Page 1



500 NM2-600NM2

12%- 26%

BS 4449:2005


K E N YA N I S O 6 9 3 5 - 2








MANAGING EDITOR Robert Barnes COUNTRY EDITORS Kenya - Francis Makari Uganda - Betty Katongole Nigeria - Boladale Ademiju South Africa - Newton Mthethwa WRITERS Jimmy Swira, Lindsay Wagner, Yvonne Andiva,Erick Mongare, Dorcas Kang'ereha WEB & GRAPHIC DESIGN Augustine Ombwa Bonface Kimunyi ADVERTISING Kenya William Mutama, Fred Okoth, Trizah Njoroge, Joseph Mwangi, Ken Okore, David Dondo South Africa: Thuli Nkosi, Happy Mokoena Shepherd Mthethwa, Winnie Sentabire, Angeline Ntobeng, Nqobile Ndlovu Uganda: Dan Nsalasata,Bill Collins Musaazi Botswana: Dickson Manyudza, Gerald Mazikana Ethiopia: Haimanot Tesfaye, Ruth Girma Tanzania: Tom Kiage Malawi: Anderson Fumulani Ghana: Samuel Hinneh Zambia: Susan Kandeke Zimbabwe: Chiedza Chimombe Rwanda: Collison Lore Nigeria: Seni Bello China:Weng Jie

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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.

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Geogrid reinforcement Cutting cost and time

Geogrids increase the amount of usable land on a site because they enable construction of steep slopes or walls. They also enable construction of a road over poor ground conditions. Cover Picture A section of the Ballito Drive road upgrade project in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal where the Tensar TW1 system has been used as an MSE wall system.


REGULARS Editor's Comment


Energy News


Building News


Infrastructure News


Association News


Corporate News


New Products




Opinion - Andrew Rose, CEO, Spencon Construction Company


Flooring options for the discerning customer


Buy Right not cheap


choosing the right pump for your project in Africa

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May 2016 Volume 27 No.5

Editor's Comment

Norkun Intakes Ltd

35 years of excellence

Wind to the rescue

Norkun Intakes Limited is a respected engineering consultancy in Kenya

Wind power remains one of the key sources of

today. But as Managing Director

renewable energy globally and reports indicate that

Eng. Muhoro Ikundo told CR.,

its use is growing worldwide. According to Global

the beginnings were not rosy. The

Wind Energy Council (GWEC) in 2015 wind power

Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge Tanzania a

installations grew by 22 percent boosted by China, the

project by Norkun Intakes

US, Germany, Brazil and India. On the continent South Africa with 13 large wind

38 Century City Conference Centre to boost business tourism to Cape

Africa except for Morocco and is ranked amongst the 26 countries in the world with over 1GW of wind generated electricity. Morocco follows close behind South Africa and will soon breach the 1GW mark. Kenya on its part has embarked on what is touted to be the largest wind farm in Africa which will generate

The 1200 seat Century City

a total of 300MW of power when completed. This

Conference Centre in Cape Town is

will surpass Ethiopia’s 120 MW Ashegoda wind farm

located in the Century City Square

which is currently the largest in Africa. In West Africa the largest wind farm is the 10MW farm located near

development within walking

Katsina City, Nigeria.

distance of the Canal Walk


farms in operation remains far ahead of the rest of

These statistics show that early adopters such as

Shopping Centre

South Africa and Morocco stand to benefit greatly from this low cost and renewable energy once the inevitable rise in fossil fuels occurs. The opportunities for wind generation are immense in Africa and it is high time that governments took a

The Symbion Story 35 years of excellence


Urban Engineering excellence


Eth hiop pia a Offi ffice e Hayymii Ad dverrtisiing Servvicees 22 Mazzoriia, Gen net Bldg g 4th h Fllr P.O O. Bo ox 1316 6 - 1110 0 Ad ddis Ababa a Tel: +2 251 118 955 85 55, Celll: +2511 930 0 099 152 Em mail: eth hiop pia@ @gro oup pafriicap publish m Gh hana a Office Ima age Con nsorrtiu um ank Buiilding, Tessano o. 1st Floor, TheeEccoba Tel: 23 33(0 0)30 0 22 23 2728 8 Fax x: 23 33(0 0)24 4 882 828 86 Em mail: gha ana@g grou upaffrica apub blisshin om Ken nya a Offi ffice

more proactive stance towards developing this clean and abundantly available resource.

Robert Barnes

Norrthw westt Veentu uress Ltd d P.O O. Bo ox 164114 - 00100 0 G.P P.O O Naiirob bi, Kenyya Tel: +2 254 20 267 79809 I 26 6798 808 8, 20 0913 305 5 Em mail: ken nya@ @grou upaffrica apub blishing om Nig geriia Offi ffice Rah hma a Asssocciatees B23 3/24 4, Aisheetu u Em moew wa Plazza, 196,, Iju u Waterr Wo orks Road, Ifa ako Ijayye Lg ga,A Ageg ge, Lag gos. Tel: 23 34-11-734 478 860 Em mail: nig geria a@grou upa africcapu ubliishin ng.ccom m Rw wan nda Offi ffice e Kolllinee & Hem med d In nc., B.P.. 33 328,, Kig gali, Rw wand da

Tel: +2 250 03 748 8106 6 E-m maill: rw wand da@ @grroup pafriicap pub blish hing m Websitte: www w.kollin neh hemeed.o org Zam mbia Office Dayyflex x Liimitted,, 4th h. Floorr Tazzara a Ho ousse Ded dan n Kim math hi Roa ad, Lusa aka,, Za ambiia. Tel: +2 260 2111 23 30 529 / +2 260 0 977 75 56 663 Em mail: ma akuk kasu ue@ @ma ail.ccom m, da ayflex06@ @gm mail. com m




South Africa

Two geothermal power projects receive US$ 30m boost

Plans to construct a 2000MW hydro dam underway

Major PV solar construction project nears completion

Two geothermal power projects in Kenya have received a vital boost of US$ 30m from a Clean Technology Fund that is backed by six multilateral development banks. The concessional loan that was approved to finance the two power projects in Menengai will have the ability to produce an estimated total output of 70 megawatts (MW). The Climate Investment Fund said the loan endorsed through its Clean Technology Fund component will tremendously assist in the expansion of Kenya’s output of clean energy through projects structured as Independent Power Producers and implemented with support from the African Development Bank. Joao Duarte Cunha, the bank’s coordinator for Clean Technology Fund confirmed the reports and said that this initiative will help Kenya to reshape its future in renewable energy. “At the moment, Kenya is demonstrating its ability to reshape its energy future by developing its vast geothermal resources through Menengai,” said Mr. Duarte. However, he pointed out that Kenya still faces some market barriers to full deployment of its renewable energy. This infusion of capital will thus serve to build investor confidence and improve bankability of these vital resources. Furthermore, the success of the independent producers can serve as a beacon for other countries looking to achieve similar green energy goals. The Climate Investment Fund is backed by several banks like the AfDB and the Asian Development Bank. 4

Plans to construct a 2,000MW hydro dam in Ethiopia, on the lower bank of the Omo River are underway. An Italian export credit agency, Servizi Assicuative del Commerce Estero (SACE) has agreed to fund the development. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn confirmed the development and said that the deal for the construction of the dam which is dubbed Koysha dam came after successful negotiations between Ethiopia’s Electric Power (EEP) and Italian construction firm Salini Costruttori. “The deal was sealed after successful negotiation between Ethiopia’s Electric Power (EEP) and Italian construction firm Salini Costruttori,” said the Prime Minister. The mega development of the dam is projected to cost a whopping US$ 1.7bn and will be funded by the Italian company, SACE. An Ethiopian delegation which was led by the CEO of EEP Azeb Asnake, and the head of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation’s Legal Affairs Directorate Wasihun Abate, flew to Rome to seal the financing agreement.

A major PV solar construction project in South Africa, being built by Juwi Renewable Energies is nearing completion and will be connected to the national grid in the third quarter of this year. The Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska


solar power project sits on 125ha 50km South-west of Prieska in the Northern Cape. The project valued at US$91mn is said to be on schedule and within the confines of the budgetary allocation. The ambitious 86MW power project covers a surface area equivalent to 125 football or rugby fields and is expected to power 86,000 homes. Sonnedix country manager Farid Moucer said the project, under the umbrella of Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPPP) will be run under the auspices of the


Department of Energy.

Global wind turbine manufacturer to construct 2 wind farms

lifespan and will be operated by a

Global wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa will construct two wind farms in Egypt after the company successfully secured the orders from new engineering, procurement and construction (EPC). The project which is expected to kick off in few months time will be located in the Gabbal El Zayt region, along the Red Sea coastline and it will have a capacity of 160 MW. Egypt’s New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) awarded the first contract for the supply of a total of 120 MW after an international tender in which leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) participated. Gamesa will be responsible for supplying, installation and commissioning of 60 G80-2.0 MW wind turbines at the new project. The mega project which is being funded by the Spanish government through its Fund for International Business Expansion is expected to boost the power situation in Egypt as the country battles to alleviate the current power deficit. Gamesa is expected to begin the project by October and it is expected that the project will be commissioned by the end of the third quarter of 2017.

The project has a 20-year team of local experts. The project is built by Juwi Renewable Energies,




subsidiary of the International Juwi





275,000 PV. Modules connected by 990km length of cable. Even with simple technology, the logistics behind coordinating a project of such magnitude are tremendous. With South Africa’s rich investment in the renewable energy sector, a big percentage of these projects in the Northern Cape, the sector has made a huge impact in the region in terms of job creation and a boom for business for South African suppliers. May 2016





5 stadia to be constructed in Addis

Cytonn to construct US$ 25m apartments

Synagogue building engineers remanded

Ethiopia plans to construct 5 stadia in Addis Ababa to add to the two existing ones – Yidnekachew Tessema and Abebe Bikila stadia. Out of the five, four are zonal stadia and will be constructed in the districts of Yeka, Nifas Silk Lafto, Bole and Gullele. The zonal stadia will cover an area of 40,000sqm, 70,000sqm and 110,000sqm respectively and each will have a capacity of 30,000, whereas the plot for Gullele is not yet secured. Despite the effort being taken by the Addis Ababa City Youth & Sport Bureau – fitting the zonal stadiums to space availed by the districts, a research carried out by the Ministry of Urban Development & Housing, indicates that a standard zonal stadium should sit on 113,080sqm, with additional space required for parking and other purposes. The Bureau’s top priority since its establishment in 2015 following the restructuring of the new Ministry of Sports & Youth, has been securing the land. The new office has identified and agreed to the location of plots in the Bole, Yeka and Gullele districts in its six month lifespan. The Bole location will be next to Balderas, while the ones in Gullele and Yeka will be constructed on plots near Kechene Medhanealem and Ferensay Legasion near the French Embassy. The process of acquiring the land is welldefined; in Nifas Silk Lafto, it called for relocation of 54 government-owned entities and 24 private houses. The site in Bole is at the stage where contractors have been invited to bid for the work May 2016

US$ 25m apartments in Kenya are set to be constructed by real estate and investment company Cytonn Investments Management Ltd. Cytonn Chief Investment Officer Elizabeth Nkukuu confirmed the news and said that the apartments which will be built in Ruaka on the outskirts of Nairobi will target the middle to lower-middle income class with a discerning preference for modern day apartments. “Our deal pipeline is to serve different sectors of the real estate market ranging from the high end, such as the Amara Ridge whose construction is still going on in Karen, the middle to lower-middle income such as The Alma, which will offer a very comprehensive lifestyle and secure community to future families,” said Nkukuu. The multi-million lifestyle community will constitute 408 modern apartments with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, a commercial facility, a lifestyle clubhouse and an elevated playground for children. The project is strategically located at the heart of the fast-growing Ruaka neighbourhood and targets a capital appreciation of 23 per cent annually during the development period of 130 weeks. Head of Africa for Finland-based Taaleri Private Equity firm Antti-Jussi which is the company financing the project through Cytonn, said that investors are not worried about oversupply in the real estate sector.

