National Literary Museum gets 5-star rating

Makana Brick supplied to the National English Literacy Museum in Grahamstown

Makana Brick is proud to be associated with the National English Literary Museum (NELM) in Grahamstown. Designed by Intsika Architects, the National English Literary Museum is the first five-star Green Star-certified Public & Education building in the country. This environment-friendly public building meets impressive energy and water-saving targets, and also achieved social objectives through local job creation for construction.

 “With this building, we did not only manage cost, time and quality," explains DPW senior project manager Dr Een Greyling "The achievement of social objectives through job creation; local small, medium, micro and macro enterprises’ and suppliers’ involvement; and the project being accepted by the broader community,”

By using standard materials like brick masonry, local labour could be used to provide the community with a sense of ownership and generate economic upliftment.

"In total, 205 local job opportunities were created during construction,” Greyling stated

The building has a core of NFP and NFX clay brick, and just over 4 500 square metres of clay bricks were used, with 21% perforation. Clay brick is a dense construction material which helps to moderate temperature fluctuations, helping to provide thermal comfort and minimise the use of artificial heating and cooling equipment. Double-leaf cavity walls help to further improve thermal performance.

The museum will not be fenced off, and provides park-like areas for the surrounding community to enjoy – including access to the outside amphitheatre and mini-theatre. Courtyards and balconies make for enjoyable outdoor breakaway spaces for personnel – and 80% of the occupied areas have views to the exterior. The location is ideal as the development proximate to a variety of learning institution and public amenities, the daily users of which can make use of the museum.

Sustainable building features

  • Stormwater detention ponds to release stormwater gradually and prevent the erosion of the related river system.
  • A Topsoil Management Plan (TMP) to protect it from degradation, erosion or mixing with fill or waste – this way, 75% of the original topsoil was retained on site.
  • Shower and storage facilities for cyclists are available to encourage non-motorised commute to the museum.
  • Water and energy sub-meters provide live-metering results.
  • Reduction of potable water consumption by more than 95% below benchmark.
  • Mechanical and electrical equipment chosen for its low energy use.
  • A solar PV installation on the roof of the north wing which provides approximately 8% of the building’s total energy demand.
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