Melrose Arch

4 Melrose Arch Eco-Features You Probably Didn’t Know About

As South Africa transitions evermore towards an off-grid economy, Melrose Arch has embraced eco-consciousness, boasting a waste separating facility, an underground cooling plant, lush gardens, and a sprawling rooftop solar system.


  • Since its opening back in 2001, Melrose Arch has expanded significantly on its high street shopping position.
  • This modern urban precinct combines safety and security with an array of lifestyle experiences from restaurants to bars and more.
  • Now the precinct gears itself towards a more sustainable future as it moves into its next phase of operations.
  • Visit for more stories.


Encompassing 106’000m² of office space, 39’000m² of retail space, 17’000m² of hotel space, 29’000m² of residential and conferencing space, and 8’600m² dedicated to health clubs, Melrose Arch has integrated sustainability into its operations, encompassing every aspect of the precinct’s sprawling 199’600m².

Melrose Arch’s prominence in the commercial and residential sector is underpinned by its robust operational sustainability integration. However, our commitment doesn’t end there. We are resolute in continually integrating sustainability into our operations, ensuring that the precinct maintains its position as a leader in environmental responsibility in South Africa.

// Operations Director at Melrose Arch, Reiner Henschel


Melrose Arch
Melrose Arch is on a continued mission to come closer to a more sustainable future. Image: Melrose Arch

The journey towards sustainability at Melrose Arch began with the commencement of blasting and bulk earthworks in 1998. By 2001, phase 1 of the development was completed, comprising 11 buildings constructed atop a unique super basement—a pioneering concept in the country. This underground parking solution not only reduces traffic congestion but also minimizes ambient air pollution, ensuring a safe and more enjoyable experience for pedestrians on street level. Yet there are 4 more eco-features you probably didn’t know about:

  1. Melrose Arch’s waste separating facility operates around the clock, meticulously sorting paper, cardboard, metals, plastics, and glass for recycling. Additionally, the precinct’s approximately 30 restaurants, cafes, and bars employ efficient waste separation methods, diverting food waste from traditional waste streams. This initiative not only promotes recycling but also transforms food waste into valuable resources like compost, contributing to a circular economy.
  2. In February 2024, the precinct achieved a notable recycling rate of 88%, resulting in significant savings of CO2 emissions, water, and energy. Ensuring optimal indoor climate, the precinct boasts a state-of-the-art underground cooling plant spanning 1’471m², equipped with eight chillers, 12 cooling towers, and five building water pumps. Operated by an energy-efficient Building Management System, this facility delivers centralized cooling to all buildings.
  3. Melrose Arch’s rooftop solar system spans 16 different roof surfaces, featuring 7’811 solar panels and multiple inverters. Generating approximately 3.2MW of clean energy annually, this grid-tied system integrates with multiple generators during load-shedding events.
  4. With two underground water sources and a dedicated water treatment plant, Melrose Arch aims to ensure a sustainable water supply for its operations. Standby tanks store treated water, providing uninterrupted supply during local water interruptions. This system not only sustains the precinct’s lush gardens but also conserves millions of litres of water annually.


Melrose Arch
The precinct aims to expand its solar capacity further, with plans to increase clean energy supply by an additional 3MW per annum. Image: Melrose Arch

Renowned for its upscale ambiance and European city-inspired aesthetics, Melrose Arch, with its lush green streets with over 700 trees and five internal garden spaces, continues to serve as a green haven for residents and tenants alike. These eco-features not only enhance the experience for hotels, businesses, and residents but aim to set new standards for environmental responsibility.


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