144 Oxford Poised For Completion In November

144 Oxford Poised For Completion In November

BACKGROUND: CONCEPT AND DESIGN

South African Builder speaks to the Senior Project Architectural Technologist of Paragon Architects, Taz-Wynne Superman, lead architect on the project.

Conceived by Growthpoint Properties in 2015, this prestigious and iconic R1.2 billion 36 700 m² premium-grade 144 Oxford Road office development in Rosebank, Johannesburg, is aimed at capitalising on the demand for office space in the popular precinct.

Growthpoint appointed Paragon Architects South Africa to bring this architectural dream to reality. Featuring two extended office towers connected by a central atrium, this striking development consists of nine occupiable floors and six basement levels for parking. Taz-Wynne and his team of seven architects worked closely with the client for some six years – finalising the design through a range of iterations, complicated along the way with changes in tenant and the ironing out of logistical challenges before construction could begin.

We are very proud as a team to have achieved all of our design objectives to the client’s satisfaction,” says Taz-Wynne. “Our ongoing interaction with all members of the Professional Team was of the highest level, with sharing of ideas and resolving challenges together enabling the project to be ready for hand-over at the end of this month [First week of November 2019].”

A primary feature of this striking building is the imposing central atrium which interconnects the two office towers. A 25 m steel girder spans the top of the atrium, creating a massive open area free of columns. The girder also supports the glass façade by means of steel beams spanning the same length of the girder, onto which the glass is clipped. As space is a crucial element of the overall aesthetic of the building unwanted columns would detract completely from the design criteria of the atrium.

Every part of the building has performance glass of different types, based on the planning of the building” explains Taz-Wynne. “On the northern side, for example, there are three types of double-glazed glass systems: 50T, which is a more clear lower performance glass which doesn’t reflect much sunlight; then a Cool-lite ST120 glass – a higher performing glass which is very reflective allowing very little heat through; followed by a Solar E plus grey, darker black-grey glass – slightly less performing which, being dark in colour, attracts more heat.”

The scope of Paragon’s design includes all common interior floor space of the building, including the atrium, bathrooms and common passageways. Each tenant is free to design their own interior space to while following a Tenant Criteria Document provided by the property owner.

As tiles play an important role in the interior design, only the best Italian tiles, being world leaders in this field, were selected for this purpose.

144 Oxford is well positioned with Gautrain nearby and directly opposite the Rosebank Shopping Mall and The Zone, enabling refreshing walking in an urban environment and enjoyment of its retail space. Dedicated traffic lights opposite the entrance to 144 Oxford encourage pedestrian access.

On construction challenges, Taz-Wynne points out that logistics played a key role as no lay down area was available on the site. This meant that all façades were pre-fabricated off-site and were then installed immediately on delivery, which was tightly planned and coordinated and thus required no storage on site.

Initially the building was designed for a 4-Star Green Star design. However as construction progressed it soon became clear that a 5-Star Green Star Design Certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) was quite feasible as the design was nine points ahead of the GBCSA requirement for a 5-Star rating. 144 Oxford currently awaits confirmation of this rating application from GBCSA. A four star design rating was achieved.

Façades, blinds, electrical systems, lights with motion detectors, recirculation of radiant heat and harvesting of rain water are all primary contributors to the 5-Star Green Star rating – as is the planting of indigenous plants in the deceptively large garden area, creating a very important aspect of the exciting vibe of the building as a whole..

The roof is a functional combination comprising a flat concrete roof housing mechanical plant – with air circulation going through a second “soft” roof above the main roof. In addition to two full backup generators have been installed to keep the entire building fully operational during power outages.

The six basement areas accommodate over 1 500 sizeable parking bays and encourage green star points through features such as bicycle storage racks, motor-cycle bays, showers and change rooms..

The entire Paragon team, contractors and the main contractor – Tiber WBHO JV – are extremely pleased with the outcome of this complex project, on time, and ready for hand-over to client in a few weeks’ time [beginning of November 2019],” concludes Taz-Wynne.

CONSTRUCTION

Construction of 144 Oxford was undertaken by the Tiber WBHO Joint Venture (JV).

South African Builder also conducted a Q&A session with JV partner, Tino Pereira, Director of WBHO Building North in order to gain further insight to the construction process on the project, its logistics, challenges and solutions:

SA Builder: Tiber Construction and WBHO have built significant synergy over time to complete projects such as this. Could you describe briefly how the teams have forged such strong and effective operational relationships.

