Construction Review Africa

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Since 1989

Sept-Oct 2020, Vol 31 No.5

SU Tower Accra, Ghana

Curing Concrete Towable Generators Precast & Modular construction

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR









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the ONLY WAY to ask the experts.

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR


MANAGING EDITOR Robert Barnes DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR Francis Makari EDITOR - in - CHIEF Dennis Ayemba COUNTRY EDITORS Uganda -- Betty Betty Nabakooza Nabakooza Uganda Nigeria -- Boladale Boladale Ademiju Ademiju Nigeria South Africa Africa -- Jimmy Jimmy Swira Swira South WRITERS, WRITERS Pascal Musungu, Musungu, Anita Anita Anyango, Anyango, Pascal Patrick Mulyungi Mulyungi Patrick WEB & & GRAPHIC GRAPHIC DESIGN DESIGN WEB Gerald ArnoldOswald Oduor Sales and Marketing Manager Sales andFaith Marketing Mburu Manager Faith Mburu ADVERTISING ADVERTISING Kenya: William Mutama, Joyce Kenya: William Mutama, Lilian Khavosa, Ndamaiyu, Lilian Khavosa, Fred Okoth Joyce Ndamaiyu, Wendy Kinya South Africa: Rachel Molapo, Winnie South Africa: Thuli Nkosi, Winnie SentSentabire, Angeline Ntobeng abire, Angeline Ntobeng,

CON Since 1989

Current Issue

Sept-Oct 2020, Vol 31 No.5

SU Tower

The SU (Scripture Union) Tower is a game changer for corporate workspace in Accra Ghana. It is the first in the city to offer integrated parking solutions within the commercial office space

Uganda: Uganda: Nobert Nobert Turiyo, Turiyo, Selina Selina Salumah Salumah Namuli Namuli

Accra, Ghana

Curing Concrete Towable Generators Precast & Modular construction

Botswana: Botswana: Dickson Dickson Manyudza, Manyudza, Gerald Gerald Mazikana Mazikana Ethiopia: Ethiopia: Haimanot Haimanot Tesfaye, Tesfaye, Ruth Ruth Girma Girma Tanzania: Tanzania: Tom Tom Kiage Kiage Malawi: Malawi: Anderson Anderson Fumulani Fumulani Ghana: Ghana: Samuel Samuel Hinneh, Hinneh, Caleb Caleb Donne Donne Hadjah Hadjah Zambia: Susan Kandeke Zimbabwe: Chiedza Chimombe Rwanda: Collison Lore Nigeria: Seni Bello

REGULARS Editor's Comment 3 Corporate News 4 Events 5 COVER STORY:

China:Weng Jie

The editor accepts letters and manuscripts for publication from readers all over the world. Include your name and address as a sign of good faith although you may request your name to be withheld from publication. We reserve the right to edit any material submitted .

Send your letters to: Construction Review is published eleven times a year and is circulated to members of relevant associations, governmental bodies and other personnel in the building and construction industry as well as suppliers of equipment, materials and services in Africa, the Middle and Far East. The editor welcomes articles and photographs for consideration. Material may not be reproduced without prior permission from the publisher. The publisher does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or authenticity of advertisements or contributions contained in the journal. Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Š All rights reserved.

The SU Tower; A game changer for corprote workspace in Accra


Modern precast and modular construction


Curing your concrete: the options available


Towable generators: a reliable source of backup power


Published by Group Africa Publishing Ltd Head Office and for all enquiries: P.O. Box 10109 Nairobi 00100 Kenya, Tel: +254 722525326 +254-208000307 Email: info@groupafricapublishing. com Uganda Agent Projects Unusual Uganda Ltd. Jemba Plaza, Luwum St. Kampala, Uganda Tel: +256 776 883181

Botswana Agent Cadline (Pty) Ltd. P/Bag 494 Gaborone, Botswana. E-mail: South Africa Agent College Publishers CC 14 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston, Sandton +27 (0)011 875 4328, Ethiopia Agent Haymi Advertising Services 22 Mazoria, Genet Bldg 4th Flr P.O. Box 1316 - 1110 Addis Ababa Tel: +251 118 955 855,

TENT Nairobi Hospitals' Covid Treatment Facility

The treatment facility, a partnership between the United Nations and The Nairobi Hospital, will cater for UN workers and their family members in Africa

Editor's Comment Modular as well as precast construction is fast becoming the construction method of choice around the world inorder to meet chronic housing needs. Precast concrete construction promises high quality, energy efficient buildings. It eliminates the chaos on construction sites in exchange for a controlled and organised factory environment.

24 Metrix Integrated Consultancy


Sept/Oct 2020 Volume 31 No.5

Speed, costt efficiency and safety are also major advantages. In the factory the controlled environment offers automated functions that provide consistency of the products produced.

Metrix Integrated Consultancy, a construction engineering firm based in Nairobi, Kenya, is marking its 25th anniversary this year.

Modular construction goes one step further by providing the assemby of the precast sections in the factory leaving only intallation to be done on site, speeding up the works on site.

Golden Life Mall

As time goes by we will no doubt be seeing more and more projects especially large housing projects adopting these methods of construcion

A new leisure, shopping and retail experience is being felt in Nakuru with the completion of the long awaited Golden Life Mall.

Cell: +251 930 099 152 Email: Ghana Agent Image Consortium 1st Floor, The Ecobank Building, Tesano. Tel: 233(0)30 223 2728 I 233(0)274807127 I +233(0)206299159 Fax: 233(0)24 882 8286 Email:, Kenya Agent Northwest Ventures Ltd P.O. Box 16414 - 00100 G.P.O Nairobi, Kenya


Robert Barnes

Tel: +254 20 2679808 Email:, Nigeria Agent Rahma Associates B23/24, Aishetu Emoewa Plaza, 196, Iju Water Works Road, Ifako Ijaye Lga,Agege, Lagos. Tel: 234-1-7347860 Email: Rwanda Agent Kolline & Hemed Inc., B.P. 3328, Kigali, Rwanda E-mail:

Zambia Agent Dayflex Limited, Dedan Kimathi Road, Lusaka, Zambia. Email:

Tanzania Agent: Group Africa Publishing Ltd Dar-es-salaam


Grundfos provides pumping solution Grundfos was approached to provide a solution to bring 82°C groundwater to the surface in the Afar Region covering the north-eastern part of Ethiopia, one of the harshest and difficult environments on earth.

Davis & Shirtliff Completes Ultra-modern Distribution Centre at Tatu City Davis & Shirtliff, the leading supplier for water equipment and energy solutions in East Africa has announced completion of its ultra-modern distribution facility at Tatu Industrial Park to address the needs of customers and significant trade growth within its African market. The company said the facility, its single largest investment ever undertaken, is equipped to support various consumer needs from household to large industry and is set to revolutionize the group’s operations. Located at the expansive Tatu City development near Ruiru, some 25 kms from central Nairobi, the distribution centre sits on five acres of land hosting the group’s expansive warehouse facilities and offices. The 10,000m2 single-roofed warehouse area features widely spaced columns, effective ventilation and six loading bays with dock levellers and the integral office block includes excellent staff facilities. The centre, designed by international architects Boogertman and Partners and constructed to a high standard by Ark Construction with the portal frame provided by Steel Structures, has been generally praised for its efficacy and aesthetics.

This specific water-intensive project was located close to Erta Ale, a continuously active basaltic shield volcano situated in the Afar Depression, a typical Badlands desert area. Erta Ale is the most active volcano in Ethiopia and is famed for its persistent lava lake which has been active during most of the past decades since it was first discovered in the 1960s. Defence Construction Enterprise was awarded a road upgrade project in the area. This roads project required an extensive amount of water as it was constructed out of asphalt concrete. Concrete generally requires a lot more water for preparation, Heated by the active basaltic volcano, only boiling groundwater is available in the area, making it difficult to extract for above ground use. Grundfos was able to provide a reliable solution that made it possible to pump the 82°C boiling water to the surface from a 430m depth borehole for usage in the roads project. .

Danfoss Cooling launches Refrigeration Academy Knowledge is power – contributing to this notion and in the interest of knowledge sharing – the Danfoss South Africa’s Cooling team, has embarked on a virtual training curriculum, geared to address a broad range of refrigeration content, which is targeted at the general public, at no cost to attendees. This training curriculum is not accredited to any higher learning institute but will allow for a deeper understanding of basic design and application elements; and might lend itself as a basis for future career developments in this field. The Danfoss Refrigeration Academy is focused on delivering structured, online training events in a more formal way than conventional webinars, to offer a tangible benefit upon completion. These training sessions will be diarized as to not infringe too heavily on enrollees’ daily work schedule; and provision will be made for recordings on demand, for those with commitments, which might not afford them the time to attend live sessions.

