Construction Review Africa

Page 1

Since 1989

March-April 2021, Vol 32 No.2

Readymix Concrete Optimising your concrete needs

Pool area design Cutting utility costs Solar panel installation Generator maintenance Kitchen & bathroom design

PERGAS GROUP Affordable Luxury


Figure 3: Wood design floor tile

2.Wrought Iron

Figure 1: Living room floor tile

Figure 4: Wrought Iron designs; gates, staircases, balconies and Iron decorative parts Figure 2: Wall tiles

For Inquiries : 0110 001 111 Contact us

Head Office

Branch 2

Branch 3

Branch 4

Location: Block No. 19 , Kijabe St. Call/Whatsap; For Tiles Inquiry: 0110 001 111 For Iron Inquiry: 0777 777 720 Office Line: 0412 249 990 Email: For Tiles Inquiry: For Iron Inquiry:

Location: 2nd Floor- Red Complex Building, Mombasa road, City Cabanas Call/Whatsap: 0791 888 999 Email:

Location: Block No. 30, Kijabe St. Office Line: 0412 244 884 Call/Whatsap: 0710 785 245 Email:

Location: Block No. 22, Wallstreet Business Park, ICD road, Opposite City Cabanas Office Line: 0412 244 256 Call/Whatsap: 0788 808 189 Email:,, P.O Box 2452-00606 Nairobi-Kenya.


We are your one-stop partner for all your construction solutions: • • • •

Concrete Admixtures Waterproofing Sealing & Bonding Tile Adhesives

Sika Kenya Limited 2nd Floor Semco Industrial Park Mombasa Road Nairobi, Kenya

• Flooring • Structural Strenghthening • Roofing

Tel: +254 711 140 234/786 140 234 Email: Website:

• Repairing & Protection • Anchoring & Grouting • Structural Glazing

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 and Marketing Ken Okore Manager Faith Mburu ADVERTISING ADVERTISING Kenya: William Mutama, Joyce Kenya: William Mutama, Lilian Khavosa, Ndamaiyu, Lilian Khavosa, Fred Okoth Joyce Ndamaiyu, Wendy Kinya

CON Since 1989

Current Issue

March-April 2021, Vol 32 No.2

Construction Review talked to one Readymix concrete supplier in Uganda in order to better understand the industry.

Readymix Concrete Optimising your concrete needs

South Africa: Rachel Molapo, Winnie South Africa: Thuli Nkosi, Winnie SentSentabire, Angeline Ntobeng abire, Angeline Ntobeng, Uganda: Uganda: Nobert Nobert Turiyo, Turiyo, Selina Selina Salumah Salumah Namuli Namuli

Pool area design Cutting utility costs Solar panel installation Generator maintenance Kitchen & bathroom design

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: 6

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. © All rights reserved.

Ready mix concrete; A new trend in Africa

Solar panel installation


Affordability and luxury in kitchen and bathroom design


35 Lower Long, Cape Town. An elegant new office tower 20 Proper diesel generator maintenance 24 Buying the right air compressor


Designing your dream pool area


Innovative window films for the modern office


5 Phases of construction project management


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 Mining and Constriction News Network 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,


March/April 2021 Volume 32 No.2

Editor's Comment

Solar panel installation

Take a look at the 5 steps to be taken when installing solar panels to ensure its done right

Ready mix concrete is an old technology taking Africa's construction by storm. Large construcion sites either setup their own plants while most order from established companies offeringhte service.


The savings can be substancial in these times when everyone is looking to save on costs.

Affordable luxury kitchen and bathrooms

When it comes to luxury interior design, making sure you get the best value for money is important. How to do it can be found here

The environment benefits because there are no empty bags of cement left over, construction sites that are constricted benefit because you dont need tp provide space to space to mix the concrete and stockpile supplies. Theft of supplies is avoided because there is no storage of bags and sand on site as well.


Perhaps the most important is the fact that you get consistency when it comes to the concrete mix as it is measured carefully at hte batching plant before being supplied

35 Lower Long, CApe Town

An elegant 86-metre glass-clad office tower, has recently been completed which will invigorate Cape Town’s emerging financial and hospitality district

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

Undoubtedly more plants will be coming up int he years to come


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


AfriSam Geard up for Better Year in Roadwork With some important road contracts secured for 2021, AfriSam is well placed to bring more capacity on stream as and when there is an upswing in South Africa’s road building sector.

Emirates Steel sets its compass towards steel flat products

Emirates Steel, the leading integrated steel plant in the Middle East, announced its plans to add Hot Rolled Coils (HRC) to its widerange products portfolio so that it can mainly meet the needs of the local and regional markets of the high-quality flat products. This is aligned with the goals of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 to increase competitiveness through diversification, flexibility and innovation, and Emirates Steel’s efforts to promote the contribution of the industrial sector in UAE’s sustainable development. Emirates Steel is currently conducting a comprehensive evaluation for the project to construct the fully automated first-of-its-kind HRC plant in MENA region. Upon completion, the new plant is set to boost Emirates Steel’s production capacity to exceed 5 million tones per annum. Thanks to the latest technologies, the new plant will have the lowest carbon footprint in the region. The new flat products serve several industries and applications including automotive, electrical steel, shipbuilding, boilers and pressure vessels, gas cylinders, heavy metal structures, offshore structures, general construction, machine components, pipes and tubes, household appliances, and structural steel, among others. Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel, says launching the new HRC products aims to maximize their contribution to UAE industrial sector.

Allplan and Precast Join Forces to Strengthen Engineering and Construction Offering

he Nemetschek Group, one of the world’s leading software providers for the AEC industry, today announced that its brands Allplan and Precast Software Engineering will merge This is according to AfriSam’s their competences to create a unique Construction Materials Executive, Avi and customer-focused offering for Bhoora, who says the company will engineering and construction. be supplying construction material to the significant road upgrade from “This is an important strategic Lynnfield Park to Dardanelles, south move to further optimize our of Pietermaritzburg. solution portfolio. Customers will significantly benefit from the He says there are nine work packages combined power,” says Viktor expected to be released by the road Várkonyi, Chief Division Officer authority, which could together add up to about R40 billion in contract of the Planning & Design Division values. AfriSam has recently been and Member of the Executive Board active in the Watt Street Interchange of the Nemetschek Group. “Precast Project in Wynberg near Sandton, technologies are one of the top trends where it provided almost 9,000 m3 in AEC technologies. By seamlessly of readymix for concrete works. integrating our leading engineering This contract included two large, platform from Allplan and the challenging concrete pours of over downstream manufacturing processes 550 m3 each. from Precast, we will be able to offer a market-leading, comprehensive It has also been busy in KwaZulu- solution from structural engineering to Natal, including a bridge upgrade in manufacturing and construction. This the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project solution will improve collaboration at Inanda Road and interchange and efficiency across the entire upgrades in Westville, Richmond building lifecycle and accelerate Road and Camperdown. digitalization in the AEC industry.”

