Kouga Wind Farm’s new, energy-efficient site office has been designed to fit seamlessly into the team’s daily operations as well as the landscape just outside Oyster Bay.
Scheduled for completion by the end of March 2017, the structure incorporates important green building elements and the walls have been cladded with local stone to blend naturally into the environment.
It will take the place of two rented mobile containers, which served as a temporary workspace for the technical officer, community liaison officer, environmental fieldworkers and general assistants, as well as the 3Energy site asset management team, comprising the site manager and three technicians.
The substation control room also did double duty for formal meetings, with the Nordex team and contractors filling the unoccupied spaces. This proved especially tricky during turbine gearbox exchanges when there could be up to 30 people on site.
Planning for the site office project started in mid-2015, with Kouga Municipality giving the green light to proceed in September 2016.
The new 284-square-metre building comprises a reception area and boardroom, communal office and manager’s office, file room and server room. A workshop and storeroom provide extra storage and workspace, while the kitchenette, lunchroom and covered braai area create a space for much-needed downtime.
With Kouga Wind Farm as one of the major independent power producers in the area, the building is connected to the national electricity grid via a cable from the nearest substation.
The energy-efficient architectural elements include double-glazed windows and water heating by solar panels. Using effective insulation materials also lessens the need for heating and cooling systems to regulate the internal temperature year-round.
Rainwater tanks collect rainwater run-off for use within the building, while wastewater is treated with a Biorock aerobic treatment system to further lessen the impact on the environment.