The Botswana Innovation Hub’s Icon Building that is being built at the Botswana Science and Technology Park in Block 8 is finally getting shape. When the artistic impression of the building was first shown before construction started many thought it was far-fetched idea. However, now 77% complete, the state of the art building has now begun taking shape. BIH Chief Executive Officer Allen Boshwaen told the media on Thursday that the building is expected to be officially opened in July 2017. Boshwaen, however, said part of the building will be handed over in February 2017 to enable internal partitioning by anchor tenants before the actual opening. Construction of the building commenced in August 2014. The building was initially expected to be completed in August this year. Boshwaen said the complexity of the building resulted with contractors slowing down to be extra careful when building to avoid future disasters. “This is the first of its kind building in Botswana and even some of the materials were not readily available in the country so it took some time for them to be acquired and made according to specification. It is best to do a fine job than a shoddy job while chasing the deadline,” he said.
The Icon Building is the first of its kind in the country being built to be a green building. The building will have a green roof, natural cooling system and the façade that will help in the minimising of energy costs as solar heat gain will be minimised. Boshwaen said tenants are ready to occupy the building once it is completed. With the gross size of 23,000m2, the icon Building is expected to accommodate 1000 occupants once completed. As at November 2016, 36% of pre-letting agreements were signed. “Key to the tenant acquisition efforts is to ensure the right level of innovation ecosystem tenant mix,” said Boshwaen. BIH is incorporated to develop and operate Botswana’s Science and Technology Park to create an environment that supports start-ups and existing local companies as well as attract international companies and institutions to develop and grow competitive technology driven and knowledge based businesses. “The Icon Building’s design concept encourages a collaboration and networking environment and provides modern high quality premises that are easily adaptable,” said Boshwaen.
The Icon Building entails a multiuse development with shared amenities within a garden hub concert. Once completed, the building will house laboratories, technology incubation facilities, entrepreneurs, inventors, technology start-ups as well as local and international science and technology and innovation companies. Some of the companies that will be at the Science and Technology Park are Dimension data, Alpha Direct, Termo Deck International, BITRI, IBM, Microsoft, Lone Pearl Group, Solid Edge and Morofin.