Ceramiche Refin launches Blended porcelain tiles Ceramiche Refin launches Blended textures, more or less pronounced, porcelain tiles that combine natural to obtain a sustained yet balanced rhythm.” stones and sands The Blended tiles can be used on Blended comes in the five colours walls. They work both indoors and of grey, natural, white, beige and dark (from top to bottom) outdoors Although the final tiles are made of porcelain, they mix all of these visual references together into a new “harmonious” hybrid that resembles a real slab of earth. “The earth’s markings and shadings come together in an original material inspired by wonderful places and distant lands,” said the brand. The Blended tiles can be used on walls. They work both indoors and outdoors 4

CR | March/April 2021

“Blended combines these different

The tiles are available in three different formats – either as a 60 by 60-centimetre square, a 30 by 60 centimetre rectangle and one that is twice as large at 60 by 120 centimetres. The colours range from cooler tones of white, light and dark grey, to warmer hues like beige and an orangey neutral shade called Natural.


Power and Energy Africa 2021 The 9th edition of Power & Energy Africa is an imposing demonstration of its importance to the successful development of the power and energy sector in Kenya. The expectations with the first show were not only fulfilled, but clearly surpassed. The 9th Power & Energy Africa is being held from 01 - 03 July, 2021 at Kenya's prime international venue; Sarit Expo Center in Nairobi.

Africa Rail 2021

African Construction Expo 2021

Our event is a multi-brand exhibition Part of the Big 5 series of events the African Construction and with thousands of attendees and a Totally Concrete Expo provides the platform for distinctive ground breaking conference. opportunities for business expansion, networking and learning, for thousands of built environment professionals Oracle, IRZ Lokomotiv, Transnet, visiting the 3-day expo. PRASA, GE Transportation, Siemens, MTU, Voith… just to name a few, With thousands of built environment professionals from have all leveraged Africa Rail as their over 45 countries visiting the expo every year the 8th once-a-year opportunity to meet and annual African Construction Expo provides the platform for do business with new and existing distinctive opportunities for business expansion, networking customers. and learning.

Billions of dollars of business have Showcase your products and solutions in front of key buyers either been initiated, influenced or Exhibiting at the largest power event in the in Africa’s US$497bn construction industry under one roof! concluded at this show. industry will allow you to showcase your Exhibiting gives you direct access to this market. products and services to the industry's largest Our conference is a C-level platform that EXPO VENUE gathering of qualified decision-makers. focusses on global trends, operational Gallagher Convention Centre efficiency and practical innovative Trade visitors from all over East & Central Johannesburg, South Africa applications as well as how market Africa are being invited directly and in players can capitalise on business collaboration with several regional trade OPENING DATES AND TIMES opportunities across the continent. bodies in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, 29 June 2021 10:00 – 18:00 Somalia, Mozambique & Congo. Though 30 June 2021 10:00 – 18:00 20 -21st October 10:00 – 16:00 Kenya by itself is one of the biggest markets 1 July 2021 Sandon Convention Center, in Africa. South Africa

Kenya - Architectural Association of Kenya

- Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers

- Institute of 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


- Construction Contractors Association of Ethiopia

- Association of Consulting Engineers of - Kenya

South Africa - ASAQS

and Quantity Surveyors (AQSRB)

- Association of Ethiopian Architects

- Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya

- The Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (Cifoz)


- South African Council for the Quantity

- Tanzania’s Registration Board of Architects


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). March/April 2021 | CR



Readymix Concrete

Optimising your concrete needs


eady-mix concrete refers to concrete that is manufactured in a batch plant in accordance to set engineered mix design. The use of ready-mix Concrete from batching plants in Africa is fast-gaining popularity as evidenced by the increase in the use of readymix concrete supplied to engineering and construction sites. The need for controlling expenditure (cost), increase delivery times as well as the need for consistency of each concrete batch are just some of the factors that have driven demand. The growth in the concrete batching plant market in Africa has been driven primarily by large infrastructural projects, in addition to a growing use of medium sized batching plants in building projects as the need for housing takes centerstage across Africa.

Controlling concrete delivery on many construction sites in East Africa can be especially difficult. Construction sites are more likely to be in remote areas, and warm 6

CR | March/April 2021

climates can mean an extra strain on delivery times. Ready-Mix Concrete Batching plants can today be seen dotting virtually all large infrastructure projects. Construction Review taked to one Readymix concrete supplier in Uganda in order to better understand the industry. Premix Supply Concrete companies like “IBM ReadyMix Concrete Ltd Uganda” have been setup around East Africa exclusively to provide ready-mix concrete to meet the demand from a growing number of construction projects in urban areas. According to Eng. Mathew Kasujja of IBM ReadyMix Concrete Ltd Uganda, contractors have come to the realization that costs can be reduced by outsourcing this function and simply ordering ready-mix concrete rather than going the more traditional labor intensive way of concrete production onsite. This trend towards outsourcing has been driven by several benefits which cannot


be under-estimated as profit margins in development projects have become leaner. According to Martin-Ssonko, Operations Manager at IBM ReadyMix Concrete Ltd Uganda, the best option is to use mobile concrete batching plants. He adds that erecting a mobile batching plant near the construction site will provide the opportunity to get the desired concrete at desired amount, quality and time. It’s evident that the construction industry is trending towards the use of batching plants to supply ready-mix concrete to sites as greater awareness of the benefits becomes more appreciated. According to Eng. Mathew Kasujja,the major reasons that we constantly read about buildings collapsing while under construction is due to poor concrete mixes. This is all too prevalent when you consider the number of reported collapses of projects in the daily papers. One of the main culprits has been failure to allow the concrete enough time to cure, human error on the part of the contractor mixing the concrete on site to the more devious practice of cutting back on the required quantities in the mix by an unscrupulous contractor. For the developer it means costly remedial action and even prosecution in court for negligence especially if there is injury or fatalities involved. Technological advancements in Africa have seen modern plants having internet connections whereby calibrations can be done online; also human interface automation which makes it easy for the operator to control the plant and ensure quality concrete production as witnessed at iBM ReadyMix Concrete Batching Plant.The automation systems go as far as, power panel and switches, batching control terminals, automatic control unit, software, control panel, computer, screen and plotter. Land Issues As the value of land increases so has the final cost of a development project and in order to remain viable it has meant that a developer needs to utilize every square inch of land on a project efficiently. This has meant that there is no luxury to provide space on site for trucking in sand, aggregate and stocking cement for laborers to mix concrete. The more attractive alternative has become

ordering concrete which is delivered to the site on mobile concrete mixers that drive in, and pump the concrete into the required location an activity that is completed in a matter of hours so that sites can remain relatively clutter free. Security of Material In a traditional site, pilferage is always a reality. Theft of cement, delivery of less supplies of sand and aggregate by unscrupulous truckers occurs more often that is realized.To provide a more reliable concrete mix the use of supplies provided by a batching plant means greater consistency in the mix throughout at a predetermined fixed cost. It also helps do away with pilferage that is all too rampant when you have cement bags stored on site.

