Page 1

ISSUE ONE • 2016


• CMA Award winners • Easing economic challenges • Evolution of conveyor structures




















Subscriptions/Accounts: Thuli Majola Tel: (+27 11) 883 4627 E-mail:




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PRECAST is the official journal of the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA)

Publishers: Isikhova Publishing & Communications Postal Address: PO Box 651793, Benmore, 2010, South Africa Tel: (+27 11) 883 4627 Fax: (+27 11) 783 2677 Website:










Design and layout: Joanne Brook Tel: (+27 11) 883 4627 E-mail:



ISSUE ONE • 2016


ers Association NPC (CMA) 2016 Awards for Excellence competition drew a bumper crop of entries, which at 123 was almost double the • New code of ethics • CMA Mark of Approval


• Precast bridge for world-renowned race track

The views and statements expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor or the publishers and neither the publishers nor the CMA accept responsibility for them. No person connected with the publication of this journal will be liable for any loss or damage sustained as a result of action following any statements or opinions expressed herein. The same applies to all advertising. Precast© 2015. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system, without prior written permission from the publishers.

The Concrete Manufactur-

77 entered during the last competition. The awards are judged on photographs and written motivations. Entries closed on 16 October and

the judging took place on 23 November at the Johannesburg offices of PPC Cement, the main sponsors of this year’s event. Six trophies, one for each category and up to three commendation awards can be made in each category. However, awards are only made if the judges deem the entries to be worthy of one. The results were announced at

Endorsed by:

a gala dinner ceremony at Summer Place in Johannesburg, on 23 April 2016.






BEYOND PRESTIGE Winning a CMA Award means more than just a trophy or certificate – it represents a chance to showcase abilities and recognise exceptional products.

Ivan Sasman, of Ivan Sasman Archi-

of the work. Yet we all pulled together

tects in Cape Town says winning the

and overcame the challenges to deliver

trophy for Aesthetics for the SAPS

a successful project. To me, it serves as

Forensics Laboratory in Plattekloof

an example to the next generation of how

was a defining moment for him and

hard one has to work in order to achieve;

a fitting end to his career. “In some

and while a project may not be ‘smooth

ways, it represents a legacy of what

sailing’ at all times, it can be well worth

Past winners say that the benefits of

I’ve achieved and marks a high point for

it in the end, as long as you persevere

winning an award have been many, with

me to begin handing over the reins to a

and do your best,” says Sasman.

rewards going beyond pure recogni-

new generation.”

tion to sometimes improving sales of products or even taking on a deeper

Perseverance wins

significance as a crowning moment in

“This project was by no means easy, with

a person’s career. We ask some of the

multiple government departments each

winners of the 2012 awards what win-

having its own list of requirements and so

ning meant to them.

many people on site for the full duration

“Winning the award gives us confidence that we’re doing things correctly.” PRECAST | ISSUE ONE | 2016

being installed. It’s undoubtedly good for our resumé and we’ve been able to use it to

van Wyk, Marketing Manager

our advantage when potential

of Bosun Group, says: “We

customers enquire about our

gauge ourselves against the

products’ longevity.


On winning multiple awards across different companies in the group, Gert

competition and winning the award gives us confidence

Creating goodwill

that we’re doing things cor-

“Likewise, the Soweto Side

rectly. But most important,

Walk Project won a High-

it means that as an industry,

ly Commended award for

we’re producing solutions

Community Invol vement.

for architects and contrac-

It showed that paving pro-

tors to build with, that are

jects are great for commu-


nity upliftment and involve-


With regard to Smart-

ment, while simultaneously

stone (part of Bosun Group),

recognising the community

its winning Melrose Arch

for their hard work. The

project won a Vintage Award

award lent a sense of pride

and showed how well the

to locals and gave back to

Trophy for Excellence in the Community

pr oduct lasted. “Fr om a

the communit y – that’s

Involvement category, it recognised all

Smartstone point of view,

what makes community-

the people involved in the manufacture,

we value the Vintage Award because it

based projects special.”

sales and installation of our lightweight

shows that the product is durable and

Guinevere Thomas, Group Marketing

precast concrete sanitation units.

still looks good more than 10 years after

and Communications Manager for Infra-

We’ve built up valuable partnerships with

structure Specialist Group, agrees. “The

various municipalities, which enables us

paving and precast industry is a shining

to uphold a position as the preferred

light in the provision of mass employ-

precast brand for their Expanded Public

ment. When Rocla was awarded the

Works Programme projects.”

(Above, from top): Gert van Wyk Marketing Manager of Bosun Group and Guinevere Thomas Group Marketing and Communications Manager for Infrastructure Specialist Group.


The quantity surveying profession is a

of around 55 Green Star SA office build-

key component of the construction sup-

ings certified by the GBCSA between

ply chain – but all supply chain members

2008 and 2014.

have to share commitment and combine

According to Hoffman, one of the

forces to make sustainable building

greatest challenges facing green build-

more acceptable in South

ing in South Africa is fear

Africa, says Danie Hoffman,

of the unknown, particularly

a professional member of the

costing. He says green build-

Association of SA Quantity

ing techniques are of ten

Surveyors (ASAQS).

perceived as expensive and


Hoffman, the Progamme

challenging to execute – but

Leader of Quantity Surveying

this need not be the case,

developers, designers, contractors and

at the University of Pretoria’s

particularly when full life-


Department of Construction

cycle costing of building is

Economics, is currently lead-

added to the equation.

“Quantity surveyors are essential links in the supply chain, as they’re involved from initial design stage to the conclusion

ing a study by ASAQS of the Complex issues

of construction processes, and can advise

“Life-cycle costing covers all

on the specification of construction ma-

of SA (GBCSA). The study – which is well

the financial implications of building, from

terials and prepare and control budgets,

advanced – involves comparative costing

concept to end-of-life, and incorporates

as well as expenditure,” Hoffman explains.

true cost of “green building” for the Green Building Council

(Above): ASAQS professional member, Danie Hoffman.

the costs of construction, materials, design, engineering, water and electric-

Green initiatives

ity tariffs, heating and cooling, repair

He believes educational institutions

costs and eventual disposal cost, or

also have an important role to play

residual value.

to promote the cause of sustainable

“Quantity surveyors, as cost consult-

construction by informing the entire

ants, will play an increasingly important

industry of the availability of sustain-

role to inform decision-makers on green

able materials and technologies, and

building. However, the responsibility for

the benefits of best practice. “One of

cost-effective green building solutions

the greatest challenges facing ‘green

will have to be shared between quantity

building’ in South Africa is fear of the

surveyors and the entire supply chain:

unknown, particularly costing.”

IMPRESSIVE RETAINING WALL BR W P r oje c ts r e c en tl y c omple t e d

important to mention that for a wall this

work on one of the highest Terraforce

high, drainage needs to be perfect. In this

concrete retaining block (CRB) walls in

instance, we installed an agricultural drain

South Africa.

behind the foundation, with 19 mm stone

Situated in Salt Rock, KwaZulu-Natal,

wrapped in Bidim, while a V-drain was

Brettenwood Estate is a private hous-

installed at the top and behind the wall.”

ing and retirement village surrounded by

Ben adds that the Terraforce L13

high, red dunes close to the sea. There

blocks, manufactured by Corobrik Dur-

are three big CRB walls at Brettenwood,

ban, a member of the CMA, were chosen by Vista Homes due to its extensive

with this example being the highest. Says Ben van Schalkwyk of BRW Projects: “The highest wall reaches up to 12,6 m and is comprised of a double skin of

(Above): Brettenwood Estate in Salt Rock has one of the highest Terraforce CRB walls in South Africa.

experience with these blocks. Vista was the main contractor on site and had previously used Terraforce blocks for

L13 blocks all the way to the top. The con-

All backfill material consists of stabi-

crete foundation is 1 200 mm wide, 450

lised fill (three bags of cement to a cube

In total, 162 000 L13 blocks were used

mm thick and reinforced with Y12 steel

of soil) and every metre of the height of

for this wall, while 120 000 blocks were

bars that protrude into the double layer of

the wall, a 2 m-wide layer of Bidim was

used on the second wall and 90 000 blocks

the first row of blocks that were set in the

installed in the backfill. Finally, behind

on the third wall. There are also about 10

wet concrete. The first nine double layers

every line of blocks the backfill was com-

other smaller walls in the estate built with

of blocks were filled with mass concrete.

pacted to MOD.AASHTO standard. It is

L22 and Geolock 300 blocks.




large projects.



Tough economy stifles construction

sures on commodity prices. This

Echoing Minnaar’s discussion on the

has caused turmoil among producer

current economic situation, econo-

countries and has led indirectly to

mist David Metelerkamp of Industry

emerging economies taking a beat-

Insight says indications

ing. While the world’s

are that South Africa’s

economy is expected

construction industry will

to grow by only 2,6%,

be stuck in an extended

South Africa’s economy

As emerging market currencies take a

period of low growth for

will be even slower, at

pounding on world markets and the rand

the foreseeable future.

just 0,7%.”

tests new lows against the US dollar,

Speaking at the an-

He cited the following

it is prudent for the local construction

nual feedback session

areas as being poten-

industry to seek more efficient ways of

of the Concrete Manu-

developing much-needed infrastructure

facturers Association

and housing.

NPC (CMA) in Kempton

tially lucrative in the (Above): David Metelerkamp of Industry Insight.

year ahead: 1. Property trusts and

Weighing in with some positive in-

Park recently. He explained that the

funds are buoyant and continue to

put on current economic challenges,

construction industry is intrinsically

invest in properties.

Executive Director of the Concrete

linked to the economy and that the

2. Retail construction is booming

Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA),

battered state of our economy will

and showed an 18% annual growth

Frans Minnaar, says that the construc-

probably take a long time to recover

last year.

tion industry can weather the storm

from its current state.

3. The affordable housing market con-

by ensuring that faster, more efficient

However, there is a glimmer of

methods are employed to construct

hope for role-players in the industry

4. Townhouse developments ar e

infrastructure, roads and houses.

tinues to grow at 8% per annum.

who should look towards sectors that

He explains: “Bearing in mind that

are performing well and tailor offer-

5. There are well publicised plans for

government has to deliver on a fair amount

ings to meet demands. Also, in cer-

a M e g a - H o u si n g p r o j e c t s i n

of promised development projects to

tain geographical areas requirements

Gauteng, with 700 000 units

soothe the expectations of its support-

exist for housing, infrastructure,

planned in four years.

ers, it’s not unreasonable to believe that

etc which can drive local construc-

6. Similar pr ojec ts ar e planned

many of these projects will have to be

tion economies far higher than the

completed soon, irrespective of economic

average. Moreover, sectors such as


data. Along with private sector projects,

retail are booming and construction

“It pays to make use of informa-

this will give some impetus to the market

of retail centres is at an all-time high.

tion at the disposal of the industry

and will provide some stimulation for the

“Since the global economic crisis

and to capitalise on the many op-

industry which will no doubt lead to fierce

in 2008, the world has experienced

portunities that exist in order to

competition among bidders”.

the slowest recovery from such an

ensure that your business doesn’t

event ever. In addition, the slowdown

remain stagnant during this period,”

of China is putting immense pres-

concluded Metelerkamp.

