The making of the PwC Tower… with a twist of Arup

The making of the PwC Tower…

… with a twist of Arup

North of Johannesburg the Midrand skyline is set to change forever with the construction of the breathtaking PwC Tower in the Waterfall City development project.

Arup's advanced parametric modelling software optimised and enabled the construction of this complex building design

Arup’s advanced parametric modelling software optimised and enabled the construction of this complex building design

The building is poised to become a structure of iconic proportion due to its distinctive twisted form designed by LYT Architects for Attacq Waterfall Investment Company and their developer Atterbury and realised through close collaboration with Arup – one of South Africa’s leading design engineering consultancies.

Parametric modelling
To achieve the building’s twist, each floor of the 28-storey office tower rotates 1.2 degrees relative to the floor below. This posed a variety of design challenges for both the structure and façade, many of which Arup was able to solve creatively and efficiently using parametric modelling.

“We needed to ensure our design solutions met the architect’s intent and that a creative concept could be successfully applied,” Richard Lawson, buildings associate at Arup says. “At Arup we are fortunate to be able to share cutting edge research and technology within our global network. It enables us to tap into the latest scientific knowledge and creative thought, which when combined with the utilisation of software, allows us to push the boundaries of design. Our advanced parametric modelling software and systems enables us to explore many options in our search to establish the optimal solution for complex building designs such as the PwC Tower project.”

“A further beneficial aspect to parametric modelling is the way it feeds into other software, particularly our Building Information Modelling (BIM). Arup uses BIM as our default method for producing and managing design work.

Arup façade engineer Rudolf le Roux describes parametric modelling as “modelling a structure or object in an n-dimensional space, where certain chosen parameters of the structure are adjustable”. In other words it makes it possible to explore the impact of any of the input parameters on the design and cost of a structure.

Building design
“The biggest structural challenge was that the twist causes the gravity loads to naturally create a clockwise torsional load on the building,” explains Lawson. “The obvious solution to this would have been a very thick core wall, but because we were able to quickly asses a number of different structural geometries, we were able to optimise the solution. Our final scheme incorporated structural columns on the façade of the building that slope in a counter clockwise direction around the core, balancing the gravity loads on the corner columns and reducing the torsion on the core of the tower. This meant that the stresses on the core wall decreased by a factor of four; therefore we could use a 450 mm thick wall which is not much thicker than a typical straight tower of that height would have needed.”

Le Roux continues, “We also utilised parametric modelling for the design of the façade for the PwC building. Various solutions were on the drawing board at the conceptual stage with factors such as glass utilisation, aesthetic integration with the structure and integration of blinds with a sloping, slanting façade. Building a concave, twisted façade out of straight aluminium profiles and flat glass was a challenge made possible through parametric modelling.

“What we really enjoyed was that we could sit down with the architect and make real-time adjustments to things like the column spacing and angles that they could see instantly in 3D. It makes collaboration easy, and results in far less exchange of correspondence back and forth,” explains le Roux.

Guy Steenkamp, Director of LYT Architecture agrees, “The team at Arup brings international experience to the project, although they are all local professionals. The kind of systems and thinking that they were able to apply to the design really made that building possible, so it’s as much their design as it is ours.”

Beyond the structure
Parametric modelling was even used in some more unusual aspects of the building’s design. Given that the PwC façade is concave and twisting, and knowing the history of high profile cases of problems caused by concentrated solar reflections from buildings – notably those at 20 Fenchurch Street in London, known as “the Walkie-Talkie” (where the focused glare of the sun from the concave surface of the building caused damage to nearby shops and vehicles) –  the Arup team knew that this was something that would need careful study for the tower.

“At the time of design no software existed for the purpose of calculating the intensities of solar reflections,” said le Roux. “Since the exact geometry of the façade had already been created in the parametric software, we used it to calculate and add up reflections from the façade. We could also test the effect of different proposed counter measures by including additional parameters such as glass reflectance and installation tolerances. With this knowledge, we were able to provide feasible and practical solutions to mitigate the impact of the solar reflections.”