Wastage According to iBM ReadyMix Concrete Company Uganda engineers, there is virtually no wastage when it comes to the supply of read-mix concrete. Mixing concrete on site results in a high level of wastage of material whether it is as a result of torn bags of cement or aggregate and sand spilt haphazardly during delivery. This is something that is the bane of any developer who has to foot the cost of such wastage. Concrete produced in a batching plant ensures no wastage and the client only pays for what he ordered. Meeting exact specification: According to Mr. Ssonko the Quality Assurance Manager at iBM ReadyMix Company Uganda, testing of the concrete at the batching plant ensures that what March/April 2021 | CR



is delivered to site is of consistent quality and according to specifications whether it involves concrete with a faster curing time or waterproofing characteristics. Any requirement can be met reliably and consistently for the contractor to ensure that the project is not affected negatively by poor concrete mixes. Pollution Concrete batching plants that supply ready-mix concrete to sites have meant that there is less pollution of the environment with respect to noise produced by rumbling concrete mixers and the sites are relatively neater having eliminated bags of cement and heaps of sand and aggregate lying around the site. Selecting a ReadyMix Supplier Selecting the right ready-mix supplier and batching-plant can have a major impact on the overall success of a construction project. Therefore, before choosing a particular batching plant, Eng. Kasujja from Ibm ReadyMix Concrete Company Uganda (East Africa) advises that construction companies should be aware of the output of the batching-plant and if machines are in line with what they want to produce. Price should not be the most important thing. The quality of the concrete-mix should always come first, adds Eng. Kasujja. Setting up a Concrete Batching Plant According to a senior engineer at Ibm ReadyMix Concrete Company Uganda (East Africa), setting8

CR | March/April 2021

up of a batching plant requires various activities to take part. Among others include; having a main plant structure, concrete mixer, cement silos screw conveyor, belt conveyor, weighing system, dust removing system, and a control room. Having a main plant entails construction of a batching plant foundation whereby the installation of the concrete batch plant is assembled in line with the drawing requirements as per the clients request and the construction works cooperate with each other in the installation process. Eng Martin adds that the concrete mixer installation takes into consideration of ancillary projects like power, water rainproof measures and transport corridors of the materials sites to meet the mix requirements to reduce later alteration. Cement silo, through a crane then is hoisted vertically to the foot of the silo foundation to put it in place after which the crane is gradually loosened until it reaches the flat surface of the embedded part. Installation of screw conveyor follows suit whereby the entrance part of the screw conveyor nears the end of the monitor, fixing the conveyor preliminary according to the import and export position to keep the interface tube in a vertical position.Nevertheless, according to Simon of iBM READY-MIX Co. Uganda from Sweden, it is paramount that you have a professional on-site to ensure that everything is in good place to avoid down-time during the project.

Zedex Fabricators Ltd

Railways Go-down, Opp. CMC Motors, Bunyala Road. P.O. Box 8721-00300 NAIROBI. Tel: 020 2034223, 020 3345660, 0774 892 920, 0722 892 920, 0734 892 920 Email: Website:

Forensic Lab at the DCI

Industrial roofing

BBK JKIA Interior fit-out with Triad Interiors

Residential house

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Welding and Steel Fabrication Interior Finishes Interior Decorations Accordion Pane

GI / CRC SHEETS An ISO 9001:2015 Certified Company

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Enterprise Road, Industrial Area, Nairobi - Kenya

(+254) 0207 903903 , 0725 903903




lot has changed since we last spoke and the steel industry is facing another moment of interesting challenges. As everyone is now aware, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta has recently introduced lockdown measures to curb our greatest challenge yet, as the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic rages on through our economy. Exactly a year on, and we find ourselves in almost the same position from lockdown measures as we did in March 2020, although against variants of this virus which now evolve and cause a greater risk than ever before. We encourage everyone to continue to take care of themselves and their family and follow all preventive measures possible to ensure that we beat this new challenge to our lives and economy. As we shift focus to the global steel market, there are several new challenges that you would have undoubtedly read about in the news which affect our day-to-day local market. In summary, here are the main points: 1. The Suez Canal Blockage – the main piece of news dominating media outlets for the last few weeks was a gigantic ship which was beached in the Suez Canal, a passageway where roughly 10% of the world’s sea traffic moves through. Whilst it predominantly affects trade from Europe, there is no doubt a knock-on effect with the backlog of ships which experienced roughly 1-2 weeks additional sailing time on their regular journeys. Estimates put the costs during this period at roughly $4bn per day. 2. Container and Ship Shortages – leading on from our primary point, the most notable issue we have seen is a huge shortage of vessels and containers available for transport of goods and raw materials. This affects all industries, not only in steel, but in the overall economy. Industries now face freight charges roughly 3x the rate being booked within 2020. 3. China and the rebate problem – as everyone is aware, majority of the steel exported into the country from China has been hugely affected by a rebate issue. To put it simply, the Chinese government used to incentive export of steel globally by issuing local businesses with a 13% rebate on sale. This rebate is to be reduced drastically, and although not confirmed yet, indications show that it may fall to as little as 4% or be removed altogether. The aim of highlighting these issues which we are faced with today is simple: cost. The costs of locally manufactured items in steel (whatever the material, be it aluminium, mild steel etc.) will increase drastically. One can reasonably expect that the costs of all these challenges will be passed on to all manufacturers buying materials with costs soaring. Therefore, as advice on how to position yourselves with steel purchase for whatever purpose, we believe that the costs will continue to rise with each passing month. So do not let yourselves or your project be caught in the trap of expecting prices to fall or correct in a market that is going to continue to remain very tough throughout the year of 2021. Accurate Steel Mills continues to remain at your service, whatever the market situation. We are positioning ourselves with a large range of products as your ally and primary construction partner. With multiple projects in progress, we are excited about how to serve you. Quality is our strong point, so you can trust us to always be the most competitive for the best product quality available today. We thank you for all your support and most importantly, stay safe during this time! Avraj Bhachu


Solar panel installation in 5 steps


olar energy is a renewable, green energy choice that is beneficial for both the environment and the private economy. With the sun being an inexhaustible commodity, you are not likely to run out of energy. With the ever-advancing technology, solar energy is better and affordable, making it grow rapidly more than other renewable sources. However, it is one thing to buy a solar panel and another to install it. If you intend to go solar, here are five simple steps for solar panel installation.

It is crucial to pick a fitting platform for your solar panel, and it can be either flat or tilted to the sun

Get the Ideal Location for your Solar Panel It is essential to pick the right location for solar panel installation to get the most out of them. The angle of your roof plays a big role in solar orientation. Flat or steep roofs need additional effort for excellent results. However, a roof that meets all installation procedures doesn’t need particular equipment pieces, making it more affordable to install.

top, its size depends on the pitches that meet solar panel needs. Solar panel’s productivity also depends on the direction it faces; south is the best since the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If the southern angle of your roof is not favorable for your solar panel, try the pitches on the east or west of your roof. Build a Solar Platform If you are wondering if you will spend half of your day on the top of your roof, you are wrong. A solar platform can be built on the ground and then elevated into place, certifying absolute safety at all times. The solar platform offers you a guaranteed perfectly guarded work area in a few minutes. It is crucial to pick a fitting platform for your solar panel, and it can be either flat or tilted to the sun. Remember to use a full on-site risk appraisal because, in some situations, the solar platform must be tied into the structure.