Axolight presents the new version of U-Light Axolight presents the new version of U-Light, featuring a soundabsorbing panel to grant a reduction of the environmental reverberation. A perfect solution to combine

light quality, acoustic comfort, should be the ultimate goal of technology and ecology. architecture and design, which must succeed in creating human-centered Now more than ever, the psycho- environments. And in this sense, physical well-being of the individual acoustic comfort is a fundamental aspect. According to the WHO, World Health Organization, excessive noise can cause several health problems, hurts workplace productivity and also affects social behavior. That’s why one of the most interesting innovations for a design aimed at improving people’s well-being is the blend of visual comfort and acoustic comfort in sound-absorbing lamps.

When light meets sound 4

CR | Sept/Oct 2020

The new U-Light sound-absorbing lamp represents a new perspective on acoustic products. With a thickness of 25 mm, a sound-absorbing

factor around 0,6, a fire reaction rate Class B-S1, d0 in conformity with regulation EN13501, the light, resistant and malleable PET panel applied to U-Light can easily absorb high and medium frequencies of typical noises in open spaces. Its noise-dampening feature has been integrated, so that it gives not only optimal sound-absorbing performance but also becomes a decorative element to embellish offices, halls, restaurants or waiting areas. Elegant and individual, U-Light is a valid alternative to classic sound-absorbing panels to cover walls – reducing the sound, but lacking the appeal – promising a pleasantly intimate and lighting location.


6th Power & Energy Tanzania 2021 The 6th Power & Energy Tanzania 2021 Energy Technology and Products Exhibition will be held from 24th – 26th March, 2021 at Tanzania’s prime international venue; the Diamond Jubilee Expo Center in Dares-Salaam. Spread over a period of 3 days, the event brings together decision makers and influencers as well as technical experts and professionals from leading companies involved in power & energy generation, transmission and distribution sector within Africa and around the globe. Exhibiting at this event will allow you to showcase your products and services to the industry’s largest gathering of qualified decision-makers. Trade visitors from all over East & Central Africa are being invited directly and in collaboration with several regional trade bodies in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Mozambique & Congo. Though Tanzania by itself is one of the biggest markets in Africa, major emphasis is being laid upon attracting traders and importers from neighboring countries.

“Africa Mining Forum is a tailored mining INVESTMENT PLATFORM for JUNIOR MINERS AND MID CAP COMPANIES seeking investment opportunities in emerging and mature mining markets in Africa. Executives and decision-makers can ENGAGE directly with key stakeholders, investors and asset managers through our UNIQUE NETWORKING CHANNELS to identify promising projects and DEPLOY CAPITAL in Africa’s mining.” Following on from the ‘Africa Mining Tour’ journey we started in the East and West African regions, Africa Mining Forum’s third event in the series takes a close look at key strategic regions in Southern Africa – South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe – looking at the junior market and how they are faring amidst the pandemic, how investment decisions have changed and influenced their businesses, and what plans are in play for the short, medium and long-term future.

and Quantity Surveyors (AQSRB)

- Association of Ethiopian Architects

- Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya

- Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers

- Institute of Engineers of Kenya


- Construction Contractors Association of Ethiopia

- Association of Consulting Engineers of - Kenya - Association of Professional Societies of East

- Association of Consulting Engineers Nigeria


Africa APSEA)

- Association of Professional Women

- Zimbabwe Institute of Quantity Surveyors

- Kenya Property developers Association

- Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers

- Institution of Surveyors of Kenya

Association Partners

Find what suits you best from about 14.3 million business prospects during the three-day event, with over 10,000 products, equipment and machinery on display across an expanse of more than 10,000 square meters. Last year's event witnessed international pavilion participation from India, Turkey, China, Italy, Malaysia and Germany.

- Tanzania’s Registration Board of Architects


- Architectural Association of Kenya

- The Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (Cifoz)


- South African Council for the Quantity

Buildexpo Africa is the only show with the widest range of the latest technology in building material, mining machines, construction machinery and heavy equipment. At the 23rd edition of Buildexpo, East Africa's largest building and construction fair, we bring you exhibitors from over 40 countries who are the finest in infrastructure development.

Over the years, we have grown to cater to the demands of not just the Kenyan market, but of the whole region of East Africa. This mega expo is the ideal forum for international players to showcase their products and services to the huge market in Africa.


South Africa - ASAQS

Buildexpo Africa 20201

Africa Mining Forum

Surveying Profession

Ghana - Ghana Institute of Engineers

Engineers Of Nigeria - Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria - The Nigerian Institute of Architects - American Association of Petroleum Geologists Africa Region

- Khuthaza ( Women for Housing)

- Architects Registration Council

- Concrete Manufacturers Association

- Ghana Institute of Surveyors

- Green Building council of SA

- Ghana Green Builders Association

- South African Property Owners Association

- Ghana Institute of Planners

- Master Builders South Africa

- Association of Building and Civil Engineering

- Building and Construction Skilled Artisans

Contractors of Ghana

Association of Nigeria (BACSAAN)


- Nigeria Society of Engineers - Nigeria Institute of Architects

Institute of Surveyors of Uganda


Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers (UIPE) &

Institute of Namibian Quantity Surveyors


Uganda society of Architects

Association of Consulting Engineers of Namibia

- Zambia Institute of Architects (ZIA)


- Tanzania Institute of Quantity Surveyors

- Institute of Botswana Quantity Surveyors


- Construction Regulation Board (CRB)

- Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (ABCEC). Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



SU Tower

a modern Accra


he SU (Scripture Union) Tower is a game– changer for corporate workspace in Accra. A grade “A” office offering with an astonishing. Strategically situated at the busy intersection of the Kanda Highway and Castle Road, and visible from all cardinal points, the SU Tower is designed to respond to a circular site, while transforming a traditional box tower into an architectural landmark in the area. Taking into account town planning guidelines, the building was pulled to the back of the site, with floor plates optimised to the main intersection. This allowed for external parking, arrival landscaping and an entrance befitting its 6

stature and upmarket address, while providing a gradual transition between the building edge and adjacent public transport network. Eye catching and striking, the entrance façade itself is faceted in separate and distinguishable layers emulating local textile textures. The delicate parting lines and angled mirrors emphasises the prominence of the corner of the building whilst drawing the eye upwards, accentuating the buildings stature. The glazed façade draws inspiration from the richness of ghanaian textures and patterns in a subtle play of 9 different shades of glass. The amenities SU Tower would be the first in the city to offer integrated structured parking solution within the commercial office space. The parking solution

CR | Sept/Oct 2020

offers 424 bays offering decent parking to occupants and their employees and visitors. The roof of the parking podium has been converted into outdoor space using Astroturf – a synthetic grass like material that is known for its cooling properties in addition to requiring no watering, making it ideal for the harsh sunny climate where water resources are scarce. The architectural geometry inherent in the building’s design is continued outside to create shaded seating areas and breakaway spaces. With unpredictable local services, the basement holds a sewerage treatment plant that feeds a 260 000 litre on site water storage tank, ensuring fresh water is always available. Rising up, the SU Tower stands out, a glimmering beacon of prestige and prominence, mirroring its location by day and lighting up the skyline at night.


The building is 12 835 square metres of modern but sustainable space, prized for its superior access, prestigious corporate address and excellent proximity to amenities. The property easily connects to the Ridge Hospital, Bank of Ghana, Ghana Stock Exchange, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, major financial institutions, the central business district, the OSU retail offering of shopping centres, restaurants and fine dining etc. This new urban corporate building will provide its tenants namely Metropolitan Group of Companies, Hydra Offshore Group, SIC Financial Services Limited and Sahel Sahara Bank with an inspiring, daylight-filled and highly flexible work environment. As a significant building of the 21st century, the project will offer greater comfort, efficiency and productivity for its tenants, employees and its visitors. With advanced sustainability and green practices in designing; SU Towers offers large open floor plates of 1,200 square metres and abundance of natural light, ultimately reducing property operating expenses.