On the upside With the expectation of tighter budgets


growing by 6%.

for KZN and pockets across the


and shorter delivery times that will be

precast elements improves quality of

this problem and save additional rands in

required to ease government’s mount-

workmanship, as elements are produced

years to come.”

ing delivery pressures, the answer to

under well-controlled conditions in estab-

“Simultaneously, the use of precast

sustainable construction will lie in the

lished factories. Rather than sacrificing

concrete products will ensure stability

use of more efficient techniques. While

quality for speed, contractors will then

in the workplace with the provision of

traditional building product suppliers may

have the opportunity to address govern-

long-term job security in factories. It’s

be in for a tough time, Minnaar believes

ment’s need for improved quality, as well

also well known that the use of precast

that precast concrete product suppliers

as speed and lower costs.

concrete products is creating short-

will fare better, as their products will

term jobs for local communities during

provide “under-pressure” contractors

Smarter methods

the installation and placing of these

with faster and more efficient means of

“Rebuilds currently cost government mil-

products and it therefore serves a dual


lions of rands per annum and with a move

purpose as far as job

“In order to effectively complete pro-

to quality precast concrete

jects, government and private-sector

products (manufactured by

“By simply changing

investors will have to look at more efficient

CMA member producers), an

the way we design and

ways of construction in future, with the

opportunity exists to eliminate

specify materials for

creation is concerned.”

use of high-quality products that will speed

building projects,

up installation and provide shorter project

we have the potential to de-

durations. Contractors, too, will have to

liver more for less. While economic

operate more smartly and do careful cal-

realities no doubt has an impact on the

culations regarding materials, transport,

delivery of infrastructure and housing, a

installation and labour costs, in order to be

shift to precast concrete has the oppor-

more efficient and competitive.”

tunity to save end-users time and money

Also, while speed will be of the es-

to ensure development continues at an

sence on future projects, a move to using

acceptable pace,” concludes Minnaar.


CAPE TOWN Montreal Drive, Airport Industria 7490 P.O.Box 6074, Roggebaai 8012 Tel (021) 386-1923 • Fax (021) 386-2514

GAUTENG Verwoerd Road, Meyerton 1961 P.O. Box 694, Meyerton 1961 Tel (016) 362-2236 • Fax (016) 362-2235

CMA ENTERS NEW ERA Not a moment too soon, the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) is in the process of registering an all-new company to undertake quality assurance services and issue the long-awaited CMA Mark of Approval to verify product compliance with SANS specifications on behalf of its members. Until now, the SABS had been the only certification body active in the concrete manufacturing industry, but long and costly delays in the issuing of marks of approval were hampering the industry and members called for swift action to address the situation. This prompted the CMA to establish the new company, which will test and verify

assurance and certification company that

compliance with SANS specifications. The

will be able to take over the responsibility

company will open its doors in May 2016

for the precast concrete industry.

after it has completed trial assessments

Incumbent General Manager of the

and received the go-ahead

new CMA quality assur-

from the South African

ance company, Christo van

National Accr editation

Zyl, updated members on

System (SANAS).

progress towards estab-

The Quality Assurance

lishing the CMA Mark of

division will be operated

Approval at the CMA feed-

as a separate revenue-

back session held in Kemp-

generating company, with

ton Park recently. “We’re

the CMA holding 100%

currently in the process

shares in the business.

of submitting our quality

Revenues generated will

management system to

be used to fund operations and profits received

(Above): CMA Executive Director, Frans Minnaar.

SANAS for accreditation. Once this has been done,

will be used to supplement

we’ll begin to determine

the CMA’s coffers, thus

costs and select ‘guinea

reducing its dependency

pig’ customers and prod-

on grants. CMA Executive

ucts to go through assess-

Director Frans Minnaar

ment under the scrutiny

says a general manager

of SANAS. Once that’s

and marketing manager

been completed and we’re

will be formally appointed

awarded SANAS accredi-

soon to star t the ball

tation, we’ll be allowed to

rolling. “T he establish-

open for business.”

ment of the company is

He says it is a common

a step in the right direc-

misconception that only

tion and ensur es tha t our members will be able to prove their compliance

(Above): General Manager of the new CMA Quality Assurance company, Christo van Zyl.

the SABS can provide certification of SANS specifications and issue a mark of

with SANS specifications without being

approval (SABS Mark of Approval). It is im-

hamstrung by inefficiencies of outside

portant to remember that since 1994, the

certification agencies.“

standard specifications no longer belong to a specific certification authority and any

CMA Mark Scheme

properly registered certification authority

While certain members remain unable to

may assess and certify companies to the

obtain certification due to backlogs at

SANS specifications which are our national

the SABS (and other reasons), the CMA

specifications. “Our specifications are only

is working rapidly to start up a quality

printed by the SABS.”


Recounting the activities of the organi-

Powerful web presence CMA members have entered the “Internet

sation during the CMA’s annual feedback

of Things” with the launch of the interac-

session, Executive Director Frans Min-

tive World of Precast web portal that

naar said that the association is engag-

allows users to submerse themselves

ing more closely with its members and is

in a world where concrete products and

becoming actively involved in addressing

manufacturers are just a click away.

challenges to assist them as well as

The experience-based

identifying opportunities

website is based on a 3D

wherever they exist. High-

visual representation of a

lights of the year included

city and allows browsers

the planning and near-

to delve deeper and find

f inalisation of the new

products and manufac-

CMA website, as well as

turers to undertake their

World of Precast interac-

pr oje c t s. T he w eb si t e

tive web portal. Planning of

also cr oss-r e f er ences

the CMA Mark of Approval

products with the CMA

was also undertaken and

members that manufac-

all the necessary steps

ture the goods in order to ease the search for

(Above): Steve Cowling of WOW Interactive.

precast concrete product manufacturers. World of Precast was

put in place to launch a new 100% CMA-owned quality assurance company

to manage the certification process.

conceptualised and built by WOW Inter-

Reach-out roadshows were held in new

active and provides a unique tool that

areas to introduce the CMA to manufac-

is visual and easy to use. Steve Cowling

turers, as well as end users in the Kwa-

of WOW Interactive says the portal has

Zulu Natal and Limpopo areas. In addition,

been specially designed with 14 fields,

seminars on the new ISO 9001:2015

each a visual rendering, that clicks through

quality assurance standard, as well as the

directly to manufacturers and products.

Hybricem hybrid building techniques, were

It is infinitely searchable, giving users a

held across the country. The association’s

unique experience to interact with the con-

presence was also felt at the Totally Con-

crete world that we live in. Enter the World

crete trade show, where the CMA boasted

of Precast at

a large booth that included participation of 15 members, each with a panel on the

The year that was

stand and room for their technical repre-

In many ways, the year 2015 was a spring-

sentatives to interact with visitors.

board for bigger and better things to come

During 2015 the membership remained

from the CMA with a number of new initia-

largely unchanged, with four new members

tives planned.

and four resignations. At the end of the year, the membership was as follows:





Contractors Associates Cement producers Total

5 14 4 132

New publications launched during the year included a much-needed Manhole Manual, as well as Quality Management System Guidelines. Sales of existing publications went well, with good sales of the Structural



Concrete Masonry Design Guide, Lock-

country roadshow and a host of semi-

Simultaneously, Precast magazine is

pave & Permpave programmes and the

nars planned so far.

growing in leaps and bounds, with ap-

Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Paving.

With SABS cer tifications taking unacceptably long, the CMA is launch-

proximately 8 000 people reading the magazine per issue.

The CMA’s road ahead

ing its own cer tification agency to

This year promises to be an exciting

assist its members to

we took ownership of the

year for the CMA with the launch of a

obtain certification on

magazine eight years ago,

new certification company, a round-the-

required SANS stand-

it’s has gone from a loss-

ards in order to qualify

making publication that

for tenders and meet

c os t the asso cia tion

engineering specifica-

a considerable amount

tions. A series of com-

of money to a no-risk

bined roadshows will be

publication for the CMA

held across the country

that’s well respected

t o ann o un c e an d e x-

and eagerly anticipated



Publisher Andrew Meyer says: “Since

plain the transition from SABS certification to the CM A’s ow n mar k MANHOLE MANUAL






(Above): Some of the new publications launched during the year.

by members and all those (Above): Andrew Meyer, publisher of Precast magazine.

of approval, as well as introduce new

involved in the manufacture and procurement of

precast concrete products.”

members and users in far-flung areas

While neither the association nor its

to the services of the CMA. Seminars

members are required to contribute

planned thus far will include Roof Tiles,

towards publishing of the magazine, it

Lintels, Paving and Permpave.

does need advertising in order to survive

Publications will also receive atten-

and members are urged to continue to

tion, with the Roof Tile and Paving manu-

support the magazine. The association

als up for review. An investigation is also

will continue to step up its public rela-

being led to establish the need for a Wet

tions efforts throughout the year and

Cast Paving manual to be developed.

will remain visible through participation

Market leader in Hollowcore – Western Cape

Multi Story Buildings, High Strength Security Walls, Retaining Walls

A Corner Fabriek & Oop Street, Bellville South T

021 951 7700


Member of

Part of the


in trade shows such as the Cape Con-


TWO • 201


struction Expo and Totally Concrete 2016 later in the year. the


– QUaL

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Technical feedback



The CMA’s Technical Committee, under the watchful eye of Taco Voogt, never





• 20







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• 2015

rests as they move from

the cm

a – QUa

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precast concrete industry to m







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20 yea rs


manufacturers and end users’


• Ne w ho me for • Push CMA ing pro ducti • Pio on wit neeri ng pre h self-c stres ompa sed sla cting concret b ma nufac e turer celeb rates

another and ensure that both


yc as

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the old standard, which was open to


pipe to the test


• CMA’s new Exec utive Dire • Concret ctor e masonry pitfalls • Durban and solu Bluff proj tions ect puts watertight jacking


pavers and brought about changes to


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cs ne ow ethi roval of -ren App world code k of ew for • N A Mar idge M br st •C reca P •

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1058:2012 standard for concrete


yc as

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different interpretations. The changes included a modification to the effect that

SANS 542:2015 for concrete roofing

historically proven aggregates may now

tiles, where minor changes and admin-

be used. Water absorption requirements

istrative revisions were made. SANS

have been taken out of the main body and

541:2012 precast concrete slabs was

moved to an annex as a recommendation

scrutinised and contradictory wear and

only. The tensile splitting test

abrasion requirements were

length determination of a block

amended. Interestingly, it was

was defined and the K-factor

also found that equipment re-

has been removed from the

quired to do the tests was not

standard. These suggestions

available in the country. SANS

have been submitted to the

927:2013 for concrete kerbs,

SABS for ratification.

edgings and channels was also changed, among many others.

