Eco-Industrial Campus


Square One was appointed to develop a vision for an eco-industrial campus in Upington in the Northern Cape. The campus aims to showcase sustainable design principles and solar manufacturing processes, while providing training facilities, enhancing South Africa’s solar manufacturing capacity and encouraging growth and development in South Africa’s renewable energy sector.

The eco-industrial campus aims to become a world-class showcase for sustainable technology and innovation. The solar campus buildings and facilities are focussed on a communal central lawn space, defining a pedestrian scale campus environment in an industrial setting. The campus includes an Auditorium and Conference Centre as its central focal point. A range of factories providing various technologies to the solar industry face onto the communal space. Factory yards and vehicular circulation is facilitated along the outer perimeter of the site, allowing pedestrian integration towards the central core area.

A range of smaller incubator spaces adjacent to the Auditorium building provide training facilities for smaller-scale manufacturers to encourage skills development and participation in the solar economy. The campus also includes Conference facilities, hotel and accommodation facilities, eco-industrial tourism facilities, administrative offices, areas for career and recruitment advice, a crèche for early childhood development, a restaurant and canteen, a health and wellness centre, a computer lab and adult education facilities.

Sustainable techniques and technologies are incorporated throughout the design. These include permeable paving, sustainable drainage techniques, stormwater retention ponds, furniture from recycled cable reels, solar powered roof panels and the latest in renewable energy technology. The campus facilities are integrated in such a way as to be entirely walkable at a pedestrian scale. Stormwater swales create ecological refuge and the use of indigenous planting and vegetation grounds the campus into its natural surroundings. Vineyards are provided for on the outer perimeter of the eco-industrial campus, in an urban agricultural setting, while play areas and outdoor gyms allow for recreational opportunities for workers and visitors.