If the solar is to be mounted on the roof12

CR | March/April 2021


Mount the Solar Panel Most solar panel packages have mounting brackets, which are normally attached to your platforms. However, if your solar panel package does not have mounting brackets, you can contact your dealer or purchase them elsewhere. Place your mount four feet apart on your solar platform. Be careful when drilling holes; put and fasten your steel bolts in the holes to seal solar panel mounts on the platform. Secure the solar panel to the mounts. Once your solar panel is mounted, you can connect your electrical chain. The wires should run under the panel. Wire the Solar Panel If you do not intend to get a professional for this job, you must understand how nonidentical stringing configurations affect a

solar panel’s current, voltage, and power. After you are familiar with stringing configuration, it is easier to choose an inverter for the solar panel. Wire the array to the inverter to transform the Dc power generated by panels to Ac power that can be sent grill. The least and greatest voltage should be in the inverter range. Once the setup is complete, electricity will flow into your building’s electric panel. Connect your cables The final step, pass the electrical cable from the solar panel into your house through an underground conduit. Ensure you get the right size of cables for the solar system to avoid short fuses and overheat when you have a power surge.

March/April 2021 | CR



The two factors that dictate the needed solar cable size are; The wider the interval between the solar panels and the loads, the greater the distance, the bigger the size. If the solar panels generate tons of current, then you need a bigger size. Take the necessary safety measures.


CR | March/April 2021

PERGAS GROUP Company History


ounded in 2016, Pergas Company Limited has become a leading Tiles, Wrought Iron and Persian Carpets importer in Kenya.

Kijabe 19 is our Head Office. All management staff are based here.

Company Profile

Pergas Company Limited was incorporated after extensive market research. The research was done over 6 months and a gap in the tile market was identified. There was a need for good quality tiles at an affordable price. Having 3 factories in Iran, Pergas Company is able to produce, import and sell European Quality tiles in Kenya at an affordable price. Specializing in high quality tiles, Pergas Company also boasts of high-quality Wrought Iron, something that is not easily available in East Africa.


Walking into any of Pergas branches is an experience on its own, with over 100 different types and sizes of tiles and wrought iron on display, we ensure it is an experience for everyone to remember.

Wall Street Business Park. We have over 40,000sqft Warehouse Storage.

Mombasa road is our oldest branch, this is where our journey started.

Kijabe 30 is our second branch.

Mr. Mohammad Salimian Managing Director. Pergas Company

Head Office: Kijabe Street Block 19, P.O. Box 2452 – 00606 Nairobi-Kenya, 011 000 1111; 041 224 9990,

March/April 2021 | CR



Affordable Luxury Kitchen & Bathroom Design


itchen & Bathroom Design often comes with considerable costs, and for those in the market for a luxury finish, this can see their cash diminish quickly with little to show for it. However, there are ways you can achieve your client’s dream of a luxury makeover with affordability in mind. Read on to find out more. Invest in a luxury focal point When it comes to luxury interior design, helping your clients achieve the look for less doesn’t have to mean scrimping across the board. Instead, look to make their money stretch further by investing big in one opulent focal feature that will set the tone for creating a luxe feel in the entire room. The good news is that kitchen and bathroom design offer plenty of potential for installing standout features. For kitchens, it could be splashing out on a hard-wearing and stylish granite countertop, high-end appliances or an integrated island. In bathrooms, a freestanding tub or walk-in rainfall shower could be all that’s needed to take the whole room from average to outstanding. The key is to put careful thought into investing more into one or two ultraluxe items, allowing you to manage the remaining budget with minimal sacrifices on the essentials. Opt for affordable faux alternatives Natural stone or hardwood flooring offers huge appeal to those in search of a luxury kitchen or bathroom, but the higher price point of the real deal can take a sizable chunk of a budget. All is not lost though. If your client has their heart set on the classic look of natural stone or rustic charm of wooden floors, faux alternatives could help them realise their dream without the need to spend big. With the latest innovations in design and manufacturing, there are a host of options available that expertly replicate the natural beauty and detailing of natural stone and wood at a much more affordable price. 16

Real wood and stone alternatives like ultra-realistic luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring also boast excellent durability Price isn’t the only benefit though. Real wood and stone alternatives like ultrarealistic luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring also boast excellent durability, as well as moisture, scratch and stain resistance without the need for periodic sealing and upkeep. Not to mention they’re typically quicker and easier to install – saving both time and money. Don’t overlook the finer details With luxury interior updates in core areas of the home like kitchens and bathrooms, it’s important to remember that every detail has a part to play in the overall look, finish and functionality. However, this doesn’t mean you need to go all out and pay top dollar for every single item. Instead, outline with your clients which items are worth spending more on and any areas where you can give the appearance of premium without having to part with huge sums of money. This will ensure their budget goes further and is allocated to worthwhile expenditures.

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For instance, spending more on middle or top of the range fixtures and fittings like taps, showers and lighting is worthwhile as they’ll last for years (even with daily use). In contrast, the difference in quality between a high-priced and middle tier bathroom suite is often nominal and may not always be worth the extra spend. If you’re working to a tight budget, don’t forget to use the power of low-cost decorative accents, too. At a much more affordable price, the right pieces can project a sense of lavishness for minimal cost. Think gilded mirrors, reclaimed brass hardware and other decorative elements that can be bought cheaply, but when placed correctly will exude sophistication. Pulling off a luxury bathroom and kitchen update will inevitably cost more than your average interior design project, but using the above strategies you can demonstrate to your customers that by making considered purchases on the right items, it is possible to strike the right balance between affordability and luxury.



aving the option of not touching certain objects has always been important, especially when we talk about public spaces. As we live, the existence of this option has gained new relevance. When exists the necessity to use a public bathroom, it is normal that we want to avoid touching when unloading the toilet. With this need in mind, OLI develops toilets that allow the discharge to be carried out only with the approach of the hand, avoiding contact and transmission of bacteria. We talk about Hydroboost, a sustainable technology that allows you to generate energy through the entry of water into the flush. Electronic flush plates, such as the Electra III model, also have the advantage of having a system that makes it resistant to eventual acts of vandalism, which is also ideal for bathrooms in public spaces such as shopping centres or airports.

TOUCH? NOT ANYMORE Ultra-thin thick glass flush plates are another of the options available in various colours and follow the latest trend because they have LED light to activate the discharge. The first porcelain flush plate winning 4 world prizes, Moon, completes the wide range of OLI products where unloading into the toilet can also be activated without resorting to touch. Thinking about who wants to renovate the bathroom without having to resort to deeper works, maintaining the No-Touch feature to activate the unloading, OLI has developed a solution with the most demanding quality standards on the market - QR-INOX. The best option for rapid remodelling of the bathroom. It doesn't require intervention on the walls and you can use the existing water inlet and outlet connections.

