Concor Western Cape scores three safety awards at MBAWC

Concor Western Cape scores three safety awards at MBAWC

Concor Western Cape’s 16 Nettleton Road project was placed first in Category F – for projects from R100 million to R150 million – in the MBAWC 2018 Regional Safety Competition

Concor Western Cape has again proved itself a world class contractor by winning three out of the five building categories in the Master Builders Association Western Cape (MBAWC) 2018 Regional Safety Competition.

Mark Fugard, managing director of Concor Western Cape, says that these accolades from the MBAWC is an acknowledgement and recognition of the exemplary health, safety and environmental programme that the company has in place across all its sites.

“Safety is more than a watch word for Concor, with the highest level of commitment from management to our Stop.Think.Act! philosophy. It is about remaining focused on our objective of Zero Harm while delivering quality projects,” he says.

In Category D for project values between R14 million and R40 million, Concor Western Cape was placed first for its Signature Lux project. This project scope involved internal demolition and stripping out of an extremely old heritage status six storey building and converting the building into an 88 key Signature Lux hotel. Fugard says that although challenging at times the project has progressed well and is scheduled to take its first guests in September this year.

For the second year in a row, the company’s 16 Nettleton Road project was placed first in Category F which covers projects from R100 million to R150 million. The project scope is for the construction of a luxury residential house constructed over seven levels on the steeply inclined seaward side of Nettleton Road, Clifton.

The Aurum luxury lifestyle development being constructed by Concor Western Cape came first in Category G – for projects from R250 million to R450 million- in the MBAWC 2018 Regional Safety Competition

This has been a complex project with one of the many challenges being the need to anchor the structure to the shear mountain slope at regular intervals. The project is now entering the very detailed finishing stages. Completion is scheduled for early next year at which stage a new standard of luxury residential construction will have been achieved.

The Aurum luxury lifestyle development in Bantry Bay scored another first for Concor Western Cape, this time in Category G for project values from R250 million to R450 million. This well publicised project includes building on each side of the busy Victoria Road with the sumptuous Presidential Residences cascading down to the water’s edge below the road, and the 15 plush Luxury Residences climbing the hill above the road.

“Safety is a key performance requirement on the project with traffic and pedestrian management and control vital to project performance success, considering the constant heavy flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic passing the site,” Fugard says. During construction use was made of closed-circuit cameras focused on various points on the road between the two buildings to ensure that traffic and pedestrian behaviour was closely monitored and that construction staff managed the traffic flow while accepting the necessary deliveries of concrete, bricks and other materials.

“We believe that securing these awards further underpins Concor Western Cape’s capabilities in terms of delivering complex projects on time, within budget and most importantly safely. We are also extremely proud to have these projects represent Concor in the Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) National Safety Competition,” Fugard concludes.


Concor Buildings showcases flexibility on Makro Riversands project

Services and other trades working together to achieve the end date

Concor Buildings showcases flexibility on Makro Riversands project

Visible Felt Leadership is a philosophy that Concor Construction drives and an excellent example of a project where this is reaping significant rewards is the Concor Buildings Makro Riversands contract.

Concor Buildings, previously known as Murray & Roberts Buildings, is part of Concor Construction which was recently acquired by a consortium led by Southern Palace Group.

This is an extremely busy construction site with activities on all faces with people and machinery moving everywhere, yet it does not seem congested and everyone seems to have a thorough knowledge of what needs to be done and why. It is apparent when one walks through the site that there is ongoing interaction between all levels of personnel on this contract and this high level of communication is ensuring the success of the project.

When completed the massive new Makro will be a 12 metre high single storey structure that includes the store, offices and outbuildings. Roadways and parking areas are also included in the scope of the contract.

Scaffold activities for brickwork and plastering

The contract was awarded to Concor Buildings by Massmart in February 2017, however external issues outside of the contractor’s control led to a delay in being able to start concrete casting.

