Bigen Africa creates South Africa’s first “green” taxi rank
Bigen Africa, a leading infrastructure development company with a strong presence in southern Africa and a growing African footprint, has utilised innovative conservation principles to create the country’s first “green” taxi rank at Wallacedene in Cape Town.
As provider of civil engineering, project management, electrical and structural services on this R25 million project, Bigen Africa has seen to it that the facility is a largely self-sufficient in terms of energy and water use. This not only offers 5 000 commuters and 50 taxi drivers the amenities they need to refresh and regroup between trips every day, but also delivers cost efficiencies for the City of Cape Town based on “green” principles.
Four Star rating
“The taxi rank has been designed with conservation principles and therefore sustainability in mind,” says Johan Troskie, Civil Engineer at Bigen Africa, who led the construction project. “These include the use of alternative energy and water provision systems to ensure considerable savings for the local municipality as a result of potable water conservation and reduced conventional energy consumption.”
The new taxi rank operates off the electricity grid as Bigen Africa opted for a rooftop solar photovoltaic panel system for electricity generation. Everything from the light-emitting diode lights under the roof to the electronic gates and hydroboils in the kitchen is powered by this system. At night and on cloudy days, reserve solar energy stored in 24 large batteries can be used, ensuring that only minimal – if any – electricity will be required from Eskom. Savings in conventional energy costs will ensure that the capital cost of the solar panel system will be recovered within six to 10 years.
To meet the huge demand for water for washing taxis at Wallacedene, Bigen Africa has ensured that pumping and filtering costs associated with municipal water use, as well as wastage of potable water, can be avoided.
“The taxi rank has been designed to allow harvesting of rainwater, particularly along its substantial roof, and recycling of up to 70% of water used,” says Troskie “For this, an underground filtering and reclamation system with a capacity of 20 000 litres and a pump system has been constructed.”
Thanks to Bigen Africa’s innovative approach in the construction of the Wallacedene taxi rank, Green star South Africa has announced its intention to award the facility a four-star rating.