About OLI OLI is the largest cistern manufacturer in Southern Europe. Its brand is present in 80 countries on five continents. Over the years, OLI has created products that have, on a global scale changed the daily experience in the bathroom. Their “Inspired by water” signature concept embodies the company’s mission to place innovation at the service of water conservation, aiming to make the world a better place, thus protecting the planet and all life. OLI is recognized for constantly studying new and better solutions that increase water efficiency and accessibility for people with reduced mobility. Committed to sustainable development, the brand develops versatile solutions with a contemporary design for application in new construction, rehabilitation and renovation projects. OLI believes in a water-efficient bathroom that is comfortable, accessible and safe for all to use. OLI will continue to be defined by innovation. OLI is looking for business partners and projects to join their portfolio in Africa.


March/April 2021 | CR



Cut the Cost of Your Utilities and Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient


ut the cost of your utilities and give your household budget a substantial boost when you start seeing the reduction in your monthly. This way you will be able to do more with the same income. One of the areas that can be reduced quite easily is the cost of your utilities. So, how do you cut the costs of your utilities and make your home more energy efficient? First, you have to change a habit or two but you also may want to do some work on your household. Here are several tips to help point you in the right direction. Prioritize zones in your home The first thing you need to understand when it comes to cuttting the cost of your utilities is the fact that the size of your home affects energy spending and the utility bill. So, you can drastically reduce the cost by not heating/cooling down the areas that you don’t spend time in. For instance, you can heat up your living room throughout the day, the same as your home office and children’s room. Your bedroom can be heated later in the afternoon and, as for the rest of the place, you should do so occasionally. This is the simplest trick that doesn’t require a major modification of life habits or financial investment of any kind. Prevent heat from leaving the home This is the second time already that we’re talking about heating your place. The reason behind this is the fact that heating your home costs you the most. So, how do you prevent it from leaving your home? First of all, you want to install some 18

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double-glazing windows in place of the regular ones. This alone will save $200-$250 every year. Next, you want to insulate your walls, as well as insulate the attic. In order to cover all fronts, you also want to replace your front door. This way, you’ll have an end-to-end energy-efficient system. Make sure your installations are in order In order to keep your home efficient, you need to make sure that all the installations are in proper working order. For instance, a plumbing problem will drastically inflate your water bill due to constant leaks and flooding instances. According to experts behind Sparkys NOW faulty electrical grid is even worse. Not only does it increase the power use within your home but it also increases all sorts of hazards. In other words, inspect your home’s infrastructure before doing anything else. Switch to low-flow fixtures The next idea worth considering is trying to reduce the water use of your home. First of all, you need to consider switching to low-flow features in your bathroom. The toilet is the first item that you have to replace, seeing as how it spends 25% of all the water in your household, on its own. A low-flow shower and faucet are also quite important. The investment itself is not really that expensive and it saves you a small fortune in the long run. Switching to smart technology Smart technology allows you to make some of the


most difficult power-saving habits completely automated. You see, switching to smart technology can be quite costly but you don’t have to make the transition all at once or even right away. A smart thermostat, on the other hand, can make the heating of your home into something much more convenient. Other than this, it will maintain the exact temperature much more accurately. A Wi-Fi irrigation system can make a similar saving when it comes to your home’s water use, as well.

by replacing all the bulbs with LED, you’re creating a scenario where you get the same illumination while using 4-8 times less energy. Still, it’s more than just raw power saved. You see, LED bulbs tend to last 25-50 times longer. This means that you will have to spend substantially less on bulbs every year, even though the price per bulb seems to go in the favor of the incandescent. The key thing is that you manage to look past this misleading metric.

Find alternative ways to keep your home cool A ceiling fan is a far more frugal alternative to the AC. Sure, it’s not a 1:1 replacement but there are a lot of instances in which it can be a decent substitute. Also, every human body produces the heat that is the equivalent of a 100W incandescent light bulb. So, try to spend as much time outdoors during the summer, as possible. As far as home improvement projects go, you could always try to make a decent backyard patio.

In conclusion Other than this, you should also learn to turn off appliances when you’re not using them, rinse while shaving and much more. The reason why we choose the above-listed seven habits is due to the fact that they don’t require any extra effort. A LED bulb, great insulation and a lowflow toilet merely save money and resources without requiring you to invest any kind of extra work into it. This is definitely something worth thinking about.

Work on your lighting structure The light inside of your home is one of the first things that you can improve. For instance, just

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March/April 2021 | CR



35 Lower Long, Cape Town

35 Lower Long, an elegant 86-metre glass-clad office tower, has recently been completed which will invigorate Cape Town’s emerging financial and hospitality district. The building, developed by Abland Property Developers and designed by dhk Architects, is characterised by a singular sculpted massing which is transformed via dynamic glazed planes that extend seamlessly over the office and parking levels. The two main corners of the building are chamfered towards the roofline and soar upwards, forming a striking wing-like effect – resulting in a distinctive, nonorthogonal addition to Cape Town’s skyline.

peninsula site has three street frontages and the public domain experiences high levels of pedestrian traffic, it previously suffered from extremely limited street activation. This was compounded by the last remaining portion of the demolished power station (Site B), hostile frontages of both the 80-metre office building to the south and dilapidated office building to the east. A fundamental component of the design concept involved maximising the activation of the street edge with retail to improve the quality and safety of the public realm, as well as to take advantage of the high levels of pedestrian traffic passing the building.

The site is located in Roggebaai (Cape Town’s growing financial and hospitality precinct) and was previously occupied by an eight-storey 1980s office building which prior to that was part of the now-demolished Long Street Power Station site. While the

The initial brief to remodel and extend the existing 1980s building were discarded due to impractical core design, the limitations of adding floors, the need to replace an outdated façade and challenges with long-term viability. The revised brief, by the co-