Changes were also on the cards for SANS 1215:2008

Voogt warned members

concrete masonry units, with

that the SABS auditing division

the f irst action called f or

has recently clamped down on

being the adoption of BS EN 771-3:2003. This resulted

(Above): Taco Voogt.

CMA members with regard to the interpretation of national

in the new SANS 50771-3:2015 being

standards. This has led to certifications

promulgated and the workgroup has

being withheld on products that previously

subsequently requested that the old

did conform – in particular, on the compli-

SANS 1215:2008 be withdrawn. Other

ance with SANS 1083 for aggregates for

amendments have also been made to

concrete, etc.



MOVE TO ENSURE QUALITY PRECAST CONCRETE PRODUCTS The construction and financial industries

limited to the quality of workmanship only,

any process, but with thorough controls,

in South Africa are becoming increasingly

instead of realising that quality assurance

these should be very limited and time-

aware of the value of using products that

should be an overall concept of service,

ous quality assurance assessments and

have been specifically manufactured for

manufacturing, delivering and installation.

surveys should actually prevent it from

construction projects under strictly

If you examine a common example of failure

occurring,” says Minnaar.

controlled conditions.

to deliver, such as what is happening at

During times of economic strain,

large construction projects like power

Insist on quality

decision-makers especially are aware

stations, you will soon realise that delays

He adds that for this reason, the CMA

of the value for money and preventing

and even strikes by workforces are caused

has set a goal for 2016 and onwards to

unnecessary re-work or replacement

by lack of quality assurance in different

play an important role in preventing the

costs. A ccor ding to the C oncr e te

aspects of the projects.

use of poor-quality precast products

Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA)

in the industry. The introduction of the

Executive Director, Frans Minnaar, if

CMA Accreditation and Mark of Approval

one looks at the construction industry

marks a proactive step by the asso-

as a whole, one will realise that quality

ciation to further improve the quality of

assurance forms an integral part of the

precast concrete products offered by its

total construction process.

members to the construction industry.

The success of construction will

In future it will be a requirement for

always be influenced by all parts of the

members of the CMA to implement a

process and the successful execution of each stage is vitally important not

(Above): The CMA Mark of approval.

standardised quality assurance system within precast manufacturing plants

only for the final use of developments

“These include: poor planning, mis-

that will be assessed and evaluated by

but also for the thorough utilisation

taken procurement, poor services such

competent systems auditors to en-

of investments, government funds and

as human resource functions, poor

sure compliance with applicable South

public money.

control on deliveries, etc. For every

African National Standards. Products

single function in any project, there are

manufactured in accordance with SANS

Quality systems

standards available for the implementa-

standards will receive the CMA Mark of

“By implementing quality assurance dur-

tion of quality assurance in services and

Approval as proof of compliance.

ing the entire process, successful and

production which have to be enforced

“The CMA wants the industry to be

timeous completion of projects becomes

both by the client and the contractor.

confident in the use of products that

a reality. If one starts to investigate the

If that is enforced and controlled cor-

carry the CMA Accreditation or Mark of

unsuccessful projects reported through

rectly, then theoretically (apart from

Approval and be safe in the knowledge that

the media, it soon becomes apparent

natural influences such as weather

the product complies with the required

that the causes for failures or delays are

conditions or natural disasters) there

standards. We also want to see the in-

usually a result of the lack of adherence

should be no delays or failures caused by

dustry specifying only products that carry

to proper quality assurance systems.

these aspects of a project. Obviously it

the CMA mark and, in so doing, ensure

“The problem is that in many instances

is human to err and one can still expect

good-quality precast concrete products

the interpretation of quality assurance is

certain non-conformities to get through

are used in future,” Minnaar concludes.


Building material producer associations

materials are used,” says Nico Pienaar,

mal or unregistered end of the industry,

are calling for tighter specifications to be

Director on the boards of both asso-

there are no checks and balances and no

applied when awarding tenders to ensure

ciations. While some professional bodies

real way of knowing what you are buying.

that the principles of quality are applied

within the industry have begun question-

Did the so-called readymix supplier use

from the very beginning.

ing government’s tender process and the

inferior-quality cement, was batching done

In light of government’s rising repair

awarding of tenders to inexperienced

correctly, were the desired mixes adhered

bill, the Aggregate and Sand Producers’

(cheap) contractors, he cautions that

to or did the supplier use aggregates with

Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa),

attention also needs to be given to ensur-

the right mineral composition?”

as well as the Southern Africa Readymix

ing quality building materials are used.

Association (Sarma), whose materials

A quick fix

constitute the vast majority of materi-

Low entry barriers

“It is therefore imperative that gov-

als on any standard construction site,

“In South Africa it is a fact that anybody

ernment and the formal construction

suggest that the most likely cause of

can buy a mixer truck and start producing

industry become serious about quality

structure failures is the use of inferior

‘readymix concrete’. Likewise, sand and

and begin to ensure that materials are

or non-suitable materials.

stone can be excavated from any vacant

procured only from professional suppliers

“No matter how good the design is

lot and be labelled as building sand and ag-

who are registered with the relevant in-

or how skilled the workmen are, the

gregates. But the reality is that this does

dustry association and who are regularly

structure will fail every time if unsuitable

not constitute proper building material.

measured against strict standards and

“Industry associations such as ours were established specifically to bring

criteria, as is the case with both Sarma and Aspasa members.

regulation to our industries and formalise

“It is our belief that government can

them to the extent that members can be

dramatically reduce failures and subse-

relied upon to produce products which

quent expenses resulting from rebuilds

conform to the standards required by

simply by procuring building materials

their customers.

from compliant and registered compa-

“If procurement is done from the infor-

nies,” concludes Pienaar.





COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE IN EASTERN CAPE construction in a short period and enjoy

Brick and block equipment manufacturer,

As part of the department’s com-

Hydraform, has contributed to the con-

mitment to development and upliftment,

struction of 27 affordable homes in the

the Radway Green Farm community just

Eastern Cape on behalf of the Department

outside Grahamstown is being provided

Helping development

of Rural Development & Land Reform.

with permanent shelter during a process

Beyond supplying machinery, Hydraform’s

that would offer them employment while

participation in this project has not only

teaching them invaluable skills.

helped create shelter for worthy citi-

benefits beyond housing delivery.”

Hydraform is a CMA member and has

zens, but has involved the community in

been a forerunner in the industry for close

the construction of their own houses.

to three decades, supplying interlocking

Radway Green Farm community members

block-making machinery to a growing

have also benefited from being gainfully

market and of f ering the necessar y

employed during this process and have

training and skills development to inform

acquired the necessary transferable

and enhance the user’s experience of

skills in both block-making using Hydra-

the machinery. This existing model fed

form’s technology and construction.

into the company’s extended offering to

“The community members we em-

deliver turnkey solutions for specialised

ployed for this project previously had

housing delivery.

n o tr ans f er ab l e sk ills, o th er th an

Sales & Mar ke ting Dir ec tor f or

farming. Now they have the ability to

Hydraform, Nazlie Dickson notes: “The

produce blocks and build using Hydra-

opportunity this initiative gave us was

form interlocking building technology.

to implement our own project and prove

A key objective of the project was to

that a community can be transformed

ensure that the community members

and enabled by participating in local

were not only beneficiaries of homes,


but were trained in block-making and

are no formal water and power facilities

construction as part of their skills

or supply. But this made no difference

development. The community produced

to the performance of our machinery,

150 000 blocks that went into building

which is highly mobile and can produce

their houses,” she says.

blocks on site.”

The Hydraform block-making machinery was transported to site, ensuring a

The right solution

good- quality product that didn’t have

Hydr a f orm block-mak ing machiner y

to travel far to get to its destina-

provides smart solutions to the logistical

tion, which cut down tremendously on

challenges presented by a rural build

transportation costs and rendered the

and due to its innovative dry-stacking

product more inherently energy-efficient.

method, the final product has a lower

The Radway Green Farm project also

embodied energy than traditional bricks

offered a unique set-up to test out the

and blocks.“Hydraform blocks are not

versatility and robust nature of the

baked or fired, which saves a remarkable

machinery. Notes Dickson: “The project

amount of energy.

itself is in a rural setting where there

“The dry-stack interlocking technology also saves construction time and cement costs, as well as providing materials with less embodied energy, contributing to a structure that is greener overall. This project is a self-sustainable and independent development that included solar power generation and a waste management system, as well as water delivery.” Hydr af orm’s pr oduct o f f ering is uniquely positioned to serve developing countries in their quest for infrastructure development and stability due to its inherent adaptability. “Our products are able to work around infrastructural constraints and still deliver housing, public buildings, clinics and schools – even in the most remote areas. This extended offering means we make meaningful contributions to South Africa’s job creation, skills development and community upliftment objectives,” concludes Dickson.


African to serve in this capacity.

Concrete Institute, has been elected

ISCP, of which Perrie has been a

Vice-President of the International

board member for several years, has

Society for Concrete Pavements (ISCP).

since its establishment in 1997 aimed

Perrie is one of South Africa’s

to “facilitate the advancement

leading authorities on concrete

of knowledge and technology

pavements and globally respected

related to concrete pavements

in this field, having delivered

through education, technology

papers on the subject at dozens

transfer and research at an

of top-level conferences all over

international level”.

the world. He was elected to the

The ISCP’s current Board of

new ISCP post at a recent ISCP meeting

Directors comprises concrete pavement

which coincided with the Transportation

authorities from many countries, includ-

Research Board’s 95th annual meeting

ing Chile, Germany, Australia, the USA,

held in Washington and is the first South

Canada and Belgium.


WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS Three companies recently joined the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) to share in the combined knowledge of the association, be part of the drive to promote the use of precast concrete and ensure quality products and reliable services. The new members include Polokwane-based Coreslab, a thriving precast manufacturer and hollow core specialist. The company opened its doors in 2008 as a hollow core plant focusing mainly on residential projects. As the company grew, the owners began exploring various different fields and soon diversified to include infrastructural and other types of structures into their nationwide repertoire. Since then the company has successfully completed a number of impressive projects, including a 50 ML precast water reservoir, a complete pavilion with precast columns, raker beams, seating benches and closures, as well as its latest project, a six-storey hotel in Thohoyandou using precast columns, beams, hollow core slabs and wall panels. Another innovator and welcome addition to the CMA family is Cemblocks, a company which has built up a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the manufacture of bricks, building blocks and paver bricks. The Rustenburg-based company has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of paving and building blocks in North West Province by relying on its cumulative knowledge and using of the latest technology to remain a market leader in its area of operation. Apart from its home territory, the company also distributes products to Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and even Botswana. The company manufactures about 3 500 m2 of paving at the specialised paving plant and an average of 470 000 bricks/building blocks per day. West Rand-based Econo Cast is another company that has taken innovation to the maximum with its thermal slab products. In addition to beams, lintels and ash blocks, the company manufactures a lightweight expanded polystyrene block and pre-stressed rib system to meet increasing demands for thermal efficiency, as well as offering a lightweight and easy-to-erect system in place of traditional bricks-and-mortar techniques. The company’s slab system is said to be 30% lighter than equivalent concrete rib and block slabs. In addition, the company offers services that include civil and structural engineering, raft foundations, earthworks, platforms, reinforcing, concrete and power floating, as well as completion certificates.

