airport Square has been designed to achieve Four Star Green Star environmental certification for both design and as-built. This translates into 30 to 40 percent energy savings, courtesy of both passive and active energy saving features such as concrete overhangs the building’s sun pattern driven orientation, optimum  daylight penetration, the use of natural light and natural ventilation via a central light and cooling shaft, presence detectors and high efficiency lighting, rainwater harvesting and condensate recovery from cooling units used for irrigation and flushing, motion sensor water fixtures , office recycling facilities and the sourcing of local building materials.

Entities involved in the project include Mace, acting as client representative and project manager during construction, contractors Micheletti Ltd., structural engineers Politecnica Ingegneria e Architettura and Twum Boafo & Partners, local architect Deweger Gruter Brown, as well as mechanical and electrical engineers Impact Technologies Ltd. and ChapmanBDSP.

Upon its September 2014 completion, the development will have created more than 150 local construction jobs. The project is targeting a December 2014 soft opening.

One Airport Square is being developed in response to Ghana’s growing demand for international standard office and retail facilities, fueled by the upswing in the country’s oil industry and service sector.