Lightweight steel frame construction gains impetus with Marley Building Systems


Completed Light Steel frame two bedroom 42 m2 house

Lightweight steel frame construction gains impetus with Marley Building Systems

The quality, cost and time efficiencies of light steel frame construction outweigh any and all of the traditional brick and mortar values. This said however, it is a method of building that is taking time to become entrenched in the South African building industry.

What is needed is a paradigm shift towards an environmentally conscious mindset which Marley Building Systems is actively motivating.

Light steel frame construction is an alternative, energy efficient method of building that has been used for decades of years in the US, Europe and Australia.

Admittedly, in relation to our international counterparts, the South African market is still in its infancy, but the burgeoning energy and water crises being faced by the country will undoubtedly expedite the demand for this seamless dry construction building system.


Firecheck Plasterboards of 2 700 x 1 200 x 15 mm were fixed to steel frames with jackpoint screws. All joints were fibataped expressed and filled with a suitable compound for the external cladding.

When Marley Building Systems acquired the Lafarge Gypsum business in South Africa in November last year, the company also took on the light steel frame manufacturing division of that organisation.

This component of the business was an ideal match for the innovative, sustainable and complete building solutions offering from Marley Building Systems, as a leading supplier of superior roofing, cladding and dry construction solutions.

Clarence Kachipande, Marley Building Systems’ Specifying Manager: Commercial, said: “As innovation remains a key focus at Marley Building Systems, we have understood that IBT (Innovative Building Technologies) will increasingly continue to play a significant role in the delivery and provision of critical built environment infrastructure.”

Recently, the South African government passed a resolution that 60% of all new social infrastructure projects are to use such alternatives, meaning the usage of building materials other than brick and mortar.

The Marley Building Systems’ light steel frame solution is made from galvanised steel of minimal 0.8 mm gauge thickness, resulting in load bearing and strengths of up to 550 mpa. It comprises of an 89 mm X 41 mm C-section profile with studs spaced at either 400 mm or 600 mm centres, depending on the structural requirements.

The system is clad with a water resistant material externally (for example, Kalsi fibre cement boards). The insulation (wall batts) is inserted between the studs, and, finally, internal cladding with 15 mm Siniat Fire Check plasterboard meets fire safety performance requirements, while achieving a perfect finish.

The initial design has to be fulfilled by a professional such as an Architect or Engineer. The plumbing and electrical designs are submitted by the respective professionals and then collated by the Architect. On completion of the design, a structural engineer is required to certify the structure.

Marley Super 6 of 3 600 x 920 x 6 mm Barge Boards 80 x 200 x 3 000 Marley Super 6 Ridge LD and RD were used for the roof.

Marley Super 6 of 3 600 x 920 x 6 mm Barge Boards 80 x 200 x 3 000 Marley Super 6 Ridge LD and RD were used for the roof.

Light steel frame structures offer a number of distinct advantages, including:
Greater flexibility in spatial design than conventional building materials.
Buildings can easily be extended without major costs, and most material can be reused.
Superior fire resistance, thermal comfort and acoustical performance.
A fast and effective add-on storey extension solution to existing buildings (masonry or steel frame) with little to no interference to the structure or its users.
Internal layouts can be easily reconfigured by shifting walls at a later stage.
To demonstrate the ease of installation, Marley Building Systems will be assembling an eco-friendly steel frame home at the upcoming Interbuild Africa exhibition in August.
Our professionals will be on-site to answer any questions you may have regarding the light steel frame method of building for both residential and non-residential purposes.

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Fulton Awards 2017: Call for nominations


Fulton Awards 2017: Call for nominations

The Concrete Society of Southern Africa NPC is calling for nominations for its prestigious biennial Fulton Awards which recognise and honour excellence and innovation in the design and use of concrete.

FAIRSCAPE: Close up of diagrid facade showing all it's characteristics

FAIRSCAPE: Close up of diagrid facade showing all it’s characteristics

The awards continue to celebrate the legacy of scientific and technological advances in concrete within the built environment, and the late Dr. ‘Sandy’ Fulton’s life and achievements in the industry.