All projects can benefit
Lawson adds, “Many factors went into the parametric modelling equation for the PwC Tower to come to the final optimised solution. Our use of parametric modelling software on a project of this scale is unique within South Africa, and our clients, as well as ourselves, are reaping benefits from the optimised holistic design on projects where we are collaborating.

“The beauty of taking a parametric design approach is both in time and cost efficiencies and a better integrated and well considered design, with all architectural and construction factors in sync.

Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. From 92 offices in 40 countries our 12,000 planners, designers, engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world with creativity and passion.

The building is poised to become a structure of iconic proportion due to its distinctive twisted form designed by LYT Architects for Attacq Waterfall Investment Company and their developer Atterbury and realised through close collaboration with Arup

The building is poised to become a structure of iconic proportion due to its distinctive twisted form designed by LYT Architects for Attacq Waterfall Investment Company and their developer Atterbury and realised through close collaboration with Arup

 

Grouted steel anchor piles, a first in SA, installed in Maydon Wharf

Grouted steel anchor piles, a first in SA, installed in Maydon Wharf

Our Q&A with Shane Perumal

1-Shane

Shane Perumal, Project Manager, Transnet Capital Projects

John Thomé of South African Builder talks to Shane Perumal, Project Manager, Transnet Capital Projects, about the unusual technology of installing grouted steel anchor piles, being applied for the first time in South Africa, in the Transnet National Ports Authority’s project to reconstruct the quay walls and deepen berths at Maydon Wharf in Durban.
The R1.6 billion project forms an integral part of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy which aims to enable the effective, efficient and economic functioning of an integrated port system to promote economic growth.

Installation of grout pipes

Installation of grout pipes

Work includes driving of inclined grouted steel anchor piles, backfilling behind the quay walls, construction of new reinforced concrete capping beams, supply and installation of bollards, fenders, ladders and quay services, construction of railway tracks, layer works and paving, dredging of material adjacent to the berths and construction of rock scour protection.

 

John: Tell us about the basic design, function and advantages of the “inclined grouted steel anchor piles.”
Shane: The Mȗller Verpress (MV piles) are steel tension elements with a grout layer. They are installed by driving a steel beam into the ground, with continuous injection of a grout mix. The piles normally have an H-shaped core. The toe at the end of the pile is fitted with a box-like “shoe” wider than the core. Grout is fed to this shoe through steel or plastic pipes attached to the beam.

Pile complete with flexible grout pipe ready for installation

Pile complete with flexible grout pipe ready for installation

Quality Control on the welding - performing the MPI Test

Quality Control on the welding – performing the MPI Test

The pile is driven using a hydraulic impact hammer rigged in leader configuration. As the pile is being driven, the wider shoe creates a void around the core. This is filled immediately with a cement based grout fed upward from the shoe. The liquid grout initially acts as a lubricant during installation. It then hardens to anchor the pile in the ground. To ensure the quality of the process, the rate of grout injection is monitored carefully throughout the installation. The piles are suitable for very heavy loading and, because of the grout injection, can be installed to great depth in varying soil conditions.

John: What is different about this method of piling that lends itself to this application? Shane: This system of pile anchorage is particularly suited to the conditions at Maydon Wharf where conventional anchorage systems cannot be used owing to a lack of space. As the working apron is narrow, with buildings and warehouses close to the quay walls, there is insufficient space for the construction of conventional anchors which are installed horizontally and would extend into the buildings. As the MV piles are installed at a 45° angle, they can be installed without unnecessarily disrupting working access behind the quays or interfering with building infrastructure.