Uganda Anglican Church of Uganda contructs museum to boost tourism With the aim to boast tourism and the church’s revenue, the Anglican Church in Uganda, unveiled a close to four-million dollar project, which will see part of the Anglican Martyrs Shrine at Namugongo turned into a museum. The ongoing project will see the museum complex once completed late next year, have three floors, one housing offices, an auditorium and space for galleries containing artifacts, models, pictures and diagrams portraying the social and cultural life of various cultures and heritages in Uganda. “Many people look at Namugongo as a martyrs’ shrine they have to visit once a year. Our plan is to turn the site into a regular tourist attraction, said Mr Bakka Male, the chairperson of the building committee for the museum. The Namugongo martyrs shrines are famous for the death of the 45, both Anglicans and Catholics Christian Martyrs who died for Christianity in 1886 under the orders of Kabaka (King) Mwanga II of Buganda. And every year hundreds of thousands of believers visit the shrines to remember the martyrs.

Two Synagogue building engineers in Nigeria who were contracted to construct the seven-storey guest house for the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) that collapsed in 2014, were remanded at Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos recently. In giving the ruling, an Ikeja High Court said the two should be kept behind bars awaiting the determination of the charges against them. Engineers Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun had earlier pleaded not guilty to a 111-count charge touching on gross negligence and criminal manslaughter. The prosecution team under the leadership of the Director, Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Idowu Alakija said the accused committed the offences between Aug. 20 and September 2013. In her account, the accused undertook the construction of the seven-storey building at the church in Ikotun-Egbe in Ikotun area of Lagos with total disregard for human lives. The guest house collapsed on Sept. 12, 2014 and led to the death of 116 persons, 85 of who were South Africans. The Coroner’s Inquest set up by the Lagos State Government had in its findings on July 8, 2015 said the building collapsed because of structural failure due to a combination of designs and detailing mistakes. The inquest ordered for the investigation of Synagogue church and prosecution by the relevant authorities for failing to acquire the necessary building permits, while the two engineers should be charged for criminal negligence. 5




Bridge construction project on track The

Ports Authority gets funds to construct berths 13 and 14


US$ 690m has been allocated


to the Tanzania Ports Authority

bridge is making good progress

(TPA) for the construction of

officials have announced. The

berths 13 and 14 with erection

Kazungula Bridge is on the

scheduled to kick off in 2016/17

border between Botswana and

fiscal year. The project which



Completion of Lekki Seaport slated for 2019



Zambia. Botswana’s Permanent

has been on the drawing board

Secretary Ministry of Transport

Lagos State Governor has affirmed that the Lekki Seaport will be

for almost five years now has

and Communications, Neil Fitt

completed by 2019. The port which will be Nigeria's largest will cost

received funds from World

and Zambia’s Acting Permanent

US$1.7bn. Speaking at the formal unveiling of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment which will also be known as Lagos Global,

Bank via International Bank for

Secretary Ministry of Works and Supply, Joe Kapembwa

Governor Ambode further revealed the state’s mission to involve

said construction of a temporary

prospective investors in critical sectors such as transportation, health,

bridge on the Zambian side

power, agriculture, tourism, housing, ICT and manufacturing. He

has been completed while the

also gave an assurance that the state will eye for more investments

Botswana side will be completed

in line with the State Development Plan (2012-2015). Governor

in June. Zambia’s side was also

Ambode added that the Badagry Creek Industrial Park, a $1.3 billion

constructing a permanent bridge.

investment meant for completion in 2018 and the $12 billion Dangote



Refinery and Petrochemical Park were among other investments

staff accommodation has also

coming to the state. State’s Government Secretary, Tunji Bello said

progressed, with some of the

that, the state government is focused on ensuring Lagos remains a

offices already occupied. The

choice destination for massive Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs),

construction of the Kazunugla

including the Lekki seaport project. Renowned economist, Prof.

Bridge commenced in December

Pat Utomi, while lauding the initiative, said Lagos economy must

2014 at a cost of US$234 million.

therefore be a 24 hours one and that the growth of the state required



Phase one of the project comprises



of a 923-metre-long rail/road bridge, while phase two involves construction of one-stop border post facilities and ramps on the Botswana side and the final phase involves construction of similar facilities and ramps on the Zambian side. Phase one started in December 2014 and is expected to be completed in December 2018 while phase two is expected to commence this month. Phase three is due to begin in May 2016. The Bridge will provide the much-needed connection between the regional economic areas, and will also link regional ports which handle all exports and imports from and through Botswana and Zambia. 6

significant co-operation from neighbouring states.

Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), DFID and TPA. TPA’s acting Director of Planning and Investment;



confirmed the reports and said that the funds will also cater for the construction of berth 12 after relocating Kurasini Oil Jetty to Mbwamaji in Kigamboni. The money received from the three firms will also cater for the construction of berth 12 which was relocated to Kurasini Oil





Kigamboni,” said Mr. Urioh. He further pointed out that a


German consultant is on site and

Dutch firm to construct first automated terminal

if all goes as planned; the twin

APM Terminals has announced that it will fund and construct the first ever automated terminal in Moroccan port of Tangier to serve multiple trades in the country. It will be the first automated terminal in Africa. Maersk Line is expected to be a major beneficiary of the terminal. According to APM Terminals they are looking into bringing up a world class port terminal at the port of Tangier. This will be a major new investment in Morocco that was agreed upon as Moroccan leader King Mohammed VI was wrapping his private visit to the Netherlands recently. APM Terminals adds that the port, which will be operational in 2019, will quadruple the company’s current annual capacity in Tangier by allowing for the receipt and shipment of five million additional TEUs worth of international products to and from Africa. They added that they are looking into starting the project in a few weeks time to ensure that they complete the project within the set time frame. The project which is expected to cost the Dutch company an approximately €758 million will allow the company to become the operator of the Tangier Med 2 port complex in a 30-year concession, paving the way for the installment of new equipment.

container terminal design will be complete soon. Construction of the two terminals was initially delayed since the previous two contractors from China were disqualified




deliver in previous projects. “We had to start afresh on designs as the previous contractors did not leave behind any document for the berths as they were yet to complete the task,” Mr Urioh said. According to TPA, the berths will be transformed to some services like grain, dust cargo and fertilizer. Some berths will have conveyer belts to quicken off-loading process. May 2016


Nigerian Society of Engineers urges for more engineers

Chartered Institute of Building urges for independent building regulatory authority The vice president of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Africa Mr. Rockson Dogbegan, has called for the establishment of

The Nigerian Society of Engineers has urged the Federal Government to safeguard the appointment of more engineers into engineering based areas of the economy to check the deplorable state of the country’s infrastructure. “The condition of Nigeria’s infrastructure has become a threat to public safety resulting to incessant loss of lives across all sectors,” said Engineer Otis Anyaeji, President of the society. More than 30 persons have recently lost their lives in building collapse and road accidents resulting from poor and substandard infrastructure. The engineering society is optimistic that more government funding and private partnership will greatly reverse the trend. The Federal Government is also urged to amend and implement the existing laws to encourage private partnerships such as the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission Act. According to the 2015 infrastructure scorecard, the Nigerian Society of Engineers rated the Nigeria’s infrastructure status as E2; that represents a deplorable state of affairs which they say poses a threat to public safety. However, according to Engineer Anyaeji, Nigerian engineers have not been allowed by the government to occupy the appropriate positions of authority that will help to ensure the right state of affairs in the engineering sector.

an independent building oversight authority in Ghana to regulate Ghana’s construction industry. He said the establishment of the independent body would ensure high standards in the building sector as well as eliminate shoddy work. This will go a long way to stimulate economic growth in the country. He was speaking during the official opening of a two-day seminar organized by the Heavy Machinery Dealership that brought together stakeholders in the construction industry. He said despite the industry’s immense contribution to the county’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is faced with many challenges due to lack of regulation. During the seminar, a new construction machine, the MPH 122-2 stabilizer and recycler machine was launched. The two are used in road rehabilitation and also serve as soil stabilizers. According to Mr. Dogbegah, an independent construction authority would help wipe out shoddy works associated with local industry players by building the capacity of construction firms and enriching professionalism and at the same time formulating policies for sustained industry development.

Sudanese Contractors Association to attend Arabic Iraq The Arab Contractors Association chairman, Fahd Mohamed AlHamadi invited the Sudanese Contractors Association to take part in the upcoming Exhibition and Conference of Arabic Iraq, which is scheduled to take place in Jordan’s Capital, Amman during 22-24 of next May which is intended to introduce Iraqi rehabilitation projects and highlight available investment opportunities in all sectors in Iraq. According



the fair will give Sudanese companies a good opportunity

Management Tips

to take advantage and exchange

5 signs that you are a bad construction manager

knowledge and ideas


contractors from the Arab world taking part in the exhibition, saying




will be open to all actors in the construction and building sector





which currently amount to 215 companies plus 1300 factories adding that there will be sections

After listening to my fellow managers candidly discuss the lessons

for all Arab countries such as,

they’ve learned along the way, I’ve rounded up some of the most

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and

common mistakes, and the first step to turning them (and your

Qatar and Turkey. Al-Hamadi

employee’s performance) around. As a manager, your employee

emphasized that the conference

needs two critical pieces of information from you: what your goals are for him or her, and what your goals are for yourself and your team overall. Without knowing what success looks like, you’re like two ships sailing in the night with different destination coordinates, yet somehow expecting to end up in the same place. Think about the last time you were unhappy with an employee about something he or she

would be taken as an application of the association’s scientific policies through the existence of a joint scientific office including more than professors in the construction sector to undertake a study of the projects available

did (or didn’t do). Now think about whether or not you communicated

in Iraq and propose ways on how

that–and if so, if you also addressed how to do things better next time.

to implement them.

(And no, bringing it up five months later during a performance review does not count.) If there’s a behavior that you’d like to see changed, tell your employee within a week (at most!). Having regular one-onone meetings scheduled with each person on your team can help make this easier and less of a big deal to both of you, since you can share it as part of a broader conversation. May 2016



Masdar installs solar systems for Morocco rural

Hill International to spearhead major construction project

Abu-Dhabi-based Masdar is currently on its second phase of installing solar home systems as part of a project to electrify rural Morocco. According to officials the project which includes the installation of over 20,000 solar systems currently they have installed 9000 and they expect the second phase of the project to be completed on time. The solar power project is expected to cover over 1000 villages in Morocco and is expected to be completed in a years’ time. The project wa started a year ago when Masdar and Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) signed a contract for the same. All of the 290-watt solar home systems are designed, supplied and installed under a project that is being executed by the Masdar Special Projects team.

US based Construction Company

to develop residential homes

and its optimised expansion rate prevents damage to fresh concrete

Flowcrete Africa Launches East African Office

during curing. Sika Waterbar Type O-20 was used as a centrally

A new resin flooring business

added Waleed Abdel-Fattah, a

placed waterbar in all the expansion joints. Manufactured from virgin

based in Nairobi, Kenya, was

senior vice president with Hill’s

thermoplastic PVC for easy, on-site welding, internationally tested

officially launched recently at


Sika-Waterbars are used to seal construction and expansion joints in

an event attended by Flowcrete

all water retaining structures.

