Evexia – 1st Gold Sustainable Green Building in Zambia

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Evexia is a 5 storey high end commercial office building in the heart of Lusaka, Zambia. This article will cover all aspects the architectural design for the 1st Gold Sustainable Green Building in Zambia



The brief was to design a high quality, functional and sustainable workplace that reflect s inspiration and innovation from the driven local environment.  A work life less ordinary with emphasis on wellness and wellbeing to Lusaka.

The building had to attract international clients, for rental income, so a high standard of quality was expected. The client makes their own concrete, so concrete had to be the main structural material but minimizing it as much as possible.


Accommodation & requirements:

1.Five storey height limit

2. 5000m² minimum of Rentable office space

3. Café for 100 people

4. Building efficiency at least 80% rentable to gross floor area

5. Site area 2,166m²




1.Sustainable green building

2.Articulation of building form to create focal point.

3.Shaded lush landscaped outdoor spaces

4.Full disabled, equal access

5.Comply with British Building Regulations (local regs not available)

6.Comply with British Fire Regulations

7.Clearly defined vehicle & pedestrian circulation.

8.First building in Zambia to have LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) New Construction  rating

9.First LEED Gold certified building Zambia

10. First project in Zambia to get LEED V4 rating




1.Integrating a café with the office building while creating separation and security for these two separate tenants purposes.

2.Parking numbers and vehicular circulation


4.Procuring high caliber materials due to location

5.Integrating interesting outdoor and indoor spaces


Front right view



There is a high demand for good quality office environments in the Church Rd  area. Lusaka is a fast growing area but the offices there are of low quality and do not meet the expectations of the tenant requirements. Evexia, designed by Registered Australian and British architects will set a new threshold of standards of office space in the area.




Lusaka is the capital of Zambia. Zambia is a landlocked country at a crossroads between central, southern and east Africa.  The country is famous for its minerals, wildlife, foresty and Victoria Falls, the largest sheet of falling water in the world. Lusaka is also one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent.


Location of Zambia in Africa


The site is located in the Maluba district on the center of Church Rd, which is an important road in central Lusaka.  It has a central focal point to down town..


The site sits off an access road on the center of Church Rd. The location is about 1km from the Central Business District (CBD) and 700 meters from Levy Junction, an important node in the urban fabric.



Location of Lusaka in Zambia


The site is a previously developed and within a half a mile distance there are more than 8 different type of diverse uses. Eg. Retail, services, civic, community anchor and public transport.


Site Location on Church Road




The building’s architectural concept evolved from local climate, culture, environment and responds accordingly.

The corner side of the building is pullout to Central Business District (CBD) and focal point forces elevating the roof and outdoor space beneath and above.

The building it orientated exactly on the North South facing direction which gives opportunity for vertical shading to east west low angle morning and evening sun and horizontal shading to high midday sun.

Relationship of site of site


Concept napkin sketch



Hierarchy of form that responds to the surroundings with interesting internal and external spaces for people in the corner and in a central void.

All tenant spaces  have natural light with views to connect occupants with outdoors, reinforce circadian rhythms and reduce the use of electrical lighting.

This design was approved by the client because of its efficient rectangular shape  which maximizes the rentable space in relations to the Gross Floor Area. The design also has a unusual and elegant appearance with the sloping roof corner that gives the building a unique edge.


Concept sketch





Ground Floor

Level 1

Typical Floor


Evexia Reception Interior


Side Elevations







A soft neutral colour palette of grays and whites create a sophisticated environment for office workings, featured with silver travertine stone which presents a natural and rich feeling. Local timber from sustainable sources is also used to compliment the interior.

Travertine Lift Lobby


The location on Church Road makes it an ideal location for workers living in the area.  The integrated café and outdoor shaded spaces make a perfect setting for office working during lunchtime, during the day and early evening. 


Local artists were employed to paint walls to give an authentic look and support the local community.



Local artist



Extensive landscaping integrated inside and outside the building using local species. Communal facilities have washrooms, disabled toilet, kitchen, recycle room and cleaners room on each floor


Communal Kitchen area



All car parking in under cover in basement with bright colour scheme.




Tenant spaces can be arranged to suit tenant needs if they require open plan or more private offices (which are popular in East africa). Evexia has different partitions available from full height 30 minute smoke protection, 2m height partitions for shared air conditioning and also low level partitions for semi privacy open plan areas.  Evexia has been designed for flexibility, taking into account different tenant situations. It is ideal for banks, call centers, oil companies, construction companies and many more.