Anchor pile awaiting flexible pipe installation

Anchor pile awaiting flexible pipe installation

John: Where was the technique developed? And how did it come about?
Shane: The system was developed in Germany. Many ports are located in areas of poor geology where it is necessary to install anchors to great depth to achieve the required tensile capacity.
John: Why steel?
Shane: Steel has the highest strength to weight ratio of typical construction materials. The steel pile has a compact cross section which allows for it to be driven to great depth, whilst having the required tensile capacity to withstand the pull-out forces.

Preparation of the piling rig

Preparation of the piling rig

John: How is corrosion prevented in such a hostile environment?
Shane: As the pile is fully coated by the grout envelope, it is protected from corrosion. It is noted also that owing to a lack of oxygen below ground level and the water table at depth, there is limited capacity for corrosion.

 

 

John: Who manufactures and supplies the piles?
Shane: Pile manufacturers such as Arcelor-Mittal supply a wide range of piles, including the H-piles from which the MV piles are fabricated. Fabrication, including the shoes and grout delivery systems etc. are generally fabricated by the contractor on site. In this instance the H profile pile was manufactured in Luxembourg and shipped over for on-site completion here.

Anchor piling rig with pile and hammer

Anchor piling rig with pile and hammer

John: Describe some of the trials and tribulations of the project.
Shane: The main challenges have been balancing operations and the project, including site access, executing work around the existing ship loader foundations and conveyor, as well as obstructions and incorrect as built information supplied. The project team has also had to contend with strong winds and wakes formed by tugs operating in the precinct affecting floating equipment used for construction.
As a result the team has implemented night and weekend shifts and mobilised additional plant to ensure that the project remains on track.
On tribulations, achievements to date include a satisfactory audit report, the successful pull out test on the anchor pile system and the completion of all piling and the new cope on Berth 1,2 & 13. Also, a record 4 500 tonnes of steel was offloaded, transported and stacked during a continuous 84 hour operation.
The most important though was our safety milestone of 1 million hours without a lost-time injury (LTI). This could not have been achieved without an enormous amount of hard work and effort by everyone working on the project.

The completed pile installation

The completed pile installation

Maydon Wharf is the largest break bulk and dry bulk handling precinct in the Port of Durban covering 120 ha of port land. The reconstruction project aims to ensure safe operations, meet the needs of larger vessels calling at the port and enable increased throughputs. The upgrade involves the reconstruction and deepening of six of the 15 berths in this precinct.
The work has involved demolition of paving, rail track work and services, construction of new steel sheet piled quay walls, demolition of existing piled crane beams, extraction of timber, concrete piles and a limited number of steel sheet piles and removal of the existing quay wall and capping beams.
Once completed the berths will have a draught of 14.5 m enabling them to handle vessels with draughts up to 13 m, however the Maydon Wharf entrance channel will still need to be deepened thereafter to enable these vessels to sail in fully laden.

On Health and Safety
The project recently achieved a safety milestone of 1 000 000 Man Hours without a Lost-Time Injury (LTI) on the Reconstruction and Deepening of Maydon Wharf Berth 1- 4, 13 &14 Project.
“There has been a huge safety commitment from the Project Managers, the main contractor Stefanutti Stocks AXSYS Joint Venture, and subcontractors, to provide continual training, preventative programmes, communication of safe work practices, sharing of lessons learned from observations and incidents and good site safety vigilance. This ensures that everyone – from labourers to senior management- works safely every day,” says Project Manager, Shane Perumal.

Franki Africa’s geotechnical wizardry at Village Walk

franki logoGeotechnical wizardry at Village Walk …
… a story of great teamwork
From a geotechnical perspective, the complete overhaul of the Village Walk site has been sufficiently challenging for Franki project manager Paulo Alves to say that this was one of the most incredible projects he has ever worked on. “It has been a complex, often difficult and unpredictable project with both logistical and technical challenges that, in combination, made this a unique task,” says Alves.

