Advice and Opinion

Optimising a building's orientation is a key to success

Finding the optimal orientation for new residential developments at Century City is a primary consideration of the developer.

So says Nicola Aschmann, a project manager with Rabie Property Group.

She says that in Century City, as almost everywhere else in Cape Town, it was hard to find a perfect orientation for a building as all tend to have their pros and cons.

“With North-facing buildings you have your back to the South Easter and can enjoy the sun in the summer months but in the winter you are exposed to the harsh North Wester.

“With South-facing buildings you can enjoy beautiful views but have less sun and are more exposed to the South Easter.

“East-facing buildings enjoy the morning sun and some views but are exposed to wind while West-facing buildings provide you with views and afternoon sun but you are exposed to the winter rains.”

As such, she says, it all boils down to personal preference.

“The investor and holiday maker tend to go for the views, while owner occupiers and hardened Capetonian will often opt for a north facing property which is sheltered from the wind and rather sacrifice the view.

“This was particularly evident at our Waterstone Isles development where half the homes were north facing and the other half south facing.

“The majority of the south facing units were sold to out of towners while the north facing units were primarily sold to those who intended to live in them as their primary residence,” said Aschmann.

She said when they designed a new development they attempted to accommodate diverse needs and preferences.

“Where we can we will try and incorporate the best of both worlds such as we did at Quaynorth. Here the building was designed to be dual facing with balconies on both the north and south sides of the units. This unique feature proved pivotal enabling the scheme to sell out long before construction had been completed.”

Aschmann added that there were many examples at Century City where the orientation and design of the building had been extensively modeled to ensure sun-drenched, wind-free public areas.

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