South Africa’s management team

Sika Seals Game Lodge Pool in Namibia When a Russian billionaire with a passion for nature and wildlife recently purchased almost 30 000ha of land in Namibia, it resulted in the construction of the luxury Marula Game Ranch. It was here, 80km southeast of Windhoek in the Khomas region, that RBL Architects specified several of Sika’s high performance waterproofing products for the lodge’s one million-litre swimming pool. NMC Construction Namibia was awarded the contract to apply Sika Waterbars, SikaSwell S-2, SikaPrimer-3N and Sikasil-Pool. The waterproofing process commenced with the application of SikaSwell S-2 to the 60m of construction joints on the floor of the pool. Highly economical and easy to apply, SikaSwell S-2 is a one-part polyurethane waterstop that swells in contact with water. It provides permanent water resistance

as well as prominent members of Kenya’s construction industry and key clients. Flowcrete South

the construction of a multi million dollar project in Rabat. The construction project will include 5,000 square meters of new stores, 4,200 homes and 104,600 square meters of office space, parks and a waterfront promenade in the Moroccan capital. The American company was awarded the contract in the last few days to oversee the construction of the first phase of the project. Hill International officials said the contract was awarded by an affiliate of Wessal Capital and encompassed provisions to manage a new development



Wessal Bouregreg. “The company will be able including commercial homes, cultural amenities at Rabat”



Walled added that they have been keenly looking into getting more projects in the African continent as it holds a lot of potential and

Africa has been trading in Kenya

they look into pumping more

since 2009; however the East

funds to expand their wings into

African office will supply and

it. He said their company Hill

service the entire East African

International has an extensive

Community namely, Uganda,

business history in the Middle

Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan,

East; the firm earned roughly

Somalia, Tanzania and Burundi. This new office location will mean shorter lead times for customers while providing the resin flooring manufacturer with


Hill International will spearhead

half of its fees in 2014 through projects in the region. In 2011, King Mohammed VI set up the investment fund Wessal Capital

a platform to grow its business

to attract Gulf investors for real

within the region’s burgeoning

estate and tourism development

construction sector.

projects in Morocco. May 2016


Polypipe Makes Sure of Safety with New Ridgistorm-XL

New Lecture Facility for University of Johannesburg, designed by GAPP Architects, is built on campus.

Gradall launches XL 5200 V Crawler Excavator

Polypipe is looking to further safeguard contractors and maintenance teams with the introduction of a new range of RIDGISTORMAccess Manhole accessories for its popular Ridgistorm-XL large diameter piping system. The range of manhole accessories includes Guardrail and Safety Chain Assemblies, both of which can be pre-installed into Polypipe’s range of Ridgistorm-XL manholes and chambers. Designed to prevent site workers from accidentally falling into outflow channels greater than 600mm in diameter, Polypipe’s new Guardrail Assembly acts as a vital safety barrier for RIDGISTORMAccess Manholes and chambers greater than 900mm in diameter. For workers inside manholes, the Safety Chain Assembly acts as a lifeline to prevent workers being swept down outflow pipes. Offering robust 3kN break strength, the Safety Chain Assembly is positioned across the outflow pipe at the end of the channel, offering a crucial point to grasp in the event of emergency. Along with the obvious health and safety benefits that both accessories offer, installation teams can also benefit from Polypipe’s ability to provide engineered solutions from the company’s dedicated manufacturing facility, with both accessories able to be prefabricated into chambers which are delivered to site as a onepiece modular unit ready for installation.

A new lecture facility on the AUCKLAND PARK CAMPUS of the

Gradall has launched its XL 5200 V excavator that weighs 54,452 pounds, delivers 24,941 pounds of boom force and has bucket breakout force of 25,405 pounds. The XL 5200 V excavator weighs 54,452 pounds, delivers 24,941 pounds of boom force, and has bucketbreakout force of 25,405 pounds. The Tier 4-Final Volvo Penta engine helps improve fuel efficiency by up to 5 percent. The Gradall telescoping tilting boom tilts 220 degrees, and a loadsensing high-pressure hydraulics system adjusts automatically when switching from highproduction digging to finishing work. The boom telescopes to 33 feet 11 inches at ground line, and digs to 25 feet 4 inches deep. A new counterweight design shortens the rear swing. The track uses triple grauser pads, with widts of 800 or 600 mm. Each track has dual-range high-torque piston motors. The seating module can be adjusted eight different ways, and the operator has two electronic foot pedals with handles in the cab. An automatic two-speed control can shift the crawler into low speed for challenging travel conditions. Series V machines have almost 70 percent parts commonality, simplifying the task of maintaining inventories to complete common service functions. Crawler Excavators are utilitarian machines that can dig trenches, load trucks, lift pipe, and handle attachments.

May 2016

UNIVERSITY of JOHANNESBURG, reflects shapes and forms few building elements can achieve. The university’s vision for the lecture facility was to create a world class facility and iconic building, representative of the institution’s development progress and continued success in delivering tertiary education to South African students. The ‘hand-made’ aspect of the façade, which was not only curved in plan but also in section, created a challenge for RHODE ROOFING who completed the installation. This was clearly expressed in the detailing and careful planning for this installation. Durability is a vital consideration in the choice of cladding materials and together with the aesthetical quality of the pre-weathered sheet finish, RHEINZINK provided a complete technical and sculptural solution to the project. RHEINZINK is the world’s leading manufacturer of titanium zinc products, founded by the Grillo and Stolberger Zinc companies together with Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke in 1966, the company boasts an international presence with subsidiaries and offices in 30 countries on five continents and a workforce of more than 700 people.

Airedale International launches highest efficiency and compact TurboChill Water Cooled product range To meet the demand for a higher efficiency yet compact water cooled chiller range, leading British manufacturer AIAC Air Conditioning South Africa a part of Airedale International group of companies, has launched the TurboChill™ Water Cooled range of chillers which outperforms rival products. In addition to ESEER values of up to 8.86, the TurboChill™ Water Cooled also provides a 7% increase in EER, and up to 111% more cooling per square metre than its nearest competitors. Providing up to 1576kW of cooling (based on 4 modules), The TurboChill™ Water Cooled is a high capacity, water-cooled, single circuit chiller. Optimised for use with 3 module variants(1.96m² footprint per module) , including the R1234ze TG310 range which has been specifically developed for use with the low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant R1234ze, the TurboChill™ Water Cooled is a truly flexible and resilient chiller. Its scalable modular design, enables multiple modules to be connected via a common waterside and an integrated multiple module control strategy.



Construction Masterclass Arrives in Johannesburg for the first time Monday




Johannesburg. Hill International, the Global Leader in Managing Construction Risk, with the Chartered Institute of Building today announced plans to hold the inaugural African Construction Masterclass



on 11 & 12 May 2016. The event will collect world experts, including



barristers from the UK, heads of industry such as Anoj Singh, CFO of Eskom and Jack Van de Merwe, CEO of Gautrain, along with leading technical experts.

New Chamber Backs WAMPEX 2016 The newly-formed West African Chamber of Mines (WACOM) and the Ghana Chamber of Mines have announced their support of WAMPEX, West Africa’s biggest mining and power industries expo. The exhibition provides a valuable networking platform for suppliers to showcase products and services directly to power and mining sector companies operating in West Africa and elsewhere. WAMPEX 2016 takes place from 1 to 3 June 2016 at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana. “WACOM is a recently-formed body that will be officially launched at the WAMPEX show,” says Ahmed Nantogmah,Director, External Relations and Communication at the Ghana Chamber of Mines.“This Chamber recognises the key role played by the WAMPEX event in the mining industry in West Africa, and it provides the ideal platform for the inauguration of the new Chamber.” WACOM comprises Chief Executives from the Chambers of Mines in Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Burkina Faso. “The new Chamber’s participation in WAMPEX is an excellent opportunity to publicise and market it to all the key players in the world of mining operators and suppliers in the region,”adds Nantogmah.

Speakers from Africa and around the world will present two days of study and workshops on the subjects that most significantly impact



today. It is thought to be the first time such a meeting has taken place in Johannesburg.


- Tanzania Institute of Quantity Surveyors

- Architectural Association of Kenya

- Institute of Botswana Quantity Surveyors

- Construction Regulation Board (CRB)

- Institute of Engineers of Kenya


- Association of Consulting Engineers of - Kenya

- Construction Contractors Association of Ethiopia

- Association of Professional Societies of East

Association Partners

Being Africa’s premium cement and construction industry event, the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo presents a tremendous opportunity for companies, individual persons and leaders in the industry to network and impart invaluable insights about the current African construction industry. Those attending the conference will access a total of eight unique experiences.These are Totally Concrete Conference, Housing for Africa Conference and the Women in Construction Awards. The Gauteng Construction Conference and Trade Expo, Construction IT Summit and expo, and the Civilution event. The annual Captains of Construction forum, will discuss important issues hindering the development of infrastructure in Africa.

Kenya - Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya

- Tanzania’s Registration Board of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (AQSRB)


Africa APSEA)


- Kenya Property developers Association

- Zimbabwe Institute of Quantity Surveyors

- Association of Consulting Engineers Nigeria

- Institution of Surveyors of Kenya

- Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers

- Association of Professional Women

- The Construction Industry Federation of

South Africa - ASAQS


- South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession - Khuthaza ( Women for Housing)

Zimbabwe (Cifoz)

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

- Concrete Manufacturers Association

- Architects Registration Council

- Green Building council of SA

- Ghana Institute of Surveyors

- Nigeria Society of Engineers

- South African Property Owners Association

- Ghana Green Builders Association

- Nigeria Institute of Architects

- Master Builders South Africa

- Ghana Institute of Planners

- Building and Construction Skilled Artisans

- Association of Building and Civil Engineering

Association of Nigeria (BACSAAN)


Contractors of Ghana

Institute of Surveyors of Uganda

Ethiopia - Association of Ethiopian Architects - Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers 10

South Africa to host African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo

Namibia Institute of Namibian Quantity Surveyors Association of Consulting Engineers of Namibia


Zambia - Zambia Institute of Architects (ZIA) - Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (ABCEC). May 2016

Quality a Hallmark of Apex Steel History Back in 1970, inside a successful General Hardware and Construction Material Trading and Supply House in Mombasa, the company’s founders had a vision. What they saw led to a company that, 46 years later, now manufactures the best structural steel in East and Central Africa. Producing the region’s best steel doesn’t happen by chance. It requires a strategy. From the start Apex Steel decided to do things differently, focusing on innovation, creation of value for their customers and an uncompromising commitment to quality. Quality Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) recognized the superior quality of Apex Steel, and hence Apex Steel was the first to get a KEBS mark; and subsequently the first ever steel company to be awarded the ‘Diamond Mark of Quality’. Apex Steel can claim another important first. It is the

May 2016

only steel company in East and Central Africa that manufactures steel that is globally recognized as nature friendly. As such, it is the only steel company to be awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certificate. Now the company’s customers can build strong and ‘Go-Green’. This is the second year in a row that Apex Steel has been awarded Superbrands status. Key Product ‘APEX TMX’, Apex Steel’s flagship brand, is manufactured through German Technology with ISO certification ISO 6935- 2:2007 and BS: 4449. Locally, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) requires deformed steel bars of Grade 460. ‘APEX TMX’ is Grade 500. At another ‘state-ofthe-art’ manufacturing facility, Apex Steel manufactures hollow tubes that have raised the bar and revolutionized the fabrication industry.

Other Products Apex


also manufactures tubes,

rectangular hollow sections, square hollow sections, circular hollow sections; furniture tubes, black pipes for scaffolding, MS Plates; Angles, Flats, T and Z sections. It is one of the region’s largest importers of beams, channels, shafts, seamless pipes, and deals in more than 4,000 general hardware items and wire products. It also sells roofing sheets and Z- Purlins. Driven by innovation, efficiency and value addition, Apex Steel is the exclusive distributor of Wavin, the global leader in piping and plumbing solutions. Wavin’s ‘push-fit’ plumbing technology is revolutionizing the construction industry. The company proudly offers GROHE bathroom taps and sanitary solutions. GROHE combines award-winning design with the finest materials and the latest industry-leading technologies.