The Project
At one time the ‘Mecca’ of Johannesburg fun-loving teenagers, the Village Walk complex is well known to the residents of Johannesburg. Of course – and central to this story – its fame was enhanced by its neighbour, the iconic Balalaika Hotel and more recently by other famous names like Nedbank, Protea Hotel, Holiday Inn, HSBC and others. With the centre struggling commercially, the savvy Eris Properties took the opportunity to develop and construct a totally new office/retail hub in the middle of the most valuable square mile in Africa.

The initial demolition of the above-basement part of the building to street level took place in 2013-2014. In October 2014 Franki was approached by SIP Project managers and AECOM Quantity Surveyors to provide a solution to demolish the basement section of the building and to provide a holistic lateral support solution for a new “super-basement”.

“In essence this is the short description of this project,” Alves says, “however the challenges were complex and numerous.”

Lateral support walls in close proximity to the Holiday Inn Hotel

Lateral support walls in close proximity to the Holiday Inn Hotel

The first thing that Franki had to do was to support the existing basement walls neighbouring the Balalaika and Protea Hotels. “This first phase was crucial, as these walls supported those buildings and any mistake in calculation would have been disastrous,” Alves says.

The action on this first phase was to support the walls with 249 no. four-strand anchors and, simultaneously, 82 no. soldier piles were installed on the northern and eastern faces, namely Maud Street and Rivonia Road respectively. This took from December 1st 2014 to the middle of April 2015. Shortly before the end of this phase permission was given to proceed with phase 2, which was to demolish the existing four-basement parking garage, excavate according to the new plans and then laterally support the remainder of the site.

Lateral support being concluded on the western face below the Balalaika Hotel

Lateral support being concluded on the western face below the Balalaika Hotel

This description of the scope of works gives the impression that there was a neat chronology to the various activities on the site. The reality was that the three main disciplines – geotechnical, earthworks and demolition – were working together on a small site and this presented enormous challenges, which were overcome by Franki’s (the principal contractor) strong leadership and the excellent cooperation between the contractors. “This job epitomised the excellent relationships that existed between all who were involved,” says Alves. “From the client, Eris Properties, through to the project managers SIP, AECOM quantity surveyors, Aurecon engineers, Boogertman and Partners architects through to the contracting team of Franki, earthworks specialists Zero Azania, Phoenecian Demolition, Pro-Frag Drilling and Blasting and Diamond Cutting and Coring Company, there was a cooperation and understanding that made the success of this job possible.”

Completed lateral support walls below Balalaika Hotel

Completed lateral support walls below Balalaika Hotel

In fact, one of the most important, and intricate, tasks – and one which happened almost ‘behind the scenes’- was the separation of the basement from the existing structures of the Balalaika and Protea Hotels. Alves explains: “This was achieved through precision cutting and sawing by the Diamond Cutting and Coring team under the supervision of Aurecon who ensured that the cuts were made in exactly the correct positions. There was absolutely no extraneous damage in this critical operation.”

Other works that involved the surrounding buildings were civils jobs that, although relatively minor, were critical in that they made it possible for these neighbours to continue their day-to-day business uninterrupted. These included: the regrading of the Holiday Inn Hotel entrance; the creation of emergency walkways for safe passage to and from all the surrounding hotels; erection of all the hoarding around the site and making safe the common areas with the surrounding buildings; and the relocation of storm water and sewerage pipes.

Being cognisant of the needs of these surrounding buildings was integral to the overall challenge of this contract. In addition to all the ancillary civils work, Franki had to control the noise level and the dust. “This was exacerbated by very hard granitic rock that we encountered which required drilling and blasting. One can imagine just how controlled this operation had to be in order to do it not only safely, but also as quietly as possible and with as little dust as possible. Once again the teamwork was exemplary,” Alves says.

In a job of this nature, time is always one of the biggest considerations and there was lots in this regard working against Franki. Firstly, the work day was curtailed to strictly between 07:00 and 18:00. Secondly, time pressure came from the “unbelievable” volume of ground water present on the site, which resulted in the constant collapsing of the soldier-piled side walls, which necessitated the temporary casing of all the piles. Thirdly, the “maize” of underground services, which had to be avoided or moved and about which there was almost no information, slowed things down significantly. An anchor did in fact strike an underground sewerage pipe in a position that made it very difficult to repair.

