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NEWS > 03 National Development Bank Property Sector Interactive Session 03 RIBA Stirling Prize 2011 Shortlist Announced

Botswana’s Architecture Design and Urban Landscape Newspaper



EDITORIALS > 04 Award Ceremony Speech: Vincent B.W Moapare 05 Guest Column: "Things are Falling Apart," by Jan Wareus

BUILDINGS > 06 The New Innovation Centre for Mascom Wireless Botswana 07 Official Opening of Molepolole Institute of Health Sciences

COMMENTS > 11 Interview with Larona Motlatsi Kgabo: The "Architect Queen" 13 Debate: 'Local CI Firms Need to Look at Wider Africa for Opportunities'

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FAIRSCAPE: A Mixed-Use Concept for Fairgrounds Images and Text © Fairscape

PPC's 2011 Botswana No.1 Builder Competition Winners by Boidus Admin

Codi Construction company and Stefanutti Stocks wins the 2011 PPC’s Botswana No.1 Builder Competition under the Building Construction and Civil Commercial contractor entries respectively.

Codi Constriction drove away a 7 tone truck prize for the construction of a residential House in Phakalane while Stefanutti Stocks won a double cab Toyota van for its construction of the Mascom Data >>> CONTINUED PAGE 02

BDC is in the process of undertaking a development of a mixed use precinct property establishment - ‘‘THE FAIRSCAPE PRECINCT’’

Profiling Botswana's Oldest and Most Active Contractor's Associations: ABCON & TBBA

It is located in the heart of the Showgrounds office precinct, which is the financial hub of the country boasting a combination of local and international companies. The site is strategically positioned as it is approximately 3 kilometres east from the Government Enclave and the Gaborone CBD. It comprises of three consolidated plots owned by BDC, who are the promoters behind the project. There are two additional proposed accesses coming from the Riverwalk road and the old dumping

site that are to be constructed to improve accessibility into the area. The iconic mixed use development was designed by the international Boogertmann & Partners and Anderson & Anderson, a local team whose portfolio includes similar developments locally and internationally. The proposed development will be unique and trend setting as it will be a mixed use development i.e. it comprises of retail, office, hotel and residential units in one development, where restaurants, offices, hotel and upmarket apartments/penthouses/shops mix . This mixed use concept is the first of its

kind to be implemented in the shores of Botswana and is envisaged to bring modern and high class working and living environment into the country. The core concept is to integrate the corporate and private culture into one domain – where business meets with pleasure. The design and structure of the building is to accommodate pedestrian movements and accessibility to the amenities of the precinct with a piazza forming the central (focal point of >>> CONTINUED PAGE 10

by Esther Amogelang

Association of Botswana Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (ABCON) and Tshipidi Badiri Builders Association (TBBA); are arguably the oldest and most active contractors bodies representing the interest of contractors in Botswana, as Nic Janse van Rensburg, puts it, ‘ABOCN is the source and inspiration of all other professional association in Boidus is on FACEBOOK “BoidusBW”

Botswana’. ABCON was originated back in 1977 when everybody was represented by the organization, either big or small foreign or national. Chris Gofhamodimo, Chairman of TBBA on his part was quick to outline that TBBA was later formed to specifically advance the interests of local contractors who at the time >>> CONTINUED PAGE 02

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Local News Page 2

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

PPC's 2011 Botswana No.1 Builder Competition Winners by Boidus Admin

>>> FROM PAGE 01

Centre also located in Phakalane. Codi Contractors saw off competition from Alberti, Western properties, Group 6 Holdings and China civil who came 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. The runners up collected checks of 15 000, 10000, 3000, 2000 and 1000 pula respectively. Under the Civil Commercial category, Stefanutti Stocks saw off challenges from Wharic, who were nominated for 3 awards, Murray and Roberts, Red Construction and FDS in that order. Stefanutti Stocks which has South African roots also has many previous projects in Botswana including the new SADC Headquarters in the CBD.

Moapare, noted the key issues of good safety record, good finishing and attention to detail, delivery on time and budget are pre requisite to quality and good building standards which are also the aspiration of PPC who were the event sponsors. The competition was running on its second year, hosted by ABCON, TBBA and sponsored by PPC. Last year’s winners were, Wharic and KMP. About CODI Construction: Codi Construction was established in 1995 giving us 15

years of valuable experience. We are one of the leading construction companies and are mainly involved in high cost housing and commercial developments in Botswana. Read more: About Stefanutti Stocks: Stefanutti Stocks is one of South Africa's leading construction groups with over 12 000 employees and the capacity to deliver a range of projects of any scale to a multitude of clients in diverse markets. Building activities cover the full scope of traditional construction providing infrastructure including healthcare facilities, transport nodes, retail and parkade developments, residential, office accommodation, educational institutions, stadia, hotels & leisure and industrial facilities. Read more:

Profiling Botswana's Oldest and Most Active Contractor's Associations: ABCON & TBBA by Esther Amogelang >>> FROM PAGE 01

were besieged with multiple issues. We sat with the two men of at the eave of their historic ‘Building Botswana Conference’ to first of all find out more about what this years event is all about and also

to get the chance to profile the two organizations to the majority of the public who would not otherwise be aware of them. In the first part of the interview, we talked broadly about the two organizations and tried to build a profile of each:

Association of Botswana Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (ABCON); Organizational Background: The organisation was formed in 1977 and some of its key aims and objectives are: • To represent the construction industry • To encourage industry knowledge and skills transfer

The judge’s panel was composed of representatives from Architects Association of Botswana (AAB), ABCON, TBBA, PPC and Quantity Surveyors association. In the search for the winning project, the judges awarded the bulk of marks, 60% to the views of the building client, with safety of working conditions taking up 30% while 10% was awarded towards projects appearances, especial attention to detail and quality finishing.

Key Achievements: Some of the organizations achievements include working with government and being represented in multiple influential bodies such as BOCCIM, BOBS, CITF, HLCC and other to influence government policy. The highest note in its efforts was working towards establishing of industry registrations boards for consultants and also the contractors registration board. Structural Management: ABCON has an executive committee, with a full time employed director, Nic Vanreburg who runs the affairs of the organization. Ordinary members/companies pay membership fee which is used to run the affairs of the organization.

When giving the key note, AAB’s Vincent

Training Authority Funding Schemes in Construction by Esther Amogelang

Membership& Affiliation: • Membership is open to everyone He mentioned that they are looking forward to host public education in a form of workshops, seminars, consultation to explore possible areas for utilization, Improve monitoring as well as benchmark with other countries for best practices. He encouraged companies to train their own people saying it is relevant to vocational training courses that are accredited by BOTA or approve in advance if they were carried out outside Botswana. He mentioned Glass Manufacturing Industry in Palapye as one of the projects which benefited from BOTA Funds.

Botswana Training Authority (BOTA) was also present at the just ended Building Botswana Conference at Exposition to contribute in a number of ways that can be used to up-skill Batswana especially at artesian level. One of the issues that were at the centre of controversy at the conference was lack of training in construction industry and with its Vocational Training Funds, (BOTA) was calling upon all citizens to register for the training fund in order to appreciate the construction industry. The VTF under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs was created with its objective being to generate sufficient funds to support skills base at the work place. Its underlying goals are to motivate enterprises to train their staff, achieve a more equal share between enterprises in financing training activities, help to bring together supply and demand for training, create new opportunities in the training market and support the goal of costsharing in skills development in Bo-

tswana. Some of the challenges as mentioned by K.Maikaelelo from BOTA that are faced with this Training Fund are slow uptake of Vocational Training Fund, No training needs analysis, No commitment by industry as well as Incomplete submissions.

Another department which was present at the conference was Human Resource Development Advisory Council (HRDAC) which aims to advice, regulate, plan and fund as a way of building Batswana. The Human Resource strategy was approved by his Excellency Lieutenant Seretse Khama Ian Khama in 2009.

Strategies and calendar activities: • They represent construction industry and contractors in general • They are using government committees, BOTA and CITF and others. • Evening nights for their members • They have a calendar of events. Challenges: • Lack of funds • Lack of membership commitment

Tshipidi Badiri Builders Association (TBBA); Organizational Background: Tshipidi Badiri Builders Association (TBBA) was established and registered as an association in 1983 making it the oldest association that has been representing and protecting the interests of the Citizen Contractors (CC), as well as promoting the betterment of the Construction Industry (CI) in Botswana. Structural Management: • Executive Committee: Chairperson Person, Vice-chairperson, Secretary, Treasure, Public Relation officer other additional members. • General Members Mission: • Citizen contractor’s empowerment • Betterment of the industry Aims/Objectives: • Specifically set up by citizens, all members to protect and look after interests of citizens (empowerment). • Build dialogue and bilateral relationships with industry stake holders and decision makers, especially government. Membership & Affiliation: • open to everyone as long as they are citizens • But mostly they deal with reputable industry professionals Strategy to Achieve their Mission: • to sell the organization • To built a dialogue between the association, government and people from the construction industry. • assist with the skills or any problems in the industry.