East Africa Rising Construction Opportunities

Andrew Rose, CEO, Spencon Construction Company

Over 50 per cent of senior leaders in the industry see the continent (Africa) as one of the most popular prospects for corporate expansion. 12


s the international construction market becomes more globalised and competition for untapped markets increase, Africa especially East Africa has seen extensive influx of foreign capital. Increasingly firms are taking advantage of the lucrative potential of a continent that is still largely lacking access to basic infrastructure, to build adequate transport networks, water supply, functional power grids and formal housing for its growing population. A recent report by Deloitte remarked that “in a short space of time, Africa suddenly resembles a massive construction site” and according to KPMG’s Global Construction Survey, over 50 per cent of senior leaders in the industry see the continent as one of the most popular prospects for corporate expansion. Three key engineering segments are seen as most lucrative for investment: transport, water supply, and power. Forward thinking international construction and engineering firms will find the influx of capital for infrastructure projects of great interest. Particularly in countries like Tanzania, where the industrial sector is expected to be the key driver behind economic growth through development in the mining and manufacturing sub-sectors. This makes not just Tanzania, but all of East Africa a hotbed of opportunity. There is a need for international building expertise, which the international construction industry can supply. At Spencon, we’ve been working with international firms and development agencies to deliver regional infrastructure projects in East Africa for over 35 years. Against this backdrop, African governments have made infrastructure spending a priority, following Tanzania’s example. In the financial year 2013/2014,

Tanzania’s government increased spending on infrastructure to 2,16trn Tanzanian shillings (US$ 9,96bn), up from 1,94trn (US$ 8,95bn). This is not a phenomenon that is restricted to Tanzania. In 2014 alone, over US$ 4bn was raised by private equity funds for infrastructure investment in Africa. This has acted as an incentive for continued investment inflows in the construction industry and underscored the opportunities for international companies in Africa and East Africa. The following areas have proved key for private investors: Transport Business and economic growth in Africa have increased the urgency for a complete revamp of the continent’s crippled transport network. In our 35 years of operation, we’ve seen a surge in demand for implementing road projects to improve East Africa’s transport networks, and have witnessed a growing trend of international experts collaborating with regional firms that have the necessary knowledge and local networks. The Portuguese construction giant MotaEngil, Engenharia E Construcao SA is just one example. The company won the €60m (US$ 67,45m) contract to construct the second phase of the Kampala Northern Bypass in East Africa. Water With water and waste management certain to play a critical role in the near to medium, and long-term future of the continent, international construction firms are well placed to invest in the sector as it is expected the number of projects are likely to grow by two or threefold. We’ve been involved in numerous water and sanitation projects May 2016

working with international companies for the design, construction, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of water and wastewater




Spencon, in consortium with DegrĂŠmont, completed the design and construction of a 90,000 cubic meters /day water treatment plant in Lower Ruvu, Tanzania. Power Over the last five years, there have been a wealth of new power projects across Africa as the continent seeks to address its power issues. This includes the $684 million powerplant in Tanzania to plug regional energy shortages which will be built by China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation (CMEC) and German engineering group Siemens. As Kenya, Uganda and many other African nations focus on improving their power networks, more of these contracts will become available to international firms. The case for international construction firms to approach the African market is strong. Rapid urbanisation, a rising middle class





have created an ample environment for the


increasing regional


collaboration integration

Furthermore, and





have paved the way for cross-border infrastructure projects. Efforts by the East African Community (EAC) to facilitate this growth has also led to increasing demand for expertise, which has opened up opportunities for international construction firms. Over the past decade, Spencon has worked with a number of international firms to implement these cross-border projects, due to our local knowledge and flexibility across borders. Africa is showing exceptionally promising economic growth numbers and as regional integration





opportunities for cross-border expansive projects, the time for international firms to get involved is now. May 2016



Geogrids were used by Mantis Earth Limited to create a stable jetty in soft, sandy conditions for Tullow Oil in Lake Turkana to roll heavy plant machines onto a ferry to move across the lake.

Soil Reinforcement with Geogrids


hen it comes to providing tensile reinforcement of soil, nothing does it better than Geogrids. These are geosynthetic material made from polymers such as polypropylene, polyethylene or polyester and are used widely in Civil Engineering applications. They are in the form of open grids so that soil can strike through the apertures and the two materials interlock together to give composite behaviour. Geogrids are commonly applicable in the construction of retaining walls, steep slopes, roadway bases and foundations. Geogrids work by interlocking with the granular or soil material placed over them. The apertures allow for strikethrough of the cover soil material which then interlock with the ribs (flat straps/bars) Providing confinement of the overlaying granular/soil material due to the stiffness and strength of ribs.

In Africa, the use of geogrids as reinforcement is quickly gaining pace


Importance of geogrids The main function of Geogrids is reinforcement. Depending on the application under consideration, Reinforcement could either be uniaxial (strength in one direction) or biaxial (strength in all directions). They are graded by a number of performance properties for instance tensile strength, junction efficiency or trade name and grade for instance E’GRID 3030. In Africa, the use of geogrids as reinforcement is quickly gaining pace. However, most of the geogrid technology is imported. Mantis Earth Limited is among several companies based in Kenya that imports geogrids. The firm is the official distributor of geogrids from Tensar International a leading UK based solution provider for soil reinforcement and ground stabilization. Liz McKee who is the director at Mantis Ltd says that Geogrids are especially useful when working on strict construction deadlines. She says this is made possible by the fact that with Geogrids less aggregate is required. And by and large the construction cost is reduced due to reduced transport costs to deliver aggregate or remove excavated soil. With geogrids the amount of usable land on a site is increased because it enables construction of steep slopes or walls, enabling construction of a road over poor ground conditions or decreasing the thickness of fill required to construct a road. “By incorporating Geogrid, the designer has an opportunity to reduce construction costs and also reduce maintenance costs by increasing design life,� she explains. In the long run Liz asserts, there are fewer repairs due to higher performance of a structure or road. May 2016

The main function of Geogrids is reinforcement.

Geogrids, says Liz have been used in many countries in the world under a variety of climates and soil conditions, and have frequently been used to solve challenging design or construction problems. The manufacturing process produces a hexagonal geogrid structure consisting of high strength junctions and stiff ribs forming equilateral triangular apertures. The ribs present a thick square leading edge to the aggregate, which allows the geogrid ribs to get a good grip on the aggregate particles beneath, resulting in an extremely effective mechanical interlock. This ultra-efficient interlock helps to control lateral movement and dilation of aggregate particles, so that a highly effective angle of shearing resistance is achieved. This effect is also referred to as confinement because interlock efficiently confines and restrains the aggregate particles. Categories of geogrids The first, and ‘original’, geogrids are commonly referred to as ‘punched and drawn’ geogrids. A sheet of either HDPE or Polypropylene has holes punched into it in a regular pattern and the sheet is then ‘drawn’ or ‘stretched’ into the finished product. The second category of geogrids is ‘coated yarn’ types. They are, in fact, technical textiles in the form of grids and use bundles of fibres (most commonly Polyester) as the reinforcing component that is then coated to provide protection during installation and in service. The grid structure is formed by knitting or intertwining the transverse and longitudinal bundles of fibres. The third category of geogrids is made by laser or ultrasonically welding together polyester or polypropylene May 2016

rods or straps (as used in packaging / shipping) in a grid like pattern. Qualities of good geogrids Understanding important qualities of a good geogrid, Liz advices, is a major prerequisite while choosing the product. The key attributes to consider in selecting a geogrids are the height and thickness of the rib, the aperture area, the tensile loads at 2% strain, the junction efficiency, the open area percentage, the carbon black content, the quality of the raw material used, whether the product has a CE Mark with full traceability, and whether it has been manufactured under a certified ISO 9001 system. Geogrid are mainly applicable in Road Infrastructure, airport pavements, dock pavements, safe working platforms, housing and railway trackbeds. “Wherever weak ground needs stabilization, grade changes require retaining walls or slopes or asphalt

Geogrids work by interlocking with the granular or soil material placed over them.



Secugrid® 100/100 Q6, Polyester (PET) Geogrid with an ultimate tensile strength of 100 kN/m, was installed to provide soil reinforcement to a trafficked crossover of a former open cast mine. Due to the heterogeneous nature of the material present in the foundations and the ensuing irregular rate of settlement, the subgrade needed to be stabilised by means of basal reinforcement. Fibertex South Africa, distributors for the German-based Naue Geosynthetics range of geosynthetic products in South Africa, supplies durable PET and PP high-strength geogrid reinforcement materials for all civil engineering applications, including mining, environmental, infrastructure and marine engineering projects. Fibertex supplies an extensive range of environmentally-friendly geosynthetic products from its KwaZulu-Natal facility that encompasses nonwoven and woven geotextiles, gabions and mattresses, drainage pipes and fittings and erosion control and cellular confinement solutions. The company also supplies soil reinforcing products, including geogrids and geocells, as well as geosynthetic clay liners as part of composite lining systems in modern landfills.

pavements needs reinforcing for better performance,

conducting various knowledge sharing programmes for

geogrids can be very helpful,” says Liz. Alex Ngove a

engineers jointly with educational institutes can go a long

sales consultant at Ragged Mercantile another firm that

way to create the much needed awareness on geogrids. To

distributes geogrids in Kenya , says that the market for the

enhance demand, Dalmia urges for intensive campaigns

products is fast expanding in the country.

on the benefits of using geogrids.

He observes that geogrids are important for base

She urges contractors to observe extreme care while

reinforcement, earth retaining wall construction including

using geogrids.”Handling and placement must be as per

veneer stabilization, the segmental retaining wall and embankment reinforcement. For Alex when choosing geogrids ensuring that they have very high strength at low strains is important. Ability for immediate interlocking with cover aggregate is also essential. But most of all,¬¬ geogrids should have High resistance against installation damage and high resistance against biological and chemical degradation. It should also be quick and easy to install. Challenges


construction drawings and rigid quality standards. There must be zero tolerance towards quality and error,” cautions Dalmia whose firm manufactures Polyester knitted geogrid using high tenacity yarn and promises design life of 100 to 120 years. It is a challenge that is echoed by Philippe Grimmelprez Director Sales, Marketing and business development at Mattex Geosynthetics who says that for them, trainings, seminars and practical help at installation stage has paid off. “Thanks to intensive awareness programme that we have undertaken on our

Yet the users of geogrids in Africa continue to face major

soil reinforcement products, customers know most of

challenges while using the product. Sugandha Dalmia

our products including MattexGeotextiles and drainage

head of marketing at Strata India a firm that specializes in


geogrids reckons that one of the greatest challenges is lack

The firm specializes in Geosynthetics which they say

of knowledge on design standards, material properties and

give a significant advantage with regard to sustainability

construction quality requirements of geogrids. She says

and saving on cost. May 2016

WE STAND FOR BEST SERVICE „We speak your language and answer your questions!“ Arne Völker Service Manager


THE PREMIUM SUPPLIER OF THE PRECAST CONCRETE INDUSTRY machines & installations modern technology individual solutions

after-sales-service over 60 years of experience global references





Flooring options for the discerning customer By Yvonne Andiva hoosing the right flooring for a particular room in your house or commercial space may seem like an overwhelming decision. It's a process that combines your personal preference with careful thinking and practicality. Nevertheless, it's a surface you, your family and colleagues use but asking yourself a few key queries at the initial stages of the process should help reduce your worry, ease your choice and increase your long-term satisfaction with your new floor. Today in the flooring industry, carpeting is becoming softer, wood is getting somehow roughed-up while Luxury vinyl is becoming more luxurious especially for the home buyers but luxury vinyl is far from the only flooring product that is drawing consumers attention.