A significant challenge as far as time was concerned was the 3000m³ of contaminated soil that was discovered, which was detected by a strong petrol odour. “We believe this may have been caused by an old petrol station on the site which had leaked petrol over many years,” Alves says. “We got Envirowaste to isolate the contaminated area and of course it had to be excavated with great care. This unforeseen challenge took its toll on time and delayed the programme somewhat along the Maude Street face.

Anchor drilling along Maude St face, below the contaminated material area

Anchor drilling along Maude St face, below the contaminated material area

Alves explains: “The contaminated area was situated precisely where the first handover portion was. The building contractor was scheduled to take over the Phase 1 of the site at the end of October 2015 and the full extent of the contaminated area could not be determined at the time. Moreover, the contaminated soil was hard up against the lateral support face hence restricting the progress of this critical-path operation. However, with some creative lateral thinking we were able to make up the time lost and the building contractor was able to establish by the required date.”

Challenges galore! But Franki overcomes and the lateral support of the now demolished basement goes ahead as planned. In the geotechnical world the numbers tell the story:

185 no. 600 mm diameter soldier piles ranging in depth from 12 m – 28 m
13 no. 900 mm diameter cantilever piles to support 8m-high soil face and 29 no.125 mm diameter cantilever micropiles to support a 3,5 m high face with the emergency walkway immediately behind these.
249 no. four-strand anchors to support existing basement walls
954 no. strand anchors varying in capacity between 600 and 900 KN to regain the unique soil faces bordering the Maude Street, Balalaika, Protea and Holiday Inn Hotels
633 no. hollow bars/rock bolts
10 800 m² of gunite face
265 000 m³ soil excavation
About 60 000 m³ of rock blasting (bulk and hand blasting)

Alves says this was technically the most challenging project he has ever been involved in. “It’s difficult to tell the whole story in an article of this nature. This was truly an incredible, unforgettable contract, which, more than anything, displayed the power of teamwork,” concluded Alves.

 

News from the East Cape Master Builders Association

Eastern Cape logo_1East Cape Master Builders Association

News from the East Cape MBA of regional dinners, AGMs and social activities

April, May and June are undoubtedly the busiest months of the year in the East Cape Master Builders Association (East Cape MBA) calendar.

This is when the Association holds its regional dinners and AGMs – at which office-bearers are elected and inaugurated; it is also a time during which auditing and judging of entries for the Regional Safety Competition reaches its peak; and a number of social activities such as golf days and annual dinners kick of in the various regions.

At the time of writing a number of these activities have successfully completed, thanks to the continued efforts of the slick East Cape MBA team, whilst some events are scheduled to take place during June through to September.

Garth Wright, a former Springbok rugby player and CEO of Wright Surveillance, was a guest speaker at the Port Elizabeth AGM. Wright was accompanied by the MD of Wright Surveillance, Gary Stephenson. L to R - MBA PE Chairman Blayne Scholtz, Garth Wright, Greg Steele and Gary Stephenson

Garth Wright, a former Springbok rugby player and CEO of Wright Surveillance, was a guest speaker at the Port Elizabeth AGM. Wright was accompanied by the MD of Wright Surveillance, Gary Stephenson.
L to R – MBA PE Chairman Blayne Scholtz, Garth Wright, Greg Steele and Gary Stephenson

Port Elizabeth Branch – Annual General Meeting
The Port Elizabeth Branch of the Association held its Annual General Meeting in April. The event was well attended by members and sponsors. Congratulations to Blayne Scholtz and Shaun Bentley on their election as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the PE Branch respectively.

 

 

 

 

Southern Cape Branch
In George, at the AGM of the Southern Cape Branch of the East Cape MBA, Sheldon Bubanj and Brad Stockigt were re-elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. Blenheim Insurance Administrators provided the venue and catering for the event.

