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The Cape Town CBD is a hub of activity in more ways than one – and filled with building projects and developments of all kinds. Here are some of the green buildings you’ll find on an architectural stroll around town.


Sustainability was at the core of building operations from the start when it came to the Cape Town International Convention Centre’s East expansion. Their focus was on minimising the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the expansion, and the building was designed to use less energy per square metre, less potable water and less waste to landfill than the rest of the ICC. Their targets were 45% reduction in potable water, 30% reduction in operational energy consumption and 60% reduction in construction waste, energy and water efficiency. This was measure over the lifetime of the building, and achieved through passive energy design and efficient building services.

Portside, Foreshore

This R1.6 billion building – Cape Town’s tallest – has achieved a 5 Green Star SA Office Design rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa for its superb building design. It has 32 floors and 52000m2 of office space for 3000 people, and is jointly owned by FirstRand Bank and Old Mutual. It got its 5 green stars for being energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible, and incorporates construction, design and operational practices that reduce its negative impact on the environment.

The Towers – Redefine, Foreshore

The ‘green-over’ of the old Standard Bank Building (now called The Towers) has made it an eco-friendly space that cost R533 million. This includes a flush glazed system on the external façade that will reduce cooling demands by 30%, energy-efficient lighting and photovoltaic panels on the roof.

Words: Bridget McNulty | Images: Supplied


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