Wood Wood-look laminates are a great option for any room in your house however; oak laminate flooring is one of the fashionable and preferred styles of laminate wood. The classic wood species with an open grain pattern, accented by dark swirls, can be 18

tinted in a range of colors and goes well with any dĂŠcor. Pine is another trendy choice for laminate flooring. The light color that it has brightens a room and can make a small room appear bigger. Also, rooms that unite families and friends like the kitchen and family rooms can benefit from the warm and expansive feel that hardwoods can offer. Wood laminate on the other hand is less expensive than solid hardwood and it creates structural stability hence making you have less movement in the floor. The trends are also moving towards larger planks or multiplesized planks which have more exotic species and darker stains, with a growing interest in gray tones. Corporate offices are nowadays considering new hardwood for their office space for that old worn look that is today trendy and fashionable. Bamboo is another wood option that is being considered by buyers since an array of colors and plank widths can be created from it and it is cheap since it comes from an effortlessly renewable resource. While technically from a fast-growing grass, bamboo is harder than most hardwoods when it is dried. Newer products called

strand-woven bamboo which is a highly engineered product which uses the inner fibers is twice as hard as traditional bamboo flooring. In addition, bamboo is offered in wide-plank styles that imitate the look of classic hardwoods. As with all wood flooring, it's best to keep bamboo out of rooms that are moisture-prone like kitchens and baths. EGGER which is a flooring company will launch a wood-based design floor called EGGER Design+ Flooring. When developing the new flooring class, they focused on diverse customer needs and reacted to these needs with this wood-based design floor. The characteristics of EGGER Design+ Flooring include, being compact, water resistant, comfortable, easy-care, flexible in use, naturally based on wood, 100% free of PVC and plasticisers. This product can be used commercially and privately. A unique memory function makes this stand out when compared to other design floors: The so-called SelfRepair effect which means if there are surface deformations, for example the marks of furniture feet, the molecules pushed in the given place their initial position and return to it fairly soon. May 2016

The floor looks new again. Tile Ceramic and porcelain tiles are versatile, durable and stylish. One can choose from hundreds of colours and styles to make any room look elegant and stylish. From wood-look to polish, contemporary to the timeless look of stone, most tile manufacturers have sizes ranging from traditional 12x12 to large format and rectangular tile. These types of tiles can add an eye-catching touch to floors and walls throughout your home. They are ideal for people who house pets or people who suffer from allergies because they are simple to clean- the dirt can be swept, vacuumed and wiped away. The designs are perfect for a modern home, and complex tiling designs are ideal for a classic, complicated style in a bathroom or kitchen setting. Ceramic tile is literally getting bigger, better and more fashionable. Tile in formats larger than the standard 12by-12 inches are growing immensely in popularity even though there is a lot of variation in regional preferences and those digital prints that you at times spot on laminate countertops and vinyl tile are also applied on ceramic tile so that you may see tiles that look like hardwoods as well. The interesting thing about the ceramic and porcelain is that they do not fade in sunlight, are stain resistant and fire resistant. The Porcelain tiles can also withstand higher foot traffic just like the hardwood or bamboo since they are denser. They are made of finer clays that are produced at a very high pressure and cooked at equally high temperatures, forming a greater density. Porcelain is also more moisture resistant and for these reasons, porcelain can be used outdoors, while it’s best to use ceramic indoors only.However, for high traffic regions in your house or commercial space where tiles will be positioned, you can view the tile’s PEI rating, which measures resistance to damage. PEI is usually calculated from 1-5, where 1 is the least durable and 5 being the most durable. Porcelain and ceramic tiles having high PEI ratings will equally be able to withstand high traffic. Porcelain can sometimes be at a higher price point than ceramic, depending on the choice of tile. Carpeting Carpeting is a type of flooring that is becoming softer and is getting more environmentally friendly and many manufacturers are creating fiber combinations that take softness to a whole new level. In terms of carpet styles, the current favorite probably is a broad genre called cut-andloop, where by the pile is partially cut and partially looped to create a sculpted look or pattern, they are multi-tonal and the trend is more towards the patterned carpet, with a cleaner finish with some personality to it. Most buyers who favour and prefer carpeting tend to use it in bedrooms and on stairs in their homes or commercial spaces like offices. Nowadays, with the emergence of technology, there May 2016

EGGER’s new Design+ Flooring that is wood based.

are stain resistant carpets available in the market, so you do not have to worry about removing the carpets during house parties or about the spills that your children might accidentally put. Some carpets now have a guard that acts as a protective layer of polyester which resists stains hence keeping your carpet new, durable and clean. Luxury Vinyl The luxury angle of vinyl may somehow be a stretch, but technology unquestionably has given some vinyl’s a whole

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new attractive and trendy look. At its most basic, the process of producing it amounts to taking a photo of the type of wood and printing it into the extensively less expensive vinyl flooring, usually in the form of squares or planks. For high or severe traffic, high performance vinyl flooring would be the best type or option while for the lighter traffic, the denser the product, the better the performance. Less traffic goes with a more comfortable flooring material which can have a cushioned backing. In entryways, opt for a hard surface product together with an entry-type flooring material at the doorway. On flooring space in hospitals, for example; hard surface for the patient rooms with very heavy beds can fit in well, however it might not fit for all rooms so you must contact your manufacturer for advice. Heavy duty flooring All said and done, if it is a problem choosing the right or trendy floor for your space, then it is advisable to contact a manufacturer. HARDFLEX type of flooring from Sogega Italy may be the solution. Hardflex which is


a durable, heavy duty flooring is particularly suitable for high traffic areas such as offices, hospitals, schools, shops and department stores, leisure centres, public buildings and in every place where heavy foot traffic is expected. International Sales Manager SOGEGA SRL, Mr. Tommaso Zinna,points out that the product concept and styling of the recently introduced HARDFLEX range is unique in that it offers, within a single colour range, a number of features and benefits to the enduser client. Specifically, the facility to use rigid pvc (rather than highly plasticized pvc) in the chip lay-up creates a very durable product suitable for most commercial applications. HARDFLEX is especially suitable for educational, commercial, retail and healthcare projects and for hospitality and leisure locations where the ability to hot or cold weld the product will provide for an impermeable floor finish. The manufacturing process allows for the production of ‘specials’, in both colour and surface finish, for as little as 250 m2. The facility to manufacture ‘specials’

for very limited volume allows also for the production of both anti-static and conductive versions of the HARDFLEX range and with the option of 8 surface textures, slip resistant versions as well. In addition the application of a foamed backing will create an acoustic version of HARDFLEX. Thus, with HARDFLEX, areas in a project requiring flooring to meet different end-user requirements may be installed offering, for the first time, a floor finish that meets a variety of performance standards BUT in a single colourway, if that is what the client may favour. Just as in the case of any other building material, flooring has come a long way and manufacturers are experimenting with different materials that can give the look and feel of natural products while




properties in wear and tear while being cost effective and mindful of the environment.

May 2016


THE FUTURE IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE. IT’S BETTER! When Franki Africa was bought by the Keller Group the geotechnical universe changed forever in Southern Africa. Our capability and range of specialist solutions is now greater than ever before. ISO 9001 ISO 14001 OHSAS 18001


Tel: +27 (0)11 531 2700




Solutions include: Piled Foundations; Rigid Inclusions; Jet Grouting; Lateral Support; Underpinning; Deep Soil Mixing; Soil Improvement; In-situ Replacement; Pipe and Culvert Jacking; Environmental Remediation; Marine Foundations and Structures; Geotechnical Investigations; Geotechnical Advice & Design and more. Franki 297 x 210 ad Feb 2015.indd 1

2/16/15 1:35 PM

2016 Décor Trends Bathrooms get smarter Article supplied by Tile and Carpet Centre

Home replenishment’, ‘connected kitchen’ and ‘smart mirrors’ are advancements in home technology which we can expect to slowly make their way into our homes over the next few years. According to Hansgrohe, a global leading innovator in technology, design and sustainability in the sanitation industry and renowned trend forecaster Dave Nemeth, 2016 will be the year of technology in the bathroom where a return to the Bauhaus principles of design will see form start to follow function.

“Changeable mood lighting and sound are two highly valuable assets and assist in taking the stresses of our manic lives away. And the ultimate luxury, towels can be now be heated via mobile activation from your smart phone as you leave your office…” Managing Director at Hansgrohe South Africa (Pty) Ltd David Cooper says: “One of the biggest advancements in this area has come in the form of the shower. Hansgrohe’s Rainmaker with larger overhead showers conveniently

Bathrooms: hotspot and haven Nemeth said bathrooms will continue to grow in importance. “They are now a huge focal point in the overall design of the interior space. For instance the main en-suite bathroom is being treated increasingly as an extension of the master bedroom. Bathrooms are larger and far more open and we expect this trend to continue. “The bathroom will become more of a social wellness centre, where the focus is on relaxation and where a couple can interact. Another hot trend is integration with exterior areas – outdoor showers and baths are a firm favourite of modern architecture and showing no signs of going away.” Bathrooms are now ready to embrace technology. Nemeth says some fascinating advancements will very slowly begin to make their way into everyday life. “We’re seeing mirrors that double up as info stations. So while you brush your teeth or do your make-up, you are able to check social media, the weather or news.

covers the entire body with water, allowing for longer relaxation periods in the shower. He said that the Hansgrohe Rainmaker Select is a great example of technological advancement in this area. “Our new shower solutions offer the world of concealed installations more features, more design and convenient operation at the touch of a button. This concept is based on an innovative shut-off valve, which enables the water flow to be controlled at the simple touch of a button, and no longer by rotating. The person showering can easily turn the water on and off or select the required jet type, all at the touch of a button.” Nemeth says it is clear from these trends that developments will be driven by technology and the aesthetic will be based on accommodating these great advancements. “We are essentially going back to the Bauhaus school of thought where form follows function.” For more information on how to adapt these cutting edge trends, contact Tile and Carpet Centre in Nairobi and Mombasa, Hansgrohe's accredited distributor in Kenya.

About Hansgrohe – the original from the Black Forest The Hansgrohe Company is based in Schiltach in Germany’s Black Forest. In its 114-year history, it has acquired a reputation as a leading innovator in technology, design and sustainability in the sanitation industry. 22 May 2016

Projects Completed: ‡

Fire & Ice Protea Hotel in Menlyn.
