• • • • • • • • • • •


9 levels of grade “A” office space with large, flexible and open-plan floor plates of 250-1000 square metres 5 levels of structured parking providing a total of 424 on-site parking bays 3 Dedicated Passenger lifts, dedicated fireman lift and Goods Lift for easy relocation 24-hour access control & security, Door Monitoring and CCTV Dedicated corporate image and signage areas Dedicated storage facilities Dedicated property management Dedicated on-site water storage of 260,000 litres interfaced with sprinkler and hydrant system Soft and Hard Landscaping with indigenous and local materials Tenant Installation Allowance for Partitioning, Carpeting and Blinds Back-up generators for emergency services providing up to 48-hours of 100% capacity

With the core of the building catering for elevators, stunning lobbies and hallways, SU Tower offers large open floor plans tastefully designed with the barest load factor; providing the best economic deal on space efficiency. The floors are enhanced with energy-saving building management systems which ultimately reduce operating expenses and other passthrough costs. Adding to the theme of contemporary lifestyle, SU Tower also offers a Café & Bistro, an Auto Showroom and Forex Bureau. It is already home to blue chip companies within the financial and service industry.

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR


Accurate Steel Limited Quality Steel, Every time

As we move into the final quarter of the year, the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has well and truly become a part of our lives. Registering more than 40 million cases globally and spreading through most of the world through second and even third waves, many countries face the daunting task of re-shutting down their economies. The impact is unthinkably negative for the very many that have lost their jobs, but somehow, we have to continue to persevere. Comparatively, Kenya has been relatively well managed in their fight against the disease and the restrictive measures within the country have placed us with a fighting chance of keeping our economy moving alone. From the perspective of the steel industry, we have seen projects carry on with moderate pace, and major projects kick-start. As people rush to buy new material, we wanted to make sure that all customers are buying the right quality material. We must warn all project managers and buyers to make sure that they know exactly what quality they are purchasing. In developments, contractors and project managers often look to reduce costs in a way in which they will look to purchase only the cheapest material possible. They will contact a large number of mills or traders with an order over the course of a day and place the order with the cheapest player. Little consideration, however, is given to basic quality requirements that the products should adhere to, for example: • • • •

Is the product length correct? Is the product weight correct? Does the product have the correct chemical analysis? Does the product have the correct tensile or mechanical properties?

These questions may seem basic, but more than 95% of buyers do not question any of these. They do not stop to think ‘why is one particular supplier charging so much less than the market?’ We believe in saying ‘if it seems too good to be true, it most likely is’. In a bid to cut the cost in order to get that material at the price the buyer is willing to buy, suppliers will have to make decisions that are not in the interest of the buyer at all and will not conform to standards. This is not a practice we at Accurate Steel Mills Limited participate in, condone, or are a part of. All of our material is in exact conformance to British and KEBS standards, and we ensure this through our internal quality control plan and vigorous testing process. All of our material is ready with certificates for spectro-chemical analysis, mechanical and tensile testing. Weight and length are clearly demarcated and can be checked on all our products. So, we want to educate all the buyers with a simple, but very important and effective message: if we do not compromise on our quality, why should you? Why risk purchasing a quality that you cannot validate in order to save a very small amount of money on a short-term project? In the long-term, this will prove to be a very costly mistake that could not only hurt you financially but endanger the lives of the people residing or working within your projects. Quality is our problem, so it doesn’t have to be your headache. Put your trust in us to deliver; we do it every time.


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Sika Kenya Limited Semco Industrial Park, Nairobi Phone: +254 711 140 234 Email: Website:

2nd Floor, Suite B5, Ojijo Plaza, Plums Lane P.O. Box 1349-00606 Sarit Centre, Nairobi. Tel: +254 20 2343540/1. Email: Website: 10

aimed at sustainably developing and maintaining infrastructure in the • • • •

Roads and Highways Highway Maintenance and Management

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• • • •

Technical Audits Research and Development Civil and Structural Engineering


Modern precast and modular construction


n many parts of the world there is a big demand for new housing. To meet the backlog, many countries have put together plans to build a big number of low cost or affordable housing units in a very short time. However, all those future housing units need to meet a range of different demands to be acceptable As in all projects, everything starts from defining what is an acceptable solution, what such a solution should provide. Therefore, the question comes down to the selection of the building method and the choice of the building materials.

3D modules 3D modules are trendy but not very handy Currently, there is a growing interest in manufacturing pre-designed standard box unit modules at a factory as this speed ups the assembly at site. For example, a precast concrete company in Dubai applied the principles of modular construction in a villa project. They stretched the 3D design to room-sized 3D modules in precast concrete.

The modules were assembled at the factory using precast concrete panels including finishing, electrical cabling, sockets and plumbing. Additionally, the modules were transported to the site where the villa was assembled in only 48 hours. The time they spent preparing modules at the factory is, of course, not included. Even if the short assembly time sounds great, there are some downsides. Room-sized 3D modules in precast concrete are heavy and may weigh more than 30 tons. Handling, lifting and transportation of such heavy modules is challenging and it may cause damages to the finishing or to the structure. Often the end result is a situation where the overall cost per built up square meter is higher than that of using modern, design-focused precast system. Using 3D steel moulds for production at the factory may be applicable to pre-manufacturing of bathroom and elevator shaft modules. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is a balance of just how heavy and complex precast concrete products are feasible to pre-manufacture.

Currently, there is a growing interest in manufacturing predesigned standard box unit modules at a factory as this speed ups the assembly at site

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



Architectural freedom may get very limited if buildings are completely built using 3D moulds. Modern precast offers practicality and saves costs Modern, design-focused precast concrete is suitable for all types of buildings, in seismic areas and also in areas prone to tornadoes. Precast concrete Precast concrete can be used as the main building material or only partly as a structural component. When high-quality, energyefficient buildings have been the target, the modern, design-focused precast concrete has repeatedly been selected as the construction method. Precast concrete is a proven, industrialised building method. Even if installation still takes place at the construction site, the main part of the work is transferred from the chaos of a building site to controlled, organised factory conditions. In addition, housing units are still completed within a reasonable time,

When high-quality, energy-efficient buildings have been the target, the modern, design-focused precast concrete has repeatedly been selected as the construction method.



nd r high-e perts fo ipment: x e l a b The glo roduction equ p plant an 350 precast more th se from

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For current reference projects:

“We offer the best production equipment ´made in Germany´ to install affordable and high-quality Christoph Müller-Bernhardt homes for Africa.“ Executive Sales Director Africa

As internationally acknowledged expert we are providing customized machinery and plant engineering solutions for state-of-the-art precast concrete production. Everything you need for a profitable investment. Made in Germany. Since 1925. | |

AZ_Construction Review Africa_180x130_muc_Mar20.indd 1


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11.02.2020 13:03:02


cost-efficiently and in a safe manner. The use of precast concrete brings quite a lot of savings compared to alternative solutions. The savings come from a number of sources. As an example, in residential buildings, the span of pre-stressed precast hollow core slabs can be from 8 meters to 12 meters. The external insulated precast concrete wall panels can work as the only load-bearing walls. Furthermore, pre-stressed hollow-core slabs save up to 45 percent in concrete compared to reinforced concrete floor casted in a 3D mould, or a plain cast-in-situ reinforced slab. Pre-stressing steel can also be cut by 30 percent because of the lower self-weight of hollow core slabs. In an average apartment this means savings of about 14 tons of concrete and more than 250 kg of steel. Moreover, pre-stressed hollow core slabs can be partly recessed which makes it easier to prepare bathroom plumbing. Optimised production process Modern automated precast concrete production plants optimise

entire precast production process, from 3D building design, to the construction site. The production lines feature advanced software, modern table circulation and stateof the art production machinery. Automated functions cover planning, monitoring and controlling the process of producing building blocks for acceptable buildings. An acceptable building for a home should, first of all, be affordable and of a decent quality, with sufficient living space, good structural stability and located in a sustainable neighbourhood. The acceptable home needs to match expectations of future home owners and tenants. “To sum up, good quality and low life-cycle costs of precast concrete buildings make them an attractive choice for home owners. Add to that short construction time and cost efficiency of the construction process and you get an optimal choice for large housing projects.

pre-stressed hollow-core slabs save up to 45 percent in concrete compared to reinforced concrete floor casted in a 3D mould

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



Curing your concrete, the options you have

Leaving formwork in place is often an efficient and cost-effective method of curing concrete


ifferent Concrete curing methods apply to different situations and this is important because strength of concrete is affected by a number of factors, one of which is the length of time for which it is kept moist. Curing of concrete entails providing adequate moisture, temperature, and time to allow the concrete to achieve the desired properties for its intended use. The process takes place immediately after concrete placing and finishing. Properly cured concrete has an adequate amount of moisture

for continued hydration and development of strength, volume stability, resistance to freezing and thawing, and abrasion and scaling resistance. The length of adequate curing is dependent on a number of factors among them mixture proportion, specified strength, weather conditions and future exposure conditions. Curing methods Concrete curing methods fall into three broad catagories: those that minimise moisture loss from the concrete, for example by covering it with a relatively impermeable membrane, those that prevent moisture loss by continuously wetting the exposed surface of the concrete and those that keep the surface moist and, at the same time, raise the temperature of the concrete, thereby increasing the rate of strength gain. Impermeable-membrane Curing Formwork. Leaving formwork in place is often an efficient and cost-effective method of curing concrete, particularly during its early stages. In very hot dry weather, it may be desirable to moisten timber formwork, to prevent it drying out during the curing period, thereby increasing the length of time for which it remains effective. It is desirable that any exposed surfaces of the concrete like the tops of beams be covered with plastic sheeting or kept moist by other means.