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Local / International News Page 3

NDB Property Sector Inter- RIBA Stirling Prize 2011 Shortlist Announced active Session by Boidus Admin, text and images © RIBA

Ruth Reed, RIBA President, said: ‘The RIBA Stirling Prize celebrates architectural excellence and this year we have another outstanding collection of culturally significant buildings on the shortlist; projects that have each made a significant contribution to the evolution of architecture.

by Esther Amogelang

On the other hand Research Product Development Manager, Ms Zenzile Moesi clarified some of the fast tracking loans that NDB targets which are Nthuta NDB school fees, Bonno NDB home loan, Ntlhatlhosa Kwa morakeng and Temo Bokamoso. National Development Bank (NDB) hosted a Property Sector Interactive Session at Maharaja Conference on the 7th September 2011. The event which was more of an informative and interaction attracted many among others NDB members ,Boccim members, people from properties like Real Estates, Consulting companies, Architects, representatives from Botswana Defence Force, Botswana Police Service, media and people from private sectors. The main purpose of the session was to gather inputs from different parties regarding what NDB can do to assists/fill up any gaps that are amongst them. NDB strategy aims to transform the Bank into a financial institution that has a positive impact on Batswana by providing innovative financial products and services in order to contribute towards economic development in Botswana. Some of the loans that NDB banks provide are Manufacturing, Commercial/ Retail, Agriculture, Human Capital Development and Property which was at the centre of discussion. When opening the programme Deputy Chief Executive Officer , Mr. Happy.O.Mogotsi said the session will try to deal with issues of knowledge around NDB.He said the purpose is to unearth information on issues in property, customer expectations as well as varies financing.

She further said since property is one of NDB mission, when financing them they consider and address things like: location, title deeds, and building contractors, approve building plans, permits, and offer of sale for property. The Bonno NDB Home loan caters for all Botswana citizens for all their financial needs, be it home improving, buying a house, plot or building a home. The loan comes at a time when the country is facing a problem of shortage of housing especially in Gaborone so since its stress-free, convienient, competitive and affordable at the same time it benefits everyone.

Evelyn Grace Academy, by Zaha Hadid Architects, Running Track view

The beautifully simple Velodrome in London’s Olympic Park, the carefully crafted remodelling of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres in Stratford upon Avon, a highly imaginative London school on a tight urban site, an innovative and vibrant cultural centre in Derry, the transformation of an unremarkable 1980s office building in London into

Two’s The Culture Show on Sunday 2 October, presented by Kevin McCloud. This year is the first time the shortlist includes practices who have all previously been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize; and also includes two RIBA Stirling Prize winners: David Chipperfield Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Creative redevelopment is a strong theme in this year’s list, with a major museum extension, a remodelled theatre complex and the innovative retrofit of an old office building featured, showing how even with tight planning and building constraints, talent and imagination can totally transform existing structures and sites. From recycling to cycling: this year’s shortlist features the first Olympic venue, a beautifully clever exemplar for the UK’s Games. Another ‘first’ is a significant cultural centre in Derry, Northern Ireland’s first building to make it onto the shortlist. Finally I am delighted to see a brilliant academy on a tight urban site completing the list;

Meanwhile a new strategy has been set this year which is called THOBO 2014 which NDB is thriving to achieve. Some of the Properties companies which were present include; MG Properties, Apex properties, Kwena, Home Safe Inspection among others. When closing the session Acting Deputy Chief Executive officer ,Ms Baboloki Mojalemotho who was also responsible for facilitating discussions promised attendees that as a Development Financial Institution,NDB,will collaborate with real estates,Boccim,media,private sector towards building its mission of providing innovation financial products which promote development in Botswana.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, by Bennets Associates

An Gaelaras, by O'Donnell + Tuomey, Interior view

a school project that demonstrates what can be achieved when the architect and clients ‘think outside the box’. I look forward to seeing which project the judges select as the worthy winner.’

Builders Warehouse Opens by Boidus Admin

Folkwang Museum, by David Chipperfield Architects

an elegant new office and retail space, and the breathtaking extension of a significant museum in Germany, form the shortlist for the prestigious £20,000 RIBA Stirling Prize.

On the 22nd of September, a new kind of building materials shopping will be availed for the first time to the residents of Gaborone and surroundings. The new warehouse is located in the under construction ‘Airport Junction Shopping Centre along the A1 highway to Francis town.

fitting out materials for the house.

The shop which was opened for media and invited builders last week Friday offers a wide range of goods ranging from the smallest to supplies of sand concrete and cement. It will be the ultimate destination for a city where more and more of its residents are turning to building their own houses as a business alternative. It’s shinny inside and cleanly organized shopping allays couldn’t be cleaner. It is a shop that dads, mums are kids will sure enjoy going to for a buying

The new warehouse has both quality experience and easy accessibility and parking. In addition to a good number of parking spaces out side, the warehouse is even located next to a first of its kind in Botswana Drive through fast food KFC.

Gone are days where shopping for materials meant dodging trucks and tippers in the car park before getting into a cement dusty shop with no pleasant shopping experience at all.

Builders Warehouse is a part of Massmart Holdings and forms part of the Massbuild Division. Massbuild comprises Builders Warehouse, Builders Express and Builders Trade Depot.

Now in its 16th year, the RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal and Benchmark is awarded to the architects of the best new European building ‘built or designed in Britain’. The winner will be announced on Saturday 1 October at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham and will be broadcast on a special edition of BBC

The Angel Building, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The six shortlisted projects are as follows: • •

• • • •

An Gaelaras, Derry by O’Donnell and Tuomey The Angel Building, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) Evelyn Grace Academy, London by Zaha Hadid Architects Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany by David Chipperfield Architects Olympic Velodrome London 2012 by Hopkins Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford by Bennetts Associates

Olympic Velodrome London 2012, by Hopkins Architects

Previous winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize include: MAXXI Museum, Rome by Zaha Hadid Architects (2010); Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (2009); Accordia housing development by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios/Alison Brooks Architects/Maccreanor Lavington (2008); The Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar, Germany by David Chipperfield Architects (2007). The shortlist for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize for the best international building outside the EU was also announced and is as follows: • Boston Museum of Fine Arts, USA by Foster + Partners • Guangzhou Opera House, China by Zaha Hadid Architects • Masdar Institute, AbuDhabi by Foster + Partners • The Met, Bangkok by WOHA • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, USA by Rick Mather Architects + SMBW

Editorials Page 4

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Standard Building Contracts: Award Ceremony Speech: Vincent B.W Moapare Which Is Which? by H. Killion Mokwete, ARB Registered Architect, RIBA Chartered Architect One of the panel discussions at the recently held ‘Building Botswana Conference’, featured a subject on ‘satndard contracts’ used in Botswana. Presentations from BIDP and FIDIC representatives in Botswana, ERCB brought the fore standing question as to which standard set of contract documents is suitable for our local construction industry. BIDP CONTRACTS: The presentation on BIDP’s set of contracts by David Young reaveled how the existing BIDP contracts from small works contracts and others are developed with or at the request of local ministryies and or parastalas to develop local industry relevant contracts which can easlity be applicable to our laws. Since its formation in 1978, the BIDP has been at the centre of developing standard contract documents which were originally modelled around the british Joint Tribunal Contract (JCT) set of contracts. The BIDP contracts were later amended in 2006 and others introduced in 2008 through to 2010. The unanswered question however is how is it that the BIDP’S contracts have not grown to consolidate the local market since their introduction as early as 1970’s. • • • • • • • •

Minor works form of contract Without quantities form of contract With quantities form of contract Form of nominated subcontract Form of domestic subcontract Form of major works subcontract for FIDIC contract Architect's appointment Consultant's appointment

The construction industry, from contractors and consulatants alike still largely opt for other international contract documents such as SAIA for consultants appointment and FIDIC for contractors. Arcording to Shadrec Kobole, presenting the FIDIC contracts, on behalf of the AECB who are licencced to sell FIDIC products in Botswana, FIDIC contracts promotes ‘best practice, high standards, quality service among others. He stressed how FIDIC is clear and coherent, fair and equitable responsibilities. THE FIDIC CONTRACT: The FIDIC contracts are currently predominatly used for engineering and constrution services across government projects, with DBES taking them as default contracts for most of their procured projects. This was later discussed by Ishmael…. from DBES when discussing their standard completion as per FIDIC contract. FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (the acronym stands for the French version of the name- The

by Boidus Admin, Text © Vincent B.W Moapare

Fédération Internationale des IngénieursConseils (“FIDIC”) represents globally the consulting engineering industry and publishes set of contracts which are sold and used world wide, in Botswana the AECB is the licensed body that sells these contracts. Some of FIDIC four published Editions are: [From] 1. Short Form of Contract, which may be suitable for a small contract (say, under US$ 500 000) if the construction time is short (say, less than 6 months), or for relatively simple or repetitive work (say, dredging), irrespective of whether the design is provided by the Employer or the Contractor, and of whether the project involves civil, electrical, mechanical and/or construction works. 2. Conditions of Contract for Construction ("the Construction Book" or "CONS"), which are recommended for building or engineering works where most of the design is provided by the Employer. However, the works may include some Contractor-designed civil, mechanical, electrical and/or construction works. 3. Conditions of Contract for Plant and Design-Build ("the Plant & E-B Book" or "P&DB"), which are recommended for the provision of electrical and/or mechanical plant, and for the design and execution of building or engineering works. The scope of this Book thus embraces both old Yellow and Orange Books, for all types of Contractor-designed works. 4. Conditions of Contract for EPC/Turnkey Projects ("the EPC Book" or EPCT"), which may be suitable for the provision on a turnkey basis of a process or power plant, of a factory or similar facility, or of an infrastructure project or other type of development, where • a higher degree of certainty of final price and time is required, and • the Contractor takes total responsibility for the design and execution of the project. Using the right contracts for the right job is essential to avoid unnecessary conflicts. It is however a big problem where contracts, which are legal documents are implimentated across a profession that is not regularised. Most of Botswana’s Construction professionals are still not regulated, such as Architecure, Engineering (ERB lately launched), Quanity surveyors, contractors and others. This makes applying contracts difficult as these professions operate without legally binding ethics good and measure of good practice. This is the elephant in the room, were most of the industry’s problems such as incompetency, bad practice can traced to. Untill the professionals oprating in the industruy are regulated, enforcing any contract document will still rely on intervening from the courts, unfortunately a route that many clients can afford.