The 2017 awards include new categories and a new approach to judging, and the Society is proud to announce that PPC is once again, the anchor sponsor for the Awards.

The categories for 2017 are:

Category title

Typical examples

Buildings up to three storeys

Residential, schools, commercial, factories, warehousing and industrial.

Buildings more than three storeys

Office buildings and multi-family housing.


Slabs, paving and hardscape.


Bridges, roads, water resources, marine structures, power and transportation.

Innovation in Concrete

Initiatives where totally new materials, techniques, technologies, applications, designs, and/or concepts, using concrete as the principal material.

Architectural Concrete

Use of concrete as the principal construction material, demonstrating a unique and exceptional structure, surface finish or particular detail in an aesthetic manner.


Special or unusual concrete applications within the mining sector.

Nominations can be made on-line through the Society’s website and will require a short motivation as to why it is felt that the nomination is worthy of an award. The judges will assess these nominations and a short-list of entries will be drawn up for subsequent adjudication on site.

State of the nation

July 2016

State of the nation

By Luke Doig, Senior Economist, Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation

Luke Doig, Senior Economist, Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation

Luke Doig, Senior Economist, Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation

Almost a year ago we used the words of Philander Chase Johnson in 1920 to warn “cheer up, the worst is yet to come”. Unfortunately, we did not fully comprehend the potential longevity of this development. Now we sit atop the abyss: climbing numbers of unemployed, recessionary conditions in many sectors and potential ratings downgrades, all of which serve to highlight the harsh trading conditions afflicting many businesses. Add to this, global gloom and Brexit and one has the ingredients of an extended downturn.

One of the somewhat surprising developments has been that total numbers of company liquidations and personal sequestrations have trended down, whereas the overall performance of the economy has been lacklustre to say the least, as evidenced by the continual slippage in the business cycle’s leading indicator. This is contrary to what one would have expected to see, notwithstanding some of the divergence being explained by the increasing numbers of firms seeking business rescue.


As the economy contracts, businesses are coming under increasing pressure to be able to adhere to their contractual obligations and requests for payment extensions are becoming commonplace. Our adverse indicator for the first 23 weeks of the year is almost 21% higher than in the corresponding 2015 period while our overdue payment indicator is 16.3% and 28% higher in number and value respectively to the end of May. The entire environment points to an ongoing deterioration in payment defaults and firms are going to have to be fleet of foot to avoid being on the wrong side of non-payment.

FEM celebrates 80 years

fem logo downloadFEM celebrates 80 years

“The Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company (RF) Proprietary Limited (FEM) was established as a mutual insurer in 1936 and on the introduction of the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1941 was granted a licence to continue to transact workmen’s compensation insurance for the building industry.

“Vital issues occupied the minds of those attending the 1936 Congress of the National Federation of Building Trades Employers in 1936 in the Pretoria City Hall, foremost of these being the existing system of fixing wages and working hours on a regional basis, another being the relatively new Workman’s Compensation Act which had been passed in 1934 which replaced the Act of 1912 and forced all industrial employers to insure their workers against accident or injury.”

From the outset in those heady days FEM established close ties with the then National Federation of Building Trades Employers (now Master Builders South Africa), which both organisations have nurtured and grown all these decades to the strong symbiotic relationship we know today.

 Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of FEM

Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of FEM

“One of the primary objectives we at FEM hold dear is safety at the workplace, on the roads and at home,” said Thelma Pugh, Managing Director of FEM. “Our long association with Master Builders South Africa and the Master Builders Associations around the country is a clear and natural relationship as the Master Builders are best placed to ensure the implementation of Best Practice in all facets of Construction Health and Safety for our policy holders.”

Today, in its 80th year of outstanding support and cover for its policy holders in the construction sector, the Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company has revisited and refreshed its corporate identity. “Our new logo portrays the modern era in which we live and work, reflecting professionalism in all that we do in the clean lines of the design.”