This, according to contracts manager, Martin Muller, had a 41 day impact on the critical path of the baseline programme but also provided the opportunity to showcase Concor Buildings’ flexibility and responsiveness to the changing needs of the project due to the delay.

We were able to mobilise the necessary competent core team initially, and implement the necessary acceleration in the programme to bring it back on track to ensure that the newly agreed store opening would not be compromised,” Muller explains.

He says that the original sequence of works had been to proceed from the east to the west but, because of the unprecedented delay, the programming was resequenced with construction starting from both ends at the same time.

Skylights have been installed to facilitate natural lighting

This required a change in the level of resourcing on the project to accommodate the accelerated works programme.

The resequencing and accelerating of the programme has crashed all the activities with some of these now completely out of sequence. This has put pressure on ensuring that all information is received on time and requires monitoring of all activities on site to ensure that everything is done correctly the first time,” Muller says.

One of the primary challenges on the project is to keep close track of the actual costs versus the budget especially because of the accelerated programme. Also important is the close management of people and productivity including sub-contractors. There are currently 565 people on site, but this is expected to increase to over 1 000 at project peak.

Muller says that several initiatives have been implemented aimed at keeping rework and wastage to an absolute minimum. One of these is the daily monitoring of brick and concrete usage, while another is tracking of the labour cost to complete these elements.

These are important aspects on this contract and have involved the ongoing education and training of both our people and sub-contractors. Often the focus is on construction methodologies only but we believe it is essential to empower all our people on site to understand the ramifications of wastage and rework,” Muller says.

Following site establishment, the contractor started on the foundation work while simultaneously procuring the long lead items.

The first concrete was eventually poured on May 3rd and shortly thereafter the structural steel and concrete structure activities began concurrently.

Significantly, on the Makro Riversands structure the complete perimeter walls are being constructed with brick and mortar as opposed to the use of conventional dry wall and sheeting above the three metre level.

Muller says that not only is this type of building activity more labour intensive, the height at which these construction activities is taking place has necessitated the use of additional access handling equipment to be able to access the full extent of the 12 metre structure. Increased focus has also been placed on all activities related to working at height.

Safety has also been a critical element of Concor Buildings approach to all projects, and this one is not different.

Muller explains that contractor has mitigated the risks with the high number of people on site, the accelerated programme and the fact that construction is being undertaken on more than one face, by increasing the number of safety officers and representatives on site.

Services and other trades working together to achieve the end date

In addition to the daily site task instructions which are held every morning by the respective foremen and the weekly toolbox talk on site, there is a high level of interaction from supervisory level as well as management, and this visible felt leadership is paying huge dividends in terms of productivity, quality workmanship and safety,” Muller says.

A significant portion of the labour force on site is from the local community, and while largely unskilled people, wherever possible skills transfer is being done to ensure sustainability of the community.

In addition to this, there are a high number of interns on site as well. This is an extension of the existing Concor Construction programme with Go for Gold students and underpins the company’s commitment to supporting continued knowledge sharing, development and up-skilling of graduates.

Commenting on specific construction activities, Muller says that the actual monolithic concrete floor which is an important element for Makro is on the critical path of the project. The floor is designed to accommodate the high levels of vehicular traffic and storage as well as the requisite load bearing capacity of the store.

Before the floor can be cast it is essential that the entire structure be completed; this includes the roof structure and all the perimeter walling and ensuring that the entire construction is watertight. The flooring itself will take about three weeks to be cast under stringent quality control measures, and this one of the reason why the contractor is pushing to complete the programme.

Once the flooring has been cast, access will need to be given to Makro so racking and other internal structures can be assembled.

On completion Makro Riversands would have consumed a total of 1 million cement stock bricks and poured some 9 000 m3 of readymix.

Martin Muller, contracts manager for Concor Buildings, and Margaret Dube, health, safety and environment (HSE) coordinator, addressing labour on safety

Muller is ably assisted on this project by site agent, Andrew Kagaso and general foreman, Petrus Nthombeni.