(Above, from top left): Econo Cast provides alternative products to meet demand for thermally efficient building; the Cemblocks plant in Rustenburg; Coreslab provides innovative precast products.


The acquisition of Polish precast concrete

aligned very well with our customers and

machinery manufacturer and CMA mem-

employees,” says Goode.

ber, Techmatik, by USA-based Columbia

Dariusz Kupidura, founder and Presi-

Machine will strengthen the combined

dent of Techmatik, adds: “We’re excited

companies’ offering and provide improved

to be part of the Columbia family of

support services to global customers.

companies. Our companies work very

This is according to Rick Goode, CEO

well together. Columbia’s worldwide

of Columbia Machine, who added that

sales and service channels should help

Techmatik is a recognised leader in the

Techmatik continue to grow, while we’re

design and manufacturing of moulds,

also looking forward to helping Columbia

production machines (“big board”), han-

support its existing customers in other

dling, cubing, curing, batching and mixing

markets with local parts, mould and

solutions for the production of paving

service capabilities.”

stones, hardscapes and other dry cast


facturing and support of equipment for

The partnership is expected to take

a variety of industries, with customers

the combined company to the next level,

in over 100 countries around the world.

“Techmatik has been our strategic

with both companies’ customers and em-

Primary business units include batching

partner for almost 10 years and our

ployees expected to benefit from the com-

and mixing, concrete products equip-

companies have collaborated on mould

bined strength in product offerings and

ment, production equipment moulds,

and equipment solutions for a number

worldwide customer support capabilities.

mechanical palletising machines, robotic

of customers around the world. Its in-

Established in 1937, Columbia Ma-

palletising solutions, conveyor system

novative product designs, best-in-class

chine is a third-generation, privately

solutions, pallet load transfer solutions

quality and customer-centric focus has

held, global leader in the design, manu-

and manufacturing services.

concrete products.

CEO OF THE YEAR CMA member Sika won the award for Best CEO of the Year last year, beating competition from the largest listed companies in Switzerland. The ranking is compiled by Obermatt, a Swiss financial research firm focused on indexing company performance. The Obermatt CEO of the Year rankings measure a company’s performance against that of its competitors. The performance metrics which are monitored are sales growth, operating performance and total shareholder return. The top ranking of Sika is based on its strong results of the past three years – the best ever in Sika’s history. It’s outperformed companies such as Geberit, Lindt & Sprüngli, Barry Callebaut and Givaudan, while others such as Roche, Nestlé or Novartis failed to reach the top 10 ranking. Sika CEO Jan Jenisch acknowledges the comp any’s glob al employ ees as f ollows: “Friends, this award goes to all of you and we’d like to congratulate you for making Sika one of the most successful companies. You consequently implemented Sika’s Strategy 2018 and made our growth model work.” (Above): Sika CEO Jan Jenisch.





INCREASING CAPACITY IN DUBAI Dubai’s Consent LLC has bought a concrete block machine from CMA member, Techmatik, for $2,7 million. Consent LLC is the United Arab Emirates licensee of


another CMA member, Terraforce. Manufactured in Poland, the Techmatik SHP 5000 Pro C can produce concrete blocks from 40-550 mm. Quiet and energy-efficient, its steel pallets ensure an output which is consistently high.

Techmatik CEO, Dariusz Kupidura,

E xpor ting throughout the world,

observes: “We’re a family-owned com-

Consent LLC is a leading manufacturer of

pany and ongoing business partnerships

concrete products and polyester straps.

have always been important to us. We

Its largest production facility is located

believe this is the beginning of just such

in the UAE and it supplies kerbstones,

a partnership.”

(Above, from left): Techmatik CEO, Dariusz Kupidura (left) and Alan Sakr, Group General Manager of Consent LLC (image by courtesy of www.thebig5hub. com); South Africa’s humble Spekboom covers this Terraforce block wall at Al Jalila Children’s Hospital in Dubai, UAE.

The past decade has seen Terraforce

paving blocks, granix tiles, masonry

Techmatik supplies moulds for the

steadily extending its footprint into the

blocks, retaining wall blocks and other

production of paving blocks and decora-

international retaining-wall market. Based

custom-made precast products.

tive concrete products, concrete block

in Cape Town, the company is a precast

Alan Sakr, Group General Manager of

machines, complete process plants, con-

concrete manufacturer specialising in

Consent LLC, comments: “We’re currently

crete mixing plants and machines used to

modular, hollow-core concrete blocks and

working on several projects, so it’s hard

manufacture vibrated, pressed and ready-

since its inception over 25 years ago, it

to say what the equipment will be used for

mixed concrete. The company delivers its

has maintained a strong foothold in the

initially, but Dubai’s Palm Islands and sev-

block-making equipment directly to several

South African CRB wall market. See more

eral city parks, including Zabeel, are some

hundred customers worldwide. For fur-


of our most important ongoing projects.”

ther information, visit:


CMA member Sika is opening its first con-

another milestone in the consequent

42-45% by 2018. Africa is one of the

crete admixture and mortar production

execution of Sika’s Strategy 2018. With

focus regions for us going forward and

facilities in Nigeria and Ivory Coast. The

the latest investments, we’ll further

our investment is already bearing fruit,

global specialty chemicals company has

accelerate our growth in sub-Saharan

with Sika’s sales in the region improving

established new subsidiaries in Ethiopia

Africa and increase Sika’s market share.

by 18% in the last year,” says Schuler.

and Tanzania and is enlarging its presence

It demonstrates our strong belief in the

to 16 countries on the African continent.

potential and the prosperous future of

Sika established the subsidiary in

the continent.”

Nigeria and Ivory Coast in 2014 and is

According to him, Nigeria is the

currently investing in local production

biggest economy in Africa in terms of

facilities in Lagos and Abidjan. The plants

population and GDP. With roughly 180

will manufacture high-quality concrete

million inhabitants and an expected an-

admixtures and mortars to supply the

nual growth rate of approximately 5%,

booming construction, refurbishment and

the country will have major requirements

maintenance markets in these countries,

in the construction sector. In addition,

where a large number of international

with 23 million inhabitants, Ivory Coast is

and medium-sized local contractors are

one of the smaller African countries, but

working on contracts, particularly in oil

also offers promising growth potential for

and gas, infrastructure, commercial and

Sika. Cement consumption in both coun-

residential projects.

tries is expected to grow by 9% in 2015.

Paul Schuler, Sika Regional Manager

“One pillar of Sika’s Strategy 2018

EMEA, emphasises the importance of

is the accelerated build-up of emerging

Sika’s expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa:

markets and the expansion of the supply

“Our new production facilities in Nigeria

chain. The overall objective is to increase

and Ivory Coast and our new subsidiar-

sales generated in emerging markets

ies in Tanzania and Ethiopia represent

from the current 37% of total sales to

(Above): Sika’s new Nigerian plant.

10 DO’S AND DON’TS OF DEFENSIVE DRIVING Defensive driving should

1. Stay focused on your driving. Keep

distance behind the car in front of you

be one of the top priori-

your hands on the wheel in the 10

is very important.

ties for any company to

o’clock and 2 o’clock positions.

7. Make yourself visible. Know the limita-

preserve its health and

2. Do not engage in other tasks while

tions of the colour of your vehicle

sa f e t y p er f or mance,

driving: “Defensive driving does not

and how conspicuous it is, especially

said A ndries Marais,

allow for eating, drinking, smoking, do-

in gloomy, overcast conditions.

Safety, Health, Environ-

ing make-up, holding something or

8. Avoid road rage incidents and stay

ment & Quality manager

using a cellphone,” Marais warned

calm, even if provoked.

of the Chryso Southern Africa Group in

9. Adapt to road conditions, especially

an address to his colleagues and fellow

if weather conditions or road surfaces

members of the CMA recently.

change and traffic volumes pick up or

Marais was speaking at an a.b.e. Con-


struction Chemicals quarterly company

10. Familiarise yourself with the traffic

performance briefing session in Boksburg

rules – and obey them.

which was organised by Chryso Group

“The company has achieved an excep-

Vice-President, Norman Seymore. a.b.e.

tionally good health and safety perfor-

is part of the Chryso Southern Africa Group of which Seymore is CEO.

mance in the past year, but the alarming 3. Scan the environment around you all

statistics about motor vehicle accidents

Marais said employees should be

the time and be aware of what’s hap-

– especially in the construction industry

aware that South Africa’s road safety re-

pening on the road or sidewalks.

– leave no room for complacency,” Marais

cord is appalling and that defensive driv-

4. Stay alert and don’t drive if you’re

added. The Department of Labour recently

ing while on company business should be a

said that the SA construction industry

major concern, whether delivering goods

5. Go with the flow. Driving at the same

had a less than 50% rate of compliance

by truck, driving to see a customer, or

pace as the traffic flow is the safest

with health and safety regulations.

travelling to and from the office. He listed

option – neither faster nor much slower.

some cardinal rules for defensive driving:

6. The two-second rule for keeping your


tired or upset.

(Far left): Andries Marais of Chryso Southern Africa Group.





Throughout Europe and parts of the developed world, the need for strong, versatile and well-insulated building has popularised the use of a type of precast wall which is easy to manufacture, install and provides unmatched insulation and strength characteristics. Precast sandwich walls have been in use in Europe for decades, with some adaptations made to suit local requirements. However, the basic principle remains the same: two walls of reinforced concrete separated by an interior void and held together with interior trusses made of steel, wood or composite materials, depending on strength and insulation requirements. This provides a wall that is equally strong or stronger than bricks-andmor tar construction, but with the


noise pollution and other elements.


Perhaps its most important feature,

perhaps invest in systems to manufac-

of construction. Its popularity overseas

however, is that the walls can be mass-

ture sandwich walls locally. We would

is not surprising, as the method arose

produced in precast factories where

be well advised to follow the example of

in response to many of the same chal-

they can be quality-checked, controlled

Europe, where major cement producers

lenges that plague the local construc-

and rolled out in large quantities to

and precast manufacturers collaborate

tion industry today.

meet demands. Once on site, they offer

to develop systems for generic types of

F or ex ample, the lack o f sk illed

further benefits as they are simply

construction, as well as meet specific

artisans on site was becoming a major

erected, fastened and take a fraction

needs for niche applications.

headache, as was the ever-greater

added benefits of outstanding thermal insulation, as well as protection from

of the time (and labour) compared with standard types of construction. Greener alternative With ever-stricter building requirements and a growing demand for energy- efficient building in South Africa, the time may have arrived for local precast companies to investigate and

“Employment opportunities can be transferred from temporary job sites to more permanent opportunities in precast concrete factories and plants.�

need for speed of construction pushing contractors to find alternatives that would enable them to keep pace with deadlines. On the other hand, there was a growing need to meet thermal and energy efficiency targets. These are now becoming familiar challenges locally too and building professionals should note that sandwich walling addresses all of these challenges and provides a number of other compelling benefits. Making sandwich walls Typically, the sandwich wall is constr uc ted w i th t wo sep ar a te walls

(Above): Easy-up houses can be built using precast sandwich wall panels.