The PPC Cement Botswana Number 1 Builder Competition is open to all builders. The idea is to showcase the best building industry standards. Because the completion covers the whole spectrum of construction projects we cast our net wide for all to participate as we encourage only the best in the industry. It was humbling to see what Batswana citizens and residents can do in these projects. All the judges said and noted in one voice that the future of Botswana’s development fortunes remains in the best hands –the strength and skill of our people. I have a message to all that participated in this competition – you are all winners. If you are rewarded tonight keep up the good work, only the best will come your way!

On the Night of the PPC Cement Botswana Number 1 Builder Awards Gala Dinner 16 September 2011 Key Messages: • PPC Cement together with /ABCON/Architects Association/Tshipidi Badiri and other partners are spearheading quality assurance in building projects • Quality is mandatory when it comes to infrastructural developments • This year’s entrants mark a paradigm shift towards attention to detail • Judging criteria considered clients and judges’ reviews Someone told me that this evening is all about excellence and achieving the best of standards and as such they wanted the likes of Barack Obama to present this opening speech. Others thought when there are good quality projects involved it becomes a spiritual matter and the charismatic Archbishop Desmond Tutu could have done a better job. Do you want to know why I am here? Well, just know that I didn’t ask for an appearance fee. Members of the fourth estate our media practitioners, Representatives of various corporates here present, Members of construction companies here present, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Our entrants for the PPC Cement Botswana Number 1 Builder Competition, Thank you very much for making this night possible. Our search for the Botswana Number 1 Builder which began in May this year reaches its peak tonight with the announcement of the winners in two categories: • •

Building Construction; and the Civil and Commercial construction.

In our reviews of the numerous projects we received from all over Botswana as the judges, we came to one realization – the quality of our projects is getting better and better every year. There were good safety records, outstanding project management skills on site, impressive finishing and more at-

tention to detail compared to last year. Most projects were delivered on time and within budget. Ladies and gentlemen one renowned engineer once said, “of course, there is planning, strategizing, conceptualizing and more, but only performance is reality.” We adhere to this school of thought. It is only the final project which reveals the concept, the ideas and the amount of work that has been put to a project. When we continue to uphold industry’ best practice, unwavering in standing for quality we will see only the best in our infrastructural development fortunes. In our assessments we considered the most important people in the decision making process – the clients - whose views contributed 60% of the overall score. We all know that when we please our clients we are doing something right, that is why their view was weighed in at 60%. Judges’ reviews contributed 40% of the score. On the panel of Judges was a diverse group of experts who brought various critical aspects of the industry to the panel these were; the General Manager for PPC Botswana Mr Werner De Beer, a cement and concrete specialist. We had Mr Otshegeditshe Basiami, a Quantity Surveyor, who was representing Tshipidi Badiri, and Mr Donavan Leach PPC Technical Support Manager, another concrete specialist. Nic Van Rensburg from ABCON, on the other hand, who is familiar with standards and regulations within the construction industry in Botswana also sat on the judges panel. I am an architect and I was representing the Architects Association of Botswana. The judging criteria involved safety; we were looking to see the safety of the working conditions. This included looking into the number of accidents that occurred during the duration of the project, this contributed 30% of the overall mark. We also considered workmanship, by that we mean the quality of the work done, adherence to timelines, and whether the project was completed on time. We also looked at the quotations whether or not the project was over or under budget. This was weighed at 15% whilst the appearance of the finished project carried 10% of the overall result.

The legendary Gary Player, a renowned golfer used to say,“The more I play and practice the luckier I get.” Nothing else could come closer to the truth. Like anything else in the world you live and learn by extending you knowledge, more practice and applying yourself. Well done. Well done. Well done. Lekamoso. You are the future of this industry. To other participants I say, our overall impression as judges was that a lot of good work was put into all the projects that we reviewed. There is a lot of improvement from what we saw last year. Our competition entrants improve each and every dayand you can only get better. Let us be inspired to do more and more and yes hard work pays! You have another chance again for next year. Go for it! Architects Association of Botswana Ladies & and gents allow me to give you a brief introduction about the Architects Association of Botswana or the AAB as we call it. The AAB is the body representing majority of Architects in Botswana. Originally formed in 1989, some of its aims are as follows: • To promote Architecture in Botswana • To generate interest and assist within the public realm for the profession • To maintain integrity and standards within the profession • To encourage architectural education In order to achieve these aims the Association runs a number of programmes including: • Liaison with the Government, media and public regarding architectural matters • Education links with universities, additionally Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses are promoted for Architects in mid-career - the most recent one being a workshop on the JBCC contract used in building contracts in South Africa. • The Association assists members with documentation and the monitoring of issues which affect the practice. • Regular communication is maintained with members. >>> CONTINUED PAGE 05

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Vincent B.W Moapare Speech >>> FROM PAGE 04

AAB is affiliated with the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the Commonwealth Association of Architects. Ladies and gentlemen, as you may be aware, through the media, our industry has been under the spotlight on a number of issues mainly pertaining to poor quality of work produced by some amongst us; cost overruns and project delays. We are also greatly concerned about this state of affairs. Hence, we find it very commendable that PPC, as a stakeholder in the industry has had the courage to taken the initiative to promote and engender a culture of quality workmanship amongst Botswana’s builders. This is a step in the right direction and we urge all of you to emulate this initiative in whichever way you can. We believe this will go a long way towards contributing to the realization of quality infrastructure in Botswana.

Editorials / Guest Column Page 5

GUEST COLUMN Things are Falling Apart

Have your say... Submit essays to

by Jan Wareus, Architect / Town Planner

Most flashy cars we see are also on loans. Hundreds of insiders in the financial circus are saying – get rid of loans, quickly! Referring to nations and individuals the same. Despite this,we are going on with the dance around the golden calf – it’s surreal! Fortunately, for the time being, we have an “open” media – Internet. Some people have found a way of getting unbiased information from there. I recommend internet and use it for as long it is allowed to be “free”. So where are we today in our developments? Let’s see what the architects in our country propose, for a start.

That is why as AAB we have found it fitting and important to participate in this event, as we believe we can achieve more as a united front. Ladies and gents, in view of that, the Architectural profession is making great strides towards regulation of the profession.

In the beginning of the 40-ties, Duke Ellington presented “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” – the New Deal in US was working fine and the energy supply to people seemed forever unfailing.

The architects’ registration act has been enacted by parliament. Presently an Interim Working Committee, supported by Task Force groups, all comprising of members of the association, is in place to oversee the transition process towards the establishment of the Architects Registration Council (the ARC). Once in place, the ARC will be responsible for registration of architects and regulation of the profession. There is no doubt that this will ensure that only people who are qualified and registered to practice as architects will do that.

Charlie Parker blow his “Now’s the Time” and meant that also a new music, different from the swinging lullaby’s of the 1930-ies and preparing for a new musical era.

In conclusion, I leave you to ponder this quotation by Billy Graham who once said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened”. Let us have the courage to better our industry!

Let me for short give you some quotations from my internet sources: • Massive worldwide economic growth of the past two centuries was enabled by the newfound ability to exploit cheap, abundant energy of (finite) fossil fuels – Heinberg (www. post carbon institute) • The oil world has changed – and this means a power shock to the energy system, coinciding with a seismic shift in the world’s economic and financial systems – Heinberg • If the oil stops flowing in recent quantities, global trade as we know it grinds to a standstill – Heinberg • Unfortunately, there is a desire to hope for the best but we have to prepare for the worst – Hugh-Smith ( • Growth depends on energy but we are learned that it solely depends on capital, production and labour – forgetting resources –Martenson ( Indeed - Thing’s ain’t what they used to be!

A well known metaphor to architects (of my age) is – Architecture is Frozen Music. Unfortunately, today’s music is half melted stuff and not easily possible to understand in a lyrical metaphor. But there have been other times (and other musicians and architects).

Remember, the future of our industry lies in our ability to uphold standards; defend them, defend them and defend them hard. It is only when we are hard on ourselves that everything else around us becomes easier. We are getting there bagaetsho we are getting there. The reason we see further and beyond is because we are standing on shoulders of giants. Our forefathers or principals of this industry who dared to dream and see beyond their time laid down strong foundations on which we now stand.

must prepare!

But, already in the 50-ies, Jule Stein composed the evergreen “The Party’s Over” with some foresightand Frank Sinatra made it a hit. About the same time as the neo-liberalism was born – the economical regime we been living under since then. The old musicians had a very good sense of the times! Now it is unfortunately a completely commercialized music industry that only provides “lullaby’s”. Mostly rapping and unbelievable nonsense! Where are the Bob Marley’s and Fela Khuti’s of today? The likes of Ellington, Parker and Stein that could “freeze” music to everlasting comments on contemporary times?

What we see is a kind of Disneyland of many unconnected buildings, standing side by side as asking for a dance at some fancy dress party. Most “designs” are cut out of some flush magazine where they were attributed by the modern architecture pundits to some kind of interesting -ism. So we have a bunch of imitations – a kaleidoscope of recent isms with no relation whatsoever with each other. This is a laughing matter for genuine architects visiting this country – I remember Ralph Erskine’s visit in 1992! The small developments (by then) made him caution us for what’s coming if not regulated (by ourselves – the architects and town planners). That’s only the aesthetics of it – a laughing matter! Let’s look at the sustainability of it in a less energy abundant world! And that’s more serious – architects and town planners are the client’s confidents and responsible agents for the future of his building! Now buildings are much more expensive than necessary, more energy consuming than necessary and not sustainable to a world of less abundance! I will pursue this issue next time.