Industry needs to take greater responsibility for controlling the risks that it creates

Addressing students and delegates at the the School of the Built Environment in Port Elizabeth recently, Mrs Pugh emphasised the need, not only for employers to take responsibility for the safety of their employees and contractors, but indeed that individuals themselves must learn to take responsibility for their own safety.

She cited the recent statement by the Chief Director of the Department of Labour that the construction sector has a less than 50 percent rate of compliance with health and safety regulations, implying that the construction industry is still one of the most dangerous places to work in. This is confirmed in a report by Egan and Bomel which reveals that the construction industry worldwide has the second worst safety record.

“Lack of safety must be identified as one of the highest risks in any company,” said Pugh. “The risk is directly linked to compliance.”

The human tragedy surrounding an accident does immeasurable harm to the family, and extended family, leaving women and children without their breadwinners and increasing the number of widows and orphans.

Tip of the iceberg
Besides the seemingly obvious cost implications, an accident also has an immeasurable negative effect on the company. Research shows that 21 percent of the costs of an accident are direct costs – such as medical costs and loss of wages. “But this is just the tip of the iceberg: a massive 71 percent of costs are indirect, such as loss of reputation, low morale, loss of equipment, loss of skills, and project stoppage,” continued Pugh.

The accident prevention advisory unit of the health and safety executive has established that the full cost of an accident can easily reach very high proportions:
37 percent of annualised profits of the organisation;
8,5 percent of the project tender price; and
5 percent of the organisational running costs.

“We may be improving our poor safety record,” concluded Pugh, “But we are not sustaining the improvements and we need to get better.”

KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders elects first woman President

KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association elects first woman President
The 115th Annual General Meeting of the KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders and Allied Industries Association held in June 2016 marked an historic moment in the Associations’ long and illustrious history with the election of the first Woman President of the Executive Council.

Joyce Dolly Tembe of Sakhisizwe Development Training was sworn in as President of KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders  Association

Joyce Dolly Tembe of Sakhisizwe Development Training was sworn in as President of KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association

Joyce Dolly Tembe of Sakhisizwe Development Training was sworn in as President during a solemn ceremony, which took place at the Master Builders Centre in Westville. “We will continue engaging with other associations and stakeholders effectively in opening the doors of engagement in a more effective manner in this industry”, said Tembe.

She further indicated that strategies would continue in terms of expediting transformation, training and skills development and assisting in research and policy development with a view to making recommendations pertaining to the construction industry in order to promote the B-BBEE Act and the Transformation Charter.
Outgoing President, Mogamat Behardien indicated that during the period under review a large amount of construction took place throughout KwaZulu-Natal with a major growth spurt in the northern region. In addition, significant improvements were made to infrastructure in the greater Durban area as construction of new road interchanges and bridges completed. However he made reference to the challenges experienced due to water shortages with some townships and districts having no supplies at all for days on end.
The keynote speaker was Professor Theodore C. Haupt who conveyed to members that construction education is in crisis! Professor Haupt stated that there is a serious mismatch between what universities continue to produce and what industry actually needs:
“Universities have not acknowledged that there is a problem. Most universities are busy curriculating new qualifications in response to what? Has industry been consulted? Has industry given input? Probably not! The likely outcome could be a suite of qualifications that just perpetuate the mismatch. Instead of addressing the problem holistically, universities have adopted an Elastoplast approach by trying to patch existing curricula. They are persisting in pursuing an instruction or teaching paradigm instead of a learning paradigm which will produce the graduates that industry needs. Industry can proactively get involved as partners in addressing the problem by:

– Getting involved in the curriculum
– Engaging with students
– Supporting lecturers
– Communicating with academic programs and
– Increasing budgets for research and development.”