As far as sandwich walls are con-

about 5 cm thick and with an insulation

cerned, this practice has led to this type

gap of about 8 cm in between although

of wall panel becoming available in a wide

different thicknesses may be specified

range of widths, lengths, thicknesses

for different applications (no less than

and finishes to suit most requirements.

25 mm is recommended, though). De-

As a result, the product has become a

pending on requirements, the insulation

well-known and mainstream alternative

gap may be filled with insulating foam or

to bricks-and-mortar and other forms

other suitable materials according to


Fit and fix

bridges or connectors should be speci-

Once on site, the panels are simply lifted

fied with the end use in mind, whether

into place and erected using suitable

it be composite materials to assist

fasteners and techniques. The job of

with insulation or steel for strength and

construction is therefore moved away

cost-efficiency, etc.

from time- and labour-intensive bricks-

Reinforcement of the panels will also

and-mortar or masonry work to become a

be manufactured in accordance with

job of fitting and connecting – somewhat

requirements for structural strength,

like building a Meccano or large-scale

as well as other requirements for lifting

Lego set. It also allows for multiple

and handling and transportation of the

trades to be active on site at the same

manufactured unit to the construction

time, as electrical, plumbing, carpentry

site. Panel sizes may vary considerably,

and other trades are mostly pre-installed

but usually make allowance for typical

and can be instantly connected once the

construction standards. Depending

panels are put in place.

“It provides a wall that is equally strong or stronger than bricks-and-mortar construction, but with the added benefits of outstanding thermal insulation.” immediately and begin the fenestration,

on e v en tual end use o f the p anel,

Starting at the ground floor, this

flooring and paving without the usual

manufacturers overseas have become

means that on installation of the ground

delays to cure concrete. Simultaneously,

adept at designing and manufacturing

floor wall panels, the contractor can

where required, the next level may be

panels that are “builder-friendly” through

use the walls for ground stabilisation

added while work underneath continues

the variation of surface finishes for

and in this way the construction time on

external and internal walls.

a project can be dramatically reduced.

For example, walls on the exterior

Finally, one of the greatest attributes

may have hardy and weather-resistant

o f pr ecast sand wich walling is i ts

finishes or could be manufactured to

unmatched performance in terms of

resemble brick or stone finishes, etc.

energy efficiency. It combines the highly

On the interior side, the walls may be

desirable thermal mass properties of

made smooth or have other aesthetically

concrete with the applaudable R-values

appealing characteristics to help

of insulation materials such as expanded

beautify the building’s interior. If desired,

polystyr ene, ex truded polystyr ene,

the concrete may even be stained or

polyiscyanurate or whichever sandwich

coloured to provide permanent and low-

insulation filling is used. Provided the

maintenance finishes. Window and door

materials are properly specified and

openings can be cast into the walls at

designed, the end product is a wall

the manufacturing plant as part of the

tha t should com f or tabl y mee t any

fabrication process and services such as

requirement or specification for “green

electricity, plumbing, etc can be installed directly into the panels, if required.

(Above): Ready-manufactured walls can simply be lifted and fixed into place on site.

building” and energy efficiency. Viable solution Overall, there is much room for the sandwich wall panel to be included in the standard offering of building materials in South Africa. It is strong, provides top-class insulation and dramatically reduces construction times on site. It also has the ability to transform the modern building site into a more advanced arena where a handful of skilled artisans are able to fit and erect structures exactly according to drawing and specifications. Employment opportunities can be transferred from temporary job sites to more permanent opportunities in precast concrete factories and plants, as well as product handling job opportunities between the precast yard and the final building site. While precast sandwich walls may not be a suitable alternative for every project, it is certainly worth

(Above): Precast sandwich walls can be made to have a smart and functional exterior and interior finish.


investigating its feasibility in others.


required performance criteria. Similarly,



READYMIX USAGE KEEPS RISING In recent years the use of readymix

“T hank f ully, through our ongoing

concrete on large-scale building and con-

engagement with the market, as well

struction sites has grown to more than

as high-level meetings with govern-

50% of all concrete used and the figures

ment procurement bodies, industry

show that the trend is continuing.

(Above): Readymix concrete makes sense for any project larger than simple renovations of existing houses such as this tilt up wall to be used in the construction of a house

organisations representing professional

should be able to provide off-the-shelf

In developed countries such as the

engineers, civil engineering contractors,

mix designs to suit applications.

USA, UK and other European countries,

consulting and municipal engineers,

In addition, concrete is manufactured

readymix concrete com-

as well as architectural

in “factory conditions”, which means

prise approximately 90% of

bodies and the quantity

they are easily able to produce consist-

all concrete used, indicat-

surveying fraternity, we’re

ent concrete of the required quality and

ing that there is still much

pleased to see that percep-

specifications for the duration of the

more room for its growth

tions are changing.

project. Site-mixed concrete, on the

as a primary construction

“When one looks deep-

other hand, usually makes it much more

er into site-mixed versus

difficult to produce consistent quality

Johan van Wyk of the

r eadymix on larger pr o-

as the strength varies as long as the

Southern Africa Readymix

jec ts, the pr econcei ved

hosepipe is left in the mix or as long as

Association (Sarma) says

ideas of cheaper concrete

the mixer adds the right quantities and

the gr ow th o f r ead y mi x

can easily be refuted. On

does not get tired of mixing and break

an outright cost basis, the

for lunch, toilet, etc.

material in South Africa.

can be attributed to the requirement for faster con-

(Above): Johan van Wyk, General Manager of Sarma.

use o f sand, aggr egates

Van Wyk explains that Sarma has

struction times, the efficient deploy-

and concrete is far cheaper. However,

played an important role in the industry

ment of labour and quality assurance of

add labour, time, wastage and spoilage

since 2007 when it began emphasis-

Sarma-accredited concrete.

as a result of rain/broken bags etc and

ing the need to improve the quality of

the price swings in favour of readymix,”

readymix concrete to international

says van Wyk.


bagged cement and site mixing mental-

Professional approval

Ongoing upliftment

ity, as it’s always been assumed that

Mix designs according to the above

“Since then, the association’s members

site mixing is a cheaper option. There’s

specifications may take up to 28 days to

have adopted health, safety, environ-

also an assumption that concrete is

refine, test and approve in accordance

mental and quality standards that are

concrete and it doesn’t matter how it’s

with engineer’s requirements. On the

comparable with the very best in the

mixed and handled on site, as long as

other hand, readymix concrete mixes

world. It also plays a leading role in pro-

the instructions on the bag are more

have been tested, approved and certified

moting the use of readymix concrete and

or less followed.

and Sarma-approved readymix suppliers

raising awareness of issues affecting the

Bagged cement stranglehold “In South Africa it’s difficult to break the



concrete and construction industries.

company uses a professional readymix

“The local readymix industry is in good

supplier, it will be able to tap into that

shape and is getting better and smarter

company’s specialist knowledge and have

every day. Our members are leading

concrete made that exactly suits the

the way in terms of innovation and are

workability and strength requirement for

constantly adding products to their of-

a particular project. It can even supply

ferings that are tailored to new building

designer mixes with special properties

techniques and new requirements from

for high-tech building and architectural

the construction industry. Increased

applications,” says van Wyk.


membership has also had another knockon effect, as improved funding allows us

Still the best

to expand our reach and raise further

He concludes that Sarma-accredited

awareness of the benefits of readymix

readymix has the right properties to

concrete among professional associa-

satisfy modern requirements for energy-

tions,” says van Wyk.

efficient building, while providing design-

“The adoption of stricter building

ers with a material that is freely available

practices on residential projects as

and sustainable to uphold environmen-

well as the increasing incorporation of

tally responsible building practices into

readymix to speed up delivery of afford-

the future.

(Above): Readymix is convenient off site or for large jobs at the yard.

which traditionally made use of site-mixing

able housing developments across the

“We therefore foresee a bright future

operations engage with our members or

country will also drive the increased use

for the use of readymix in South Africa

make contact with us to explore potential

of readymix. Most importantly, if the

and would recommend that companies

benefits of using readymix concrete.”


EVOLUTION OF CONVEYOR STRUCTURES Precast concrete structures save time,

(approximately a metre per minute) and

infinitely configurable to meet custom-

money and maintenance costs.

costs approximately 49% less than tra-

ers’ requirements. In addition, it requires

An all-new and innovative precast

ditional methods. Due to the foundation-

minimal maintenance and is quieter, easier

concrete conveyor belt structure has

less design, modules can be added and

and safer to install.

been developed by Tenova TAKRAF Af-

removed as required by simply levelling

“Perhaps the most significant differ-

rica to replace traditional steel support

the ground and laying a foot tile on which

ence is that it empowers local communi-


the structure stands,” says Collier.

ties in terms of job creation and skills development, as precasting facilities

The foundationless concrete conveyor system was conceptualised locally to

Tech specs

need to be set up close to site to manu-

overcome some of the challenges that

The conveyor modules are cast to tie into

facture the products. Local labour can

limit traditional conveyors and provide a

existing infrastructure with standard

be used to manufacture the components

practical evolution of the existing method.

sockets for idler fittings. They can be

and once the project is completed, the

While cost and speed of erection are

used on conveyors ranging from 750-

yard is left in full operational condition

the most immediate benefits of the new

5 000 tons per hour and are configurable

for local community to use. Skills learnt

system, mining and industrial clients will

according to belt width.

by locals can then be transferred to

find a vast array of other equally impor-

manufacture bricks, build walls, sleep-

tant benefits that accrue to making the

ers and install paving to name a few,”

system a worthwhile solution to inves-

adds Collier.

tigate wherever conveyors are needed. Development and manufacture Experience counts

Design and manufacture of the moulds is

Inventor Norman Collier explains that

undertaken by Chloorkop-based Allasso

prior to masterminding the system, he

Construction, which has worked in part-

had been involved in the implementation

nership with Tenova TAKRAF to develop

of two of the world’s largest overland

suitably adjustable and rugged moulds that are able to produce different-sized

conveyors at that time and wanted to develop a system to overcome some of

Each module weighs in at 675 kg ex-

(height, width and length) components

the challenges the team had faced during

cluding material and requires a foot sur-

and remain durable for multiple castings.

those projects.

face area of just under 1 m2. Depending

However, the system is also designed

“Firstly, I wanted to significantly in-

on capacity and speed, the ground bearing

to be used on site with moulds produced

crease the speed of erection of such a

requirement is just 80 kPa compared with

per order and transported to the site in

project to spend less time on site and so

typical platforms that require 100 kPa.

order to simplify logistics and minimise as-

reduce the associated overheads. I also

Where necessary, mini-pile solutions

sociated costs. Once set up, the moulding

wanted to provide the flexibility to change

can be brought in to provide further

process is done in 24-hour cycles with the

as and when needed, without derailing

stability where conveyors are required

ability to maintain high production rates

the construction process. In addition,

to operate outside of standard operating


the design allows easy expansion as sites

requirements. In addition, two idler set

develop, as well as providing the option

modules are available to accommodate

nents are:

to simply remove and relocate to another

turns in the belt. Fittings are also in place

• Length is 2 500 mm x 1 200 mm height x

site when the job has been completed.

to accommodate roofing structures and

900 mm width (can be adjusted to suit

other bolt-ons.

width and idler spacing requirements).