How Fast Are Things Falling Apart

Some questions: • Where are the critical architects and town planners of today? • Can we learn something and prepare ourselves to meet the future clients?

To be honest, there are disagreements among energy and economic scholars about the pace of the breakdown of the over-industrialized era (and its dependence on cheap energy) but not the inevitable results.

We “innocent” people are inside a big glistering bubble of temporary over-consumption and too spoilt to understand that. We have seen small, hardly noticeable writings about it in our papers and media, but mostly it goes unnoticed. Why – well, papers and most media is owned by big corporations today and even small papers are depending on “advertising”.

There simply won’t be money enough to pay for further growth – nationally and individually! Countries burden by too many debts will go bankrupt and who will bail nations out in the long run – when our tax money is depleted? The time margins now discussed are, however, just one decade, for some scholars just one or two years, but we are facing it.

Meaning that we should not read and understand real problems – just go on consuming – this is well known today. “Don’t Upset Advertisers” – DUA it is called by media pundits. Get your information from the ones that run the show! People should go on consuming over their salary limits on loans. So should countries and nations. Nations are now going bankrupted in an ever increasing degree. Band Aids are put on but, in fact, won’t help in the long run. Reason being that “help” is also loans! Tax money is our money and that is what is used for bailing out the banks!

And what we build and construct now has a lifespan (on paper) for more than 50 years! All development plans I have been involved in talk about a 25 years lifespan. So called “blind” futurology (rather with blinkers) – extrapolating unsustainable trends into the future! We should know better... Why am I writing about a bleak future? Well, having survived a number of smaller bursts, I have to prepare myself and my colleagues for what’s coming – it will be worse and we in the profession

A few voices among many on the net! Others are “” and John Michael Greer on “www.The Archdruid Report” – read them! Yes, there are some whistle blowers! Seldom any official, government based reports. No, actually, there are even a few such ones but never quoted in the papers, as media today are “privatized” and reluctant to upset us. They are more for scandals around the dolls in their strings! BUT – this year the International Energy Agency (IEA), the adviser to both OPEC and about 23 major governments around the world, had to admit: “Crude oil output reaches an undulating plateau of around 68-69 mb/d (million barrels per day) by 2020, but never regains its all-time peak of 70 mb/d reached in 2006” – So it goes and IEA has for many years tried the best to keep consumers and nations sleeping nice, a fact according to whistle blowers from IEA. Following graph is the “most optimistic scenario” for the coming years from IEA – note that it is basing the outlook on the fact that OPEC, the owners of the oil, will cut down their own use to a high degree – is that why Western countries are implementing the Carter Doctrine (securing oil for the West – Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Iran are OPEC members).


And, honestly, our global free trade system needs an increase to more than 90 mb/d in the next yrs to keep the current (2010) growth. So, why do I bother to mention this? I feel that Now’s the time – to adjust to new facts. I’m not a self-torturer – but I want to know what’s behind the bend of the road! How can we as architects and town planners prepare for an era of scaling down growth expectations and save energy? We have to discuss this in all sincerity and I will start in next column.

Buildings Page 6

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

The New Innovation Centre for Mascom Wireless Botswana by Boidus Admin / Images and Text © AXE Developments

Project Information: The New Innovation Centre for Mascom Wireless Botswana is located in Phakalane just outside of Gaborone. This facility will serve as Mascom’s main Technical Centre. It comprises a state of the art Data Centre, with full N+1 redundancy, an Energy Centre capable of sustaining the facility in the case of a power failure, and an Office administration block.

Mascom is one of two companies to establish, maintain and operate a GSM Mobile network in Botswana. The Mascom network was launched five weeks after licensing, establishing a reputation of credibility and has been the market leader in Botswana from then on. ISF-Axe approached OneZero Consulting to design the electrical and electronic infrastructure for its new

W/m2 without any significant changes to the existing electrical and mechanical network. This was accomplished by designing future requirements into the current design which will be seamlessly implemented without effecting current business operations. The development also includes an Office administration block, comprising all the amenities required by a world-class GSM service provider.

Innovation Center in Phakalane. This facility will serve as Mascom’s main Technical Center. It comprises a state of the art Data Center (540sqm), with full N+1 redundancy Energy Center capable of sustaining the facility in the case of a power failure or abnormal power conditions from the local supply authority. The design required a full upgrade path from 800 W/m2 to 1400

Current Status Start Date Completion Date

Construction Phase March 2010 August 2011

Project Specifications: Total Project Value R 220,000,000-00 Square Meters: Data Centre 806m2 Usable Office Block 532m2 Usable Energy Centre 2682m2 Usable

Residential House in Phakalane Golf Estate by Boidus Admin / Images and Text © Codi Construction

Codi Construction completing another housing project in Phakalane. – During 2009 we will complete construction on eight villas in the Phakalane Golf Estate. These villas are all 3 bed roomed, two bath roomed with open plan living, dining and kitchen areas together

with a guest toilet, double garage, servants quarters and swimming pool. All of the villas were sold prior to the start of the project. This will be the second turnkey housing development that we have completed within the Phakalane Golf Estate.

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Buildings Page 7

Official Opening of Molepolole Institute of Health Sciences by Esther Amogelang

The multi-million pula project comprises of academic building 1 and 2, Administration, Student Hostels, Maintenance and service buildings, Library, Multi-Purpose Hall, Auditorium, Canteen and Sports and Recreation. Phase 3 of the project which will comprise of more staff houses, swimming pool is still to come. Molepolole I.H.S projected started in September 2007 and was completed in June 2011 at a cost of P295 million. Client Representative: DEPT. OF BUILDING& ENGINEERING SERVICES User Ministry: MINISTRY OF HEALTH Contractor: CAITEC BOTSWANA (Pty) Ltd Architects: MOSIENYANE & PARTNERS INTERNATIONAL Civil/Structural Engineer: ARUP BOTSWANA Mechanical Engineers: KVN ASSOCIATES (Pty) Ltd Electrical Engineers: EMC CONSULTING Quantity Surveyors: MWITUMWA & ASSOCIATES

Francistown Airport Opens by Boidus Admin

Francistown International airport, built at the tune of P562 million by Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) opened its doors last Thursday last following a tour by the Minister of Trans-

port and Communications. Minister Frank Ramsden told journalist during a press briefing that the state of the art facility would enhance air traffic

Rail Park Mall Opening to the Public September 2011 by Esther Amogelang

A P350 million project by Murray & Roberts which started last year is on its final lap and expected to open officially by September 27, 2011. The project which is getting all the attention from passersby along the Rail line is one of BR Properties’ projects in partnership with Tredinnick Botswana (PTY) Limited as their developer and Botswana Insurance fund Management (Bifm). The mall has approximately 115 tenants who are expected to all be in occupation of the space by the time the mall opens. A reliable source from one of the consultants confirmed that the mall is proceeding its original budget of close to P350 million and is expected to be the same until the project is finished, something which can be seen as a positive development. The Rail Park, which will serve mainly as a retail outlet and feature a small portion of office buildings is expected to address the issue of congestion in the area, improve infrastructure in and around the town, and create employment, thereby improving the lives of

Batswana as well as the splendor of the bus rank. Expectation from the public was that the building of the mall was initiated as a result of plans for the Passenger (Blue) Train to come into use; the said source could not comment on that but said it’s built along the rail line because it’s a communal land and everyone is free to pass by therefore this development does not include any spaces for the railway stations. According to Treddinick, the new bridge is designed to carry the substantial numbers of people that currently cross the railways line at that point as compared to the existing bridge which was designed for 5,000 people a day but currently carrying close to 50,000 of people a day. The car park which occupies a significant part of the mall has 905 parking spaces on the surface as well as a lot of shops including Choppies and Food Lovers, among others. Upon completion, the mall will cater for Gaborone West residents and for people working at the CBD and the general public, on a 24 hour basis.

which was in line with the government’s objectives to efficiently link the country’s main urban areas to the global village. He said the new airport will make it easy for big aircrafts like the boeing 737 to land . The Airport project had three packages, including airfield pavements, airfield ground lighting and the terminal building, which has been designed for the traffic forecast up to 2025. The building has Commercially Important Person (CIP) lounges in both the domestic and international departure lounges. It also has a VIP lounge. The new structure has openings for car rentals, a restaurant, shops and a bank. Botswana Tourism Board office is in the mezzanine floor, in the terminal building.

The KB Mall which is just opposite the bus rank is the recent construction and one would wonder if it is going to be a competitor to The Rail Park Mall; however it is not seen as an obstacle as KB is a smaller mall. The Rail Park Mall, which is inspiring awe with its quick progress, is going all the way from the rail line along Gaborone Hotel up to Supa Save Supermarket. Developments that BR Properties will undertake in the future will not only contribute towards the cash flow of investors, but will also improve the quality of towns, create jobs, promote opportunities to empower citizens, attract private sector investment, optimize the use of land and property resources as well as facilitate skills development. PROFESSIONAL TEAM: Main Contractors: Murray& Roberts Development Managers: Treddinick T/A: JTTM Properties (Pty) Ltd Project Promoters: BR Properties (Pty) Ltd Architects in Association: ArcSwana Architects Quantity Surveyors: Mmile Mhutsiwa& Associates Civil/Structural Engineers: Lesedi Consulting Engineers Electrical & Mechanical Engineers: QED Consulting Engineers

Advertising Page 8

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

PPC Launches New Products THE EXPOSITION CONSUMERS: at Building Conference 2011 (15-17 September 2011) by Esther Amogelang

by Boidus Admin

Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) last week announced an enhancement of their products at Boipuso Hall at the just ended Building Botswana Conference and Exposition 2011. PPC Cement’s OPC (CEM 1) product will change to a 52,5N classification (Previously 42.5N) and PPC Cement Sure build has been upgraded from 32,5R cement to 42,5N cement. On the other hand, New Botcem 32.5R is set to be launched soon. PPC new products have the effect of reducing concrete costs whilst allowing builders and contractors to produce 15 percent more concrete of equal or higher quality than what have been used to in the past. These new products will also benefits builders and contractors in number of ways; they float faster and finishing of concrete floors, faster strength development, quick removal of formwork all of which result in optimal use of labour in construction plant, therefore resulting in significant downstream savings.