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owners Ellerine Bros and Abland, was to offer a more positive medium- to long-term viability, as well as to enhance Cape Town’s skyline with a decidedly taller, inspirational tower building. However, the challenge was to maximise the quality multi-tenant commercial space while accommodating core components such as lifts and stairs along with structured basement parking - all within a relatively small floor plate. Floor plates To maximise the floor plates, dhk proposed a simple singular orthogonal massing bar the articulation of the southeastern and southwestern corners. While fundamentally a solid building mass, the appearance of a dynamic, non-orthogonal sculpted mass was created via tapering or cranked façade planes which extend seamlessly over the office and parking levels. This was achieved by chamfering both the southeast and southwest corners of the building at the top of the orthogonal parking base and widening them towards the roof. The technique articulates the façade and defragments the solidity of the corners of the building as the wings shape the elevations and extend past the top office floor. By extending the wing-shaped façade screens beyond the roof level with parapet sloping, the appearance of soaring shards is created opposed to an abrupt utilitarian termination. Façade In terms of materiality, a glazed façade was selected due to its flush and sculpted reflective form which is able to conceal both the parking levels and solid spandrels. Not only does glass facilitate an exciting play of light but it allows for an expressive articulation of the building mass in the screen and shard-like elements. The introduction of pixilation on the portions fronting the parking levels, ceiling voids, structure and internal desk height upstands allows the building to conceal both the parking levels and avoid overbearing Internally, the building offers expansive 360-degree views over the city, ocean horizontal bands. and mountains. The glazed façade allows for floor-to-ceiling unencumbered vistas enhanced by glazing with mullions at 2.4-metre-wide centres. The Views The entire length of the street frontage along Lower chamfered corners also offer oblique views which facilitate the appreciation Long Street and Jetty Street is enlivened with new of the architectural form both externally and internally - a desirable design ground-floor retail and multiple entry points into aspect often not apparent in tall buildings. Furthermore, the multi-purpose the office building. At street level, a double-volume roof area with terraces above both chamfered corners offers a spectacular entrance connects to shuttle lifts connecting all parking city entertainment space and signifies high-level activation. From an external levels and the ground floor to a spectacular arrival viewpoint, the perimeter desk height upstands provide ease of furnishing right experience within the 10th-floor sky lobby. Thereafter, against the perimeter with fire separation between the floors, therefore, the individuals are transported via a double-volume area office furniture is concealed when viewed externally. and terrace to the office lifts which connects to all the floors above. This ensures mid-building activation and an experience for all users to enjoy as part of the arrival journey into the workspaces - encouraging interaction between different tenants.

The immediate neighbour to the north and sharing a common boundary is a nine-storey 1980s building which has the potential to be redeveloped in the future. Rather than merely providing an unsightly blank common boundary façade, dhk articulated both northern corners by returning the glazing around onto the common boundary. This is sacrificial in the sense that the neighbour

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could in future build higher against the common boundary. It also offers spectacular corner northern views towards Cape Town’s harbour. The solid wall concealing the stair core is pixelated with coloured plastered panels, echoing the glazed façade’s articulation. Design rating Fortunately, the client championed environmental sustainability. To achieve a 4-Star GBCSA Design rating, a detailed environmental performance modelling study was undertaken. This required a highperformance double-glazed specification with increased internal cill height raised to desk height - to reduce both solar gain and radiant heat which significantly lowered HVAC requirements. Other environmental considerations included building efficiency, choice of materials, energyefficient lighting and services, lower parking ratio encouraging the use of public transport, as well as showers and bicycle parking facilities. Overall, 35 Lower Long is a much-needed contemporary addition to Cape Town’s skyline which positively contributes to its surrounding cityscape. Pierre Swanepoel, dhk partner and lead architect on the project, says “With its sleek, sculpted form and soaring-shaped facade, 35 Lower Long is an exemplar of how client requirements can be met without comprising on design standards. dhk is extremely proud of this building and views it as a catalyst for future developments to come in Cape Town’s CBD”.


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March/April 2021 | CR



Proper diesel generator maintenance


roper diesel generator maintenance is key to ensuring that your equipment keeps running for years to come and these 8 key points are essential Diesel Generator Routine General Inspection During the running of the diesel generator, the exhaust system, fuel system, DC electrical system and engine require close monitoring for any leaks that can cause hazardous occurrences. As with any internal combustion engine, proper maintenance is essential. Standard servicing and oil change times are recommended at 500hrs, however some applications may require shorter servicing times which is why after sales services should be top notch. Lubrication Service The engine oil must be checked while shutting down the generator at regular intervals using a dipstick. Allow the oil in the upper portions of the engine to drain back into the crankcase and follow the engine manufacturer’s recommendations for API oil classification and oil viscosity. Keep the oil level as near as possible to the full mark on the dipstick by adding the same quality and brand of oil. The oil and filter must also be changed at acclaimed time intervals. Check with the engine 24

manufacturer for procedures for draining the oil and replacing the oil filter and their disposal is to be done appropriately to avoid environmental damage or liability. Nevertheless, it pays to use the most dependable, highest quality oils, lubricants and coolants to keep your engine working. Cooling System Check the coolant level during shutdown periods at the specified interval. Remove the radiator cap after allowing the engine to cool, and, if necessary, add coolant until the level is about 3/4 in. Heavy-duty diesel engines require a balanced coolant mixture of water, antifreeze, and coolant additives. Inspect the exterior of the radiator for obstructions, and remove all dirt or foreign material with a soft brush or cloth with caution to avoid damaging the fins. If available, use low-pressure compressed air or a stream of water in the opposite direction of normal air flow to clean the radiator.

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Fuel System Diesel is subject to contamination and corrosion within a period of one year, and therefore regular generator set exercise is highly recommended to use up stored fuel before it degrades. The fuel filters should be drained at the designated intervals due to the water vapor that accumulates and condenses in the fuel tank. Regular testing and fuel polishing may be required if the fuel is not used and replaced in three to six months. Preventive maintenance should include a regular general inspection that includes checking the coolant level, oil level, fuel system, and starting system. The charge-air cooler piping and hoses should be inspected regularly for leaks, holes, cracks,dirt and debris that may be blocking the fins or loose connections. While the engine maintains its mechanical properties, it can give rise to problems related to the quality of diesel fuel. The chemical makeup of diesel fuel has changed in recent years;


Weak or undercharged starting batteries are a common cause of standby power system failures. a certain percentage of biodiesel at low or high temperatures releases impurities, while a certain percentage of biodiesel at warm temperatures mixed with water (condensation) can be the cradle of bacterial proliferation. Besides, the reduction of Sulphur reduces lubrication, which eventually blocks the fuelinjection pumps. Since the fuel quality is bad in most countries, install Water Separator Fuel Filters and additional filtration system to protect the sensitive fuel injection system; and replace the elements on time to avoid such breakdowns. Testing Batteries Weak or undercharged starting batteries are a common cause of standby power system failures. The battery must be kept fully charged and well-maintained to avoid dwindling by regular testing and inspection to know the current status of the battery and avoid any startup hitches of the generator. They must also be cleaned; and the specific gravity and electrolyte levels of the battery checked frequently. • Testing batteries: Merely checking the output voltage of the batteries is not indicative of their ability to deliver adequate starting power. As batteries age, their internal resistance to current flow goes up, and the only accurate measure of terminal voltage must be done under load. On some generators, this indicative test is performed automatically each time the generator is started. On other generator sets, use a manual battery load tester to attest the condition of each starting battery.

Routine Engine Exercise Regular exercising keeps the engine parts lubricated and thwart oxidation of electrical contacts, uses up fuel before it deteriorates, and helps to provide reliable engine starting. Engine exercise is recommended to be executed at least once a month for a minimum of 30 min. loaded to no less than one-third of the nameplate rating. Most importantly, when it comes to engine maintenance, according to Peter Whitfield of YorPower a leading independent UK diesel generator manufacturer, it is recommended to do inspections regularly because preventative maintenance is better than reactive maintenance. Nevertheless it is of utmost importance to follow the designated service procedure and intervals.