Tino: The successful partnership goes back to 2011 when we completed our first JV Project, Alexandra Forbes. The like-mindedness of senior management and the culture of excellence in delivery of the respective company’s employees have made us a formidable leading JV in the industry – this was a large contributing factor to the initial success. In creating a strong history of successfully completed mega projects, the relationship has only grown from strength to strength. A further contributing factor was the decision to fully integrate skilled staff and management resources on the JV’s, thus creating a team atmosphere rather than unhealthy competition, ensuring that we are all united under one common goal: the success of the Team. Team building sessions are held periodically to further integrate and strengthen the good team work flow ethic. Mutual respect between individuals has been encouraged and cultivated from higher management filtering down to the guys on the ground.

SA Builder: In the case of 144 Oxford, what skills and capability strengths did your company bring to the project? And outline the general modus operandi between the two companies in this JV project. 

Tino: Both companies added to the skills and resource pool, while one company may have had a team member more experienced in management aspects, the other company would complement this by providing experience in a more technical role. Past experience from other projects on the successes and failures was instilled into the team. We both believe in the integration of experienced, very skilled tradesmen with that of dynamic youngsters which has created a very well balanced team at 144 Oxford.

SA Builder: What were your primary challenges encountered during construction? In particular the steel structures and installation of the façades.

Tino: The Atrium was highlighted at the outset as probably the most challenging aspect of the project and to this end the JV encouraged the professional team to fast track the procurement and the shop detailing of the intricate design elements. After numerous design and buildability sessions, the erection of the steel girder requiring special road closures and regular interim inspections to ensure the steel work performed to design criteria. The complexity of the transfer structure on the ground floor required close coordination between the structural design team and the architect – this proved to be key to the successful buildability of this level. Other key elements requiring close buildability sessions were the sloped façade on the noses.

SA Builder: Did you experience logistical challenges of any sort?

Tino: The proximity of the project to the busy Oxford road, restricted access on Tottenham road imposed by the Melrose Residency Association (MRA) and the sensitivity of having surrounding schools in the area required close cooperation between all parties to ensure deliveries were scheduled to a strict timetable and adhered to.

SA Builder: Were you able to accommodate all the architect’s requirements? To what extent were adjustments required and in which disciplines? 

Tino: Some of the architectural challenges on this project were quite unique, as each project designed by Paragon is not like any other in the industry or even like any other they’ve designed. Most of their projects simulate futuristic shapes and concepts. Some internal design details being quite unique and out of the norm require regular workshops and buildability sessions and normally achieve the right end goal set out by Paragon.

SA Builder: Were you affected at all by late re-design requirements by the client?

Tino: The project started out as an hotel and office development at the end of 2017, but soon after taking site hand-over the hotel was removed from the scheme and replaced with offices, which required a complete redesign of the building. The professional team managed to mitigate some delays by working fervently through the builders break to enable a restart towards the end of January 2018.

All images: Paragon Architects

Winners of Master Builders National Safety Competition 2019

Winners of Master Builders National Safety Competition 2019

All the winners of the 2019 Master Builders South Africa National Safety Competition

The winners of the Master Builders SA National Safety Competition 2019 were announced after Congress at a special banquet at Emperor’s Palace hosted by the Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company.

The well-being of member companies’ workforces, together with safe working conditions on construction sites, is a fundamental objective of Master Builders South Africa. It strives to achieve this by coordinating various interventions at its national office which is executed by the Master Builders Associations who play a vital role in delivering advice and services to employers on building sites throughout the country.

Winners of the coveted Master Builders Association Shield

for Contracts over R750 million:

WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd Building North for River Creek Deloitte”

Gys McIntosh, IT Director, FEM

In his address to Award winners and guests, FEM’s IT Director, Gys McIntosh, congratulated all participants and winners in the 2019 MBSA National Safety Competition and expressed the importance of giving recognition to companies strive for Zero Harm in the workplace and on construction sites. He also noted that FEM’s statistics from the first half of 2019 show that there was a total of 1 538 accidents, of which six were fatal and one resulted in a permanent disability. With an average cost of R37 725 per accident, and a total of 4 112 lost days, the financial cost is also very high.

