Concor to add 5.74 MW of solar to Eastgate shopping centre upper parking

Concor is installing a solar PV plant at the Eastgate shopping centre

Concor is installing a solar PV plant at the Eastgate shopping centre

2nd May 2023

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Construction contractor Concor is working on a project to build a 5.74 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the Eastgate shopping centre's upper parking area, adding to the centre's existing 1 MW solar plant.

This project aligns with JSE-listed real estate investment trust Liberty 2 Degrees' execution of its 2030 net-zero targets, which includes reducing energy reliance on the grid, and a focus on creating good and smart spaces.

This second-phase project, which started in February, will comprise approximately 550 t of structural steel roof constructed on concrete plinths on the upper parking area of the centre, said Concor contract manager Martin Muller.

“We will be constructing concrete columns and steelwork to hold the PV panels on the upper parking level over an area of 31 000 m2. The panels will also create shade for shoppers parking on this level,” he said.

The solar PV project is scheduled for completion by the end of January 2024.

The project requires the existing column heads that support the parking deck to be exposed. 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, he explained.

“Special attention is being paid to mitigate 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 added.

The concrete stub columns, most of which will be two metres in height, will be constructed from 30 MPa readymix concrete. To enhance sustainability, this Green Star-rated concrete will use 30% fly ash to reduce the concrete’s embodied energy.

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.

“Concor’s experienced management team will coordinate eight subcontractors on site, and 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,” Muller said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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