...Exposition stalls

For brick makers, the new products will increase production yield, require less yard space and a reduction in breakages whilst builders will get to enjoy quickie settings and improved quality of workmanship. A media release from Customer Executive at PPC indicates that a project using 100 bags of normal general purpose cement to cast floor slabs in a house would now yield 70metres square with the newly 42.5N Surebuild,the same project with the same number of bags will allow the builder to produce at least 10.5 meters square more. These products are made for them to be possible for builders and contractors to achieve best results in their respective projects to ensure that PPC maintain excellence in Botswana. Some of them landmarks that were in the past done by PPC are Ministry of Health building, Attorney General Offices, Technology Centre Botswana, Francistown Stadium, SSKA, Game city, River Walk and Sebele Mall among others.

According to General Manager for PPC Botswana, Werner De Beer, they are launching these exciting products as a way of valuing infrastructural development in line with the country’s vision of building a better Botswana by 2016.

These products had been recently launched in South Africa and there was a positive response as customers were more than excited and hoping to benefit from the products.

“This will see a reduction cost of cement per cubic meter, guarantee better quality control and higher compressive strength for builders,” he said.

PPC’s new products OPC and Sure build are now available to the public. The NO.1 Builder Competition award ceremony was ending the products launch.


...and the PPC celebration


WHY BOIDUS? • the consumer of the built environment needs to be in a position to access information regarding what the architectural industry is up to • a platform for discussion and discourse needs to be created where open, earnest discussions on important issues take place


T: +267 755 05 291 E: THABO

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Boidus Pty. Ltd. P.O. Box 50097, Gaborone

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Advertising Page 9

PRODUCT DISPLAYS AT THE EXPO: (15-17 September 2011)

Doors & Windows

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BOIDUS IS • Individuals working together towards a common goal • A social network dedicated to creativity • Interaction between the arts, architecture and design across the creative media • Lifestyle, career, theory, fashion…diversity of subject

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A biweekly design newspaper distributed on Mondays.

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Building Materials


by Boidus Admin


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Boidus Pty. Ltd. POSTAL ADDRESS > P.O. Box 50097, Gaborone

Construction Tools

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BOIDUS FOCUS Expo Team: H. Killion Mokwete Editor

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Boidus partnered with ABCON and TBBA to publish this BOIDUS FOCUS event special, detailing events of the 'Building Botswana Conference & Exposition 2011.' For more info visit us at:

Feature Project Page 10

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

FAIRSCAPE: Premier A-Grade Office, Retail/Restaurant, a Boutique Hotel & Exclusive Penthouses Images and Text © Fairscape

>>> FROM PAGE 01

the precinct) having an array of shops and open cafes, hence providing a vibrant “street architecture’’ where locals and visitors can mingle. The design and construction will incorporate modern green building status, which will render the development to be environmentally friendly and ener-

gy efficient. Dependant upon the final mix the total development will extend around 23,000 square meters, comprising of a fifteen tower building with penthouses occupying the uppermost floors and four other surrounding buildings consisting of a four/five star hotel and office space. It is planned that this will be completed in phases and phase 1 to be completed by second quarter 2014.

The initial plans show this as comprising; • 18,000 + sqm office precinct • 4,000 sqm of retail space, comprising of upmarket restaurants, coffee bars, boutiques, craft shops etc • 13,000 sqm phase 2 office/retail space • 3 level Basement parking/open parking

FAIRSCAPE PROFESSIONAL TEAM: Developers: Botswana Development Corporation Limited / Commercial Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Architects: Boogertman + Partners / Anderson + Anderson International Project Managers: Brydens Botswana Quantity Surveyors: Davis Langdon Civil & Structural Engineers: Pula Consultants / WSP Structures Africa / AR Edwards Fire Consultant: Specialised Fire Technologies

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Education Page 11

Larona Motlatsi Kgabo: UB's Visiting Students from The “Architect Queen” is Back Dalhousie University from Brazil by Boidus Admin

Students of Dalhousie University from Canada, showcasing some of their work at the University of Botswana’ school of architecture.

by Esther Amogelang

The students are here as part of their outreach school work with local NGO’s reaching out to communities affected with HIV aids. Dalhousie has a long relationship with Architecture development in Botswana stretching back some 20 years ago.

Boidus Media had an opportunity to talk with Ms Larona Kgabo who went to represent Botswana at the just ended Miss Universe 2011 in Brazil.A former Architectural student from University of Botswana shares with Boidus Reporter on how she paved her road until this year becoming the first from architecture to be crowned Miss Universe, Botswana BF: Who is the real Larona Kgabo? KL: If there is one thing I cannot do is to talk about myself without mentioning God- my maker, who is the reason for everything that I am and all that I have achieved in my life today. He has given my life a meaning and a purpose for living through the many wonderful people He brought into my life- my family, my friends, my teachers, my leaders, my Pastors and even total strangers. Yes I am Miss Universe Botswana 2011, I am an architect, I am beautiful, striving and many other things but at the end of the day, what truly defines me is my relationship with God and I like to refer to myself as God’s last born child because of how He continually spoils me with blessings…lol! The greatest blessing of them all is the opportunity to impact the lives of women, men and young people in my country through the Miss Universe platform! BF: What inspired you to join the just ended Miss Universe 2011? It was a great honor and privilege to represent my nation Botswana during the just ended Miss Universe 2011 and my participation in the international pageant was as a result of my title as Miss Universe Botswana 2011- a beautiful experience indeed which I will forever treasure in my heart! To join the pageant locally, I was enticed by the platform it offered for one young woman to be a role model to the entire nation. I am convinced that I am one of the young personalities in Botswana

whose lives are a story of hope and inspiration to other people. I am of the generation which sets out to give back to my country and I am so going to be that agent of change through Miss Universe!

Over the years many local practicing architects and even today’s lecturer’s at University of Botswana graduated from Dalhousie. In preparation fro their 6 weeks study outreach visit here, the visiting students also revealed to have studied previous Botswana graduating

thesis as preparation. Opening the event, acting HOD Professor F. Kalabamu encouraged such exchange in knowledge and sharing as something to be built on and celebrated. The students will be building an outdoor free standing domed ‘leobo’ in Mochudi for a local NGO.

BF: Before going out to present Botswana at Brazil you were working as an architect, Do you want to share with readers if your intentions is to go back to your work or you having greener pastures somewhere? LK: I love architecture- it inspires my creative faculties every day and yes I am continuing with architecture. The good thing about architecture is that, just like music, it’s also a universal language so I would fit perfectly anywhere in the universe. It’s inevitable that with such exposure, comes opportunities, for example, I got a 20% tuition scholarship into the New York film academy which is fabulous but it is not something I am planning on pursuing any time soon. It’s safe to say that I will be right here in Botswana…there is work to be done here! BF: An architecture graduate from University of Botswana. Can you tell us your experiences as an architecture student and do you consider it as a thorny course as people perceive it? LK: I would like to thank our generous Government and the University for making it possible for me and a lot more other Batswana to get education which I believe is the biggest investment any nation can make towards its future. Because of that, I too can take pride in being a young educated Motswana graduate. About my experiences as a student, the first thing that came to my mind was the countless sleepless nights that made up a good percentage of my life at varsity and secondly, “the crits”… lol! Nevertheless, I learnt a lot more from all that and it has made me the strong architect that I am right now. I was also blessed to have mentors, lecturers and supervisors who believed in my architectural abilities and therefore were very supportive throughout my training and are still supporting me in my career, to them I am so grateful and humbled! BF: You were one of the best students back then in school. How will you advice someone who is interested in joining your path of career. LK: Architecture is a beautiful course

Your questions answered: WHAT IS THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT? The Built Environment (BE) is a term used to give a broad definition to all that takes to form a built up human habitat. This can be either in man made landscape, buildings, civil structures and any other built structures. Although the term cannot be directly be equated to the term ‘Construction Industry’ the two are often used interchangeably. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT PROFESSIONAL FIELDS EXISTING UNDER BUILT ENVIRONMENT? Many professions exist under the built environment. These range from the obvious such as architecture, engineering, quantity surveying, project management and others to specialist services serving specific research needs to the industry. WHERE CAN ONE GET INFORMATION ABOUT POSSIBLE CAREERS IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT? In Botswana, the BE information unfortunate is not as easily accessible. You can either get the basics from your school’s career office (depending what level you are) or do your own research online if you can access internet. Places such as RIBA, SAIA and other professional bodies do carry useful career information.

Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo – Completed Shell Struture by Dalhousie University Students in Mochudi

and I would recommend it to anyone whose take on life is to always think outside the box. It gives the freedom of expression and the opportunity for invention to anyone who wants to pursue it- in architecture there is no right or wrong. One of my former lecturers, Essy, would always tell us not to be afraid of mistakes because they too, could be the answers to our struggles in design. Nevertheless, all this requires hard work, an inquisitive mind, a self-driven individual, focus and a lover of the environment because all technologies are taking the ‘green’ route including architecture. You should be prepared to make the sketch pad your closest acquaintance. And I think we ought to have more women taking it up in our nation because they possess all the above mentioned qualities just as men! BF: Your last words to Batswana for the support they have given you. LK: I would need the whole day to answer this one so for the sake of time I will try to make it snappy. Miss Universe has been a success and will continue to be a success because of the remarkable support we got as an organization and me individually. I am so grateful to God for the following people- for their generosity before and throughout my reign thus far; Ministry of Infrastructure, Science & Technology- DBES and Ministry of Youth-BNYC for sponsoring our trip to Brazil, MosSyde groupthe organisors, Capital Bank, Choppies, Gaborone West fitness Centre, Woolworths Stores, Clover Chemicals, LaRoche Boutique- thank you Aunty Joyce, Dow Associates, LeshSeddy De-

signs- I consider you more of my sister than my designer, House of Leroy- the time is now, Ntirelang for allowing me the privilege to play your segaba, Bayei National Costume Cultural society, BLW Campus Ministries- keep your swagger for Christ, the Saints at Christ Embassy Church- you are the best, my PastorsGod demonstrates his love for me through you, my family- I love you so so much, my friends- you are God-sent, fellow national contestants- I miss being with you, all my prayer partnersI’m so humbled, all those who voted for me or sent me messages of encouragement and those who made it possible for my mother, my aunt, my sister and my designer to go and watch me in Brazil- I am so humbled and so excited about continued relations with all of you! God bless you. Le kamoso…!

Student Portfolio:

STUDENT: Larona Motlatsi Kgabo SCHOOL: University of Botswana David Livingstone Historical Heritage Center, Kolobeng (Thesis) The thesis sets out to engage the study of a nature and how that particular nature begins to inform the birth of an architecture that communicates a sense of belonging through heritage, a sense of oneness with the given, being nature.

Housing / Property Page 12

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Gaborone Housing Profile: Interview with Kim Berkker by H. Killion Mokwete, ARB Registered Architect, RIBA Chartered Architect

800k and at least with an existing house you can look at it, have an engineer look over it and you know what you are buying. Building standards in Gaborone continue to be atrocious.


BF: What is the difference between tribal land and freehold land?

On the 7th September 2011, National Development Bank hosted a Property Sector Interactive Session at Maharaja Conference, where main purpose of the session was to gather inputs from different parties regarding what NDB can do to assists/fill up any gaps that are amongst them. At this event, NDB, presented its latest loan/products presented by its Research and Product Development Manager, Zenzile Moesi. Below is an extended abstract of her presentation which is a useful window into what the bank has to offer and its requirements for loan access:

KB: Today in Botswana Tribal Land comprises 71% of the land area, Freehold 4% and the balance is State Land. Tribal land is distributed and administered by the Tribal Authority and the landowner leases it for a period of time during which he has the rights to use and build on it. Once he has developed it he can sell it to a fellow citizen. Tribal land is Mogoditshane, Tlokweng, Ramotswana and Oodi. Freehold Land is mostly agricultural land and land in the main cities, ie. Ext 9, 11, Village in Gaborone, Phakalane, Gabs North and Notwane. A non citizen can purchase and own Freehold land and is owned indefinitely by the registered owner and can pass to his/ her heirs. BF: Which of the two is easily available and or affordable to buy?

Boidus Focus recently sat down with one of Botswana leading real estate agent, Kim Bekker, a Director at Seeff Properties Botswana to try and map out a ‘Profile’ of the Housing Market in Gaborone and especially in view of the recession and other industry developments. Here is what she has to say:

KB: People far more qualified than I, such as Economists have said that the bubble must burst. However we have seen no indication that the prices are going to come down. Finance is still readily available for Batswana wanting to purchase a home and the availability of serviced land is still scarce.

BF: What is the current housing market profile in Gaborone taking into consideration the recession and economy slowdown?

BF: If one wants to buy a house in Gaborone, what is the best area to buy? Also what type of a house is good to buy as an investment? (high cost, low-cost?)

KB: The housing market in Gaborone is achieving the highest prices ever in sales. When international property prices plummeted the market in Gaborone didn’t even dip. There has been a slight downturn in rentals but this has not affected sales.

KB: After the announcement in the papers this week that DTC are moving the Diamond Aggregation to Gaborone I would say that Block 8, Block 3 and Phakalane must be good areas to buy in. There is a saying that better to be the smallest house in a good area than the largest house in a bad area – Location, Location, Location are important. Close proximity to Shopping Malls and Schools is always a sought after area. That is why Ext 11 and 9 are popular – within walking distance of Thornhill and Northside School and the Mosque and Gabs Sun!

KB: It depends entirely on the location • Typical low-cost house: In Block 3 from P400 000.00, Oodi P300 000 • Typical 1 bed-2bed flat: BHC in Block 7 – P700 000 • High cost house: BHC High Cost house in Phakalane 2 bedroom – being marketed at P950 000 Entry level Phakalane Golf Estate P2,7 Million

BF: Is it good to buy a house or land as an investment? Taking into consideration the current high material and development rates?

There is still a Motswana aspiration to own ones own yard and until intermarriage with other nationalities waters it down this concept will not take off! Also the standard of multi residential housing is more to house as many people as possible under one roof instead of looking at high quality concepts as well.

BF: Have there been any dramatic effects…if yes/no why do you think this is? KB: The effect of the recession has been that Batswana working abroad have continued to invest their hard earned Dollars and Pounds in the local market looking for properties back home to invest in. Foreign buyers looking for safe havens have considered Botswana as we have a stable political and economic track record. BF: Could this be said to be good or not in the long run? (Are we likely to see a housing bubble burst due to this..?)

KB: I think it is still a better bet to buy an existing house than buy a plot of land and build because with building the cost may start out at 500k and finish at

KB: Tribal land is more affordable as it is limited for sale to citizens. Freehold land is more expensive and areas such as Gabs North have doubled in the past 18 months because of the likelihood that it will become fully serviced land. BF: How much should one expect for say, a typical low-cost house, typical 1 bed & 2-bed flat, and high cost house?

BF: Recently there is a lot of movement with multi residential housing. How do you see these contributing to the housing demand in the city?

your questions answered ON PROPERTY FINANCING

Loans/Products Available at NDB For more information visit:

National Development Bank Background: 1. National Development established under an Act of Parliament in 1963 for promoting economic development in Botswana. 2. A 100% Government owned institution 3. Operating under the control of a Board of Directors, appointed by the Minister of Finance & Development Planning 4. Certified under the ISO 9001:2008 Management System Standard in 1998. 5. The Bank aims to provide a varied range of financial services to Botswana business sector; Small, Medium and Large in capacity. TYPES OF LOANS/PROJECTS THAT QUALIFY FOR FINANCING: • All Agriculture including game farming • All Industrial, Manufacturing, Processing & Mining • All Property Purchase & Property Developments • All Commercial/Service Industry & Tourism • Human Capital Development Property Purchase • Owner occupation for trading or manufacturing as per other sectors • For term leasing (shopping centers ,factory units, commercial residential units etc Property Development • Owner occupation for trading or manufacturing as per other sectors • For term leasing (shopping centers ,factory units, commercial residential units etc Points for consideration for property: • Location is important • Title Deed • Valuation report of immovable property offered as security • Building Contractors quotations • Professional team architects, quantity surveyors, building managers and Supervisors • Approved building plans and building permit • Offer of Sale for property purchase • Lease of Agreement, rental space and rental charges OWNERS CONTRIBUTION/EQUITY Minimum contribution of 15% of the total project cost to be spent on the project; • Cash or in-kind INTEREST RATE: Fixed and floating rates. Interest rates are determined by the pricing model depending on the risk profile. REPAYMENT FREQUENCY: Depending on the projects/clients repayment capacity, loans are payable monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, annually. REPAYMENT PERIODS: Business loans: 1-15 years max depending on purpose, magnitude of loan, project’s repayment/cash generation capacity ASSESSMENT AREAS FOR PROJECT FINANCING PURPOSE OF LOAN: Intended use of loan FINANCIAL VIABILITY: Repayment capacity, profitability MANAGEMENT: Competent management personnel for project MARKET: Reliable market for products COMPETITION: Project competitive advantages ECONOMIC: Project sustainability, employment creation, import substitution, foreign exchange earnings SECURITY: Movable or immovable assets. FAST TRACK LOANS 1. Nthuta NDB School Fees Loan 2. Bonno NDB Home Loan 3. Ntlhatlosa Kwa Morakeng 4. Temo Bokamoso ORDER FINANCING



Loan Range

P10,000 P4,000,000

P10,000 P4,000,000

P10,000 P4,000,000

Repayment Period

1-12 months

1-36 months

1-12 months


Purchase Orders


Short-term acquisition of assets

Who is financed

Customers awarded tenders

Customers awarded tenders

Legally registered Companies/Partnership/Joint Ventures

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Comments Page 13


built environment issues IN FOCUS

The Construction Industry Should Not Do Its Dirty Laundry in Public

by H. Killion Mokwete

We bring you this third publication of Boidus in a month characterised with a lot of exciting events in the industry. The past month has seen the usual skeletons and scandals of the CI problems tumbling out in the open, but what is encouraging is that the month also saw a first of its kind in five years a building conference at the Ditshupo hall where contractors gathered to discuss issues that besieged the industry. The programme had discussions ranging from contract issues, projects supervision and the contribution of the Chinese contractors to building Botswana (although the Chinese did not turn up). It is high time that the industry not only started talking among itself to introspect, but also proactively provide forums to discuss industry issues with stake holders instead of always waiting to do its dirty laundry through the tabloid press. We need Ministers responsible for pubic buildings and or any issues to do with the industry to come clean with issues they face to discuss and get ideas from the industry. Days of hiring consultants to solve problems that require collective action should be gone. The industry’s problems are too big for one consultant to try and resolve. We at Boidus will continue to do our part to provide a platform to nurture dialogue, critic and also celebrate our very vibrant and lucrative Built Environment. We will continue to showcase outstanding projects that are coming up across our landscape and offer our building consumers an extend view of these. We however hope that both our readers and stakeholders in the industry play their part to ensure we take back our industry from the abyss of corruption, malpractice and sheer consumer exploitation.

