Carrier announces major sponsorship of Zeitz MOCAA at V&A Waterfront in Cape Town


In keeping with its historic hi-tech heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration success protecting Michelangelo’s masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel, AHI Carrier has announced a R600 000 sponsorship for the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. MechChem Africa talks to Jaco Smal, the company’s Cape Town based commercial sales director.

Global HVAC specialist sponsors African art

V&A Waterfront’s Silo District is built around the historic Grain Silo complex, once the tallest structures on the city’s skyline, and central to the economy of the harbour and the Western Province.

Nearing completion, the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District is already home to a six-star Green Star SA office space, more than 30 luxury apartments in Silos 1 and 2 respectively, an additional residential development, a Virgin Active Classic Health Club, and a super-modern office building in Silos 3 to 5.

Currently being finalised, the state-of-the-art Zeitz MOCAA in the Grain Silo complex is a new public not-for-profit cultural institution, the first major art museum in Africa aspiring to be an internationally-renowned destination for lovers of Art from Africa and the Diaspora.

The total investment in the Silo District development at the V&A Waterfront by shareholders Growthpoint and the Government Employee Pension Fund, which is managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), is over R2.5-billion.

Approximately 2 500 people are expected to work at the Silo District, with the original economic impact study suggesting that the expected nominal contribution to GDP from future developments will be over R29-billion by 2023.

A district-wide HVAC solution

“Carrier’s involvement with the Silo District began with a request from David Lombard of Lombard Consulting Engineers, tasked to procure the best equipment available for a centralised Waterfront Silo District cooling and heating plant room,” says AHI Carrier’s Jaco Smal. “The idea was to supply on-demand chilled and heated water from a central plant room to air-handling units distributed throughout Silos 3 to 6.

“At the heart of the system is the use of seawater instead of evaporative cooling towers to reject the waste heat,” Smal explains. “We circulate naturally-cool seawater through heat exchangers so that the system does not require cooling towers to reject heat into the atmosphere. As well as the better efficiencies associated with water cooling, this avoids having to consume water through evaporation,” he explains. “The entire Silo District is built on green principles and energy efficiency. The directive was to achieve the best possible energy efficiency for every tenant,” he adds.

Two Carrier AquaEdge 23XRV chillers were chosen to meet most of the demand from the four connected Silo developments. “These state-of-the-art variable speed screw chillers are able to operate off condensed water at a temperature as low as 13 °C, which makes them ideal for chilling from the cold-water temperatures associated with the seawater. We usually run the units at inlet temperatures of 18°C to 19°C, but the chillers have to be able to cope when the seawater drops to lower temperatures,” Smal tells MechChem Africa.

In addition, a further two Carrier Aquaforce 30XW-V water-cooled variable speed screw chillers are used for both cooling and heating. These have very high part-load efficiencies, allowing for exact matching of the cooling capacity to the load.

“Most importantly, these machines are all extremely robust and reliable. In general, highly-efficient machines are often seen as delicate and unreliable. But these are all designed for reliability, for which Carrier is renowned. Since their initial introduction in the US in 2005, we have never had a compressor failure,” Smal reveals.

As for the efficiency of the Silo District plant room? “Typically, in peak summer, we generate chilled water at 7.0°C, which gives us a COP of between 10.54 and 13.28. This means that the two AquaEdge 23XRV chillers can each produce 1 500 kW of cooling from 113 kW to 142 kW.

“For cooling during intermediate months, when the ambient temperature is closer to the set point, we can raise the chilled water temperature to 10°C, which gives us a COP of 12.7 at 100% capacity, rising to 15.85 at 40%,” Smal tells MechChem Africa, adding that, “on machines of this size, this efficiency is as good as it gets.”

The Zeitz MOCAA sponsorship

The Silo District developments are focused around Zeitz MOCAA, which sits at the heart of this district. Surrounding the museums will be a new central pedestrian plaza, Silo Square, a gathering place for locals and international visitors.

Zeitz MOCAA covers 9 500 m2, making it comparable in size to the leading contemporary art museums in the world. It will consist of nine floors, of which 6 000 m2 will be dedicated to exhibition space. In addition, an educational floor will help to foster a new art-loving, museum-going audience.

The task of repurposing this historic Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront, once the tallest building in Cape Town, was given to internationally-renowned designer Thomas Heatherwick. This provided the opportunity not only to appropriate a former industrial building to display art, but also to imagine a new kind of museum in an African context.

The R500-million redevelopment project was announced in November 2013 as a partnership between the V&A Waterfront, and former Puma CEO and chairman Jochen Zeitz. The key challenge has been to preserve the original industrial identity of the Heritage-listed building, and to retain choice pieces of machinery to illustrate and maintain its early working character. Heatherwick Studio’s final design reveals a harmonious union of concrete and metal, with crisp white spaces enveloped in light.

While the main goal of every museum is to make objects accessible to the public, researchers and other institutions, it also has to ensure the long-term safety and preservation of the collections. Objects need one set of conditions, while people may need another. Achieving both is the ultimate aim of having a controlled environment.

At the MOCAA, this will be achieved via sophisticated air-handling units, controlled via the building’s management system (BMS), and supplied centrally with chilled and/or hot water circulating through the Carrier AquaEdge and AquaForce chillers in the Silo District’s centralised plant room.

Carrier is no stranger to the world of museums and art collections, having installed an innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) solution for the Sistine Chapel to help preserve Michelangelo’s masterpieces against deterioration caused by the increasing number of visitors.

Ongoing developments

The next exciting project for Carrier? “We are doing something similar for the Canal District, a mixed-use development linking the V&A Waterfront to the Cape Town CBD. As with all other V&A projects, the buildings involved will employ best-practice green design principles that target 5-Star Green Ratings using the Green Star SA Office Design VI rating tool,” Smal says.

“We have worldwide experience in best-practice green HVAC solutions, and the local experience and service support to implement and maintain our technology. With the R600 000 Zeitz MOCAA sponsorship, we are also demonstrating our willingness to give back to communities, and to ensure that our technology brings long-term benefits,” Smal concludes.


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