Group 5 deploys spider cranes on fast track mall project

Group 5 deploys spider cranes on fast track mall project

Aerial view of Table Bay Mall under construction – Group Five Coastal

Table Bay Mall opened on schedule in September thanks to the efficient and demanding fast-track construction programme followed by Group Five Coastal (Pty) Ltd. – a long-standing member of Master Builders Association Western Cape.

This new regional shopping centre, located in the west coast suburb of Sunningdale (Blouberg) in Cape Town, houses 162 shops including the five anchor tenants: Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, H&M and Virgin Active.

A challenging project

We faced a number of challenges during construction on this project,” said Alton Jooste, Contracts Director for Group Five Coastal. “Amongst these was the short programme duration which necessitated a very fast construction tempo which in turn carried the potential risk of compromising the quality of the end product.”

Jooste pointed out that in addition to this, late Information relating to tenant requirements due to tenants only signing up towards the end of the project resulted in delays; and continual changes of the shop layouts forced short-notice changes to the general arrangement of the shopping centre. Coupled to these challenges were the long working hours and their effect on all involved with the project. The sheer volume of works for single subcontractors to handle also necessitated the use of multiple subcontractors per building trade.

The Group Five team nonetheless took these challenges in their stride and achieved a successful completion and handover to the client on schedule

Spider crane in action at Table Bay Mall erecting structural steel

On construction

The building is constructed on piled foundations with a reinforced concrete superstructure consisting of surface beds, columns, ground floor slabs, gutter beams and structural steel roof, covered with sheeting. The back of house external walls on the ground floor are all constructed of tilt-up concrete panels, of which the largest individual panel is approximately nine meters wide and 11 meters high.

Group Five and certain subcontractors made use of spider cranes to construct the concrete superstructure above ground floor as well as the structural steel roof. The decision to do so was made at tender stage to avoid the traditional tower crane option due to the fact that portions of the slab would need to be omitted to allow access for the tower cranes which placed the client’s programme expectations at risk.

Group Five was the only contractor that could meet the client’s programme expectations on this project. Furthermore the risk of potential high winds (which peaked at over 65km per hour on some days) forced the company to seek alternative construction methods by utilising Spider cranes provided by Eazi Access. These are essentially light weight canes which run on tracks. These spider cranes were supplied with materials by forklifts and bigger mobile cranes on the basement level.

Aesthetics and functionality

The shopping centre consists of a basement parking (under roof) with the shopping centre on the ground floor slab above as well as external open air parking. The mall is constructed in the shape of a race track with three main entrances on the ground floor and three entrances in the basement parking area.

Long, curved, open and extremely well lit malls, accentuate the sleek and stylish design of the shopping centre.

The mall boasts a fully functional grey water system and uses rainwater and borehole water to irrigate the landscaped areas as well as to flush the toilets. The plants in the landscaped areas have also been carefully selected for their drought resistant properties.

Project facts:

Square meters and Rand value of project:

Lower ground parking: 64 000 m2

Ground level retail centre: 80 000 m2

External roads, parking and landscaping: 127 000 m2

Construction rand value: R 1 075 000 000

Construction start and finish dates:

Construction start date: 22 March 2016

Completion date: 21 September 2017

Property owner, client, developer:

Employer: Zenprop Property Holdings

Principal Agent: PCPM in association with WT McClatchey Associates

Main Contractor: Group Five Construction (Pty) Limited

Professional team:

Architect: Vivid Architects

Quantity Surveyor: MLC Quantity Surveyors SA (Pty) Ltd

Structural Engineer: Aurecon South Africa

Civil Engineer: Aurecon South Africa

HVAC Engineer: Graeme Page Consulting Engineers cc

Electrical Engineer: Quad Africa Consulting

Wet Services: Aurecon South Africa

Fire Services and Rational Fire Consultant: Aurecon South Africa

Health & Safety Consultant: Solid State Safety

Landscape Architect: InSite Landscape Architects

Interior Designers: Savile Row

Health and Safety measures:

  • 4 Full time Safety Officers were employed on the project.

  • 1 Safety Manager

  • All works were executed in accordance with Group Five policy and Occupational Health and Safety Act and all associated regulations.

Interesting production quantities:

Pile Caps

Production – April to August

10 caps per day

Maximum in one day

26 Caps


Production – April to October

26 lifts per day

Maximum in one day

68 lifts

Slab Formwork

Production – April to October

521m2 per day

Maximum in one day

1 658 m2


Production – May to September

200m3 per day

Maximum in one day

846 m3

Structural steel

Production – June to January

8 ton per day

Maximum in one day

30.5 ton

Roof covering

Production – August to February

560m2 per day

Maximum in one day

1 411 m2


Production -October to December

27434 No Bricks per day

Maximum in one day

74000 No Bricks

Some Quantities:


460 00 m3 of concrete cast in 6 – 7 months

4 344 tons of rebar used

78 000 m2 power-floated on the ground floor area


3 848 000 bricks used


308 brick stiffeners installed


47 000 m2 of plaster


206 Precast Panels cast of which the biggest one being 9.065 x 11,395m high


The pool was filled using water from the Western Province Preparatory School – 297 000 litres was used


127 cores done and counting


11 400 m2 of Tiling in the Race Track


80 000 m2 of roof sheeting by BlueScope

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