Vikashnee Harbhajan, Executive Director, KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association

Vikashnee Harbhajan, Executive Director, KwaZulu-Natal Master Builders Association

Vikashnee Harbhajan, Executive Director of Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal, announced that the Association has experienced significant growth in membership over the last year, achieving a record high of 781 members on its database. She reiterated that Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal prides itself on transformation initiatives and made reference to the Emerging contractor programme, bursary fund and Vuka Makhi programme.
It was also pleasing to note that the Association once again boasts an unqualified audit report.
The A-Z of Building , a book designed to assist contractors to improve their building and pricing skills and published by Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal, was launched at the 2016 AGM. In line with the Association’s focus on key programmes and initiatives to promote quality in the KZN building industry, the book will be provided to members in the quest for building excellence.
The Executive Director took the opportunity to congratulate the newly elected President and Executive Council Members and informed members that the Association remains committed to serving their best interests.

The Executive Council elected for the next term of office is as follows:
– Joyce Dolly Tembe, Sakhisizwe Development Training (President)
– Mogamat Behardien, NMC (Pty) Ltd (Immediate Past President)
– Chris Cusens, WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd (VP)
– Vic Naidoo, C & R Contractors (VP)
– Sam Ngcongo, Bencon Building and Civils (VP)
– Francois Louw, Met Builders (VP)
– Phumelele Bam, Zenzulwazi Plumbing and Contracting
– Marcus Gonzalves, FS Gonzalves Construction
– Ayanda Notshweleka, Masakane Construction
– Thys Blom, Plankonsult
– Vuzi Mhlungu, Umpheme Development (Pty) Ltd
– Roy Ramkalawan, Nambiti Plumbers CC
– Lance Ridl, Ridl Construction
– Delisile Nyanda, Lakeshore Trading 102 CC
– Rob Bremner, Liviero Building Pty Ltd
– Ray Basson, Anthony and Basson Development Pty Ltd (co-opted)
– Roland Mudaly, Aveng Grinaker LTA (Pty) Ltd (co-opted)



31 August – 2 September, Durban ICC





08:30 – 09:30

Golf Day: Player’s Registration Venue: Durban Country Club

12:30 – 14:00

Master Builders Corporate Challenge Venue: Durban Country Club

10:00 – 17:00

Golf Day & Prize Giving Venue: Durban Country Club




Programme Director: Jeremy Maggs


Activity Venue: Durban ICC – Hall 5

07:30 – 08:50

Delegates’ Registration Venue: Durban ICC – Hall 5

08:50 – 08:55

Opening of the Congress Patrick Roy Mnisi

Executive Director: Master Builders South Africa

08:55 – 09:00

Welcoming Address Neil Cloete

President: Master Builders South Africa

09:00 – 09:45

Keynote Address:

Building the South African Economy Through Infrastructure Development

Hon. Minister Jeff Radebe

Minister in the Presidency

09:45 – 10:15

Construction Industry Perspective:

Building the South African Economy Through Infrastructure Development

  • Construction Sector

10:15 – 11:15

Industry Panel Discussion:

Building the South African Economy Through Infrastructure Development

Discussion Points:

  • The National Development Plan
  • Central Procurement Process
  • African Infrastructure Development Opportunities for the South African Construction Sector
  • Municipal Infrastructure Development
  • The Role of Finance Institutions
  • Minister in the Presidency
  • Development Bank of Southern Africa
  • National Treasury
  • South African Local Government Association

11:15 – 11:45


11:45 – 12:30

The Sector Education Training Authorities’ Landscape – Implications for the Construction Sector CETA

Construction Education & Training Authority

12:30 – 13:00

South Africa’s Economic Outlook:

Building the South African Economy Through Infrastructure Development

Dr Adrian Saville

Chief Strategist: Citadel & Cannon Asset Managers

13:00 – 14:00


THURSDAY 01 SEPTEMBER 2016 (cont.d)


14:00 – 15:30

Sponsor logo

Construction Occupational Health and Safety

Discussion Points:

  • Registration of CHS Practitioners

Phumudzo Maphaha – Director: Construction, Explosives & Major Hazard Installation: Dept of Labour


  • Neels Nortjé Chief Executive Officer: South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
  • Prof. John Smallwood Professor of Construction Management Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • Deon BesterOccupational Health & Safety: Master Builders Western Cape
  • TBC – Occupational Health & Safety: FEM