Keep your Diesel Generator Clean Oil drips and other issues are easy to spot and take care of when the engine is nice and clean. Visual inspection can guarantee that hoses and belts are in good condition. Frequent checks can keep wasps and other nuisances from nesting in your equipment. The more a generator is used and relied on, the more it needs to be taken care of. However, a generator set that is rarely used might not need a lot of care. Exhaust system inspection In case there are leaks along the exhaust line which usually occurs at the connection points, the welds and the gaskets; they should be repaired immediately by a qualified technician.

March/April 2021 | CR



Buying the right air compressor for the job

Air compressors are pneumatic devices that convert power using electric motor, diesel or gasoline engine, etc. into potential energy stored in pressurized air i.e., compressed air. They have many uses, from powering small tools up to large industrial applications. Air compressors provide clean, consistent, energy for many different applications, and they don’t lead to frequent overloading, unlike electrical power. Industrial grade compressors such as rotary screw compressors, are particularly efficient at saving long-term costs, and can even channel by-products such as heat into further business savings. This explains why air compression is such an essential component in many businesses. However, with all the various options available in the market today, buying the right air compressor can be a guessing game without the right set of guidelines. There are nearly as many different air compressor and option combinations as there are types of applications and making a mistake when buying the right air compressor can cost you efficiency, extra service, and event production. What you need to consider The intended use of the compressed air The most common use of compressed air is simply to power pneumatic tools. In the shop setting, for example, the air compressor powers tools like impact wrenches, nail guns, drills, grinders, and blowguns amongst hundreds of other stationery and portable tools. 26

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Each device has manufacturer specifications for the appropriate amount of pressure in either psig, bar, or kPa units and airflow in either cfm, l/sec or m3/min units. The performance of the equipment is largely dependent on these factors, and they must be kept in mind when selecting an air compressor. When buying the right air compressor, if the compressed air is to be used as a source of power for certain precision apparatus, the selection becomes even more critical. For Example, a pneumatic drill can operate with a certain maximum level of contamination that would not be acceptable for a precision dentist’s drill. Although both drills must have the incoming air filtered to remove dust and water before entering the tool, a dentist’s drill should not receive any contamination at all, including the oil that is commonly used in operating an air compressor. Special types of compressors are available that use no lubricating fluid in the compression chamber – either oil-free or oil-less. The duty cycle of the equipment. Certain types of compressors are chosen for continuous duty based on their robust design and ability to run at a constant temperature, regardless of demand. Air-cooled compressors (usually a piston-type) are generally ideal for intermittent duty usage that requires them to operate at most 60 to 70% of the time. If the compressor is not allowed to discharge, or rest, at least 30% of its operating cycle, heat could damage the head and valves. Some replacement compressors include forced lubrication, heavyduty valves, and efficient intercooling, which allow the equipment to operate at very high-performance cycles and continue to provide years of operation. Rotary screws and centrifugal compressors are designed for continuous operation. Because they have internal cooling, this type of compressor can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as needed. However, this type of design comes at a premium.

In choosing the lowest price beforehand, the customer can pay almost double the amount compared to the initial cost of a slightly more efficient compressor. To assist in this part of the decision, all air compressor manufacturers provide data sheets that clearly show the strength and power of their equipment. These data sheets can be obtained from each manufacturer or their respective local distributor. Amount of customization required This can include special cooling equipment for hot or cold environments, sound reduction devices such as enclosures or active noise cancellation, control devices to integrate into existing equipment, non-standard voltage among many other adjustments. If a standard piece of equipment nearly meets the requirements, it is a great advantage to make a compromise in the name of economy and long-term service. The selection process should take into account these factors. The above information is not intended to make the final choice, it serves to give you an idea of the ​​ questions you should ask when faced with the problem of equipment selection. The main objective of the article is to make sure that the impact of a proper selection, based on real requirements like airflow, pressure, and ultimate lifecycle cost, is considered rather than simple power rating and initial purchase price.



1KVA - 4200 KVA


The cost of the air compressor The “initial purchase price” of any durable item is the deciding factor when choosing one model over another. The initial purchase price is affected by a number of factors, such as design, pressure, and flow, lubricated or oil-free, and any special features that may be required. In general, rotary screws and centrifugal compressors tend to be more expensive than reciprocating compressors because they are designed for heavier work and longer maintenance intervals. The second part of the cost estimate is the overall cost of ownership. Generally, the initial purchase price for an air compressor represents approximately 10% of the cost of owning a compressor over the first five years. Other components include installation, maintenance, and power consumption. The biggest contributor to ownership costs is power, ranging from the same costs per year as the initial investment to three or four times the initial cost per year.

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March/April 2021 | CR



Designing Your Dream Pool Area


esigning Your Dream Pool Area is no small feat. From the pool itself to the surrounding outdoor features, there is a lot to take into account. Before you start the planning process with a contractor, you should know what you want. This way, you’ll be able to communicate your preferences. Here are five essential factors to consider when building your home’s dream pool. 1- Size & Shape What do you want for your pool in terms of size and shape? To best guide your decision, you should understand what kind of use you plan to get out of the structure. You can think about information like: • • •

How many people you expect to use the structure regularly What the structure’s primary use will be (recreation vs. exercise) Your current budget

The size and shape of your pool will affect your long-term satisfaction with it. Understand the different options available so you can choose the one that will best meet your needs. For example, a circular pool with a waterfall is best if you plan on having a lot of small social gatherings outdoors. If you want a structure to swim laps regularly, you should opt for a large rectangular shape. 2- Construction Area Before you get too far into the planning process, get an idea of your yard’s layout. Is it suitable for the construction of a pool? Do some areas contain rocky, sandy, or expansive soil? If so, you’ll have to identify these areas and plan for the construction elsewhere.

permissible construction area. 3- Hot Tub Inclusion A lot of the time, pools are standalone structures. However, it is becoming increasingly common to include a hot tub adjacent to or connected to the main structure. Depending on the space available and your interest levels, you may want to get a hot tub installed. While you may be intrigued by the benefits of a hot tub, also be sure to consider the drawbacks. Owning a hot tub comes with increased electricity costs and requires additional maintenance. 4- Pool Material Concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass are the most common pool materials available. According to the contractor training experts at CTC, vinyl and fiberglass are the quickest to install. However, these materials often sacrifice longevity. Concrete pools can take anywhere from four to six weeks to build, but they last for years. Educate yourself on the differences between these materials so you can know what to expect going forward. Tiles are another part of the construction process. Do you want a minimalist design when it comes to the inclusion of tiles? Or, do you want to create an expansive, glamorous tile display? 5- Outdoor Features Some contractors will install a variety of outdoor features, while others only focus on pool construction.

