“Our brief to 4d and a architects for Khaya Centre was to design a structure that was functional, playful and made primarily of recycled material…” says Adrienne Feldner-Busztin of the new Khaya Centre.

4SA spoke to Adrienne Feldner-Busztin who joined Orange Babies as country manager in April 2012. Her impeccable record has seen her work in private practice throughout her career, consulting to corporates in a variety of industries.

She says the renovations and extensions to Khaya Centre, Mount Olive, were commissioned by Orange Babies South Africa with financial support from Metair Management Solutions. “While its focus is on assisting people infected and affected by HIV, Orange Babies is committed to environmental sustainability and ensures that all of its infrastructure projects are as environmentally friendly as possible. In this, Orange Babies is happy to have found a like-minded partner in 4d and a architects” she said.

Before this project, Khaya Centre, Orange Babies and 4d and a architects collaborated on the construction of Orange Babies Montessori pre-school and the container house at New Jerusalem Children’s Home, both in Midrand. For their design of the latter 4d and a architects were voted runners up in the 2013 ETA Awards in the residential category. As in the previous projects, Feldner-Busztin says all those that use the Khaya Community Centre are “delighted with the outcome”. She said the centre was “already existing and functional” as a hub and service provider for the community and that the involvement of Orange babies was to resolve some of the “functional concerns with regards to practicability” as well as to ensure that the centre “conformed” to the required National Building Regulations and new energy efficiency guidelines.

This intervention, she says, subsequently resulted in a “change to certain areas requiring better space functionality or additional area to service the community”.

“From an energy efficiency point of view, the existing containers received plasterboard ceilings with fibre insulation, similarly the container walls that were exposed to the weather were sealed with plasterboard cladding and the required insulation to provide the R-values required.”

This was further expanded by the removal of steel windows which were replaced with aluminium windows and specialist glazing where budget allowed. She says other concerns were addressed by increasing the toilet facilities on site to fall in line with Local Council requirements.

She also mentions that the centre was also expanded to accommodate the administration function by means of second-level shipping containers, which ensured that the administration of  the centre was separated from the function of the centre. The new containers took into account energy efficiency and sustainability requirements by means of insulation to the walls and ceilings, proper glazing specifications, shading devices to windows and orientation on-site.

The installation of a Photo Voltaic Rooftop system by Enerlogy on the existing roof structure helped reduce running costs of the centre as the centre which already made use of solar geysers to heat water for the preparation of food and general necessities.

“We hope to further this journey to sustainability in the future with regards to rainwater harvesting, changing remaining windows, further insulation requirements and expanding the existing vegetable gardens as funds become available,” concluded Feldner-Busztin this week.