Incoming Queenstown Chairman, Tim Van Oosten (left) with MBA East Cape Vice President Hilton Wait

Incoming Queenstown Chairman, Tim Van Oosten (left) with MBA East Cape Vice President Hilton Wait

Incoming Queenstown Vice-Chairman, Greg Pohlmann (left) with MBA East Cape Vice President Hilton Wait

Incoming Queenstown Vice-Chairman, Greg Pohlmann (left) with MBA East Cape Vice President Hilton Wait

Queenstown Branch
The MBA hosted its first regional Annual Dinner for the year in Queenstown in May. With Gino Fabbri as the entertainer. A memorable evening filled with laughter was enjoyed by all. Congratulations to Tim van Oosten and Greg Pohlmann who were inducted as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively of the Queenstown Branch having been elected at the Queenstown General Meeting earlier in the year.

 

 

 

Martin Van Seumeren of East Cape MBA (right) hands over a cheque to Lauren Harmse (left) of the Sunshine Children's Home. This was made possible through funds accumulated from the proceeds of the East London MBA Golf Day.

Martin Van Seumeren of East Cape MBA (right) hands over a cheque to Lauren Harmse (left) of the Sunshine Children’s Home. This was made possible through funds accumulated from the proceeds of the East London MBA Golf Day.

 

 

 

 

East London Branch
In May the MBA had the privilege of handing over a cheque to Sunshine Children’s Home in East London. This was made possible as a result of funds accumulated from the proceeds of the East London MBA Golf Day held at the East London Golf Club in April.

Ian Cooper of Mpumalanga Construction was elected chairman for a second term

Ian Cooper of Mpumalanga Construction was elected chairman for a second term

 

 

 

 

The MBA’s Border Kei Branch met for its AGM at the East London Golf Club on 31 May and saw Ian Cooper of Mpumalanga Construction elected chairman for a second term and Andrew Gericke of Dewing Construction elected as his Vice Chairman.

Grahamstown Branch
The next Annual Dinner to take place will be in the Grahamstown region on the 9 June with Gavin Sharples as guest and motivational speaker.

Further Annual Dinners will be taking place in George, East London and Port Elizabeth where well renowned funny man Barry Hilton is sure to lift the spirits of an otherwise concerned industry.

The East Cape MBA and its regional branches extend their sincere thanks to all of the sponsors for these various events.
On construction in the East Cape Region:
The East Cape MBA notes with great concern that the regular report on private sector building statistics for the region reflects a significant drop in both building plans passed and buildings completed.

The value of buildings reported as completed (at current prices) increased by 14,8% (R1 678,1 million) in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the first quarter of 2015. The largest increases were recorded for non-residential buildings (28,3% or R754,9 million) and residential buildings (11,2% or R726,6 million) .

Seven provinces reported year-on-year increases in the value of buildings completed in the first quarter of 2016. The largest contributions were recorded for Gauteng (contributing 8,1 percentage points or R913,8 million), Western Cape (contributing 4,6 percentage points or R521,4 million) and KwaZulu-Natal (contributing 2,5 percentage points or R287,5 million) The Eastern Cape ( dropped -2.0% R -227.3 million).

The East Cape has in recent years enjoyed a steady stream of notable projects in the region and it is hoped that this upbeat trend returns in the months ahead.

Gauteng Piling celebrates 20 years

The management team of Gauteng Piling today consists of (from left, standing): Jaco Grobler, GM; Eulalia Maas, Financial Manager; and Ignatius Maas, Contracts Director. Seated are the founders of the 20-year-old company, Nico and Hettie Maas.

The management team of Gauteng Piling today consists of (from left, standing): Jaco Grobler, GM; Eulalia Maas, Financial Manager; and Ignatius Maas, Contracts Director. Seated are the founders of the 20-year-old company, Nico and Hettie Maas.