“Once the modular conveyor is in

Typical statistics for the compo-

• Weight is approximately 675 kg.

place, it requires no further maintenance and eliminates the need for things such

Empowering locals

• Standard sizes are used and can ac-

as galvanising or paint throughout its

“Overall, we’ve designed a system that

commodate any commodity in terms

lifetime. The end product is therefore a

costs half the price of conventional

of weight and space

system that can be installed at speed

conveyor structures, is re-usable and

• Strength is 40 Mpa.



PRECAST CONCRETE Concrete is one of the most versatile of all construction materials and can be designed and proportioned to meet a wide range of requirements, according to Bryan Perrie, Managing Director of The Concrete Institute. He says there are two methods of fabri-

safety and productivity throughout a

cating reinforced concrete. The first is to

project. There is greater control of the

pour the liquid material into

quality of both materials and

forms at a building site; this

workmanship in a precast

is so-called in situ concrete.

plant than when concrete

The other method is precast

is cast in situ.

concrete, in which building

“This increased control

components are manufac-

can boost durability and

tured in a central plant and

lead to savings in mainte-

then brought to the building

nance costs, inconvenience,

site for assembly.

materials and energy. The

Perrie says by produc-

moulds or forms used in a

ing precast concrete in a controlled environment – such as at a precast yard

precast plant may also be (Above): Bryan Perrie, MD of The Concrete Institute.

re-used hundreds to thousands of times before they

or factory – it is possible to monitor and

have to be replaced, which means the

control all stages of production to enable

cost of formwork for precast is lower

aspects such as adequate curing and en-

than for in situ construction, unless they

sure that the products fully comply with

have very unique shapes.

the prescribed strength requirements.

“Often, if the structure has been appropriately designed, precast products

Controlled conditions

can be removed and re-used after the

“A precast yard may be an established

structure has reached the end of its life

factory or it may be located on a building

and is to be replaced,” Perrie states.

site. Precast concrete is generally cast at ground level, which helps with

Far-ranging uses He says there are many different types of precast concrete products. Precast architectural panels are used to clad all or part of a building façade. Stormwater drainage, water and sewage reticulation make use of precast concrete units such as pipes, culverts, manholes, sumps and tunnels. Precast building components are used architecturally as cladding, accessories and curtain walls. Structural applications of precast concrete include bricks, blocks, foundations, beams, floors and walls. “Precast concrete products are also used in the construction of various transportation systems such as culverts, bridge beams and segments, railway sleepers, sound walls or barriers, safety barriers and kerbs. A significant amount of precast concrete was used in the construction of the Gautrain system

(Above): Precast concrete elements can be transported to a construction site and then lifted into place.


and the soccer stadia built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup,” Perrie concludes.

ENSURING OPTIMAL WATER-CEMENT RATIOS Convenient checking of aggregate moisture content before making concrete on site has become easier with a new handheld device from PMSA. Quality control is a critical factor in the manufacture of concrete products for the civil engineering, building and construction and gardening and landscaping industries. Responding to this need for reliable testing, German company Ludwig Moisture Control has developed the FL-Mobi Mic Profi-Check. This testing device is used to accurately determine the moisture content and temperature of a specific aggregate before batching, during the mixing cycle and after discharge of the mixed concrete. Key to the device’s versatility is that it can be used in several places during the mixing-and-batching process. Smart device “T he exact percentage of moisture values can be determined rapidly and exactly upon arrival of the raw materials,” says Manfred Ludwig, Managing Director of Ludwig Moisture Control. “Moreover, it delivers valuable and measurable results on the water-to-cement ratio and the media temperature during production of no-slump or plastic concretes in the plant, laboratory or at the construction site.” The measuring head of the FL-Mobi Mic Profi-Check is manufactured from high-quality stainless steel. It is de-

(Above, from top): Manfred Ludwig, MD of Ludwig Moisture Control; the new FL-Mobi Mic Profi-Check aggregate moisture testing device.

signed for easy insertion and/or penetration into the aggregate or concrete

Emerging contractors

being measured. The moisture measur-

Ludwig explains that the tried-and-

ing probe, protected by a ceramic coat-

tested microwave technology used in

ing, is integrated into the measuring

the device is based on the 433 MHz

head itself.

frequency. Major design criteria were

The measuring head is connected to

user-friendliness and compactness. “This

the evaluation and transmission part

makes the device highly suited to emerg-

of the device by means of a 250 mm-

ing contractors who wish to guarantee

long V2A connecting cable. The robust

the quality of their precast products, but

IP65 die-cast housing protects the

who don’t yet have the necessary capital

measuring head from mechanical wear.

to invest in major moisture control sys-

An adjustable carry handle attached to

tems,” Ludwig adds.

the housing facilitates simple insertion

The device forms part of a compre-

and replacement of the measuring unit,

hensive suite of concrete production

if need be.

technology available locally from PMSA.



CURING CONCRETE Interrupted curing of concrete will inevitably have a negative effect on the final quality of the concrete, cautions Bryan Perrie, MD of The Concrete Institute. Perrie says the need for continuous curing of concrete is most critical during the first few days after the concrete has been cast. “When curing is interrupted in this period, and the cement paste is allowed to dry out, hydration of the cement ceases. More importantly, it becomes more difficult to get water back into the pore structure during subsequent wetting to re-activate the hydration process,” he says. The difficulty of water effectively reaching the pore structure is caused by the following developments which take place when the concrete dries out: • The pore water is saturated with calcium hydroxide and when the water evaporates, this is deposited in the pore structure near the surface of the concrete. • The calcium hydroxide reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide to form poorly soluble calcium carbonate which occupies a larger volume than the original calcium hydroxide. • This volume increases which, coupled with the fact that calcium carbonate is considerably less soluble than calcium hydroxide, reduces the access of water back into the pore structure. “In this way, when concrete is allowed to dry, pockets of unhydrated cement are created which are surrounded by hydrated material and pores are blocked with calcium carbonate. Because of their inaccessibility to water, these pockets of cement won’t be hydrated when the concrete is wetted again and the cement will end up serving only as fine aggregate particles. “This is why the quality of concrete exposed to interrupted curing, or intermittent cycles of wetting and drying during the early stages of hydration, will always be inferior to that of continuously cured concrete,” Perrie adds.



FOR BUSY 2016 The 2016 Education Programme of the School of Concrete Technology (SCT), operated by The Concrete Institute, is now available. John Roxburgh, lecturer at the SCT, based in Midrand, says the need for skills upliftment in the construction industry has never been more vital as South Africa prepares for the long-awaited roll-out of tenders in the Presidential Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPs) in 2016. “We’re expecting a busy year. The scope of opportunities is great, but to take advantage of this, education in concrete technology is crucial. Companies in the construction and civil engineering industries, in particular, should use this opportunity to invest in their employees’ skills and career development by enrolling them for a SCT course. Using the school’s stepped approach to concrete education, an employer can map out a progressive career path for the employee who could then start his or her concrete education at a level matched to individual competencies,” Roxburgh states. The SCT is South Africa’s leading provider of education in concrete technology with its broad spectrum of courses and caters for a wide variety of educational needs within the construction, mining and concrete-related industries. “A SCT certificate is instantly recognised and highly regarded in the industry. A qualification in concrete technology will open doors in many different fields of employment at a critical time in South Africa’s infrastructural development,” he adds. Training courses offered by the SCT are aimed at industries such as: • Ready-mix concrete. • Admixtures. • Testing laboratories. • Construction and civil engineering. • Mining. • Aggregate production. • Materials. • Related industries such as formwork, precast concrete,

concrete products and concrete production machinery

• The increasingly popular decorative concrete market. The SCT will present “the pinnacle in concrete technology education”, the Advanced Concrete Technology (SCT50 ACT) diploma in 2016 and then again in 2018. This internationally acclaimed qualification is presented by the SCT and examined by the Institute of Concrete Technology in London. For further information on the 2016 SCT Training Programme, contact the SCT Course Manager, Rennisha Sewnarain on tel: 011 315 0300. (Above): A qualification in concrete technology will open doors in many different fields of employment at a critical time in South Africa’s infrastructural development, says John Roxburgh, lecturer at the School of Concrete Technology.




Since then, Telkom has placed 14 concrete pole orders with Aveng Infraset, three of which were delivered to the Eastern Cape region.

CMA member Aveng Infraset has recently completed the delivery of several precast concrete pole orders for Telkom in KwaZulu-Natal and is currently in the process of executing others.

include Hluhluwe, Mtubatuba, Ulundi and

delivered to Bizana near the Wild Coast.

Stronger for longer

Manufactured at Aveng Infraset’s Effing-

All three contracts were completed in

“Moreover, they’re maintenance-free and

ham plant in Durban, they are being used

March 2016.

offer much longer lifespans. They also

Pietermaritzburg, among others. Deliveries began in December 2015:

says the major advantage of concrete

1 700 x 7 m and 50 x 9 m 4 kN poles were

poles is that they cannot be felled with a

supplied to Hluhluwe; 1 100 x 7 m and 40

chainsaw and are therefore better placed

x 9 m 4 kN poles went to the Mtubatuba

to safeguard expensive cabling.

area; and 20 x 10 m 8 kN poles were

to replace timber poles in areas subject to a high incidence of cable theft. These

Aveng Infraset Sales Consultant: Construction Products, Samantha Chetty,

have high strength-to-weight ratios, Protecting cables

making them easy to handle and trans-

A fourth order, which involved the supply

port,” says Chetty.

of 744 x 7 m 4 kN and 26 x 9 m 4 kN

Aveng Infraset’s poles and masts

poles to Ulundi, was completed in April,

are based on a distinct design and are

and a fifth involved the delivery of 26 x

available in a wide range of strengths and

9 m 4 kN poles and 654 x 7 m 4 kN

lengths. Besides telecommunications,

poles to Jozini. Aveng Infraset is also

they are ideally suited to applications

currently supplying 200 x 7 m 4 kN poles

such as power transmission, distribu-

to central Pietermaritzburg.

tion and overhead electrical equipment

Telkom has been replacing timber

for the railways.

poles with Aveng Infraset’s concrete equivalent since a pilot project to test the latter was successfully run in 2013.

(Left): Aveng Infraset’s Effingham plant in Durban, where a load of 4 kN poles in 9 m lengths is about to be transported to an installation site in Matubatuba.

Wet Cast & Precast Production line

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A large-scale stormwater pipeline project is currently underway in Hammanskraal, where more than 148 km of precast concrete pipes are being installed by means of the pipe-jacking method.


