Benjamin Orthner

Legon City Lofts by Orthner Orthner & Associates Brings Sustainable Tropical Housing to Accra, Ghana

Legon City Lofts is a sustainable tropical housing project and one of the first of such real estate developments in Ghana.

Designed by Accra-based Orthner, Orthner & Associates, Legon City Lofts is a contemporary interpretation of traditional building concepts for tropical climates. Situated in East Legon, the development comprises 5 airy, loft-style residences, with landscaped garden areas, swimming pool, sauna and gym facilities.

Project Description

The aim of the design was to create one of the first sustainable real estate developments in Ghana. The entire building is self-shading with overhangs, roof projections and screens protecting the facades from direct sunlight while encouraging sufficient day lighting.

The long sides of the building are oriented along the East-West axis with no unprotected openings to the North and South. The roof and façade design mitigates against possible heat island effects and are specifically designed to prevent heat build-up. Double glazed thermal windows help to prevent heat gain and to avoid energy loss through cooling.

Floorplans and Renders

The use of locally produced rammed earth walls for the fence walls and  sustainable hardwood for the façades, sun screening, privacy screens as well as external decking is unique and provides an example of the innovative use of local materials.

Local materials also have the added advantage of being low in embodied energy, this means that relatively low energy is used in its production, and since it is locally sourced relatively low energy is needed to transport it to site.

Sustainable Features

Cooling and Ventilation

  • A 5 star VRF AC System is used. This is possible due to the above mentioned design measures which allow the building to passively cool itself, thereby lowering the heat load and the energy required to cool the building.

Water Efficiency

  • Eco Smart showers and mixers are saving 60% of the water usually lost through taps and showers.
  • Double flush water saving toilet systems  lower the volume of water usually lost through flushing toilets.


  • LED lighting and low energy consuming electrical devices are used for the entire project.
  • Solar thermal hot water is cutting back the energy consumed from the grid to heat water by using sun energy.
  • To take advantage of the high exposure of the roof to the sun, a Solar Photo Voltaic system is installed to allow the building to generate its own energy, thereby reducing the energy consumed by the grid.

Inside the Lofts

Outside the Lofts

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