Auditing and judging of the winners of the MBSA National Safety Competition is indeed an enormous task and is conducted by recognised professionals in the field of Construction Health and Safety. The team of judges travelled for the whole of July and most of August visiting 38 participating construction sites throughout the country.

The two independent auditors included in the team, Ernie Pieterse (from the SHE Group) and Duncan Sehularo (from Dawn SHE Consultants)are registered with the SACPCMP (as OHSM and OHSA). The Lead Auditor was Thembi Mabuza – MBSA OHS Manager. The MBSA Audit System was applied throughout.

ENTRIES RECEIVED

A total of 38 plant yards, allied trade operations and building sites were entered for the MBSA National Safety Competition.

MBA

Boland 4

North 9

Free State 3

KwaZulu-Natal 7

Western Cape 8

East Cape 7

Total 38

Above:

Winners of the coveted Master Builders Association Shield for Contracts over R750 million:

WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd Building North for River Creek Deloitte

All the winners of the 2019 Master Builders SA National Safety Competition

Plant Yard and Manufacturers Section

Plant and Storage Yards – Vice President’s Shield

1st Place: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd (Cape Division) – Plant and Services Yard, Phillipi

2nd Place: Aveng Grinaker -LTA – Henwood Road, New Germany.

3rd Place: Probuild Construction (Pty)Ltd – Plant Yard

Manufacturers and Allied Trades

Allied Trades – Master Builders Association Shield

1st Place: FormScaff – FormScaff Durban South

2nd Place: Peri Formwork Scaffolding Engineering (Pty) Ltd – Peri Polokwane

3rd Place: FormScaff – Bloemfontein Branch

Manufacturers – Master Builders Association Shield

1st Place: Much Asphalt (Pty) Ltd – Coedmore Branch

2nd Place: Much Asphalt (Pty) Ltd – Port Elizabeth Branch

3rd Place: ER Signs & Safety (Pty) Ltd – Springs Workshop Building Section

Contracts less than R15m – Chief Executive Officer’s Shield

1st Place: Patcon Building & Civil Engineering Construction (Pty) Ltd – Canaan College-Construction of Staircases and Lifts Shaft Project

2nd Place: INDAWO (Cape) (Pty)Ltd – King’s warehouse, V & A Waterfront

Contracts R15m to R40m – Safety Management Shield

1st Place: Belo and Kies Construction (Pty) Ltd – Toyota Vryburg

2nd Place: R&N Master Builders (Cape) (Pty) Ltd – Queens Building

3rd Place: Isipani Construction (Pty) Ltd – Eikestand Woolworths

Contracts R40m to R100m – Ramsay Herd Shield

1st Place: Aveng Grinaker –LTA – NMU Missionvale Medical School

2nd Place: Belo & Kies Construction (Pty) Ltd – Toyota Polokwane

3rd Place: Belo & Kies Construction (Pty) Ltd – Sterkspruit Plaza Phase 2

Contracts R100m to R250m – Vice President’s Shield

1st Place: GVK Siya Zama Building Contractors (KZN) (Pty) Ltd – Isipingo Retail Development

2nd Place: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd (Cape Division) – 169 on Main, Greenpoint

3rd Place: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd, Building North – Steyn City High School Phase 2

Contracts R250m to R450m – President’s Shield

1st Place: WBHO Construction Eastern Cape – EL IDZ Hop & Refab Facility

2nd Place: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd Building North – Pretoria Head & Neck Hospital

Contracts R450m to R750m

1st Place: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd (Cape Division) – Biomedical Research Facility

2nd Place: Stefanutti Stocks/AXSYS/Simunye Joint Venture – MBSA Body Shop, Eastern Cape

3rd Place: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd Building North – Trilogy Collection

Contracts R750 plus

1st Place: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd Building North – River Creek Deloitte

2nd Place: WBHO Construction KZN – Umhlanga Arch, KwaZulu-Natal

MBSA President’s Award

Carl Mouton (L) receives the President’s Award from MBSA President, John Matthews

At the banquet a special President’s Award was presented to Carl Mouton.

Carl became interested in construction from a very young age when two rooms were added to a farmhouse near Standerton, where he, his mother and his sister were staying, while his father was away fighting in World War II. After school, he decided to go into architecture, completed his studies (University of Pretoria) and then in 1962 spent three years in Arabia, where his practical experiences were considered very valuable.

