As South African businesses embrace the power of renewable energy, leading black owned contractor Concor is busy on another solar project that will contribute to a more sustainable future. The project will add another 5.74MW (4,75 MWac) to the already existing 1MW solar power plant at Eastgate Shopping Centre in Johannesburg. This project aligns with Liberty 2 Degrees’ execution of its Net Zero 2030 targets, both reducing energy reliance from the grid as well as its focus on creating Good and Smart Spaces. According to Martin Muller, Contract Manager at Concor, this second phase project will comprise approximately 550 tonnes of structural steel roof constructed on concrete plinths on the upper parking area of the centre.
Concor has executed similar projects in both the retail and commercial office environment, as well as contributing significantly to pioneering wind energy projects around the country. This latest PV project commenced in February 2023 and is scheduled for completion by the end of January 2024.
“We will be constructing concrete columns and steelwork to hold the photovoltaic panels on the upper parking level, over an area of 31,000 square metres,” says Muller. “The panels will also create shade for shoppers parking on this level.”
The project requires the existing column heads that support the parking deck to be exposed, he explains. This will allow Concor to drill and dowel into the column heads, so that starter bars can be inserted for the stub columns to be poured – ensuring that the loads are spread onto the main columns below. Special attention is being focused on mitigating any disruption to the shopping centre’s tenants and shoppers.
“A full mitigation kit will also be applied to keep water out during construction and minimise any impact on the live shopping area below,” he says.
The concrete stub columns, most of which will be two metres in height, will be constructed from 30MPa readymix concrete. To enhance sustainability, this Green Star rated concrete will use 30% fly ash to reduce the concrete’s embodied energy. The steelwork in the project will consume some 600 tonnes of structural steel.
Concor’s experienced management team will coordinate eight subcontractors on site, where the workforce will number about 40 at the project peak. Workflow will also be carefully planned around the critical periods, so that the year’s busy shopping times are not unduly affected.
Leading South African contractor Concor is tackling an exciting solar power expansion for Liberty Two Degrees at its popular Eastgate Shopping Centre in Johannesburg.