Not all piling projects produce the relatively soft soil encountered at this recent Gauteng Piling project in the Pretoria CBD.

Not all piling projects produce the relatively soft soil encountered at this recent Gauteng Piling project in the Pretoria CBD.

Experience vital for successful foundation piling
Entrusting piling projects to inexperienced operators who cut costs to secure business is short-sighted and could result in disastrous consequences, warns Nico Maas, chairman and founder of Gauteng Piling, which is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary.
“Proper piling is critical to the durability and safety of any new structure. It provides the foundations of a structure whether one or 30 storeys high – so short-cuts, or awarding a contract purely on the lowest price, could be extremely dangerous, to say the least,” continues Maas, who personally has been involved in the piling industry for 45 years, and is a former president of both Master Builders South Africa and Master Builders Association North (MBA North, formerly Gauteng Master Builders Association).

Gauteng Piling most recent high profile contract was for the provision of foundation piling for extensions to the Fourways Mall. Pictured: work on the second phase of the project.

Gauteng Piling most recent high profile contract was for the provision of foundation piling for extensions to the Fourways Mall. Pictured: work on the second phase of the project.

A long-standing member of MBA North, Gauteng Piling has, since its establishment in 1996, completed over 1 500 major piling projects in many parts of South Africa, including providing over 500 foundation piles for the construction of Southern Africa’s largest single-phase retail centre, the new multi-billion rand Mall of Africa, in Midrand.
Maas believes that in piling, quality should never be compromised to save time or money. “Clients and contractors should remain satisfied with the foundation element the appointed piling company has provided throughout the duration of the building project – and the entire life-cycle of the asset. It is very important that the soil information supplied to tenderers is accurate and sufficient to allow piling operators to work out a competitive cost estimate. If the correct information is not supplied, or if a proper geotechnical investigation of soil conditions not done, then the project may be delayed due to the main contractor starting work on site and only then discovering that piling is required.

Site members of Gauteng Piling pictured with the exceptionally long piling rods required for the foundations of a multi-storey apartment block in Kempton Park.

Site members of Gauteng Piling pictured with the exceptionally long piling rods required for the foundations of a multi-storey apartment block in Kempton Park.

“All piling work should be undertaken and supervised by staff who are trade-qualified and competent to perform the necessary procedures. It is essential to invest time and money in training staff to ensure that quality is never compromised. On large or complex piling projects, quality should be managed systematically to ensure that quality assurance elements are not omitted due to the wider ranging scope of operations.

 

Gauteng Piling places strong emphasis on site safety and has already won an MBA North Health & Safety award for 'Best Sub-Contractor without a Permanent Site". Gauteng Piling's Victor Modau (left) and Sibo Dlomo (right) received the award from Ian Harris, of Amakoro Trading, which sponsors the annual award.

Gauteng Piling places strong emphasis on site safety and has already won an MBA North Health & Safety award for ‘Best Sub-Contractor without a Permanent Site”. Gauteng Piling’s Victor Modau (left) and Sibo Dlomo (right) received the award from Ian Harris, of Amakoro Trading, which sponsors the annual award.