During his time in Arabia (now Yemen), Carl encountered mud-built buildings, up to nine stories high, which had been standing over a thousand years in the Wadi Hadhramaut. On his return from Arabia, he started his own practice with partners and later in 1966 started an office in Durban. That was an extremely difficult and challenging time as he was considered a stranger and faced tremendous challenges in sustaining and growing the business. Through relentless effort and perseverance, the business began to grow and went on to become a major firm in KZN and beyond. By the time he retired, he was a senior partner of the largest firm of Architects in the country with 14 offices throughout Southern Africa and five associated offices overseas.

In South Africa, he also served on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of the Chamber of Industries. He chaired over 20 Boards, Councils and Committees. Carl served as a Director for Com Housing who built over 69 000 RDP houses. This was all done for no remuneration. He grew from a 1 man-band to 19 offices throughout the world.

Carl has served the industry his entire adult life. He still serves the industry today, as a judge in the Excellence in Construction competition. He has also mentored numerous architectural students and help create many tradesmen.

Rural Flavour Infuses MBA North Regional Safety Awards 2019

Rural Flavour Infuses MBA North Regional Safety Awards 2019

Stimela Crossing under construction by Belo & Kies Construction in Barberton, Mpumalanga

The broad geographic footprint of Master Builders Association North (MBA North), which incorporates not only Gauteng, but Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and North-West provinces, has for the first time attracted interesting and innovative entries for the Association’s Regional Safety Awards from outlying country areas and towns such as Vryburg, Barberton and Ermelo. Other towns visited included Rustenburg and Polokwane.

The event, which was staged in Midrand in July, was well attended by members of the Association, competition participants, MBA North office bearers, Past Presidents, VIPs from various industry bodies and sponsors.

In his welcoming address, Executive Director of MBA North, Mohau Mphomela acknowledged and welcomed all present, with a special welcome to MBA North President Musa Shangase, Past Presidents Eunice Forbes, Neil Duncan, Pieter Rüde, Lea Smith, Tony Riley and Jason Wilmot, as well as members of the Executive Committee.

He noted the enthusiasm projected by all participants throughout the duration of the Competition and congratulated all who had submitted entries and participated in the Regional Safety awards. “It is this level of professionalism and dedication to Health and Safety that makes this Award ceremony so important to the industry and to the South African construction sector as a whole,” he said.

MBA North Construction Health and Safety Manager, Gerhard Roets said in his address: “It has been most encouraging for us to welcome the new entries from outlying areas and we see this as an important permanent feature of our Regional Safety Awards.”

Gerhard Roets, MBA North Construction Health and Safety Manager

Roets elaborated on the Awards statistics and structure, noting that 66 entries had been received and 56 audits were successfully completed between 9 May and 27 June 2019.

The Lead Audit team was composed of MBA North Construction Health and Safety officers: Gerhard Roets, Michelle Kok and Manie Van As.

In announcing the winners in the various categories Roets named the winner of the Federated Employers Mutual (FEM) trophy in Category I for projects of over R750 million as WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd for its River Creek Deloitte project. He noted that the project stood out with a zero disabling injury frequency rate: “For a project of this magnitude, this is quite impressive,” he said. “The contractor and sub-contractors all have a strong health and safety culture – from the top all the way down.” (For the full list of winners see Page 12).

Winners of the Federated Employers Mutual (FEM) trophy in Category I for projects of over R750 million: WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd for its River Creek Deloitte project

Special Awards were also presented to the following:

  • Best Performing Client Agent of the Year: Danie Jansen van Vuuren from Cairnmead Industrial Consultants

  • Best Performing Construction Manager of the Year: Christiaan Fourie from WTJV

  • Best Performing Construction Supervisor of the Year: Jean Le Roux from WBHO Construction

  • Best Performing Health & Safety Manager of the Year: Mark John from WBHO Construction

  • Best Performing Health & Safety Officer of the year: Jacques Steyn from Belo & Kies Construction

  • Best Performing Health & Safety Representative of the Year: Siyanda Mathebula from WBHO

Keynote speaker, Chief Executive Officer of the Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM), Ndivhuwo Manyonga, began her address by pointing out that in global terms some 2.8 million people died every year in work related accidents, of which the construction industry represented the highest rate of deaths.