Rui Santos, managing director of Concor Buildings, previously Murray & Roberts Buildings

Concor Buildings brings agility to built environment

Conditions remain challenging within the built environment, and the sector needs a company that can offer agility and flexibility underpinned by the ability to deliver quality projects safely and within the expected time-frame.

Rui Santos, managing director of Concor Buildings, recently told South African Builder that this is exactly what his company is able to do.

Following the recent acquisition of the Murray & Roberts Infrastructure & Building Platform by a consortium led by the Southern Palace Group, the company, formerly known as Murray & Roberts Buildings, changed its name to Concor Buildings.

Santos is quick to add that the management teams stay in place, as well as all the in-house resources and competencies that have allowed the company to build its reputation for successful completion of both large and small projects. Known for achieving the highest standards of safety, Concor Buildings will continue to build on its 115 year heritage in the built environment.

Concor Buildings completed the refurbishment of the Menlyn Park shopping centre

Every company has a heritage and a story to tell, and it is no different for Concor Buildings who can point back to iconic buildings such as the Carlton Centre and ABSA Towers in the Johannesburg CBD, the Reserve Bank in Pretoria, various phases of Melrose Arch, the Gautrain Project, The Pavilion Shopping Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, the Dubai International Terminals 1 and 2 and the Burj al Arab, as well as numerous buildings in and around Sandton.

We have successfully built some of the larger and most challenging buildings in our market and completed complex renovations and refurbishments, often within very sensitive occupied spaces,” Santos says, “but, in reality, in today’s fast paced construction environment a contractor is always judged to be as good as its last project.”

Santos is most proud to point out that the company was responsible for a recently completed project that due to its sheer magnitude and complexities was considered a “once in a lifetime” project by the industry.

BCX’s new premises recently completed by Concor Buildings

He is, of course, talking about the Menlyn Park shopping centre which, following its completion by Concor Buildings late last year, has been acclaimed as the largest mall in Africa.

Santos says that while the company was also involved in the first phase of the works to extend the centre, the complexities in the second phase far outweighed any in the first. The scope of works encompassed more than merely increasing floor space. An existing open parking area was converted to a three level parking garage, a massive open piazza was developed and the existing centre received a complete makeover connecting it into the new build.

All construction activities were done by Concor Buildings, including demolition work, in this fully functioning operational shopping mall. Close communication with all professional teams, attention to the finest details and careful scheduling of work and all logistics on site saw the project successfully completed.

Every project is different; some are more complex than others while others still have exceptionally tight time-frames but at Concor Buildings we believe all deserve the same level of commitment. It is by applying our depth of management experience and expertise that we are able to optimise construction schedules, minimise risk and maximise the outcome for the customer,” Santos says.

Safety remains a key driver of all projects for Concor Buildings and Santos says the philosophy of aiming at a zero harm target is integral to all its operations. The company has a solid safety record, and its leadership in this area speaks for itself.

Another important advantage Concor Buildings has is that its core teams have been with the company for years, which ensures the on-site cohesiveness to achieve the necessary contract milestones. This, Santos says, is complimented by the close working relationships forged over extended periods of time with a strong base of skilled sub-contractor partnerships that add value.

The company is also fully committed to transformation and Santos says Concor Buildings is now part of the leading black owned construction company in South Africa. “Our commitment to skills development within our industry sector will continue and many of our sites provide experiential opportunities for young students and graduates.”

The two most recent contracts awarded to Concor Buildings are the new Skukuza Safari Lodge for the South African National Parks Board (SANParks) and new Makro Riversands store in Fourways. Santos says the Makro Riversands contract is a fast track project and the concrete works and roof structure are currently in progress. He says this is a project where the company has already demonstrated its ability to mobilise rapidly on site.

102 Rivonia Road was constructed by Concor Buildings