14:00 – 15:30

Sponsored By:

International Corporate Training

Skills Development in the Construction Industry

Discussion Points:


  • CETA: Construction Education & Training Authority

  • Ntebo Ngozwana – Skills Manager: Construction Industry Development Board
  • Roger Latchman – International Corporate Training
  • Adrian Bird – Department of Education
  • Dr Florence Prinsloo – National Artisan Moderation Board
  • Victor Smith – Skills Development: Master Builders Association KZN

14:00 – 15:30

Sponsor logo

Regulatory, Contractual & Legal Matters in the Construction Industry

Discussion Points:

  • Registration Processes
  • Prompt Payment Clause
  • Non and Late Payment
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Contract Price Adjustment Provisions
  • Waiver of Contractors’ Lien – Contractual Principles and Obligations

  • Uwe Putlitz – Chief Executive Officer: Joint Building Contracts Committee

  • Julia Motapola – Executive Manager – Legal, Compliance and Enforcement: National Home Builders Registration Council
  • Nomvula RakoloteCEO: SA Council for the Project & Construction Mgmt Professions
  • Inba Thumbiran – Programme Manager – Procurement and Delivery Management: Construction Industry Development Board
  • Gregory Mofokeng – Secretary General: Black Business Council in the Built Environment
16:00 -17:00 Masters Builders South Africa:

Annual General Meeting (Members Only)

Venue: Durban ICC – Hall 5
18:00 MASTER BUILDERS GALA DINNER Venue: Durban ICC – Hall 3


Programme Director: Vikashnee Harbhajan

Time Activity Venue: Durban ICC – Hall 5
08:30 – 09:15 Breakaway Sessions Feedback Breakway Sessions Moderators
09:15 – 10:00 The Journey Towards a Transformed Construction Sector – Are We Getting There? Thabo Masombuka

CEO: Construction Sector Charter Council

10:00 – 10:45 CETA Sector Skills Plan for the Construction Industry Sonja Pilusa

CEO: Construction Education & Training Authority

11:15 – 11:45 Builders Lien / Sponsor Sean Vianello / Sponsor
11:45 – 12:30 Combating Corruption in the Construction Industry:

Building the South African Economy Through Infrastructure Development

Office of the Public Protector South Africa
12:30 – 13:15 Motivational Speaker Zipho Sikhakhane
13:15 – 13:20 Vote of Thanks and Closure Pierre Fourie

Operations Director: Master Builders South Africa



Green Building Comes Of Age


Roy Mnisi, Executive Director, Master Builders South Africa

Roy Mnisi, Executive Director, Master Builders South Africa

Green Building Comes Of Age

In the not too distant past, a mere five years ago in January 2011 to be exact, the first draft of a national sustainable building policy “Towards a Green Building Policy Framework: First Draft V2,” was published by the Department of Public Works for comment by built environment professionals and all stakeholders in the building and construction sector.

This soon resulted in the speedy addition of the SANS 10400X & XA – Energy Use In Buildings to the National Building Regulations Part X: Environmental sustainability – a revolutionary game changer to construction as we know it.

The Aurecon building at Century City was the first in South Africa to be awarded a 5 Star Green Star SA – Office Design v1 rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa  Photo: macarchitects

The Aurecon building at Century City was the first in South Africa to be awarded a 5 Star Green Star SA – Office Design v1 rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa
Photo: macarchitects


In the very short time frame since, it is fair to say that Green construction has indeed come of age. Under the guidance of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) our construction sector pulled together as one with progressive application and implementation of these regulations, changing the way things were to be done forever.

New and innovative products and materials emerged for incorporation into this whole new breed of building. Architects, designers, Master Builders and construction engineers soon began delivering Green buildings of note, deploying every conceivable technique for the active and passive saving of energy – in their quest for the elusive goal of zero energy buildings.

It is against this backdrop that Master Builders South Africa and Master Builder Associations around the country join in congratulating the Green Building Council of South Africa for their tireless efforts in guiding our industry into Green, and we wish the Council a successful and fruitful Convention later this month.