Keynote speaker Chief Executive Officer of the Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company, Ndivhuwo Manyonga, addresses participants, winners and guests

In South Africa” she said “we have 8 000 accidents annually in our sector. In 2018 63 of these were fatal motor accidents. In one instance alone 17 employees died on the spot in a head-on collision.” Manyonga noted that the average age of employees claim payouts by FEM is 30 years of age.

In closing, Musa Shangase, President of MBA North, gave thanks to all present for their attendance, especially competition participants and winners and to Ndivhuwo Manyonga, CEO of FEM) for her enlightening address, He also thanked the range of loyal MBA North sponsors who made the event possible, the MBA North Staff for hosting the Regional Safety Awards Ceremony and Ferdi Snyman for being the Master of Ceremonies.

River Creek Deloitte project currently under construction by WBHO – winner of Category I for projects of over R750 million

 

MBA North Winners by Category of the 2019 Regional Safety Competition

Category

Company 2019

A: Plant & Storage Yards

Probuild Construction (Pty) Ltd

B1: Allied Trades

PERI Formwork Scaffolding Engineering (Pty) Ltd Polokwane Branch

B2: Manufacturers

ER Signs & Safety Springs Workshop

C:

N/A

Category Range

Company : Project

D: R15m to R40m

Belo & Kies Construction (Pty) Ltd : Toyota Vryburg

E: R40m to R100m

Belo & Kies Construction (Pty) Ltd : Toyota Polokwane

F: R100m to R250m

WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd : Steyn City High School Phase 2

G: R250m to R450m

WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd : Pretoria Head & Neck

H: R450m to R750m

WBHO Construction (PTY) Ltd : Trilogy Collection

I: R750 plus

WBHO Construction (Pty) Ltd : River Creek Deloitte

Best Sub Contractor with Site Establishment

Malinga Scaffolding (Pty) Ltd : Safeways Mall

Best Sub Contractor without Site Establishment

MFS (Pty) Ltd : 144 Oxford Road

Construction mafia derailing projects causes engineers to flee

Construction mafia derailing projects causes engineers to flee

On Wednesday, 13 March 2019, a R2.4bn German oil storage investment project that is being constructed by WBHO in Saldanha, Western Cape, was halted after armed gangs arrived on site.
Image: biznews.com

Widespread concern has spread like wildfire across the built environment due to the construction mafia and gang-related activities on project sites. Yunus Bayat from the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) says that a major intervention is needed to protect infrastructure projects, investor confidence, and the safety of professionals in the built environment who are working on project sites.

The Delangokubona Business Forum continues to intimidate foremen, project managers and construction bosses by going onto project sites and demanding a stake in their projects. As professionals working on these projects, we cannot protect ourselves from this type of violent intimidation and we are no match for the AK-47 automatic weapons that they bring with them,” says Bayat.

Construction projects worth R25,5bn+ are being violently disrupted and halted

On 18 March 2019, the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) issued an urgent plea for action from the Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni. In the letter, the SAFCEC said that it is gravely concerned that construction projects worth a minimum of R25,5bn are being violently disrupted and halted in South Africa.

Armed gangs demanded to be part of the R1,65bn SANRAL Bridge Project in the Eastern Cape. These illegal site disruptions caused AVENG and the European-based Strabag International to pull out of the project, which forms part of the N2 Wild Coast Road Construction project,” continues Bayat.

While the gang activities were reported to the police and interdicts were obtained, the disruptors were released shortly thereafter. On Wednesday, 13 March 2019, a R2.4bn German oil storage investment project that is being constructed by WBHO in Saldanha, Western Cape, was halted after armed gangs arrived on site.

The project site pictures look like a war zone”

The gangs demanded to be part of the project and burned the properties to the ground. The pictures of the scene look like footage from a war zone. Again, police were called, but they only arrived hours later and said that the issue had to be handed over to the Paarl police station. Contractors, female engineers, and other staff had to run for their lives into the veld. The response from the South African Police Force simply isn’t good enough anymore,” says Bayat.

On Monday, 18 February, the Black Business Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE) issued a letter to Minister General Bheki Cele from the Ministry of Police to request an appointment to discuss the illegal stoppages of construction projects across the country. In the letter, the BBCBE says that their members who are engaged in construction activity are subjected to victimization and work stoppages on a daily basis due to local business forums demanding participation in projects.

The ASAQS is calling on the National Prosecuting Authority and local police services to address the situation. A strong and solid intervention is needed, and it should be seen as a top priority for everyone in the built environment and government,” concludes Bayat.