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Comments & Letters

> EM on ‘Local Construction Industry Firms Need To Look At Wider Africa for Opportunities’ []

I am with BG News and get an opportunity now and again to go through your articles. I must say this particular installment is deficient coming from a scholar of your repute.

I have no beef with the need for our local CI to venture into Africa for opportunities, but it is rather simplistic to suggest that local private investors should abandon the lucrative domestic market with its mega-projects dominated by foreign firms and take flight to foreign countries. Rather as a scholar I expect your column to challenge with authority, the current procurement methods that block our firms out. Why are they not able to access funding from our local banks, including our financing institutions such as CEDA, VPB, NDB etal? Why are they unable to take advantage of the strong local currency, and do show,bw

what the benefits of a strong currency are for a local firm.

Investment is also not a culture in Botswana, and this is apparent from the lack of any meaningful foreign investment undertaken by any one of our fat cats, big guns, millionaires etal. Why is this so? What can the CITF do to exert the independence of the local CI firms from over-reliance on govt. tenders? Please interrogate these and related issues in depth to inform our citizen economic empowerment policy. In new democracies like South Africa and Namibia they already have Black Economic Empowerment Act, but with our four-decades self-rule we don’t even have a policy, but a raft of inhibiting pieces of policies and laws designed to lock the citizen out. (

> Killion, in response to EM on ‘Local Construction Industry Firms Need To Look At Wider Africa for Opportunities’ []

Hi EM Thanks for reading my essays and most importantly thanks for getting back to me with your take on my essay on ‘CI must venture into Africa’. I really do appreciate feed back especially informed and robust as yours.

But let me first say I agree with you in general that our local current local procurement methods are not conducive to our local contractors. I agree that a hell lot more needs to be done to ensure local companies benefit from our ‘lucrative CI’. In fact I have here, before using this column argued the very same points and also pointed out that even our parastatal bodies need be reviewed to ensure they have fair vetting process and clear policies and can benefit our local industry economy. This discussion on these issues remains open and you can be sure I will return to it. But I would like to stress that even if there was a fair and clear process of awarding government and parastatal work here in Botswana, our local CI industry is relatively very small and offers limited opportunities compared to what the wider African economy can offer. I believe we live in a globalised world where our professionals should be able to compete and source work not only in our limited economy but sell their expertise to wider global market. This is not a subject of patriotism and black empowerment as championed elsewhere. I personally don’t think our profes-

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sionals need ‘preferential treatment’ as in SA and or Namibia, where there is a complex history compared to us, I think what we need is to be offered equal opportunities and I also feel we have to go out there and make our own opportunities while we fight for fair systems at home. As I highlighted on the essay in question; ’in order to survive, our local CI needs to begin weaning itself from government tenders and venture into other African markets.’ Even on a fair system of procurement, our CI needs to venture out and compete with other globalisesd industries. Frankly I will be very happy to see our companies doing well in boom economies such as Dubai, West Africa and even competing in Scandinavian countries where profit margins in the industry are high. We currently won work in Ghana and it’s an opportunity of designing a township which I have to say that opportunity can only exist once in while here in our market. So again, I would like to point out that the essay is not meant to urge local companies to abandon our local market for foreign firms but of course fight the system while also embracing wider markets, competing internationally, being independent of government tender for survival and in the end that’s what will build the mantle of our CI. Thanks again for you arguments. (

> Michael Richards on ' Lobatse – A Town of Oddities and Contrasts'

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Fascinating to read all this. I arrived in Lobatsi by train in May 1955 from Cape Town, stayed in the Lobatsi Hotel owned by Sid & Doris Milner. My father Taliesin Richards came to take over from a Mrs Gunter as headmaster of the the Lobatsi Government European School. He did a wonderful job and was loved and respected by Europeans and Bechuanas. He served with Bechuanas during the war and was very fond of them and their country.He became Secretary of the Teaching Service in 1965 in Gaberones. Some of his teachers: Miss Chepe and Quet Masire went on to hold high office. I knew Russell and Sheila England very well and the Germonds and most of the other

characters in the Lobatsi of the 50′s and 60′s, Dusty Rhodes, Izzy Hill,Gavin Lamont(Geological Survey) Dennis Sturgeon (Director of CDC), Doctors Van Rooien, Gemmell and Oliver & Vin Malan BP Police. My mother taught in both the European and Indian Schools. I played my first round of golf on the golf course/runway behind the school hostel which I think is now the Mental Hospital. Tonsuls taken out in the Athlone Hospital in 1956.(some of the spelling may be incorrect) I have very much enjoyed McCall Smith’s books as they evoke many wonderful memories of the people of Bechuanaland/Botswana. (

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the views expressed in 'Comments and Letters' are neither those of Boidus, its management, nor its advertisers.

Professional Practice Page 14

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Procuring Building Services & Understanding Consultants

from Valuers, soil engineers to Quantity Surveyors. Clients should seek advice from their preferred lender before they embark on the construction process to avoid abortive costs.

Starting a construction project can be a very stressful encounter for first time clients. A house can be the biggest investment for most clients, and this could be the only time they get to build from scratch. Even for those who have done it before, it can always go wrong. Here we have put together a detailed article on steps to ensure successful completion of construction projects. Most clients will

Based on our extensive knowledge of the residential market in Botswana, we are able to walk the clients through the whole construction process. Some clients have problems in understanding construction drawings, and where we think there are discrepancies, even if the plans have been approved, we can advice on changes to make sure the building works.

by Tumi Mogwe, TEMO Construction Services, BSc (Hons), QS

obtain a mortgage from lenders to undertake their projects, and they need to understand the steps to follow from start to completion of the project. Often we have seen clients who have spend a lot of money obtaining reports from consultants which might not be required. Different lenders have different requirements and list of preferred consultants,

Acquiring Land to Build One of the biggest hindreses to people building their own houses in Botswana is the acquisition of land. Land in rural areas tends to be available in abundance, but there are problems with acquiring land in Urban areas. There are two ways to obtain land in Botswana; 1. Allocation by land-boards 2. Buying free hold ALLOCATION BY LAND BOARDS This is the cheapest way of acquiring land, but the waiting period in urban areas is more than 15 years. In Botswana Government land cannot be sold with no development on it. If you want to get land, you will have to do some developments on it first, before you can change the title dead on to your name. All lending institutions will not give a mortgage on a development on which the title dead is not on the clients name. Clients should seek advice from the councils on what will be a suitable to structure on a land so they can change the title dead. There are some instances where clients buy land privately, and construct some structures so they could change the title dead, and often some of these are deemed to be unsuitable. FREE HOLD Freehold is land that can be bought and the title dead

changed immediately. In Urban areas it is available in Gaborone North, Phakalane, Mokolodi, Notwane farms, Molapo Estate & Gerald Estate in Francistown. You can obtain a mortgage to buy the land, and build a house at the same time. This is always an attractive obtain, but freehold land is not easily available, and the prices tend to be high to obtain the plots. Also the land tends to not be serviced, so the construction costs tend to be high, for electricity, water, and sewage. TYPES OF BUILDING PROJECTS Normally when clients embark on a project, the works can be divided into 3 categories; 1. New Build 2. Refurbishment 3. Extensions Refurbishment will normally not require council approval, unless if it involves new roof or a big alteration of the structure. All house extensions will require council approvals. Clients will need to agree with the contractors if the extension of refurb requires the client to move out of the house. If the client decides to stay in the house, the contractor needs to allow for protecting the clients furniture and utensils during the works.