Plastic sheets, or other similar material, form an effective barrier against water loss 14

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It should be noted that, when vertical formwork is eased from a surface its effectiveness as a curing system is significantly reduced. Plastic sheeting. Plastic sheets, or other similar material, form an effective barrier against water loss, provided they are kept securely in place and are protected from damage. Their effectiveness is very much reduced if they are not kept securely in place. The movement of forced draughts under the sheeting must be prevented. They should be placed over the exposed surfaces of the concrete as soon as it is possible to do so without marring the finish. On flat surfaces, such as pavements, they should extend beyond the edges of the slab for some distance, eg or at least twice the thickness of the slab, or be turned down over the edge of the slab and sealed. For flat work, sheeting should be placed on the surface of the concrete and, as far as practical, all wrinkles smoothed out to minimize the mottling effects (hydration staining), due to uneven curing, which might otherwise occur. Flooding the surface of the slab under the sheet can be a useful way to prevent mottling. Strips of wood, or windrows of sand or earth, should be placed across all edges and joints in the sheeting to prevent wind from lifting it, and also to seal in moisture and minimise drying. For decorative finishes or where colour uniformity of the surface is required sheeting may need to be supported clear of the surface if hydration staining is of concern. This can be achieved with wooden battens or even scaffolding components, provided that a complete seal can be achieved and maintained. For vertical work, the member should be wrapped with sheeting and taped to limit moisture loss. As with flatwork, where colour of the finished surface is a consideration, the plastic sheeting should be kept clear of the surface to avoid hydration staining. Care must also be taken to prevent the sheeting being torn or otherwise damaged during use. A minimum thickness is required to ensure adequate strength in the sheet; ASTM C 171 Sheet Materials for Curing Concrete specifies 0.01 mm. Plastic sheeting may be clear or coloured. Care must be taken that the colour is appropriate for the ambient conditions. For example, white or lightly coloured sheets reflect the rays of the sun and, hence, help to keep concrete relatively cool during hot weather. Black plastic, on the other hand, absorbs heat to a marked extent and may cause unacceptably high concrete temperatures. Its use should be avoided in hot weather, although in cold weather its use may be beneficial in accelerating the rate at which the concrete gains strength. Clear plastic sheeting tends to be more neutral in its effect on temperature but tends to be less durable than the coloured sheets, thereby reducing its potential for re-use. Membrane-forming curing compounds Curing compounds are liquids which are usually sprayed directly onto concrete surfaces and which then dry to form a relatively impermeable membrane that retards the loss of moisture from the concrete. Their properties and use are described in AS 3799 Liquid Membrane-forming Curing Compounds for Concrete. They are an efficient and costeffective means of curing concrete and may be applied to freshly placed concrete or that which has been partially cured by some other means. However, they may affect the bond between concrete and subsequent surface treatments. Special care in the choice of a

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



Flat or near-flat surfaces such as floors, pavements, flat roofs and the like may be cured by ponding suitable compound needs to be exercised in such circumstances. The residue from some products may prevent the adhesion of flooring products and tiles onto the concrete surface. It is extremely important to check the subsequent floor finish. Most curing compounds must be removed before the application of any applied floor finishes such as direct stick carpet and vinyl, epoxy or polyurethane coatings and ceramic tile adhesives. Finally, it should be noted when using curing compounds that are solvent-based adequate ventilation must always be provided in enclosed spaces and other necessary safety precautions taken. Manufacturer’s recommendations should always be followed. Internal curing compounds These are incorporated into the concrete as an admixture hence known as internal curing compounds. They inhibit moisture loss and thereby improve long term strength and reduce drying shrinkage. Internal curing compounds are relatively new and care should be taken when utilised. They have been used in tunnel linings and underground mines to provide at least partial curing when traditional methods are difficult or even impossible to employ. 16

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Water Curing General Water curing is carried out by supplying water to the surface of concrete in a way that ensures that it is kept continuously moist. The water used for this purpose should not be more than about 5°C cooler than the concrete surface. Spraying warm concrete with cold water may give rise to ‘thermal shock’ that may cause or contribute to cracking. Alternate wetting and drying of the concrete must also be avoided as this causes volume changes that may also contribute to surface crazing and cracking. Ponding Flat or near-flat surfaces such as floors, pavements, flat roofs and the like may be cured by ponding. A ‘dam’ or ‘dike’ is erected around the edge of the slab and water is then added to create a shallow ‘pond’. Care must be taken to ensure the pond does not empty due to evaporation or leaks. Ponding is a quick, inexpensive and effective form of curing when there is a ready supply of good ‘dam’ material, a supply of water, and the ‘pond’ does not interfere with subsequent building operations. It has the added advantage of helping to maintain a uniform temperature on the surface of the slab. There is thus less likelihood of early age thermal cracking in slabs that are cured

by water ponding. Sprinkling or fog curing Using a fine spray or fog of water can be an efficient method of supplying additional moisture for curing and, during hot weather, helps to reduce the temperature of the concrete. As with other methods of moist curing, it is important that the sprinklers keep the concrete permanently wet. However, the sprinklers do not have to be on permanently; they may be on an intermittent timer. Sprinklers require a major water supply, can be wasteful of water and may need a drainage system to handle run-off. The alternative is to have a ‘closed’ system where the water is collected and recycled. Sprinkler systems may be affected by windy conditions and supervision is required to see that all of the concrete is being kept moist and that no part of it is being subjected to alternated wetting and drying. This is not easy to achieve. Wet coverings Fabrics such as hessian, or materials such as sand, can be used like a ‘mulch’ to maintain water on the surface of the concrete. On flat areas, fabrics may need to be weighed down. Also, it is important to see that the whole area is covered. Wet coverings should be placed as soon as the concrete has hardened sufficiently to prevent surface damage. They should not be allowed to dry out as they can act as a wick and effectively draw water out of the concrete. Fabrics may be particularly useful on vertical surfaces since they help distribute water evenly over the surface and even where not in contact with it, will reduce the rate of surface evaporation. Care should be taken however, that the surface of the concrete is not stained, perhaps by impurities in the water, or by the covering material. New fabrics Continued on page 20


A durable, sustainable structure can only be achieved by thinking in terms of systems rather than products, which is why the MAPEI building line is extended by introducing new, cutting-edge systems and materials with the aim of supplying solutions for every type of problem encountered on site. With over 80 years experience in the industry and backed by our established world class R&D infrastructure & resources, The MAPEI Building Line has been developed to meet the most stringent requirements and provide the most advanced protection for any concrete, on any site worldwide.