Buy Right not cheap, choosing the right pump for your project in Africa By Erick Mongare ith Africa being the new frontier for growth in the globe there are many pump manufacturers and suppliers comprising of international and local companies that have setup shop, therefore when having a project coming up it is advisable for you to have a good idea of all of the different pumps and products on the market. According to Edward Davis, Director, Business Development & Marketing, Davis & Shirtliff one of the largest suppliers of pumps in East and Central Africa, The rise of cheap Far East products has really improved availability in the market and allowed access to product for people who could not afford them before. The traditional Western premium brands still have a presence but their market share is eroding due to high pricing and the fact that there are now reasonably priced alternatives available in the market. Currently there are a variety of pumps

W Edward Davis - Davis & Shirtliff's Director Business Development & Marketing says one must ensure that the product is fully supported and guaranteed by the supplier


on the market, each one designed to meet specific and even specialized needs. There are three major groups of pumps that are used in construction projects these are direct lift, displacement, and gravity pumps. For the above mentioned pump groups each one of them has a variety of different pumps, each with a specific function, including vacuum, water, trash, hydraulic, and sump pumps. Before contractors purchase a pump, they should first determine which pump type they need. 4 key points According to a Taiwan based pump manufacture Hung Pump International Manager in order to select the best pump for any given job there are four key questions that need to be answered. He lists them as: • What is the total head, or pressure, against which the pump has to operate? • What is the desired flow rate? • What is the suction lift? May 2016


• What are the characteristics of the fluid? He adds that all the above questions should be in mind when purchasing a pump for your project, be it small or big. If you piece together the answers to all four of these questions it will become much easier to dramatically pare down the list of pumps that suit the task at hand. This may mean a bit of extra research, but it is well worth it to ensure that the proper pump is in place, doing the optimal job and saving hundreds to thousands of dollars in the long term. Davis agrees and says that one must consider factors such as application, head, flow, location, temperature, water condition, power source, NPSH. He advises that tt is best to consult an engineer or visit for pump sizing tools. Need More Than One Pump? Stop being stingy! Your project is big! We all know there are small and big projects this means it will take more than one pump to do a specific job if the project is really large. There are many applications where more than one pump is required, If the project one is selecting a pump for is particularly large or heavy duty, it is not uncommon for multiple pumps to be the ideal approach and resolution. This may also be the case in the event of certain piping arrangements and pressures. Those contractors who suspect that their project may require two or more pumps

should take their time and make the financial investment in consulting with a professional before moving ahead with the shopping for and purchasing of the pumps. Consulting with a professional in these matters is, in fact, never discouraged. The insight of a professional is more than capable of paying for itself, as their advice can make a big difference. Build Rapport Contractors who are involved in the construction industry know well that in many projects across Africa different pumps are needed for specific job and the best way to ensure that they keep on getting the right pump for the right project is through creating good relationship.Taking the time and care to build customer loyalty with a few wellregarded and well-connected merchants and names in the industry may take an investment of months and even years, but the payoff is the insider advice of an expert when choosing all

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variety of industrial supplies and equipment, including pumps. Know How the Pump Should Be Powered One of the mandatory considerations before purchasing a pump is how the pump should be powered. That’s to help you know whether the pump is to be placed indoors or outdoors as well as from what variety of materials the pump should be made. For instant if its positioned outdoors, there is the chance the pump and its contents may freeze, so investing in a pump that is made from materials that can withstand any potential temperature or exposure is advised. Buying cheap The current trend has seen more and more pumps coming into Africa from the East with the traditional pump suppliers in the west loosing significant market share. Cost has been a prime motivator so what are the repercussions for going for cheaper brands? Davis says it is not altogether a bad thing but ensure that the product is fully supported and guaranteed by the supplier in order to mitigate against the risk of product failure.

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Challenges in infrastructure Construction Projects Customized Pumps for Draining Railway Track Comparing pumps based on hydraulic efficiency value alone is not a reliable measure. We should rather focus on Energy Efficiency through operational safety and finding the right equipment for a particular application.


As an example the Hong Kong MTR Corporation is currently building a new overground and underground high-speed rail network to improve the infrastructure linking up the city´s

outlying districts and connect with the center. The terrain is however extremely water-retaining, imposing heavy demands on planning and on the material and machinery used. Pumps made by HOMA are being installed on a total of five line sections to provide constant drainage and preserve the stability of the newly constructed routes. The liquids that have to be pumped away are particularly aggressive, necessitating the use of special materials such as bronze, e.g. for the impellers and casing coatings that withstand the liquids. HOMA’s modular system allows for many combinations of motors and hydraulic systems, Pumps made by HOMA are being installed on a total of five line sections to facilitating flexible adaptation to local hydraulic parameters, to cope provide constant drainage for Hong Kong’s MTR network with unforeseen route changes for example. So far, 479 pumps by the German manufacturer have been installed. The project is due for completion by 2020. Draining with special customized pumps: The extremely wet terrain, however, severely challenges the implementation of the various line sections, imposing heavy demands on planning and on the material and machinery used. The tracks have to be drained constantly to maintain the stability of the routes. Since absolute operational reliability in the pump units used for this purpose is of crucial importance, the MTR Corporation commissioned pump manufacturer HOMA to supply models specially adapted to the conditions on site. Pumps with a minimum ball passage of 80 mm and new hydraulic design have been used: besides handling solids outstandingly well, they also cover a wide useful hydraulic range. Since the liquid to be drained off is a mixture of fresh water, brine and sewage, and is consequently as aggressive in effect as brackish water, special materials such as bronze are also required for the rotating parts. “For this project, we have used this alloy for the impellers, for example, as well as sealing materials with an extreme ability to withstand stress”, says Michael Markus, HOMA Export Manager. Because of the specific requirements with request for tailor-

WE GET WATER MOVING HOMA pumps are installed in more than 100 countries worldwide – in countless large and small scale projects. Our German Engineering knowhow is your advantage: • • • • • • • •

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DESMI ROTAN® ED installed a polyurethane foam / isocyanate production


DESMI ROTAN® ED installed a polyurethane foam / isocyanate production

DESMI’s Magnetically Powered Pumps Seal the Deal For companies pumping dangerous or expensive chemicals, leaks can endanger both personnel and the bottom line. Hermetically sealed, magnetically powered pumps are the state-of-the-play answer


ven the smallest of plants need to be sure they aren’t exposing their workers or surroundings to danger when working with solvents, printing ink, resin, pitch or hazardous organic liquids. And they need to guard their business economics against leaking non-hazardous, but pricey raw materials such as linseed oil, corn syrup or soyabean oil. In such situations, the best and safest type of pump to use is a hermetically sealed, magnetically powered device based on the ROTAN® principle. Patented no-leak principle The basic concept of a ROTAN® pump differs from those of conventional pumps in that everything is completely and entirely sealed inside. Dirt or other contaminants have no way of entering the pump, and nothing within the pump can leak out. The secret to achieving a fully enclosed design lies in the fact that, in contrast to conventional pumping systems, no holes or channels are required to bring electrical power into the pump. Instead, the medium being pumped circulates around a magnetic coupling carrying exactly the right number of magnets required for power to be transmitted from outside the device. Simple ‘centrifugal pump’-shaped channels in the shaft and rotor ensure continual replacement of the liquid heated by friction and recirculation in the coupling. At the same time, this ensures efficient lubrication as well as heat transfer from the slide bearings. The pump can be easily reversed, too, causing its medium to flow in the opposite


direction simply by reversing the motor’s direction. Finally, unlike centrifugal pumps, a ROTAN® pump offers gentle liquidhandling and a high priming vacuum, along with the ability to pump highly viscous liquids. The unique, patented ROTAN® principle is generally recognized as the most advanced internal gear pump design available anywhere today. And it’s far and away the best solution for safely moving hazardous or costly substances. As an added bonus, there’s very little residue build-up, so far less cleaning is required. Safety in product and supplier While many pump manufacturers aspire to offering ROTAN®-style technology, DESMI A/S currently rules the market with its ROTAN® ED pump. The Denmark-based company has produced these pumps as part of its extensive product portfolio for over 20 years, building an impressive technological lead. “By now, we’ve worked with this pump design in a tremendous variety of industrial applications,” says Peter Tipsmark, DESMI’s Industry Segment Director. “And that’s every bit as important to prospective buyers as the quality and functionality of the pumps themselves. At the end of the day, it’s this depth of experience that ensures high safety levels as well as maximum returns on the investment.” All the options DESMI seems to have thought of all the angles for its top-of-the-line pumps. For substances

Guangzhou Strong Chemical Co., Ltd uses DESMI ROTAN ED for the Painting Industry

that need to be cooled, an integral pump eliminates the need for external cooling. And for those that like it hot, optional external heating jackets can be added, enveloping the pump’s front cover and magnetic coupling housing. There’s a choice of materials, too. Slide bearing materials, for example, vary from cast iron, bronze, carbon to tungsten carbide. The magnets themselves are made of neodymium-iron-boron, and optional samarium cobalt permanent magnets allow operating temperatures as high as 250o Celsius. And both internal and external canister protection is offered. Increasing demand Market-leading companies such as BASF, Huntsman and Bayer have long been using ROTAN®




but they’re not the only ones to see its advantages. And in many cases, companies approach DESMI to replace existing doubleseal solutions that can’t live up to the task. “There’s never been a better time for ROTAN®-style pumps,” says Peter Tipsmark. “We’re installing them, for example, in increasing numbers to Asian markets, as well as emerging markets on the African continent. In China, for example, ROTAN® technology has quickly become accepted not just for large enterprises, but for smaller ones, too. Basically, the need for optimum safety is the same no matter where you operate.” DESMI is continuing to upgrade its ROTAN® pump line-up, following growing market demand, and keeping businesses and people safe with this well-proven technology. For more information on this article, please contact DESMI Africa or by phone:+255 222 600014 May 2016

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The Symbion Story 35 years of excellence Symbion Group has amassed a portfolio of iconic projects both locally and regionally and now banks on the booming construction industry to thrive


ith 35 years of experience under their belt, leading multi award winning architectural firm Symbion International has grown to

become a true leader in its field. With a dedicated team of 108, the firm specializes in architectural designs, urban planning, interior designs and project management. Arch. Pius Muli has been at the helm of the Group since 2011 and has played a key role in maintaining the steady growth of Symbion. But how have they been able to consistently deliver superb designs over the years?


“Our ability to deliver bespoke solutions to our clients has continued to give us a competitive edge over other firms offering similar services,” says Mutua Mutuku, the Managing Director of Symbion Kenya Limited .Their services he adds are tailored to meet every client’s needs and this explains the inspiration behind their designs. The architectural company has established an unrivalled portfolio of high profile projects across East Africa and Botswana. Projects Amongst its growing list of projects, Symbion has designed iconic buildings including the luxurious Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel in Kenya, Kampala Serena Hotel, and the prestigious Sheheena Marina apartments in Mombasa. The firm is currently involved in design expansions of Nairobi and Kampala Serena Hotels. Elsewhere in Africa, Symbion has been involved in major design work. For instance, the firm is behind the iconic design of the British Council offices in Botswana and Lourdel Plaza in Uganda. “We have especially mastered the hospitality industry with various top notch projects under our belt. Our secret lies in creating unique products. Our ability to deploy cutting edge technology in our designs coupled with innovation has ensured that we continue to get repeat May 2016

clients and stay ahead in the market,” discloses Mutua. Over the years, Symbion has diversified from its core business of architectural designs to offer related services such as urban planning, interior design and project management. In urban planning, the company has partnered with James Cubitt UK to master plan the 650 acre Pwani University in Kilifi and the 500 acre Eldo city in Eldoret, Kenya. Recently it has partnered with international architectural firm RMJM, to offer outstanding urban planning services. RMJM brings together high caliber architectural firms around the world to deliver services to select clients. “We will continue to seek partnership with global firms with proven portfolios in a bid to tap world class talent and deliver high quality services to our clients.” In project management, the firm has been involved in development of Rock City in Juba South Sudan and the Uvumba Satellite City in Dar es Salaam. “We have successfully won and completed several projects whose scale and design complexity, our competitors have not been able to rival,” quips Mutua adding that they have overseen the development and project management of Kigali Vista apartments, which is an Eco Sustainable apartment scheme that covers 25 acres; Sheheena Marina apartments in Mombasa and Nakawa Business park in Kampala among others. Symbion was involved in the development of Lilian Towers in Kenya, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge and Manyara Serena Lodge both in Tanzania. The firm also has a vibrant interior design team in Nairobi. The construction industry in Kenya and beyond is booming allowing Symbion to make inroads into new customer bases, Mutua is clear that the firm is as focused as ever on its core industries. He is confident that at Symbion, what they have learnt for the past 35 years will propel them into a brighter future. Awards “The reputation we have established from large tailormade projects will give us an upper hand when bidding for other projects. We know what we are good at. The projects under our belts and the awards we have received speak for themselves.” Symbion has scooped several awards from the Architectural Association of Kenya for different projects. In 2008 they received Silver award for Nairobi Safari Walk in Kenya and Ngorongoro Serena Lodge in Tanzania. In 2006, the firm scooped two Gold awards from the Architectural Association of Kenya for the UAP headquarters in Nairobi and the Serengeti Serena Lodge in Tanzania. It went on to receive two Bronze awards for the Serena Kampala Hotel in Uganda in interior design category and tourism and recreation category, It also won Bronze award for Crested Towers in Uganda. In early 2000, Symbion received the Gold award for the iconic

Lilian Towers in Nairobi. Perhaps one of the most striking features about Symbion is their ability to incorporate green features in designs. The firm is aware that building construction and operation have extensive direct and indirect impacts on the environment. This is because buildings use resources such as energy, water and raw materials; generate waste and emit potentially harmful atmospheric emissions. Conscious of this reality, Symbion has endeavored to go green in its design of projects such as Standard Chartered Bank’s Head Quarters in Nairobi, which is a recognized


green building. It is a move that has been informed by the speed in which buildings are being constructed in East African cities that has resulted in green spaces quickly varnishing. Symbion began its operation in Kenya in 1980 as an architectural partnership practice with renowned architect Jon Cavanagh at the helm. Over the years, the firm’s leadership has changed hands giving a rise to young and vibrant local directors. The current team of directors include Arch. Pius Muli who is the Group Managing Director and Managing Director of Symbion Uganda Limited, Arch. Mutua Mutuku is the Managing Director of Symbion Kenya Limited and Arch. Titus Kipsang is the Managing Director of Symbion Mombasa Limited. Other directors include Arch. Oscar Ogunde, Arch. Susan Atai, Arch. Laila Ali, Arch. Abdulnasir Mohamed, Arch. Arthur Oyugi and Arch. Kagiso Seloilwe. Ms Jane Gichuki is the Group Finance Director.