Outline the acceptable spots so you and your contractor can settle on a 28

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If you want outdoor features like lighting, a firepit, or pavers to accompany your pool, find a company that offers both pool construction and outdoor feature installation. Working with the same company can make scheduling the completion of projects more manageable. And, you’ll only have one company to work with when planning how to make your pool area’s design cohesive. Landscaping can also bring your outdoor area together.

Inquire about installing softscape, like trees, shrubs, and flowers, to give your outdoor space some additional beauty. The Takeaway Before you get in touch with a contractor about building your dream pool area, consider what we’ve discussed today. Talk through the different elements with your spouse or family, so you’re all on the same page. This way, planning your dream pool area with a contractor will be that much easier!



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Modernize Your Office Building with Innovative Window Films


hen it comes to modernizing the windows in an office building, does the advantages of window film outweigh the material and installation costs? Absolutely! Commercial window tint can be used on almost any glass surface and it offers a variety of different benefits. Not only does window film block the sun’s heat and offer protection from harmful UV rays, it also minimizes the glare on your devices, reduces energy costs, and protects furnishings. Read on to see how to modernize your office with innovative window films. Energy Savings Whether you’re modifying a commercial space or a residential building, window film is an excellent way of cutting down on energy costs. How would you do that? Window film is made specifically to help prevent heat penetration, which enables your indoor spaces to be much cooler. In addition, window tinting also lowers HVAC consumption because it reduces the amount of heat that enters your space. That helps keep the temperature much regulated than other areas with non-tinted windows. In the end, less air conditioning use also suggests 30

cutting back a generous amount of energy use, letting you save a huge amount of money on your monthly energy bills. Security & Privacy One of the most amazing factors that come with security window film is its capability to provide you with a sense of privacy and security. It’s an excellent solution of hiding your property from the outside world, assuring your employees that their office spaces aren’t visible to any prying eyes. Having your office windows tinted is also a fantastic way of protecting the office and making sure privacy is always observed. Take note as well that many window films are thick enough to hold broken glass pieces together. That’s convenient if any sudden accidents happen, which may involve the breaking of your windows. You can be guaranteed your glass windows won’t smash all over the place in an instant that may trigger more harm to the people inside. Solar Protection Window film doesn’t just stop heat from coming in, but it also filters out the dangerous UVB and UVA rays, which come with direct sunlight. Solar window film is an efficient way

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of keeping your employees safe by protecting from unwelcomed UV exposure. Most business owners are not aware of this, but one of the major culprits of furniture fading is from UV rays, which penetrate inside their office spaces and commercial buildings. Hence, getting your office windows tinted is not just a remarkable way to add up a stunning flair to the office but also a good way of keeping both your staff and investments safe from the harms posed by ultra-violet rays. Conclusion If you’re looking for a way to protect your property and employees without breaking the bank, then look no further than U.S. Film Crew, Pittsburgh’s most trusted window film installation company. We provide a wide array of commercial window film solutions, all with various purposes to manage a variety of different problems. In addition to the benefits that we highlighted above, the installation and removal process is quick and easy, especially when it’s installed by a professional, licensed window film specialist.



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The 5 Phases in Construction Project Management and how to ace them


hen it comes to any construction project that you might undertake as a project manager, there are 5 important phases that you will need to deal with. Whilst a good project manager course will undoubtedly cover these, as any project manager will tell you there really is no substitute for experience that you gain whilst on the job, and with the construction industry in demand there is certainly plenty of room for project managers. The five phases that you will encounter in construction project management are: initiation, planning, implementation, performance and monitoring, and closing. Read on as we take a good look at exactly what takes place in the construction life cycle.

Every goal that you set will need to be CLEAR – Collaborative, Limited in scope, Emotional, Appreciable and Refinable


Initiation If you are not sure where to begin as a project manager then it can be a good idea to start by making an evaluation of the work that you will need to do. This should be followed by a feasibility test which will examine if any of the solutions that have been proposed will align with the main project objectives. This will help you determine if the project is in fact worth undertaking. Make sure that you consider the definition of the project and make a list of as many possible solutions as you can thing of for the specific needs of the project.

CR | March/April 2021

This is not a decision that you should make alone, talk to the members of your team and make sure that you identify a final solution that you can recommend. Once you are ready to get started on the project you should write a Project Initiation Document (PID). Think of this like a blueprint it will highlight all of the main points of your construction project. Planning The key to any successful project management, whether it relates to multiple locations or just the one single location is planning. When you reach this point in the life cycle of your construction project your project team will recognise the scope of the work ahead of them and be able to create a road map. You will also be able to identify any resources that you might require and come up with a strategy for producing them. Every goal that you set will need to be SMART – this is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. They will also need to be CLEAR – Collaborative, Limited in scope, Emotional, Appreciable and Refinable. Any plan that you create should outline any tasks, timeframes and dependencies. You should also create a budget that looks at the approximate costs of labour, materials and equipment.


Implementation This is the phase which will require most of your time. You will need to put your project plan into practise. During the implementation and execution phase you will need to be very effective with your communication, this is where your project management skills will really need to come into their own. You will need to make sure that any budget that has been set out during the planning phase is being followed. As the time that you spend working on the project progresses ensure than any variations to your original plan are recorded. The characteristics of a successful implementation phase are: • Having a team that is well developed • Proper allocation of any resources • Task assignments • The implementation of project management plans • Relevant status meetings • Updated project schedule where necessary • Having the right tracking systems in place • Modification of project plans when appropriate Performance and monitoring This phase of your project management for a construction project should occur simultaneously with the implementation process. Performance and monitoring are in place to make sure that every part of your project is in line with the project schedule that you have created. This is considered to be a regular phase and you should make sure that you come back to it at regular intervals during the execution of the project. When it comes to a commercial construction process every activity that you carry out, from the start to the end, should be in line with the plan that you have created. KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators are the best tools that you can use during this phase. Here are a few KPI examples:


CR | March/April 2021

Effort and Cost Tracking – this will help determine if the budget is still on track Project Performance – this will monitor any changes and also unforeseen challenges Quality Deliverables – this will determine if some task deliverables have been fulfilled Project Objectives – this will determine if the project goals and schedule have been met Closing The last step is very important as it is this one that gives the deliverables to your client. Check your plan to make sure that any of the potential weak areas that you identified previously have been accomplished successfully. This is the moment when you can give your project team the good news that you have reached a successful outcome with your project and hand over any documentation to your stakeholders. Before you end any of your contracts with your suppliers make sure that you take a careful look at any termination provisions that might be in place then give written notice. The final thing you should think about doing is conducting a study into the work you have completed on the project; this will allow you to look at any lessons that you might have learnt. Consider what went as you had planned and what aspects of your project did not go to plan. Analysing your project in this way can be very helpful when you start your next project as it will help you to improve how you manage things. If you have encountered any problems during your project, possibly with the organisation of your tasks and keeping track of where you are up to then you may find it helpful to look at some of the software options that are out there. With the right software in place, you will be able to keep track of everything in one place, communicate easily with your team members and improve your organisation.







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CR | March/April 2021


March/April 2021 | CR


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