Wet coverings fabrics such as hessian, or materials such as sand, can be used like a ‘mulch’

Learn more at Tel: + 27 11 552 8476 Email: MAPEISA/0408/MSA/04/20CR/GPG


Towable Generators for commercial and industrial use Towable generators are a reliable source of backup power. These generators can be used for a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Towable generators are a common sight at concerts, sports events, outdoor parties, and constriction sites. If you want to use it for a building you need a wired generator connection panel for manual transfer of power. The towable models are ideal for powering up air conditioners, heaters, security systems, computers, refrigerators, and freezers. In the past, almost all towable generators ran on diesel. Now users have many choices. You can buy very efficient units that run on propane and natural gas as well. These generators can supply power during emergencies to shops and offices as well. These days, units that run on gasoline, diesel, natural gas or LPG are more desirable. You can have an unlimited supply of gas coming from the kitchen gas lines. LPG cylinders are easy to store and use. Built to withstand harsh weather conditions 18

CR | Sept/Oct 2020

All towable generators are built to withstand harsh weather conditions. Generac, Kohler and Briggs & Stratton build world-class models to meet the need of the demanding market. For industrial use, you can get the larger units mounted on a trailer. These are many types of generators used in commercial applications. You can buy one for permanent installation or buy a towable unit. Size is also important while considering a unit for your place of business or manufacturing. Gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas and so forth are just a form of energy that is used by a generator set to produce electric power. When the primary source of energy is disrupted, the backup generator furnishes the electric power. Seamless continuity of power is possible with an installed unit that is wired to the electric panels well. On the other hand, a portable unit will have to plug into the system as and when required. In all buildings, the use of permanently installed units is common. There is no need for a mobile generator in these buildings. The only exception is a hospital which may own towable units to power specific


parts of the campus. For commercial use, a standby system is more preferable. For roadside jobs, the towable units are commonly used. They generate less power but it is ample to run lights and the construction tools. The power generation capacity of the mobile generator is less than the permanent ones. When you know you need more power for a specific number of days or months, get the towable type for your factory. Sometimes the surplus of orders results in renting more machines to meet the project timelines. In such a scenario a towable generator will keep these additional machines running and you can produce more to meet the new production targets. The price of mobile units varies. Generac produces very good models that you may want to look into. Generac Magnum MMG55DF4 Mobile Towable Generator, Generac 6782 Mobile Towable Generator MLG8K/STD, and Generac MDG100DF4 STD Mobile Towable Generator with Trailer (MMG100D) are all good models.

The latter comes with various options and you can select the type of trailer you need. Generac Magnum MMG55DF4 is both easy to use and maintain. It has a cabinet that is loaded with user-friendly features. The generator has a Tier 4 engine with long run time. Users are able to select the power output they require. The aluminum enclosure makes the unit rust-proof and attenuates sound. Use it for events or at the construction job site with full peace of mind. The model has a 24-hour run time and has a 3-position selector switch for power output. This sturdy and durable modern has a Power Zone™ controller and display. Use the push buttons for easy operation. Safety wise this is a good model as it has 9 warning and shutdown features. The control box is lockable and so is the lug box. The model is a bit pricey and if you want something more affordable, take a look at the Generac 6782 Mobile Towable Generator MLG8K/STD. This model Continued on page 20



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Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



Continued from page 17 can leach fabric stains, pre washing should be essential. Prior to placement of any fabric – pre moisten to avoid wicking of moisture from the concrete that can result in the fabric texture negatively absorbed into the concrete surface. Quality consideration With several brands flocking the market, a buyer is at the risk of falling for substandard materials. Mr. Andrea Di Iorio, East Africa Sales Manager at CONTROLS GROUP advices clients and suppliers to invest in quality. He say the materials, the equipment used as well as the personnel involved should be of high quality. Mr. Andrea suggests that the industry should be well equipped with the latest technology as opposed to use of obsolete standards and techniques. CONTROLS is the global leader

in the production of Testing Equipment for the construction industry with seven branches and more than 4.000 products in three main business areas (Concrete, Soil and Road) , the group has a consolidated presence in Africa for over three decades supplying the main contractors, universities, public and private laboratories. Tom Schuler, President and CEO of Solidia Technologies, says it is advisable to work with customers on the adoption of new technology and incorporate their feedback and guidance into making the systems easy to adopt as well as making the end-products equal or superior to traditional concrete products. He says customers are pivotal in highlighting the challenges encountered in rising energy and inventory. Solidia Technologies is a cement and concrete technology company that has developed patented processes to ease production and

improve performance of cement and concrete, while reducing the carbon footprint of products up to 70% and water consumption 60-80% during manufacturing. Starting with sustainable Solidia Cement™, Solidia Concrete™ is cured with CO₂ instead of water, all using the same raw materials, formulations and equipment with only slight modifications. Saving manufacturers time, energy and money, Solidia Concrete products cure within 24 hours, compared to the 28 days required for traditional concrete to reach full strength. Solidia Technologies has partnered with global industry leader LarfargeHolcim to work on research and development, as well as marketing for their cement and concrete systems.

Continued from page 19

features a Kubota diesel engine and is fuel efficient. The high performance of this model makes it a good choice. If you have a small load and have single phase power needs this model will be just right for you. It is portable, efficient, and rugged. It has a full tubular steel frame, lockable enclosure, fade resistant powder coat finish and is very reliable. When the oil level is low or when the unit heats up it will auto shut down so no damage is caused to the Kubota diesel engine. The best thing about the Generac 6782 Mobile Towable Generator is that it is very easy to use. The 3-cylinder engine is self-priming and the generator has the external convenience outlets with individual breakers. Sometimes in factories, the power can break down at peak hours of operations and at such times it pays to be well prepared for the situation. A backup source of power saves the day and the machines could continue running as usual. When production 20

stops it could mean big financial losses and when orders are not delivered in time the company can also lose buyers. Manufacturers take into consideration all the needs and requirements of industrial clients and come up with models that are easy for them to use. If you need a new unit for your factory or your construction site, check online for what is on offer. The dealers can take care of all sorts of needs of clients. Towable generators come with wheels

CR | Sept/Oct 2020

that never go flat. They are easy to store and maintain. You can find all sorts of accessories to enhance functionality. When you buy the right model, read the owner’s manual so you get more familiar with the new asset. Get a cover, weather kits, fuel stabilizer, and other accessories online at good rates. If you like a unit that is a bit beyond your budget, use the easy financing offered by dealers to make easy monthly installments. After sale service ensures the generator continues to work efficiently for long.




East Africa’s Premier Pre-Engineered Steel Building Solution


abati Rolling Mills Ltd (MRM), a member of the Safal Group and East Africa’s leading provider of building solutions, recently opened a plant to manufacture pre-engineered steel buildings using their revolutionary technology, SAFBUILD. The plant is located in Athi River near the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The technology promises to transform the construction industry through high quality products and significant acceleration of project delivery. Mr. Manish Garg is the Business Head at Safal Building Systems and has been spearheading the Pre-Engineered Building concept on the African continent for Safal Group. In this interview, he sheds more light on the technology. Please tell us more about SAFBUILD and what distinguishes it from conventional building technologies SAFBUILD is a pre-engineered steel building (PEB) solution utilizing high-tensile, coldformed, galvanized-steel ‘C’ and ‘Z’-shaped structural framing members which are clad using MRM’s trusted solutions to create ideal buildings for medium-sized warehousing, manufacturing buildings, agro-processing units, market sheds, workshops and garages, and institutional buildings among others. What is more, in SAFDESIGN, MRM has invested in a dedicated design software that speedily automates a customer’s journey from idea to full project detailing within minutes, anchored on a stringent, world-class design code that factors in superior parameters to applicable local standards. SAFBUILD structures are guaranteed to take the punishment of robust use and local extreme weather in their stride. SAFBUILD integrates seamlessly with other MRM building solutions including various roofing and wall cladding profiles and flashing elements, underlay SAFTHERM heat barrier-membranes, CLEARDEK polycarbonate translucent sheets, on-wall louvers and roof-mounted cyclones, RAINGAIN rain-water harvesting accessories and matching performance FIXTITE fasteners. With the easy addition of door and window openings, SAFBUILD is the ultimate complete building solution. What is more, with up to 24-metre clear 22

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spans on width, 6-metre structural bay spacing, 6-metre height at the building eave and virtually unlimited building length allowance as well as fully, partially or wholly unclad walls options, SAFBUILD offers a flexible, practical, value-formoney enclosure for all manner of human spaceuse needs. We liaise with the project consultants to avail all technical details required at both the design and implementation phases of the project and further offer erection supervision at site to ensure quality and design standards are met. All this departs from the market norm of heavy, hot-rolled steel construction that is slower, laborious and often given to site rework. The SAFBUILD customer, fabricators and end users alike enjoy a fully factory-engineered yet customized solution, leading to a very quickto-install and maintenance-free building that remains in pristine condition for generations. The galvanized steel structural members eliminate the headache of manual corrosion-treatment of steel and by using lighter, higher tensile-strength members, SAFBUILD yields a reduced overall building weight that does not require heavy handling machinery without compromise to strength. The common local construction methods for warehouses and sheds using solid masonry and reinforced-concrete framing compares even more unfavorably to SAFBUILD, leading to slow, environmentally-deficient methods and yielding a thermally-inefficient, unadaptable mass. SAFBUILD’s light construction is conversely quick, has minimal impact on the environment and the structures can be easily relocated as space use and planning develops on site. What is the magic in the SAFBUILD solution? What makes you think the region is ready for this technology? The SAFBUILD magic is resident in the tremendous speed it takes - literally less than half the time that would otherwise be spent by the customer in any other way of constructing a similar structure. As we say, you dream it, we build it with SAFBUILD! And this is made possible through our end-to-end revolutionary design software, SAFDESIGN.