“Safety and health considerations are also important in an industry such as piling with its heavy equipment which could cause serious accidents on site. Gauteng Piling has full-time Occupational Health and Safety staff who conduct regular – and unexpected – site visits to ensure that safety regulations are adhered to. Our site managers also are all fully versed in this important aspect of piling operations,” Maas added.
“Experience in the provision of piles is vital and most errors in piling installation come about when short-cuts are taken or when inexperience leads to the piling contractor following totally incorrect procedures, such as pouring concrete into a pile hole into which ground water had seeped.
“In two decades, Gauteng Piling has had minimal failures – and when setbacks did occur, the cause invariably was unexpected ground conditions. All too frequently, clients or contractors refuse to spend the extra money to establish what lies beneath the surface of the site they are planning to build on. If there are enormous boulders underground, for example, not even the most experienced piling operator can keep to time schedules. Then the final costs of the piling project could exceed the budget. The piling operator – who often carries the blame for the delays – through all of this also has to cope with planned operational schedules on other sites that would by then have been severely disrupted.
“The experience Gauteng Piling has gained in 20 years is applied daily to ensure that the piles that we install will safely carry the design loads supplied by the client’s agents – and that we keep to stipulated time schedules as much as possible with the information we have been provided with at the outset.”
Apart from the piling for Mall of Africa, Gauteng Piling has also provided the foundations for other major shopping centres such as The Grove in Pretoria, I’langa Mall in Mbombela, as well as Cresta and Fourways Mall in Johannesburg. It was recently awarded the contract for the piling for the second phase of Fourways Mall’s extension project and has also provided piling for the upgrade of the Kyalami Grand Prix Building Project, extensions to the Market Theatre complex in Johannesburg, as well as public sector projects by agencies such as PRASA and Telkom, to name just a few successful contracts of recent years.
The company has a fleet of 20 auger drilling machines, three bore rigs, two cranes, four Grundo hammers and two lateral support machines.

Gauteng Piling was established in 1996 by Nico Maas, and his wife, Hettie, who served as directors together with John Sr, Doug and John Robert Barrow of Barrow Construction, which was instrumental in providing seeding capital and opening doors to finance and suppliers of material for the new company. In 2015, Ignatius Maas, son of Nico and Hettie, was appointed to the Gauteng Piling Board of Directors on which Nico is now Executive Chairman. The other member of the Maas family, daughter Eulalia, is manager of the company’s Financial Department.

CSCC achieves a breakthrough in BEE construction sector code negotiations

Roy Mnisi, Executive Director, Master Builders South Africa

Roy Mnisi, Executive Director, Master Builders South Africa

 

Master Builders South Africa welcomes the news from the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) that the new Construction Sector Code has finally been agreed to.

This follows months of uncertainly and confusion following the repeal of the code on 17 February with no transition period – which meant that all construction businesses were to be measured in terms of the amended BEE codes from that date.

On 4 March 2016, the Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, convened a high level meeting of construction industry captains and principals with the view to mapping out an urgent way forward in the finalisation of the gazette of the Construction Sector Code.

The CSCC subsequently called upon industry and labour leaders Chris Jiyane – a director of Franki Africa, Mike Wylie – chairman of WBHO, and Nazir Ali – the outgoing CEO of SANRAL, to assist in mediating the finalisation process to resolution in the shortest possible time.

This breakthrough was achieved in a mere four weeks, bringing an end to many months of protracted negotiations and deadlocks. The CSCC Executive Committee has already received a process report from the CSCC CEO Thabo Masombuka and the negotiators, and the Minister of Public Works has been informed about these developments.

The draft Construction Sector Code, incorporating the industry pledge on the signature of the Code, was completed on 30 May and will now be tabled before a full Council of the CSCC before the end of June and approved for submission to the Department of Trade Industry (The DTI) who will consider a gazette by the Minister of Trade and Industry.

The CSCC has requested the DTI to consider a shorter gazette period, compared to the usual 120 days period, to ensure that after public comments and inputs, the new construction sector code can be finalised and fully gazetted in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Concurrently, preparations are well advanced for the Master Builders South Africa 111th Congress, taking place this year in Durban from Wednesday 31 August to 2 September.

Several top speakers representing the private and public sectors from South Africa and across the continent will present innovative and topical conversations and share relevant information and insights into different aspects of the building and construction industry. Amongst the topics that will be covered are infrastructure development, industry transformation, project procurement and funding and construction health and safety.

The traditional Master Builders Golf day, the prestigious National Safety Awards and Theme Dinner, Black Tie Dinner and comprehensive social outings programme for accompanying partners, all form part of this year’s programme.

Click here to register now.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Roy Mnisi