Arch. Mike Lord and Arch. Jagdish Rai have been involved in the management of Symbion for a long time and are now consultants for the Group offices, which tap into their rich experience in practice. Since its inception, Symbion has evolved and grown to establish regional offices in Uganda, Tanzania and Botswana. In 2008, the architectural firm established a major office in Mombasa geared towards giving quality services to clients at the coastal region. The firm’s philosophy has been to grow talent in the region. They have therefore been working with young university graduates to ensure that the Symbion legacy lives on for years to come. Symbion also participates in various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities as a way of giving back to the society. For instance, its employees have registered in the Beyond Zero campaign aimed at ensuring safe child delivery among mothers in Kenya and it frequently sponsors and participates in activities for the Kids of Africa charity in Uganda. The company has also been involved in various water projects in Ukambani area to provide water to residents. Additionally, Symbion also partners with the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation which supports orphans and poverty stricken children in Kenya. “We will continue to be involved in noble activities in the region as part of our philosophy. In regards to our core business of architecture, we believe that we are the leaders and we will continue to focus on maintaining this position” concludes Arch. Mutua.


May 2016

Norkun Intakes Ltd Congratulates Symbion Consulting Group on their 35th Anniversary

May 2016















The Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge Tanzania

Norkun Intakes Ltd Success after a rather rough start

Norkun Intakes Limited is a respected engineering consultancy in Kenya today. But as Managing Director Eng. Muhoro Ikundo told CR., the beginnings were not rosy.


Eng. Muhoro Ikundo - Managing Director Norkun Intakes Limited


he world of engineering is constantly evolving and each new project comes with a new element of sophistication. This is the reality that engineers who want to remain relevant must acknowledge. Indeed when Eng Muhoro watches the captivating Megastructures documentaries on channels such as National Geographic, he admits the field of engineering is today about innovations and breathtaking projects and courage by Engineers to venture into the unexplored realm that is quite enlightening, often surprising, and unfailingly fascinating. “It is exciting to see cutting edge innovations. They open the mind of an Engineer,” says the Managing Director of Norkun Intakes Ltd. For Eng Muhoro, cutting edge innovations is the sphere that defines Norkun Intakes Ltd, one of the leading electrical and mechanical engineering consultancies in Kenya. Since establishing the practice together with two

other directors, Eng Muhoro was cognisant of the reality that to compete for huge jobs, Norkun Intakes had to be a practice that set the pace in integrity, innovation and going the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction. “Engineering is about turning ideas into reality. It is about providing solutions at the right price and in a sustainable manner,” he states. This is the mantra that drives Norkun Intakes. Founded in 1998 but incorporated as a limited company in 2003, Norkun Intakes is the brainchild of Eng Muhoro together with Engineer Wagana who is the quality control director, Peter Kimani the Technical Director, and Jane Waithera, the Finance and Human Resources Director. The consultancy has over the years evolved from a small practice to one of the most preferred engineering consultancy firms in the country. Today, Norkun Intakes is involved is May 2016

some of the largest projects in Kenya, some of which are transforming the landscape of the capital city while others, particularly in the ICT sector, are driving the economic transformation of the country. Among the signature projects the firm is currently involved include the UAP Towers (today the tallest building in the region at 33 floors plus 3 basements), Avic Complex comprising multiple skyscrapers with the tallest being 43 storey with basements, The Mirage, Thika Greens 1800 acre golf estate and Longonot Gate 2400 acre golf communities. While these are current projects, Norkun Intakes Ltd has in the past delivered jobs like the IBM headquarters, Extelecoms House retrofit, Professor Nelson Awori Centre, Morningside Office Park and relocation of PricewaterhouseCoopers from Rahimtulla Tower to Delta Towers. It also oversaw the landing of fibre optic cables TEAMS, EASSY and Lion 2 and undertook major upgrades of Safaricom technology based projects. Norkun Intakes Ltd has also undertaken projects for most of the major commercial banks within the region. “We are distinguished as a consultancy because of we uphold high levels of integrity, innovativeness and professionalism,” explains Eng Muhoro. He adds that in most of the jobs, the firm has been involved from design to implementation. In some projects, the firm has been forced to rise to the occasion in terms of it abilities and capacity to deliver due to their magnitude and scope. In all instances, Norkun Intakes Ltd has delivered beyond expectations of the client. For Eng Muhoro, becoming an engineer was a dream he aspired from a tender age. While growing up in the slopes of Mt. Kenya, Eng Muhoro developed a liking for science subjects at an early age. After attending local schools for his primary education, he joined Mangu High School and that is where the seventh born in a family of nine resolved to study one of the three fields of engineering – electrical, mechanical or civil. Yet after completing high school and serving the oneyear mandatory National Youth Service duty, he was disappointed to be admitted for a Bachelors of Commerce degree (Accounting option) at the University of Nairobi. He reported to Lower Kabete campus and after attending a few lectures, he realised he was in the wrong place. “I discovered the course was so simple for me yet I wanted something that was more challenging,” he says. He adds that without influence from anybody and due to his love for sciences, he pushed for a transfer to pursue a Degree in Electrical Engineering. “I loved engineering because it was challenging and back then it was also prestigious,” states Eng Muhoro whose parents were farmers cum business people. Upon graduation, Eng Muhoro worked for various firms and the government in the Ministry of Public Works and Housing before leaving to establish Norkun Intakes Ltd. The timing was not perfect. This is because after May 2016

UAP Tower - Nairobi

walking out of employment and founding the consultancy, Eng Mohoro realised there were very few jobs in Kenya. At the time, the construction and building sector was on its knees while the country’s economy was in a state of stagnation. “There were not many jobs in Kenya because the governance structure was not very condusive to upcoming consultants in private practice especially in the building industry,” he explains. He added that to get jobs in a number of sectors then, there were many challenges. The situation in Kenya forced Eng Muhoro to engage the survival mode gear. Though the operations remained in Kenya, he went hunting for jobs in neighbouring Tanzania. Luckily, Tanzania proved to be a welcoming market albeit with its own teething challenges. In Tanzania, he landed two projects that would mark the beginning of the road to success. The two projects were the construction of the prestigious 177 room Impala Hotel located at the foot of Mt Meru and the state of the art 139 room Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge located within a lush 140 acres coffee

The mirage



SOHANI ELECTRO SERVICES LIMITED Electrical Engineering Contractors

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plantation, with natural streams flowing through the property, and nestled between Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru in Arusha. According to Eng Muhoro, although the two projects were akin to baptism by fire for they happened to provide the breakthrough he was longing for, “it was a challenge because we had not done another job and here we were starting with a 5-star hotel,” he recalls. While we were undertaking the electrical and mechanical aspect of the projects from design to implementation, the firm found itself being involved in many other aspects. “For me it was more than engineering because I found myself on a tractor uprooting coffee bushes,” he reveals. The success of the two projects significantly opened doors for Norkun Intakes Ltd after it decided to shift focus to the Kenyan market when the building and construction industry started booming and the economy started expanding. Now with over 26 employees, 20 of whom are engineers, Norkun Intakes Ltd has the capacity to handle any kind of job irrespective of scope or magnitude. Apart from The East African region, the firm, which is also ISO 9001:2008 Certified, strives to benchmark with leading engineering firms across the globe.. While Norkun has delivered numerous projects, Eng Muhoro

We are proud to be associated with Eng. Muhoro and Norkun Intakes

explains that some were quite challenging mainly because of external factors. For instance, when the firm was engaged on a Saudi Fund for International Development funded contract in 2001 to implement the Garissa Water Supply Scheme, the firm was forced to change the design approach of the project to accommodate independent power generation because Garissa was not connected to the national power grid and the load could not be supported within the existing KPLC scheme. Another project that proved complex was a 15-storey building in Juba (the tallest building in South Sudan). This was because the country lacks reliable power, water supply, and sewerage and therefore a permanent solution had to be sought. According to Eng Muhoro, the engineering profession has significantly evolved over the years and today Kenya is respected across the globe as a country with engineers and technologies capable of delivering any size of project. “Kenya is reputed in the region for skilled manpower that can engage on any job in the built environment,” he observes. He adds that the amendment of the Engineers Act, 2011 and the resultant establishment of the Engineers Board of Kenya that is mandated to accredit learning institutions and register engineers has been a major milestone in streamlining the profession. Married with three children, Eng Muhoro’s typical day starts at 6.00 am when he wakes up, appraises himself with news on the international arena, prepares and interacts with children before they leave for school. He then heads to the office where as the MD his job is to oversee the overall operations of the practice although each department has its own head. Apart from watching science and technology documentaries, his other hobbies include swimming, lawn tennis, cycling, chess and occasionally visiting the gym. Eng Muhoro plans to retire in the next 15 years.