With extensive international exposure, and several multi-nationals setting up shop here, it is our considered view that the region is absolutely ready to embrace this kind of concept which is international in stature but delivered locally by a very trusted company of unflinching repute, with all the attendant convenience of being a local household name! This is a new era in the provision of buildings in this region and we are confident that it is the way to go when it comes to delivering solutions that meet clients’ expectations in terms of budgets and timelines.

thought about making construction less stressful with solutions which take all the pain out of the whole construction process. This in turn helps unlock people’s crucial time to focus on their primary jobs where they make invaluable contribution knowing their dreams will be fulfilled to their envisioned standards.

What informed the SAFBUILD rollout? What is SAFBUILD’s unique value proposition? This emanated from the messy journey people had to endure when executing construction building projects. It gets worse when you try to masquerade as construction expert yet you are a greenhorn, totally unfamiliar with the dizzying process and have to deal with a plethora of unknown characters to get the project complete. SAFBUILD came in with a single point responsibility of designing, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, electrical, and finishing all under one roof; so now you don’t have to worry whether you have bought the right kind of steel, hired the right kind of fabricator, or have the right kind of architect.

With SAFBUILD we have embarked on a journey to disrupt the construction methodology from the conservative conventional way to the most cost effective scientific way of construction that delivers superior structures, at lightning speed, with fewer hands, and in an organized clean environment.

Durability was another key concern for many and here we deliver structures that are more durable than any other normal form of construction that has been used. We also give peace of mind on budgets, with a fixed price contract and quality guarantee. Generally life is stressful nowadays and construction makes it even worse. At Safal, we

Among the biggest challenges in construction are high costs and project delivery speed. How does SAFBUILD address these challenges?

Who is your target market? Our target market are clients in manufacturing, agricultural value-addition, commercial and institutional segments, people who create infrastructure like warehousing and logistic firms, all types of industrial operators, infrastructure like railway stations or airports, any kind of animal husbandry such as chicken sheds, cow sheds, and any agri-based industries where people wish to have cold storage, among many others. In your considered view, what is the future of the construction industry in Kenya? I see lots of growth in this sector, driven by numerous parameters.

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



Work Continues at The Nairobi Hospital & UN Covid-19 Treatment Facility


ontractors are racing to complete the emergency Hospital for the United Nations.

The treatment facility, a partnership between the United Nations and The Nairobi Hospital, will cater for UN workers and their family members in Africa. The facility will also accept non-UN patients. It will house an operating theatre, a laboratory, a radiology section and a physiology centre. The hospital will have an initial capacity of 150 beds, including 25 intensive-care and 50 high-dependency units. The project is worth approximately Kes 1 billion. The UN’s Africa headquarters is situated in Nairobi, with other offices in Ethiopia. The organisation approached The Nairobi Hospital’s administration in April 2020 for a partnership arrangement in the clinical management of COVID-19. The choice of The Nairobi Hospital is an indication of the high regard that institutions and the public have for what is arguably Kenya’s most advanced medical facility. The foundation stone of what was to become the leading provider of healthcare services in the East African region, was laid on the morning of 20th October 1952. Opening its doors in 1954 as the European Hospital, the institution has grown from humble beginnings to a modern high-technology facility with more than 363 bed-capacity, six outpatient centers and a state of the art convention centre. 24

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The combination of highly skilled medical specialists and modern medical and non-medical technology has placed the Hospital in a position to undertake a wide range of routine and complex investigations and procedures including Open Heart Surgery, Kidney Transplants, Trauma care, Orthopedic surgery, Neurosurgery, Laparoscopic surgery, InVitro Fertilization (IVF) and Cancer therapy among others. Today, The Nairobi Hospital is renowned for emergency and trauma care, disaster response and critical care and has excellent facilities for providing high quality clinical and nursing care.¬ The Anderson Specialty clinics opened in 201, has a variety of Specialty clinics including Orthopedic, Bariatric, Well baby and Executive clinic. The Nairobi Hospital is a pace setter in medical practice in Kenya and has recorded several firsts locally and in East and Central African including: • First private nursing training college in Kenya • First institution to offer a Diploma in Theatre Nursing • First Hospital to fit a duo chamber pacemaker on a patient • First institution to offer hip replacement • First eye bank in East Africa • First complete video gastroenterology system • First human papilloma virus (HPV) testing facility i.e. cancer of the cervix testing • First tumour markers testing facility • First Hospital enterprise resource management system


EUROGASES AND TECHNICAL SERVICES LTD Jogoo Road Plaza, 2nd Floor. P.O. Box 50775-00200 Nairobi. Tel: +254 20 200 1200, +254 720 978321. Email: Website:



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Quantity Surveying Project Management Arbitration We are proud to be associated with the United Nations Nairobi Hospital Project Suite 8A, Vision Plaza, 3rd Floor, Mombasa Road, Nairobi. Tel: +254 727 448 278 Email:

We are proud to be associated with the UN COVID-19 Hospital as the approved HVAC Subcontractors

Limuru Road P.O. Box 6341-00300 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: 0734 512808 Email:

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



challenges during the raft foundation setting stage •

First brachytherapy center

work expected to have been complete within 28 days.

Earlier epidemiologic predictions indicated that Kenya was likely to face a surge in COVID-19 infections towards the end of this year. However, the available Hospitals and ICU beds within the country are limited and projected to be overwhelmed. The UN recognized the need to contribute to the pool of COVID care beds and facilities in order to have a reliable referral facility for its staff and families. Further, Nairobi is the regional medical evacuation centre for the UN, with several peace keeping and humanitarian hubs within and beyond Africa looking to have a Medevac Solution in Nairobi for severe or potentially severe cases of Covid-19. The Government has prohibited any incoming COVID-19 medevac into Kenya to avoid strain on available infrastructure. The Government has further indicated that the approval of Medevac would be subject to UN demonstrating its support of COVID infrastructure expansion at a local Hospital in a partnership arrangement.

Blink Studio, a respected architectural and project management firm whose landmark projects include Umma University and Freedom Heights residential complex, are the project managers. According to Dr. Brian Lishenga, the firm’s lead manager at the site, the plan is to have the contractor work 24hrs a day in three different shifts, each shift running for eight hours. “In addition, the contractor is expected to section the works into three areas running concurrently with a full complement of staff. Procurement pre-planning, sequencing of works and foreseeing challenges at each stage are also critical.” He revealed that the project team had already experienced some challenges during the raft foundation setting stage. “Setting of the anchor bolts took longer than expected leading to a 6-day delay on these two aspects of the project. We however have put in place mitigation measures to see the project completed on time.”

Tight deadlines The project has extremely tight deadlines with 26

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Project Team

Client: United Nations Office in Nairobi Project Manager: Blink Studio Ltd Architects: Mutiso Menezes International Quantity Surveyor: Linear Projects Ltd Structural & Civil Engineers: Natconsult Consulting Engineers Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: M&E Consulting Main Contractor: Quest Civil Engineers Mechanical Subcontractor: Hydrobuild Ltd Electrical Subcontractor: Central Electricals International Medical Gases Subcontractor: Eurogases & Tech Services HVAC Subcontractor: Minkin Services

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR 27


With over 90 years of experience,

we continue to bring innovative solutions

Doshi Group is proud to be the steel supplier of choice for UN Covid-19 Hospital 28

CR | Sept/Oct 2020


How Doshi’s CNC Drilling and Cutting Services Speeded up UN Covid-19 Hospital Construction

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) drilling and cutting is now widely appreciated and deployed on construction projects in order to increase precision and hasten delivery of projects. The service gives contractors a competitive edge, with fabrication times cut down by as much as 50% and precision of cut and drilled sections enhanced significantly. Inventory cost is also reduced. The process eliminates hidden costs caused by delays due to long fabrication time and helps in improving the fabricator’s cash flow due to reduced project turnaround time.