How to Be a Good Client in Building Procurement by H. Killion Mokwete, ARB Registered Architect, RIBA Chartered Architect

The process of procuring a building from conception to completion is long, costs money and requires tough decision-making along the way. Being either a client in any form comes with immense responsibilities, especially where large amounts of monies are in question. By definition a building client is ‘any individual/group or institution with the task of procuring a building project’. A president or CEO, a board of directors, a designated project manager, a building committee, or even various stakeholders who ultimately inhabit the project can all be clients to some degree. The decisions made by any of these individuals or groups of individuals still have long lasting impart on a project, meaning the success of a project to a certain extent depends on how good a building client one is. Although there is no template for what one has to do to be a ‘good client,’ there are essential principles of project procurement that are worth noting: Getting professional advice: Building consultants such as architects, quantity surveyors, engineers and others are there to offer professional advice which as a client you will need when procuring a building. If you are not an industry professional, chances are you will not be familiar with a lot of process and procedures involved in building procurement, therefore it pays to solicit advice from reputable professionals who will give you valuable advice; these will of course cost money and as such be prepared to pay

competitively to get the best (treat this as investment). Having paid to get advice, be willing to be advised rather than being a dictator client who always wants their way. Of course as a client your word carries ultimate weight, but if you pay for professional advice and you don’t take it in consideration, then you will be short changing yourself and worst stifling the best out of your consultants. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know (that’s why you’ve assembled a team of experts to help you). Hire the best talent, use the best technology, set the bar high, and be innovative in your approach. Then let the team do its job. After all, design is inherently a valueadded enterprise, and if you think strategically and act accordingly, you’ll always get your money’s worth. (Scott Simpson, AIA) Clients who don’t take this advice into consideration usually end up making decisions that affect the scope, the schedule and ultimately the cost and viability of the project. Know your rights and exercise them: Being a client gives you ‘contractual rights’ that you have to know in order to get maximum benefit for your money’s worth. These ‘contractual rights’ are many across each consultant and some should be annexed in your contract agreement to safe guard your investment as a client. For example, as a client

you should actively pursue the ability to be presented with options through your scheme development or to be briefed regularly on the progress of the project by being represented or party to any critical project milestones. These could be in the form of client briefing meetings and progress reports. Where deliverables have been outlined in the contract agreement, then you are entitled to receive these as per the contract. Honour Your responsibilities as a client: Importantly of course is also being aware of your responsibilities as a client. Clients responsibilities are many and some are collateral in contract and could jeopardise your project if not met. Key to some of these is your responsibility as a client to provide project information that could jeopardise health and safety, or payment of consultants within the stipulated time in the contract. In Botswana, especially in Government projects, consultants have been known to complain of instances where they go unpaid for months on end. The repercussions of this seemingly singular issue could have critical effects on project delivery. Clarity and passion about your project: One of the best clients to work for is one who has clarity or is willing to attain enough clarity on what they want and are ambitious and passionate about what the want. This is of course very subjective, but world class projects have been developed not only through finan-

Process of Acquiring a House

Once you have acquired land, you need to put together a team for the project. a. ARCHITECT The architect is responsible for drawing up the plans for the house and submitting to the council for approval before construction can start on site. For small projects, a smaller firm or individual Architect can be sought. Also in instances where the plots are small, there is not much design or artistic influence that can be obtained by going for a large firm of Architects. For projects on larger plots, or of value more than a P1m, then an Architect will be of benefit to the client. You will need to meet your Architect with details of what you want in your house. They will then turn your aspirations into plans for the house. It is helpful to come to the architect with an idea of what you want, either houses from magazines, or take photos of similar buildings that you want. b. ENGINEERS For double storey houses, you will need an structural engineer. Also for projects more than a P1m, it is advisable to get advice from engineers, it can be with lighting, air-conditioning, or the structure itself. In some areas it is advisable to get a soil engineer to do test on the soil. This is always advisable on areas where there few other buildings, and the profile of the soil is not kwon. c. QUANTITY SURVEYOR Most lenders will require a Bill Of Quantities (BOQ) for the build. BOQ is a structured estimate for the construction of a building project. It is used by lenders to evaluate the quotes submitted from contractors to make sure the amount proposed by contractors is enough to complete the project. Clients should look for Quantity Surveyors who understand the residential market in Botswana. Building houses is normally done by smaller construction companies, so the pricing is different from large projects done by big companies. OBTAINING CONTRACTORS QUOTE It is always advisable to obtain 3 quotes from construction companies. The client should make sure they go with the 3 contractors to view what they have done before. It is always advisable to ask the current client permission to look inside the house. Some contractors can park in front of a beautiful house and tell you they have done it. You will need to be comfortable with the contractor, since you would be dealing with him for more than 6 months on a daily basis. The following are things to look out for when acquiring quotes from builders; 1. Make sure they have resources, in terms of money and personnel 2. Make sure they understand your aspirations for the build. They should be able to read the plan, and advice on changes if any are required. 3. Make sure they do not have a lot of projects running at the same time, as this would affect your project. 4. If you are getting a mortgage, make sure the contractor understands the procedure for claiming for payments from banks. 5. Contractors should be able to produce a quote that is easy for the client to understand. 6. Try and spend time with the builder before you start the project. If you are uneasy about them, even just their behaviour or communication, then you might choose a different builder. Contractors can give 2 types of quotations; LABOUR ONLY In this instance, it means the client will have to provide the material for the build. The client will still need to know how much the total build estimate for the project. Clients usually obtain quotes from hardware stores, but this will be only about 80% of the material estimate. It is always advisable for the contractor to give you an estimate broken up into material and labour, even if you only doing labour only. The client will need to have resources to buy materials and claim for the money back at the completion of each stage. LABOUR & MATERIAL This is the preferred quote format for most lenders. This is what some people will term turn-key construction, where the contractor provides for labour and materials for the whole project. This is a stress free way of construction for most clients, especially where one is working full time during the build process. The client needs to make sure that the quote includes for everything needed to complete the project, and especially look out for finishes including, tiling, kitchen, ward-robes, and sanitary ware. The client needs to have an agreement with the contractor at the beginning of the project for finishes, as these always leads to problems. The contractor could provide a cheap kitchen at the end of the project, and always insist that is what they have always allowed for. We always advice clients that they should know the budget allowance for kitchens, wardrobes, and tiling, and they can look for these items for themselves, make their own choices, within the agreed budget.

cial muscle or economic soundness but also for clients who have belief in what they want to achieve. This usually becomes a bonus to consultants, especially where creativity is called for, to work cohesively with a client to attain his/

her project vision. Crafting such a client vision becomes a joy that designers and creative people thrive on. Of course there are many more aspects that could make one a good client, but the above should be a good start in that direction.

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

Products / Advertising Page 15


value for your money IN YOUR INVESTMENT

Materials and their Properties

by Otsisitswe Fedrick Semarite, Managing Director, Nature Studios We would like to welcome our readers to the materials and their properties column which will focus on materials used in construction throughout Botswana. It is here that we shall introduce how these materials are used in daily construction projects, availability within Botswana and discuss the structural/technical aspects of such materials. It is also here that we shall discuss issues such as environmental aspects and sustainability of materials used in construction throughout Botswana. The column will provide designers, those who own buildings or proposed buildings, and those who build the opportunity to evaluate and select the appropriate materials for their construction projects. How your proposal is going to be erected, what materials are going to be used, where to get this materials and the construction budget (total building costs) are some of the issues a client will normally discuss with his/her architect. The behavior and performance of buildings materials when used in different types of construction differs. You as the client need to ensure that from the drawing board in your architect’s office to actual erection of your proposal by your contractor, clear knowledge of any material to be used, how it is going to be used, and cost implications are items which are fully addressed well in time to ensure value for your money in your investment.



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Construction Industry Architecture Built Environment Arts & Culture Property Investment WHY BOIDUS? • the consumer of the built environment needs to be in a position to access information regarding what the architectural industry is up to • a platform for discussion and discourse needs to be created where open, earnest discussions on important issues take place

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Advertising Page 16

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 25 September, 2011

What is there to know about Clay Face Bricks? Many people are unaware of the great advantages of Clay Face Brick. Most of us are made to believe that a brick is a brick and yet this is very far from the truth. Here is some information for those whom are unaware of the benefits of Approved Quality Clay Bricks. 1. The Botswana Bureau of Standards has developed a Standard for Burnt Clay Masonry Units (BOS 28:2000). This is a world class standard through which the quality of the Clay Brick is regulated throughout the whole of the production process. It is important to choose bricks that are BOBS Accredited for the safety of the people and for your own peace of mind. 2. The initial cost of building with Clay Face Bricks could be the same as building with stock brick. There is no cost of plastering or painting and, in the long term, Clay Face bricks require no maintenance and we all know the Hassle and Cost involved in having to repaint every five years. 3. Adding Value to Your Home is the most important aspect to all of us. When building with approved Clay Face Bricks you are putting on display the quality of the bricks that your house is built with. This will improve the value of the house. A potential buyer won’t have to worry about what could be hidden behind the plaster and the paint. 4. Choosing the right brick is probably the most important part of building a house. The total spend on the bricks accounts for as little as 5% of the overall cost. Yet if you make a mistake in choosing the right brick, this 5% can’t be replaced without breaking down the other 95%. So make sure when it comes to bricks you Always Buy the Best! 5. Clay Face Bricks are exposed to temperatures of around 2000 during the two week manufacturing process. It is through this process that approved clay bricks achieve their High Strength and Density with the water absorption rate being less than 15%. The high density is what assures that the thermal expansion and shrinkage of Approved Clay Bricks is far less than any other building material. Therefore greatly reducing the chances of cracks appearing in the walls. 6. The different colours are achieved by regulating temperatures in the kilns and coal addition to the clay. Having been exposed to such high temperatures already, one can be assured that the colour of the bricks will never fade. 7. Using Approved Clay Face Brick also has great environmental benefits.

a. Clay brick walled house afford better thermal performance. This reduces the energy consumption for the artificial heating and cooling of the building. Ultimately saving cost on electricity and gas.

b. Clay bricks are made from Environmentally Friendly Material which is Clay and Water. Ultimately these bricks can be crushed and returned back to earth without causing any negative environmental impacts. Clay Brick do not release any volatile organic compounds that are potentially harmful to the environment.

c. Many of the oldest buildings all over the world are built with clay bricks. This shows that Clay Brick Buildings have a lifecycle of well past 100 years. The longer a building stands, the less strain is put on Natural Recourses to replace it. With Clay Face Bricks the carbon dept that is associated with Maintenance is also eliminated.

The conclusion therefore is that Clay Face Bricks are Sustainable, Cost effective, Maintenance free and Environmentally Friendly.

Boidus Focus - Vol 1, Issue 3 [Sep 2011]  
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