May 2016


We are proud to be associated with Norkun Intakes and Congratulate them on their contribution to the construction industry

Menengai Hse, Gaberone Road. P. O. Box 55694-00200, Nairobi. Tel/Fax: 317404/ 020 3591548 Mobile: 0721-321861/0723-049744 Email: or Website:

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We applaudd Eng. Eng. Muhoro Muhoro for for his his enormous enormous contribution con ntribution to our construction industry


Schindler Limited We congratulate Norkun Intakes for their Immense Contribution to the Construction Industry Longonot Place, 1st Floor, Kijabe Street, P.O. Box 43410 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Pilot Line: 3340819. Tel: 3340669/3312115/2226938, Fax: 3313279. Email: May 2016



Century City Conference Centre to boost business tourism to Cape The 1200 seat Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town is located in the Century City Square development within walking distance of the Canal Walk Shopping Centre, convenience retailing at Colosseum, the MyCiTi bus station, as well as the Century City Station.


he Conference Centre is expected to attract major additional business tourism to Cape Town, according to Alan Winde, the Minister of Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape. The Rabie Property Group has developed the Conference Centre as an integral part of the Century City Square, the new commercial and hospitality hub of Century City, which has been completed at a cost of R1 billion. The development comprises the Century City Conference Centre, a 125 room hotel, offices, apartments and restaurants all situated around an open public square with 1330 under cover parking bays being provided in a super basement and structured parking garage. With a total capacity of 1900, the Century City Conference Centre has been designed to complement Cape Town and Century City’s existing facilities and to not only fill a gap in the market but to also further cement Cape Town’s position as one of the world’s most soughtafter conference destinations. It offers flexible configurations and a total of 20 different venues including 11 meeting and breakaway rooms as well as a business lounge. Three adjoining halls on the ground floor have a total capacity of more than 1200 delegates seated cinema style with a fourth hall able


to accommodate a further 480 delegates cinema style. The multi-function venues are also available for banqueting and exhibitions while a large pre-assembly area is available for exhibitions, product launches and the like. Officially opening the Conference Centre in February, Minister Winde commended the Rabie Property Group for its R1billion investment at The Square. He said the tourism sector had been identified as a key growth area for the region and one of the strategic goals they had set themselves was to create an enabling environment which would grow business tourism to the region. The new Century City Conference Centre and Hotel, he said, would make a major contribution to drawing in and accommodating new business to Cape Town and increase the number of conference delegates to the region. It was also generating more than 300 new jobs. The joint CEOs, Gary Koetser and Glyn Taylor, estimate the Conference Centre will host in excess of 72 000 delegates in its first year alone and say over 300 new jobs have been created in the conference centre and hotel. The Conference Centre was a response to market demand and had been designed to complement Cape Town and Century City’s other conferencing facilities, says Koetser. May 2016


From left, Winson Nyoni (Restaurant Manager), Walda Meyer (Hotel General Manager), Michelle Presting (Executive Housekeeper) and Michael Rentzke (Front Office Manager).

Multi-million Rand Century City Hotel now open Century City Hotel, built at a cost of R200 million and located adjacent to the new Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town, is catering for both business and leisure markets and with its 125 rooms it brings the total number of rooms now available in Century City to 600. It is the sixth hotel within the burgeoning precinct with construction having commenced at the beginning of May 2014 and its doors having opening during Q1 2016. The development was a response to the growing demand for hotel accommodation at Century City which is now home to more than 4000 residential front doors and 500 businesses. The office component at Century City alone exceeds 300 000 square metres making it the third largest commercial precinct, says Greg Deans, a director of Rabie Property Group. General Manager of the new hotel, Walda Meyer, says it has been designed to be out of the ordinary with a great emphasis having been placed on room efficiencies for both business and leisure travellers. “The only thing traditional about it is the laundry shoot.” Among its iconic features is a Green Wall comprising

more than 3500 living plants that forms a backdrop to the reception area. Paolo Viotti of Vivid Architects, says every city should have at least one public square that offers a dynamic, vibrant and safe environment for the public to enjoy. “Century City Hotel is one of three buildings that now form the new Century City Square, a beautifully proportioned space that will offer users the opportunity to socialize, relax, dine and be entertained. The Hotel experience within this environment is further enhanced by the introduction of the extended canal system of Century City and the bold landscaping themes that frame this development. “ He says the urban design and planning of this precinct has ensured and encouraged pedestrian connectivity and hierarchy of that over the motor vehicle, a comfortable and safe human environment and a seamless interface between building and square. “The Hotel architecture has employed the maximum use of glass at the ground floor plane to ensure transparency between inside and out while the developer’s brief has ensured that restaurants, coffee shops and Hotel public areas spill out onto the square to ensure there is a constant buzz of activity, life and energy.” Meyer says the multi-purpose Square Café and Wine Bar on the ground floor of the hotel have been designed to be part of the public square on to which they flow and to welcome not only hotel residents but also non-residents. The square, which will host community and cultural events, is also fronted by the neighbouring Century City Conference Centre, offices, restaurants and apartments with this entire development representing a private equity investment of more than R1billion. The other hotels at Century City, which will also benefit from the new Century City Conference Centre, are the 180 room African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, the 165 room Stay Easy, the 68 room Colosseum Luxury Hotel and two boutique hotels Manhattan Suites and Island Club which have 28 suites and 23 rooms respectively.

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Urban Engineering excellence


HO Africa, a medium sized consulting civil engineering company founded in 1927, have been involved in the transportation planning and traffic modelling, as well as roads and municipal services design and implementation for the Century City Urban Square (CCUS) project. “The development involved the construction of a new Urban Square which would become the heart of Century City. The client’s intention was that this would be a green, mixed-use precinct. From a transportation point of view, the project needed to have full integration with the City of Cape Town’s My Citi Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system and various modes of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT)”, explains Fred de Villiers, HHO Africa’s project leader and design manager.

required to solve the civil engineering challenges. The construction phase required close cooperation with various contractors. The site was extremely constrained and the phasing of works required careful planning. Not only was the construction of the CCUS taking place, but there was another major building project underway at the same time, Bridge Park. During this time, it was important that the public be given access to the existing buildings in the precinct.

Project phases The project comprised two phases, the planning phase which required a close cooperation with the various parties involved, including the professional team. During this phase various alternatives were

Traffic simulation A micro traffic simulation was undertaken to model the operation of the proposed road improvements. “Vissim software was used to simulate traffic on a micro-scale. The project included the introduction of a new exit route from Century City onto Sable Road. The need for this additional exit point was to alleviate congestion at the Century Boulevard / Ratanga Road intersection. It was very useful to demonstrate, on an individual vehicle basis, how the traffic congestion was relieved with the introduction of this additional exit route. The software demonstrated the impact of the improvements and was a useful tool for stakeholder and local authority engagement”, adds de Villiers. “The additional exit lanes onto Sable

Fred de Villiers, HHO Africa’s project leader and design manager.

May 2016

Project timelines The project was undertaken within a very tight program - a 12 month construction phase. “Our civil engineering sub-contractor had to work very closely with the main (building) contractor and I must say the cooperation between all the parties throughout this project was exemplary,” comments de Villiers.

Road, additional lane along Sable Road, and intersection improvements at Sable / N1, have markedly improved the performance of the major intersections in the area. Furthermore, the improvements have introduced My Citi Bus priority, thus further advancing the City of Cape Town and the developer’s commitment to integrated public transport” says de Villiers. Challenges The project had a fair amount of challenges that included the short construction period with deadlines driven by the CCUS, a severely constrained site with two concurrent, major building projects, bulk earthworks, underground services, new canals, roads, traffic accommodation and the relocation of the main water supply pipe to Century City. Roads and municipal services The roads, other than conveying traffic, were an integral part of the urban landscape and as such there was particular focus on the landscaping, lighting, texture and pedestrian footways. The services provided included the full range of underground services. A storm water master plan included the introduction of canals that could convey 100-year floods. The current and future extensions to the Century City canal system will reduce the risk of flooding; improve water quality and provide improved mobility for recreational users and water taxis. The foul sewer master plan dictated need for major regional pump station that would service the immediate precinct and provide relief across the Century City network. This was designed and built. 45


Neopor CLC was used in the construction of Witkopen Primary School in South Africa. The school was donated to former President Nelson Mandela.

Worldwide popularity


ince the first building was cast insitu in Germany, complete townships like in Singapore in the early 80s, 700,000 buildings have been cast worldwide, starting in Singapore (16,000) and elsewhere. Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) and, NEOPOR Southern Africa â&#x20AC;&#x153;(request the brochure available) have succeeded in being awarded an approval for CLC by the agreement Board of South Africa. The upgraded approval is available today at: Uku-ZWANA Project Solutions (Pty) Ltd, 27 Startfield Avenue, Wynberg, 7800, Tel.(021)797 5905, Fax, 762 2203, Email:, website A sample house has been manufactured by Cape Concrete Work (CCW) by a recognised structural engineer, who has been nominated in the meantime by Chancellor Mrs. MERKEL in charge of the German government for reconstruction of the Ukraine and Palistine. A reference list of major projects worldwide is led by an over 16,000-unit project in Singapore and houses in Botswana. Maximum Thermal Insulation Concrete â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Produced in Prefab or In Readymix Plant Since its launch 50 years ago, the efficiency of NEOPOR cellular lightweight concrete (CLC) systems continue to lead in construction projects world-wide. Almost 50 years ago Europe and all non-OPEC countries experienced the first energy crisis. Few countries were ready. One of the first countries that took measures was the German government that immediately requested all possible


measures to cut the energy bill. Homebuilders were hit by stringent requirements to insulate buildings within a short period. NEOPOR was founded and united leading experts in chemistry, machinery building (Putzmeister), building material institutes, architects/structural engineers and building societies in a joint effort to develop a new concrete, Offering both efficiency and economy shortly after the energy crisis. Convenient and cost effective For half a century NEOPOR has been used in more than 700,000 cases in over 70 different countries in one material or other and application (sheer thermal insulation, prefab or cast in situ by truck mixers. Prefabs are cast in existing prefab plants for ordinary dense concrete by adding a low priced but fully automatic Neopors special technology which does NOT require rising of the batching plants in between producing ordinary dense concrete. When producing prefab, the output of CLC even increases compared to dense concrete. There is no other concrete or building system that allows unskilled local labour to cast that many homes in one step and at such a short time (one unit every day with each set of vertical form-work) with that many mechanical and physical properties (to be nailed and sawed), with doors and windows cast in with hollow pipes and tubes for sanitary and power at material cost lower than that required for dense concrete. GREEN attributes The organic and bio-degradable Neopor-600 foaming agent is based on horns and hooves of cattle which are fully cleaned from bones fat and other contamination and diluted in portable water (for the foam only). The shelf live is minimum 24 months in sealed plastic drums of 200kg net each. The density applied for structural application allows for savings in primary energy of 500% compared to the same thickness of monolithic walls of regular concrete in addition to the same percentage of CO2. Neopor has therefore been elected as the most green concrete worldwide by the most famous ULMER Betontage, the most prestigious annual meeting of concrete experts in Europe. May 2016


Alliance control ...................................... ......................................41 41

Jessop & Associates (Pty) Ltd ................ ................13 13

Apex steel.................................................. ..................................................1 1

Mabati Rolling Mills ............................. .............................IFC IFC

Arcbill Consultants Ltd ........................... ...........................35 35

Neopor System ........................................ ........................................47 47

Athi Steel ............................................ ............................................OBC OBC

Newline ................................................... ...................................................36 36

Basco paints ............................................35 ............................................ 35

Noble Blue Ltd........................................ ........................................35 35

BuildExpo ............................................ IBC

Norkun Intakes ltd................................... ...................................35 35

Conmix Ltd ............................................. .............................................19 19

Sarens ...................................................... ......................................................28 28

Dawn .......................................................24 ....................................................... 24

Schindler Ltd........................................... ...........................................41 41

Desmi ...................................................... ......................................................31 31

Sika ......................................................... .........................................................17 17

Electro Brothers ......................................41 ...................................... 41

Sohani Electro Services .......................... ..........................40 40

Elsan mechanical ....................................41 .................................... 41

Tile & carpet ........................................... ...........................................23 23

Fit Fight Fastners Ltd .............................. ..............................11 11

Waterwise ...............................................40 ............................................... 40

Franki ...................................................... ......................................................21 21

Vitagrid ................................................... ...................................................20 20

HHO Africa ............................................. .............................................43 43

Wacker Neuson ....................................... .......................................44 44

HK Motors ..............................................37 .............................................. 37

Weiler ...................................................... ......................................................17 17

HOMA .................................................... ....................................................29 29

Zimaki ..................................................... .....................................................33 33

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July - August 2014, Volume 8 No. 4

Loulo-Gounkoto Mine Complex Mali's key gold producer

Inside: Collision Avoidance Technology Dealing with corrosion Minesite catering

Construction Review Africa  

CR May 2016 Issue Vol 27 No.5 Africa's leading building and construction industry journal featuring news, views and construction projects

Construction Review Africa  

CR May 2016 Issue Vol 27 No.5 Africa's leading building and construction industry journal featuring news, views and construction projects