When using manual methods of cutting and drilling, a lot of time is taken in the preparation works and in the actual processing especially where a job involves a very large number of steel components. Using a CNC line enables mass production, considerably reducing the time taken in steel processing. In addition, the process of manual cutting will often require reference to shop floor drawings from time to time, leading to high incidences of human error. But with CNC cutting, errors are negligible since drawings are downloaded directly from the design/ drawing software. An extra step of grinding is often required in manual cuts to achieve clean cuts; CNC cutting eliminates this extra operation by producing smoothly finished cuts on the first go with accuracy levels of up to ±0.05 mm. Scribing and contour marking is also possible which allows for easy identification of the sections and quick assembly at the fabricator’s work place or on site. The UN Covid-19 Facility The contractor was under immense pressure to complete this project within very tight

timelines. With the amount of steel sections that needed precise cutting and the numerous holes needed on some, manual processing of the same proved to be laborious and time consuming.

Each column had between 150 – 200 holes which were to be drilled with great precision and this was only possible with a CNC line. Imagine marking 200 holes on each column and then drilling each using magnetic drills - it is a mammoth task. Thanks to Doshi’s CNC Line, cutting and drilling of over 130 columns was done in a few days, a major feat by any standards. To start off, Doshi offered to process a few samples for the contractor to demonstrate the speed and accuracy with which the work could be done. After the samples processing was over, the contractor was impressed and agreed to have the steel processed at Doshi. Eventually, approximately 80% of the steel used in the project was processed through the CNC facility. Tried and Tested Doshi installed CNC cutting/drilling equipment at the beginning of 2014. The company’s CNC Control Facility features a state of the art machine from Germany with a high cutting performance and precision of up to ± 0.05 mm ensuring high levels of accuracy.

Doshi has offered similar services on numerous projects in the recent. These include: • • • • • •

KTDA factory projects Chaka Market The SJSS Temple in Nairobi Doshi Plastics Factory Various church roofing projects Various foot bridge projects along major roads in Nairobi.

Testimonials from clients confirm that Doshi’s CNC services are indeed appreciated. “One thing that the CNC has done for me is to give me the power to compete with the bigger players in this business. The accuracy with which the sections are processed has enabled me to deliver turnkey projects that are up to standard within agreed timelines,” says one mid-size fabricator. “The speed at which we were able to complete roofing for a project we were doing for a government agency was impressive. Also, having the material cut to length reduced wastages and produced very neat trusses,” says a contractor.

The powerful clamping system holds the material in place reducing vibrations for best cutting results. Besides its impressive functional benefits, the machine also enables data import from the design programs in use. This implies that a client can share their architectural or structural drawings. It is also possible to generate shop floor drawings and a corresponding cutting list.

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



Metrix Integrated Consultancy 25 Years of Engineering Excellence


etrix Integrated Consultancy, a construction engineering firm based in Nairobi, Kenya, is marking its 25th anniversary this year. For any organization to live to see its silver anniversary, it takes vision, determination and sheer hard work. In the United States, the average lifespan of new companies is a mere 20 months. Many things can go wrong during the initial life of a new business. Lack of focus, wrong staff selection and cash burnout rank highly among the reasons that kill organizations shortly after commencing operations. The construction industry is no different. In Kenya, many contractors, consultancies and others have suffered this fate. But Metrix Integrated Consultancy has weathered these challenges and survived even the intermittent difficult periods of economic slowdown witnessed in the country over the last 30

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quarter of a century. Background Metrix Integrated Consultancy was established in 1995 by Engineer Khalid Omar Alkizim. An experienced civil and structural engineer, Eng. Khalid quickly set the firm on a growth trajectory, using his experience and networking skills to get the young firm entrenched in the market, at the time dominated by large consultancies, some of which had been in existence for many years. Today, Metrix is itself a force to reckon with in Kenya’s engineering circles and has evolved in skill and capacity to be able to undertake large and complex projects of high financial value. “We pride ourselves on the knowledge, skills and expertise of our employees, who work together as a team delivering successful projects”, says the company. “Valuing the importance of relationships, we have a collaborative approach that is flexible and can respond quickly to the needs of our clients.”


The Team At the helm of the practice is Eng. Khalid Alkizim who serves as Principal Partner. Engineer Alkizim has over 30 years in civil and structural engineering. He is assisted by Eng. Mohamed Khalid who is the firm’s Managing Partner responsible for day to day running of operations and Eng Robert Mumo who is the technical partner responsible for project delivery and inhouse audit checks. Under Eng. Khalid falls the four specialized divisions of the company: Accounting and Administration; Structural Engineering; Civil Engineering; Civil and Structural Engineering Draughting and IT & Human Resources. All team members including management work on a fulltime basis to ensure seamless workflow with regular consultations. Services Structural Engineering Metrix Integrated Consultancy provides broad consultancy services in structural engineering beginning with conceptualization through feasibility studies to design and construction supervision.

Structural Investigations: The company provides its clients professional opinion on structural issues and recommends interventions following site investigation. Condition Assessments: Metrix advises clients who may wish to effect change of user on a property as required by law or who intend to make significant alterations on an existing structure. A comprehensive report detailing structural analysis, impact of changes and recommendations is issued to the client. Engineering Design and Plan Preparation: This is a service offered to clients embarking on new structures or extensive renovations to existing structures. Metrix Integrated Consultancy’s team of engineers prepares the requisite engineering drawings and specifications for approval by regulatory authorities. Inspection: The company tests and reviews materials to be used in construction and also undertakes thorough inspections of structures to ensure structural integrity. Civil Engineering Civil engineering involves planning, design and construction of buildings and infrastructure such as roads,

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR


Innovative Planning and Design Consultants (IPDC) IPDC Studio, off Warai South Road, Karen, Nairobi, Kenya +254 713 092968

Garden City Business Park, Nairobi

Karen Office Park, Nairobi

Garden City Business Park, Nairobi

Wilson Business Park, Nairobi

Congratulations Metrix Integrated Consultancy on your Silver Jubilee. We are proud to be associated with you!

Congratulations Metrix Integrated Consultancy as you mark your




Esteel Construction Ltd P.O. Box 3713-00506 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: +254 20 2679822/231 6553 Email:

Nairobi Mega Mall for Car & General Kenya Ltd

We are proud to be associated with Metrix Integrated Consultancy as Main Contractor

Community Centre for S.S.J.S

Apartments for Alpine Meadows Ltd

Norkun Intakes Ltd Electrical & Mechanical Consulting Engineers



Congratulations Metrix Integrated Consultancy on your Silver Anniversary. We are proud to be associated with you.

Morningside Office Park 3rd Flr, Ngong Rd, Kilimani | P.O. Box 605, 00100 – Nairobi, Kenya | | 254(0)729 381 360, +254(0)736 230 287 32

CR | Sept/Oct 2020


bridges, water reservoirs, drainage and environmental management systems. It is a wide discipline that requires cost efficient but efficient implementation. Metrix Integrated Consultancy is at the forefront of advising clients on all aspects of such projects including the following: Site Analysis and Feasibility Assessment: The firm helps clients determine the viability and scope of projects and carries out code/regulatory reviews, permitting inventories, preliminary layouts, timeline assessments and cost estimates. Clients are presented with information necessary to make informed decisions. Site Engineering: The importance of an engineered site plan for new developments, regardless of their size, cannot be overstated. Each project requires a site plan that indicates location of buildings, site improvements, utilities, roads and other features. Factors to take into account include topography, soil conditions, drainage etc.