Tenant layout

Interior Lighting Design



. The office area is completely fenced off

  1. Electrical sliding gates for vehicular access
  2. A 24 hour private security company will be employed at the gates with toilet and shower facilities provided. Also Massai will help with security. Maasai are a local tribe that are accepted in the community as noble piece keepers.
  3. CCTV and sprinkler system.
  4. Controlled entry of café and office
  5. Full disabled access. Wheelchair ramps, disabled WC on each floor and disabled refuges and call points. Non‐discrimination and free opportunities for all. This sets very high standards in Lusaka.
  6. International Fire Consultant appointed to comply with Part B of British Building regulations exceeding local standards.
  7. Low Pressurized Fire escapes separated from basement and meet fire escape distances with wide 1m doors to exceed standards.
  8. Abseil window cleaning hooks embedded on roof with cleaning façade system.

Open courtyard for cafe



Sustainability is not just about the finish product. It is also how a green building in Zambia is constructed. The following is a list of elements that help reduce the impact on the environment.


  1. First green building in Zambia to have LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)New Construction  rating
  2. First LEED Gold certified building Zambia
  3. First project in East Africa to get LEED V4 rating
  4. Airblade handryers use less energy in toilets and duel flush toilets incorporated
  5. Lockable Bicycle storage provision for visitors and workers with shower facilities. This encourages clean transport.
  6. Space and charge sockets for electronic cars for future use Conservation of existing trees landscaping design incorporating local species. All of the electrical and sanitary fittings in the toilets and showers have sustainability features. Hand dryers have low energy consumption, all toilets are duel flush with low flush water volume. All shower heads and faucets have a low flow rate, to reduce indoor water consumption.
  7. No up lighting to hinder on local nature and birds.
  8. Local materials and all doors solid local timber from sustainable sources.
  9. Solar panels cover Level 4 roof, which are capable of supplying 10% of the entire buildings electricity
  10. Landscape designed with water features, lush gardens, and terraces. Hard and soft landscaping that integrates with the building including Green walls. This reduces heat island effect and creates a pleasant working environment.
  11. Rainwater tank collection reused for irrigation for landscaping.
  12. Recycle bin provisions on each floor.
  13. Building designed and oriented to angles of the sun for climate control
  14. No smoking building
  15. Monitor of water consumption on each floor via meters
  16. Aluminum fins shade positioned at angles of the angle sun.
  17. Demand control ventilation – fresh air controlled by CO2 sensor.
  18. Fresh air integrated within all occupied spaces for thermal comfort as per ASHRAE standards.
  19. Carbon monoxide sensors in basement car parks.
  20. Site logistic & erosion sedimentation control plan adopted before construction commenced
  21. All paints, coatings, adhesives and sealants applied on the project are no emitting sources of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). This reduces concentration of chemical contaminants that can damage the air quality, human health, productivity and the environment.
  22. Roof with SRI (Solar Reflectance Value) less than 33 to reflect heat.


Green Wall at entry



Vertical Louvres to shade sun

1. Renewable energy Power is clean, affordable, domestic, and effectively infinite. It produces no emissions and results in cleaner air and water for all. and generates revenue for local communities. Revenue from solar and wind farms helps stimulate local economies that need new roads, schools, libraries, and hospitals and we’re proud to be have it within this building.


2. Smart electricity metering system which benefits   consumers so they can be informed remotely (historical data) or locally (real-time data) on energy costs and carbon emissions, allows electrical appliances to be automatically controlled.  It also allows the consumer to reduce costs by increasing energy consumption during off-peak cheaper tariff periods.


3. The shading devices are designed to block different angles of the sun at different times of the day.  This helps cool the building while maximizing day lighting.


4. Building designed and oriented to angles of the sun


5. Raised floor which is almost unknown in Zambia


6. Featured atrium with roof light above


Internal Atrium




7. Green walls – internal and external

Green wall on roof


8. Water feature


Water feature


9. Rain Water collected from roof and used to irrigate the planters within boundary through the year.


10. Wind power with wind turbines on the roof were explored (you can see in some early renders). But it was decided to omit due to sound issues and installing more solar panels was a much more feasible option with more energy.




📐Russell M. Henderson is a practicing RIBA Chartered Architect based in Tanzania, East Africa.

🎥Russell (Architect Russell) also makes videos on YouTube , TikTok  Instagram & Skillshare  sharing thoughtful, honest and pragmatic knowledge while working and living abroad.

Architect Russell Uncensored is podcast talking about an architect’s life unfiltered. The education of 7 years to controversial topics such as RIBA and ARB, to unusual architect experience abroad like in Bangkok and Tanzania. This is content never before released on any platform and you can only get it here first. The truth through the eyes of Architect Russell, unfiltered and uncensored.

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