Driptech One Stop Solar

Driptech, together with sister company One Stop Solar, have opened a new branch on Harare Drive in the Pomona Business Park. This is the flagship shop for One Stop Solar having re[1]located from their Southerton branch. For Driptech it’s their fifth branch following on from their Coventry Road branch in Workington (which includes their sales floor and head office), their Glenara branch (on the corner of Glenara Avenue and Samora Machel Avenue in Eastlea), their Belgravia branch along Second Street Extension and their Mutare branch in Tembwe Street.

When Driptech was looking to expand and increase the number of their distribution outlets across Harare they found the premises in Pomona which were available. Although the developers had already drawn up the plans Driptech were able to get involved in the design before construction started. They were able to request some minor changes to better suit them, like the design of the internal staircase, the number of doors in the front and the roller shutter door at the back of the building for deliveries. The warehouse is also in an ideal location to service customers in the northern parts of Harare.

Pomona Business Park is developing rapidly with a number of bigger companies and suppliers setting up shop in the area, including Halsted, Electrosales, and ICC Paints. The front façade – facing onto Harare Drive, is mostly made up of large glass panels set into aluminium frames. This allows loads of natural light into the showroom and the sales and despatch area on the ground floor as well as on the mezzanine floor which is One Stop Solar’s consultation area. The floor of the mezzanine space creates a ceiling over Driptech’s showroom.

The layout of the showroom is very similar to the layout of their Coventry Road branch with displays of pumps and other products in front with a long single bank of counters separating the showroom from the storeroom behind. Driptech has seven sales counters and six despatch counters while One Stop Solar has two sales counters and two despatch counters. Having lots of consultants at the counters means customers never have to wait in line to be served. Like the Coventry Road branch there’s a coffee shop for customers’ convenience.

The coffee shop is run by Coffee Co and offers hot and cold drinks and a selection of pastries and pies. Behind the sales counter is the warehouse space. Driptech occupies 60% of the space and One Stop Solar occupies the remaining 40%. There’s extensive shelving for stock as well as an industrial steel staircase that leads up to a platform on top of the shelves. Here plastic tanks and polypiping is stored. There’s a block and tackle set up to make lifting stock up to the platform easier. An innovative storage solution is a vertical pipe rack which helps saves space and makes access simpler.

The front of the structure has glass panels and glass doors as well as a steel balcony on the mezzanine level. At the front the two sides of the building are brick to roughly half the length of the building. Beyond that the walls are Chromadek cladding on a steel framework. There’s a power float concrete floor in the showroom and warehouse which is durable and practical. The floor has a specialised epoxy finish which means its extra strong and doesn’t give off the powdery dust that most concrete floors do. The A-frame steel lattice roof is clad in Chromadek with large sky lights over the warehouse space and Alububble insulation. The structure is approximately 30m x 35m creating usable floor space of around 1,000 sq. m, excluding the mezzanine. The roof structure spans the whole building which means the warehouse space is totally open and not blocked by pillars, stanchions or any other internal supports. Kalamain Construction were the main contractors and project managers and worked closely with Brown Engineering and other sub-contractors. Work on the project started in late 2018 and it was ready for Driptech and One Stop Solar to officially open on 2nd May earlier this year.

Driptech and One Stop Solar frequently collaborate on projects like solar powered boreholes, farm irrigation systems, mine dewatering pumps and booster pumps. One Stop Solar supplies solar panels, lighting systems, inverters, batteries and advanced high tech control systems, among a host of other products and solar accessories. They have recently provided solar powered systems for the new American Embassy and the Australian Embassy.

The new showroom and warehouse in Pomona – including the coffee shop – are entirely solar powered and off grid. With the duration and frequency of power cuts likely to increase it would be advisable to visit One Stop Solar to find out what options are available whether for your home, your office or your business. Driptech and One Stop Solar are located 534 Pomona Business Park near the corner of Harare Drive and Alpes Road. Contact: Driptech Pomona on 0782 712 670 Contact One Stop Solar 08677 300 400 | Email: info@osszim.com


text: Michael Nott photos: Michele Fortmann


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