Civil engineers factor in all these considerations in order to come up with an appropriate design. Metrix Integrated Consultancy provides a detailed brief for each proposed development to enable the executing parties do so with a high degree of accuracy. Storm water Design: When it comes to storm water, the team at Metrix Integrated Consultancy has the necessary expertise and experience to help developers design their projects in accordance with local regulations. They develop storm water management plans that include operation and maintenance manuals for storm water facilities. They also specify the best management practices to ensure pollutants that could be carried by storm water are kept in check. Sewage Disposal Systems and Wastewater Treatment Plants: Metrix engineers are conversant with all aspects of waste management. Whether it is a regular subsurface sewage disposal

Congratulations Metrix Integrated Consultancy on your 25th Anniversary. We are proud to be associated with you. Kuwinda Road, off Langata Road P.O. Box 4874-00506 Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 722 720266/0733720200 Email:

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR



system or a wastewater treatment plant, the team designs the most cost-effective and efficient systems for its clients. Computerized Design Modern engineering consultancies cannot function without computerization. Metrix Integrated Consultancy realizes that in order to remain competitive, it is critical to adopt the latest design software for all its operations. The firm utilizes the latest of such software as Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Robot, CSI Etabs, CSI Safe, STAAD pro, Bentley Structural Enterprise Software Package, and in-house RCC Spreadsheets. Others include AutoCAD Civil 3D, Infraworks and Navisworks. Projects Over the years, the company has handled numerous projects of varying magnitude, complexity and value in Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Ethiopia. A few of these are Phenom Park (Kes 5b), Garden City (Kes 5b), Parkroad Affordable Housing (Kes 4b), Brookhouse Schools (Kes 34

CR | Sept/Oct 2020

900m), Bidco Refineries (Kes 2b), The Mihrab (1.5b) and Swissport in Dar es Salaam (Kes 1b). Others are Marijani Pwani Mchangani Hotel & Resort (Zanzibar – construction ongoing), Pavilion Apartments (Bole, Addis Ababa design ongoing) among many others. These projects have given the firm extensive experience and made it ready and capable of undertaking practically any kind of building project. Out of these projects, the Metrix team is especially proud of the following three: Garden City Residential and Garden City Business Park Garden City is Kenya's first integrated residential, retail and office (mixed-use) development, offering over 400 apartments, duplexes and family villas, an international shopping mall, 60,000 square meters of office space, a modern business hotel and state-of-the-art medical Centre (to be developed in the near future). Being part of this prestigious development has been one of Metrix’s major milestones as it has enabled


the firm to grow both internally by innovating and incorporating advanced technology through implementation of BIM and use of advanced structural analytical software such as ETABS. The firm also adopted Civil 3d and Navisworks to design and model the infrastructure aspect of the development. The Mihrab The Mihrab is a 25-storey building shaped like a mihrab, a semi-circular alcove found in mosques that indicates the direction to face when praying. Due to the curving nature of the building, the design team faced major challenges to curve the columns such that they take the shape of the building’s façade. The challenge was overcome by incorporating current design software to model the building behavior in the occurrence of an earthquake and behaviour of columns with the floor to floor recess after the 14th floor. The building has changed the skyline of Kilimani and Nairobi since its completion and the striking Middle Eastern architecture has made it a landmark tower. Parkroad affordable housing Parkroad affordable housing project is the

first affordable housing project under the governments Big 4 agenda to be completed. The project comprises 5 blocks of 1360 units of 1,2- & 3-bedroom houses, Including a parking silo, a junior academy block, and a shopping centre. To be involved with a vast project and the first affordable housing project of the scale and kind is something that Metrix says they are proud of. This was a fast track project and the design phase took only two months from the schematic to the detailed design and issuance of construction drawing. The structures of all blocks were completed within one year which is a very short period considering the large-scale nature of the development. Future There is no doubt that Metrix Integrated Consultancy is destined for bigger things. The company will continue leveraging on its highly skilled team and employing the best possible resources coupled with superior customer service to achieve the next level of service excellence.

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Golden Life Mall



now a landmark building in Nakuru Town





informed the design and space planning.

experience is being felt in Nakuru with

In 2019, the Gross County Product report

the completion of the long awaited Golden Life

ranked Nakuru the second-richest county after

The designer’s main role was to interpret


Nairobi. The report found that in 2017, the total

and synthesize the feasibility study report by

value of goods and services produced in Nakuru

conceptualizing a building that met the client’s

In February, Epco Builders Ltd, the main

was Ksh 517.4 billion, which translated to 6.9


contractor in the massive Ksh 1.645 billion

per cent of the national gross domestic product

project, handed over the mall exactly two years


“Tectura interpreted the client’s brief to come

to the day they broke ground. This was however

up with a design whose objectives were to

a 4-month delay, says Project Architect John

Nakuru is also home to leading educational

develop an efficiency module, mediate between

Kinuthia of leading Nairobi-based consultancy,


the interests of the various stake holders, display

Tectura International.






the strength and stability of Egerton University Retirement Benefits Scheme, create an iconic

“The delay was occasioned by ground conditions

As the town continues to grow, more

building which would inspire, provoke and

in Nakuru which required stabilization to

commercial, industrial and residential properties

trigger interests,” says Arch. Kinuthia.

achieve the required bearing capacity for

continue to spring up. Among the organizations

structural stability.”

that decided to invest in the town is Egerton

The architect then escalated these intentions to

University Retirement Benefits Scheme, hence

the project itself and envisaged the following:


the birth of Golden Life Mall.

Nakuru is the fourth largest urban centre in

The brief

The tower to articulate vertically and to balance horizontal and vertical forms

Kenya and is the headquarters of the expansive

Random surface articulation to create visual play, kill monotony and emphasize

Rift Valley region. Nakuru County itself is

According to Arch. Kinuthia, the client desired

one of the country’s most productive and

to put up a shopping mall and thus a market

contributes immensely in terms of agriculture,

survey and feasibility study was done. The

between the internal and external living

manufacturing and tourism.

ensuing report formed the project brief that



CR | Sept/Oct 2020

the African motifs. •






Maximization of natural lighting and ventilation for energy efficiency.

Use of vegetation to soften the surfaces

It was also critical that the building adheres to green building practices. Therefore, Tectura adopted the following:

Enhancement of natural lighting and natural ventilation

Projection of horizontal planes for sun-shading

An atrium for enhancement of cooling by stack effect

Use of locally available materials

Solar energy installation

Use of vegetation to minimize surface heat gain.

Once the brief was internalized, the task at hand for the Project Architect was clearly cut out for him. It would entail: •

Site investigation and formulation of a strategic approach to creating a built environment that would blend with its environment both in constructability, structure and functionality.







development based on the given scope in the Terms of Reference and the various researches that would be carried out by the consultant’s team. •

Catering for anticipated key institutional reforms and the ever-changing needs; this would be realized by enhanced flexibility in design and spatial demarcations.

Providing adequate facilities to accommodate nonroutine functions.

Providing other support facilities necessary for smooth operations.

Arranging for further expansion.

Providing effective and efficient circulation within the building, while ensuring maximum energy efficiency.

Future maintenance in light of material and fittings to be used.

Design and Teamwork The execution of the project was carried out on the basis of teamwork, with Architect Douglas Ochong of AIA as Project Manager. According to Arch. Kinuthia, architectural design was not only viewed as exterior design, interior design or applied decoration to clad or upgrade of a technical base, but rather, an “integrated whole with a harmonious and appropriate relationship between image, function, cost and time.” Objectives of the assignment The objectives of this assignment were to: •

Prepare the Designs and Cost Estimates for the proposed

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR


commercial/retail development. •

Prepare tender documents complete with the detailed architectural drawings and give essential information to the appointed Quantity Surveyor for preparation of Bills of Quantities.

Provide professional construction supervision services to ensure the project was executed and completed within the budgeted time frame, on budget and to specifications.

Scope of services The main activities included but not limited to carrying out investigations, surveys, consultations, estimates, conceptual design, detailed

design, construction drawings; carrying

out Environment Impact Assessment study; preparation of specifications and tender documents; tendering and selection of contractor; construction supervision reports and production of as-built drawings to meet the specific requirements for all separable parts of the works. Project design parameters The architect deployed modern design concepts based on new construction technologies, particularly the use of glass, steel and reinforced concrete etc. as well as new design trends. Conscious that modern building calls for green design considerations, he also worked towards making the Golden Life Mall an energy efficient, environmentally friendly structure. In addition, it was important to ensure viability of the development. This called for interpretation and implementation of the feasibility study report to realize a profitable development and achieve anticipated return on investment. Overall, the project was executed with mimimal hitches and practically no significant adjustments were made to the design initially presented to the client. This is clearly discernible from comparisons between the renders and the final building as it stands today. Looking back, Arch. Kinuthia underscores the importance of having architectural and project management as separate services on a project of this magnitude as happened in this case. “Similarly, it is appropriate to separate the electrical engineering services from mechanical engineering services; having separate consultants for each of these services”, he adds. 38

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P.O. BOX 25360-00603, Nairobi Kenya,


Kyangombe, off Mombasa Rd, Nairobi. Tel: 0721691786, 0725 786999. Email:

We specialize in all types of purpose-made architectural aluminum systems and general fit-outs

We are proud to be associated with the Golden Life Mall Nakuru

We are proud to be associated with the prestigious Golden Life Mall Nakuru as the Electrical Engineering Contractors and honoured to have worked with the entire project team

Tectura International Ltd Tectura Studio, 10, The Crescent, Parklands. Tel: +254 722 275106/+254 733 622872 Email:; Website:

We are proud to be associated with the Golden Life Mall Nakuru

Sept/Oct 2020 | CR


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