Pipe-jacking is a technology where specially made pipes are tunneled through the ground by hydraulic jacks, thereby eliminating the need to dig up the road infrastructure. It offers greater transparency in terms of time and costs and is an environmentally friendly process. Specialist contractor Khato Civils was awarded the project and chose CMA member, Rocla, as a main supplier. Together the companies will complete a historical feat due to the sheer size and complexity of the project. It entails moving 370 cubes of rock material which will be hand-excavated over the entire of 148 840 m of jacked pipeline. Due to the lay of the land at the Hammanskraal, Extension Jubilee/ Temba section, the project is being completed with a minimal grade across the entire length. Drainage challenges “ T his pr ojec t was ini tia ted by the Tshwane Department of Housing & Human Settlements in May 2014 and upon completion in October this year, it will benefit the community of Kanana and Temba/Rockville by ensuring that stormwater is properly dealt with and does


not pose a threat to lives or property of

the installation of the 1 473 ID sleeves is

expertise into practice to overcome

residents,” says Mornè Delport, Project

the manual excavation process, coupled

some significant challenges together,”

Manager for Khato Civils.

with possible exposure to natural gases

says Brendon van Vuuren of Rocla.

He adds that it is not without major

such as methanol, and a restricted air

He adds that the company has also

challenges, which is why Rocla’s pipe-

supply due to an existing sewer system

worked closely within the specifications

jacking expertise is an essential compo-

running parallel to the jacked pipeline to

required and beyond, even choosing to

nent of the project. Its expertise, cou-

be installed.

install a HPDE lining on the inside of the

pled with the durability and quality of its

For this reason, the team are install-

1473 ID jacking sleeves instead of the

product, are what make Rocla a natural

ing additional air ventilation systems

normal CIC lining, thereby extending the

choice. One of the major challenges with

and gas monitoring equipment to ensure

lifespan extensively beyond requirements.

“Pipe jacking offers greater transparency in terms of time and costs and is an environmentally friendly process.” PRECAST | ISSUE ONE | 2016

that all technicians and labour can be

Rocla is part of the IS group of com-

evacuated quickly in the event of gas

panies, which also comprises Technicrete

leak detection.

ISG and Ocon Brick. It is one of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of pre-cast

Overcoming hurdles

concrete products for infrastructure

“Additionally, a category 2 dam located

projects, manufacturing products to

nearby makes the monitoring of water

customer requirements in addition to

pockets a crucial safety element. As can

offering standard precast sizes.

be anticipated, the scope of the project is enormous, so we’re pleased to be able to partner with Katho Civils and put our

(Above and top): Rocla is suppling jacking pipes for the large-scale Hammanskraal Extension Jubilee/Temba stormwater pipeline.


Durable, smart and safe paving located at public transportation areas is crucial in order for commuters to have a problem-free passage, while still ensuring that the finished product looks aesthetically smart. The projects, undertaken by CMA member, Technicrete ISG, are examples of the role that precast concrete pavers are playing in beautifying our towns and making them easier (and safer) to navigate.

CONCRETE PAVERS FOR PUBLIC SPACES Two paving projects in urban areas recently highlighted the important role that paving plays in our daily lives in terms of attracting users with good-looking aesthetics, as well as ensuring safety by providing level and visible surfaces on which to walk.

In the first project, the durability and

velopment requirements. The company

its reliable and its pricing competitive,”

finished appearance of forecourt paving

also supplied 800 semi-mountable kerb

says Wouter Chalmers, owner of Legoya

for petrol stations was shown to be a key

blocks, 2 400 m² of 80 mm DZZs and 300

Development. “We found the Technicrete

factor for petrol suppliers in creating an

m² of BondBrick pavers for the Caltex

BondBrick to be suitable for the paving

aesthetically pleasing environment for

garage development.

of petrol station forecourts, industrial

refuelling and convenience shopping, while attracting motor vehicle customers.

“Legoya has partnered with Techni-

and factory roads and municipal parking

crete ISG on a few projects and found

areas, and believe it offers developers an economic and durable option. We were

Strong and attractive

comfortable selecting Technicrete DZZ

For this reason, Legoya Development,

interlocking pavers to form a hard-wear-

contractor for the Caltex garage project

ing overlay surface which has proven to

in Marshall Street, Polokwane, chose

have longevity at many other high-volume

Technicrete kerbing, Double Zig-Zag

vehicle or foot traffic outlets.”

(DZZ) paving as well as BondBrick pavers

Not only suited to petrol station

for this project. Technicrete ISG Sales

forecourts, they have been successfully

Consultant, Hendrik Steenkamp, says:

installed at shopping malls, road exten-

“Technicrete has paved many fuel sta-

sions, industrial and commercial business

tions and car showrooms over the years

parks, as well as local governmental

and I believe that our DZZs offer the best

infrastructure upgrades such as pedes-

in quality and the durability required by

trian walkways in Polokwane. The paving

these high-volume traffic zones.”

has also been installed in sectional title

He adds that BondBrick, in particular, offers a variety of thicknesses that ensures longevity for commercial de-

complexes where it has been found to be (Above and top): Mabopane Railway station was upgraded with concrete pavers.

a more affordable and a longer-lasting option to re-tarring driveways.


imperative that commuters are able to

terminals, parking areas, local and long-

Yet another installation, at the Mabopane

walk on high-quality, solid and level paving

distance taxi terminals. “We’re pleased

Railway Station in Soshanguve, showed

to and from entrances and exits. “Kerbing

with the final finishes of the Technicrete

the importance of durability, safety

around parking facilities should also be

products because they’re good quality

and af fordability that concrete pav-

aesthetically pleasing and clearly visible to

and have allowed us to construct the

ers play at public transport nodes. For

the commuters. The Technicrete product

project as per the civil engineering

the project Technicrete was chosen to

is such a product,” he says.

design. Technicrete ISG is part of the

supply 11 649 DZZ Slate grey pavers

Infrastructure Specialist Group, which is

and kerbs, over 3 559 garden kerbs with

Overcoming challenges

also the holding company for Ocon Brick

422 x 1 m semi-mountable kerbing, 8 x 1 m

Bokosi Ditshimega JV, developer of the

and Rocla.”

barrier kerbs and 168 x 1 m mountable

Mabopane Railway Station in Soshanguve,

kerbing for the station in Soshanguve.

Tshwane, contracted to the leading

In this instance, the paving was found

paving and kerb supplier Technicrete ISG

to be most suitable for the application

to supply DZZ paving and kerbs. Bokosi

due to the good-wearing properties, as

Ditshimega JV, Themba Kokelo, says: “We

the site has a large amount of ‘foot and

chose to use products that would give

vehicle traffic’and longevity was a key fac-

us a quality finish while at the same time

tor. According to Tienie Bronkhorst, Sales

providing durability, considering the high

Representative of Technicrete ISG, it is

traffic volumes.

“Kerbing around parking facilities should be aesthetically pleasing and should also be clearly visible.”

“The challenges we faced at Mabopane included storage space restrictions due to the overhead power lines and Technicrete assisted us by making its trucks available at a low cost and assisting with the movement of products on site wherever construction was taking place.” She adds that Technicrete products were used for pedestrian walkways, bus

(Above): The Caltex garage project in Marshall Street, Polokwane.


Railway station project



MR PRICE GETS NEW TILT-UP DIS One of South Africa’s most technically advanced national distribution centres is being constructed for the Mr Price Group using tilt-up precast concrete walling technology supplied by Durban-based Bedrock Group. Situated in Keystone Park, a modern,

the exterior ground level to create a

(height) x 5,5 m (width). Those on the one

light-industrial, warehousing and logis-

docking platform and by using precast

gable end were all 10 m wide and 4,5 m

tics precinct in Hammarsdale just off

panelling, we did away with the strip

high, and those on the northern side

the N3 between Durban and Pieter-

footing, columns and beams which would

were a combination of these two sizes.

maritzburg, the centre has a massive

have been required for a masonry-based

There is no panelling on the eastern

56 000 m² footprint, the equivalent of

retaining wall. Instead, the Mr Price pan-

gable end, which houses 2 500 m² of of-

11 rugby fields. It is being constructed

els rest on the column bases and once

fices built with masonry walls. A total of

by Stefanutti Stocks on one of 24 fully

they were in place, backfilling could com-

138 (6 000 m²) panels were cast on site

serviced sites in Keystone Park and once the proposed second phase of the project is completed, the centre will comprise 100 000 m² under roof. The building was designed by Durbanbased architect, Ian Bell of Paton Taylor, who says that tilt-up construction using precast concrete panels was specified not only because it offered faster construction times, but due to the fact that it came with some design advantages as well.

“A major design advantage in using tilt-up is that it provides an instant retaining wall for any fill-in flooring material.”

using casting beds prepared by Bedrock. The company also cast a decorative concrete panel embossed with the Mr Price logo, which was mounted adjacent to the first-floor office entrance. It only took 10 days to lift and install all the panels into position, which is considerably faster than in-situ casting or masonry construction would have taken to erect the walls. The lifting process at Mr Price was split into three crane establishments of 46 panels per establishment.

Easy-up system

Innovative design

“Tilt-up is similar to working with Mec-

According to Bedrock Group Managing

cano in that once the panels are cast

Director, Greg Kitching, the wall panels

it only remains for the walls to be lifted

in the Mr Price design are not structural

and bolted into position. Besides being

in as much as they don’t support the

much faster to erect than conventional

roof structure.

masonry walling, we were also able to

“Five panels were cast in stacks on

cast close to 80% of the panels while

each casting bed, this number having

waiting for final building permission from

been determined by the reach of the

the authorities. This meant that when

installation cranes. Nearly all the panels

the go-ahead was given in mid-August we could immediately begin the installation work. “A major design advantage in using tilt-up is that it provides an instant

(Above): Steel roof trusses under construction.

on the southern elevation were cast with openings for roller shutter doors

mence without delay. Another benefit of

and dock levellers. A bond-breaker solu-

using precast panelling is that it forms

tion was painted on the top of each panel

a brace between the piles,” says Bell.

to prevent them from bonding during the

retaining wall for any fill-in flooring ma-

Bedrock’s tilt-up panelling was in-

curing process. Moreover, when a panel

terial. For instance, the floor of the Mr

stalled on three elevations. The panels

was cast on another panel which had a

Price building was raised 1,35 m above

on the southern side measured 10m

door opening, the opening was closed


to laying bricks or blocks 9 m above the ground. “One of the crucial aspects of tilt-up construction is the lifting process and the lifting inserts had to be carefully


where it is relatively safe, as opposed

designed and positioned so that when the panels were fully suspended off the ground, they hung slightly off plumb in an almost vertical plane. “Tilt-up and precast building solutions are fast becoming the first choice of clients, architects and contractors in


the distribution, warehousing and manufacturing sectors. The advantages are self-evident and the rate at which the application of the technology is growing

with sand and a light screed to form

the cover blocks, void formers, corner

clearly shows its cost-effectiveness,”

a flat casting surface,” says Kitching.

fillets, bond-breaker and lifting inserts

concludes Kitching.

The panels comprised a standard advanced concrete mix poured over a

were South African, having been manufactured in-house by Bedrock.

mesh of rebar. Bedrock increased the

In addition to those mentioned above, the professional team comprised consulting engineers Arup, quantity survey-

strength of the concrete above the

No-frills construction

ors Edgecombe Hayes Hill and developer

engineer’s specification by 5 MPa, espe-

“Tilt-up walling requires almost no scaf-

Rokwil Developments.

cially on the fifth panels, which had the

folding, ladders, buckets, cement or

shortest curing time before the lifting

bricks; in fact, none of the paraphernalia

of the panels. All the specialised tilt-up

which goes hand-in-hand with masonry

hardware such as specialised formwork,

construction. We work at ground level


(Above, from far left): A standard advanced concrete mix is poured into a panel mould; a panel is lifted into position using an eight-point lifting system; installed panels; and steel roof trusses under construction.





Concrete retaining block (CRB) walls have been used extensively in the construction of Milkwood Office Park in Umhlanga. The development is owned by United African Marine Shipping and was completed in January 2016. Designed by Bazi Dukhan of civil, structural and geotechnical engineering consultancy Bazi Dukhan Consulting Engineers, the walls, which span 1 450 m², were constructed to create and support level building platforms and to shore up embankments. Three walls were built in and around three parking basements and were completed in November 2015. In addition, two walls were erected below some of the development’s structural elements and were completed in early 2015. basement, the lower walls were built

(Above, from top): The upper core parking area Verticascade wall, which supports a moat and garden platform above it; one of the external walls, built with Brickcast’s Cascade.

Long spans

in the same manner as the upper wall

The wall in the upper core section is 3,1 m

using the Verticascade block. They are

high and runs to ±285 m, forming the

5.5 m high and run to a combined length

outer perimeter of this parking basement.

of 68,5 m. The two external walls were

outdoor parking area. The lower wall

Based on a cut-and-fill operation, the wall

also cut-and-fill operations. However,

is situated 2 m from the border of the

was constructed at an angle of 86˚ using

they were built with a different retain-

property. Eight metres long and 2 m

Verticascade blocks supplied by Durban-

ing block, in this instance Brickcast’s

high, it protects a sewer manhole and

based CMA member, Brickcast Industries.

biscuit-coloured Cascade.

protection pipe. Both walls were built

The wall was constructed with a foun-

at an angle of 60˚ with an unreinforced

dation block which was embedded with

Cost-effective solution

concrete foundation 800 mm wide and

concrete and was used to set the angle

The higher wall is ± 26 m long and 4,0 m

300 mm deep. Fibretech 50 x 50 mm

of the wall. Fibretech 50 x 50 mm geogrid

at its highest point. It is located under

geofabric was laid at every three courses

was laid at every third row of block levels

a concrete platform which houses an

to reinforce both walls.

for reinforcing. Drainage was effected through the installation of a 110 mm perforated pipe covered with F15 geofabric and 19 mm aggregate. It was installed behind the foundation blocks and runs the full length of the wall. Moreover, this and the two lower walls were designed to allow water seepage through the walls. Situated in the basement and sub-


“These concrete block retaining walls have saved the client 40-60% in construction costs.”

Built to create secure building platforms above, these wall have already been subjected to some very heavy rains. According Brickcast CEO, Shaun Sewnath, besides being more attractive than vertical in-situ retaining walls, these concrete block retaining walls have saved the client between 40-60% in construction costs.



PERMEABLE PAVING PERFORMANCE There are 150 permeable paving installations in the Western Cape, a figure which accounts for over 90% of the entire country’s permeable paving installations. Most sites average around 3 000 m² and combine permeable with impermeable paved surfaces. One such installation is the combined parking and drainage area at Millennia Park, a five-star green commercial property development in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.

born sand and dust – have penetrated the system? Installed in 2011, Millennia Park provides a pointer. Paving care Despite some heavy thunderstorms over its five-year lifespan, there has never been the slightest hint of ponding. The key to this excellent ongoing infiltration perfor-

Permeable paving systems comprise

mance is regular maintenance, performed

several layers of aggregate which are

quarterly. This entails removing any plant

topped with concrete block pavers (CBP)

growth between the pavers, cleaning

either for vehicle or pedestrian traffic.

the surface with hard brushes and then

However, unlike conventional pavers

topping up the gaps between the pavers

which are designed to prevent water

with fresh grit.

infiltrating beneath the paved surface,

Based on UK-based Formpave’s pat-

permeable paving is designed to do just

ented permeable paving system, Aqua-

the opposite. Permeable paving blocks

flow, marketed in South Africa by Inca,

are cast with lateral indents so that

Millennia Park’s paving was laid in a ratio of

when they are laid, voids of ±8 mm are

two permeable to one impermeable paved

created between the pavers. These gaps

surface. It was designed by consulting en-

allow large volumes of water to infiltrate into the permeable paving reservoir. This means that even during heavy downpours, there should be no ponding. Permeable paving installations often exceed infiltration specifications when new. But how do they perform after several years, when substantial quantities of suspended solids – not to mention wind-

“Gaps allow large volumes of water to infiltrate into the permeable paving reservoir.”

gineers BKS Group (Pty) Ltd, with further input from sustainable stormwater systems consultant, Peter Wium. The latter (Above): Inca’s Aquaflow 200 x 100 x 80 mm standard rectangular concrete block in two colours forms a permeable paved surface at Millennia Park in Stellenbosch. (Left): IImpermeable clay pavers can be seen in the foreground.


ensured that the system was designed and installed correctly, which is one of the criteria for holding an Aquaflow licence. The paver used at Millennia Park was Inca’s Aquaflow 200 x 100 x 80 mm standard rectangular concrete block in two colours. Rated at 45 MPa wet crushing strength, it complies with SANS 1058: 2010 Concrete Paving Blocks. SANS 1083:2006 Aggregates from Natural Sources was the standard specification for the aggregates used. Tough conditions The design of Millennia Park is similar to the 45 000 m² Blue Route Mall installation, which was completed in August 2013. To determine which permeable paving option would be the most suitable at Millennia Park, a full geotechnical investigation was undertaken by BKS. It

(Above): Part of the permeable paving surface at Millennia Park.

revealed that the sub-grade was loamy,

(see diagram): a layer of Inbitex® geotex-

as opposed to the sandy conditions at

tile sheeting on the sub-grade; 250 mm

Blue Route Mall. The test also involved

of clean 53-19 mm single-sized crushed

measuring the level of the water table –

stone; 100 mm of clean single-sized 19-

which should be at least 400 mm below

9,5 mm crushed stone; a second layer

the lowest stone layer for a successful

of Inbitex®; a 50 mm course of 6 mm

permeable paving installation – as well

bedding aggregate; the pavers; and finally

as establishing the ratio of permeable to

a 2,36 mm (nominal size) crushed stone

impermeable surfaces.

grit for surface dressing. Commenting

As anticipated, a dual system of in-

further on the maintenance regime, Wium

filtration and egress proved to be the

says that besides regular brushing, more

most viable permeable paving solution

vigorous cleaning can also take place.

for the Millennia development. It involved

“This involves conventional street

some drainage into the ground and the

sweepers with vacuum-cleaners, brush-

discharge of residual water through fin

es, water and low-pressure hosing,

drainage into a wetland area on the pe-

where necessary. We recommend the re-

rimeter of the property. Wium says that

moval of a sample of pavers for inspection

besides infiltrating water at a rate of up

every five years in areas we identify as

to 4 500 mm/h at the surface at Millennia

being more clog-prone. In a worst-case

Park, the Aquaflow system can reduce

scenario, the upper voids, the bedding

total suspended solids by up to 80% and

stone and top layer of Inbitex® sheeting

total phosphorus by 60% using two layers

can become clogged. In such instances,

of Inbitex® and three layers of crushed

a more radical maintenance process,

and graded stone. This is the standard

such as replacing some of the bedding

used by the City of Cape Town to assess

aggregate, would be required.

the suitability of SuDS structures.

“Generally, maintenance is neither

The sub-grade was excavated to pro-

onerous nor expensive and, if undertaken

vide a minimum fall of 1% to the fin drain

regularly, will certainly extend the sys-

outlet and was compacted as necessary

tem’s functional life. One of the great

to achieve a G7 Selected Sub-Grade layer

advantages of permeable paving is that

with a minimum Californian Bearing Ratio

it uses the same space as open park-

(CBR) of 15%. All soft areas were re-

ing areas, unlike swales and attenuation

moved and filled with suitable replacement

ponds, which require dedicated single-

material to provide a stable sub-grade.

purpose spaces. And besides controlling water flow into stormwater drainage

Extended life

and rivers, permeable paving reservoirs

The reservoir of sub-paving material at

also remove pollutants from the water,”

Millennia Park comprised the following

concludes Wium.




Neither of these options was feasible,

steel cellular beams and in-situ beams.

prestressed hollow-core slabs have

as the wards below were fully functional

Support for some of the new beams and

been used for the construction of one

and occupied by patients. Prestressed

slabs had to be created by bolting steel

of two additional storeys, each meas-

slabs, which are 30% lighter and provide

sections to concrete columns.

uring 1 230 m² at Stanger Hospital in

favourable span to depth ratios, provided

Echo Group Marketing Director, Melin-


an alternative solution which allowed

da Esterhuizen, says the prestressed slab

normal hospital activities to continue

option offered other advantages. “Slab

uninterrupted during construction.

installation takes hours, as opposed to

The additional space is being used to house a new maternity section and the prime reason for using prestressed slabs

The first floor section, which houses

the weeks it takes to construct in-situ

was that the existing suspend roof was

an NVD antenatal ward, was construct-

flooring. Secondly, and most importantly

not designed to carry the weight of a

ed on existing suspended roof. It was the

for a hospital environment, there’s far

new in-situ slab. To strengthen it would

floor above it, which accommodates a

less attendant noise to disturb and upset

have necessitated back propping, either

post-Caesarean and gynaecology ward,

the patients during construction.”

through the elaborate staging of existing

that was constructed with Echo’s

load-bearing walls or through the instal-

hollow-core slabs. At 150 mm and 200

lation of temporary beams at floor level.

mm deep, the slabs were erected using

(Above): Echo Prestress Durban’s prestressed slabs were integral to the fast-track and interference-free extension of Stanger Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal.


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PI – Precast Infrastructure PB – Precast Building (...) – Number of branches




We produce cement and concrete but what we create is far more valuable. AfriSam creates opportunity, prosperity and growth – AfriSam creates concrete possibilities. In fact, it’s at the core of what we do. Everything from our unique, proven C-Tech formulation to over 80 years’ experience as a leader in the industry works towards the same goal – to be the company which is building a better country and continent, one possibility at a time.

Creating Concrete Possibilities

With the planet as one of our core values, we assess the carbon footprint of each and every one of our operations and products while actively striving to drive down our impact on the environment. For more information, contact the AfriSam Centre for Product Excellence or visit our website.

Precast Issue 1 2016  
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