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ISSUE TWO • 2016


• CMA CS undertakes first audits • Creating safer workplaces • Seawall protects Strand


















































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

Advertising: Wally Armstrong Cell: 083 701 3278 E-mail:

Physical Address: Office 0400, Standard Plaza Building, 424 Hilda St, Hatfield, Pretoria Postal Address: PostNet Suite 8612, Private Bag X32, Kempton Park, 1620 Tel: (+27 11) 805 6742 Fax: (+27) 86 524 9216 E-mail: Website:

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











ISSUE TWO • 2016


Publishers: Isikhova Publishing & Communications Postal Address: PO Box 651793, Benmore, 2010, South Africa Tel: (+27 11) 883 4627 Fax: (+27 11) 783 2677 Website: Publisher: Andrew Meyer Tel: +(+27 11) 883 4627 Cell: 082 456 5175 E-mail: Consulting editor: Raymond Campling Tel: 076 297 2775 Email:


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

• CMA CS undertakes first audits • Creating safer workplaces • Seawall protects Strand

ON THE COVER In a short space of time newcomer Enviro-Cast has built up an enviable reputation for its ability to deliver good quality products on time and to specification. Its lean manufacturing principals combined with efficient transport systems enables the company to reach out and deliver costeffective products to a wide geographical area. As a result, the company’s products are becom-

Endorsed by:

ing sought after on a growing number of construction site across the country.


Specialist precast concrete manufacturer Enviro-Cast is rapidly establishing itself as a trusted supplier of both volume-based as well as technically challenging products. In the two years since opening its factory, the CMA member has focused on developing smar t manufacturing techniques that deliver high-quality



and the company is currently enjoying


unprecedented growth of revenue, as

developing and improving processes in

port costs, so we can sell our products

well as expanding its customer base

order to make the best possible products

to distant customers at prices that are

across the country.

without wastage or unnecessary costs.

still competitive, compared with local

products to its clients on time and to specification. While initially cumbersome to implement, these efforts are now clearly paying dividends in terms of quality

Simultaneously, Enviro-Cast’s invest-

“We run a lean manufacturing plant

ment in developing technical skills has also

using the right equipment and materials in

suppliers in the area,” says Metzer.

enabled it to take on techni-

the right applications. Likewise,

Embracing technology

cally challenging projects with

we build good relationships with

In addition, the company owns its own

confidence. In fact, in its short

our core suppliers in order to

fleet of delivery vehicles which further

existence, the company has

get the best value and qual-

drives down expenses, compared with

already successfully completed

ity raw materials to suit our

outsourced freighting costs. Another

many custom projects which

manufacturing process.

cost-cutting factor is Enviro-Cast’s

have considerably bolstered

“In doing so, we’re able to

investment in high-tech peripheral

its resumé and supported its

significantly reduce the cost

machinery in order to support its two

technical reputation.

of manufacturing products and

large-scale. semi-automated brick manu-

bring a technically superior,

facturing machines, as well as its wet and

high-quality product to market

semi-dry manufacturing plants.

Reducing costs Company CEO, Craig Metzer,

(Above): Craig Metzer, the CEO of Enviro-Cast.

at a far more competitive price

attributes the success of the company

than our competitors. Another positive

to the fact that there are no shortcuts

benefit of this type of manufacturing is

at Enviro-Cast and a lot of money is spent

that savings can be offset against trans-

(Top, from left): Enviro-Cast manufactures highquality wet and semi-dry products, in addition to concrete pavers; specialised manufacturing of customised products.


pack 42 x 13 brick pallets in minutes, rather than hours when done manually. Other purpose-built weighing, dosing and batching equipment also speeds up the process and ensures that the plant runs like clockwork – even at full production. Enviro-Cast’s brick-making machines


T his includes the use of a highspeed Abel packaging machine that can

“We have a young and innovative company that takes pride in the products we make and deliver.”

are able to produce 2 400m² of concrete

our manufacturing process to get each

pavers per day, while semi-automated

of our products optimal,” says Metzer.

and manual processes for other types of

“Between me, our production man-

products ensure a healthy daily output of

ager, Malcolm Armstrong and our tech-

a wide variety of products. These include

nical and production teams, we have a

kerbs, pavers, semi-dry-cast pavers,

long history and good experience in the

wet-cast pavers, copings, cladding and

business of making precast concrete.

special orders for clients. Engineered or

Ensuring quality and consistency in our

custom products manufactured thus far

products is part of Enviro-Cast’s culture

include high-strength reinforced kerbs,

and is upheld throughout the organisa-

raised barrier kerbs for BRT in Ekurhuleni

tion’s various departments.”


He adds that Enviro-Cast’s products

quality and strength. “That’s why we’re

are highly sought after, as it guaran-

so highly regarded and why we’re credited

tees its products’ compliane with client

with making some of the best pavers

Experience counts

specifications. Test are done on site

and blocks in the business, according to

“We’re a young and innovative company

in the company’s fully-fitted, in-house

industry insiders,” says Metzer.

that takes pride in the products we make

laboratory to ensure concrete mixes and

and deliver. Through our process of ongo-

products are manufactured within speci-

ing improvement, we constantly refine

fied parameters to ensure consistent

and Rustenburg, electrical plinths and bollards for traffic control.

(Above): At full production, Enviro-Cast’s brick-making machines can produce 2 400m² of concrete pavers per day.


THE CMA IS ON TRACK The Concrete Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) NPC recently conducted a number of well-attended member feedback sessions and quality assurance workshops around the country.


The meetings were presented by CMA executive director Frans Minnaar and Christo van Zyl, general manager of the newly-formed precast concrete quality assurance certification company, CMA Certification Services. In introducing Van Zyl, Minnaar said there was huge interest in CMA Certification Services, and although the company has only begun operating, he mentioned that several applications for the CMA product certification had already been received and that he anticipated rapid growth as soon as the new company was officially launched. New company CMA Certification Services will be run as an entirely separate entity, focusing solely on certification audits. The CMA’s normal promotion of precast concrete will not be affected in any way. Apart from informing members about the CMA Certification Services of fering, the workshops were held to answer questions and address members’ concerns. Minnaar advised that the CMA mark is not exclusive to CMA members, which means any precast concrete manufacturer can ap-

and the revision of existing

has applied to the South African National

standards in close collabora-

Standards Authority (SANAS) for SANS

tion with associations such as

17065 accreditation. Although SANS

the CMA. SABS also provides its

17065 accreditation is only required by

own certification services.

certification entities which audit regulated products such as cement, the fact

ply for certification. However, CMA Certification Services activities will

Quality certification

that CMA Certification Services will be

be restricted to the precast concrete

In providing an alternative certification

SANS 17065-accredited lends consider-

industry and CMA members will qualify

service, CMA Certification Services will

able weight to its auditing competency

for fee discounts.

comply with SANS 17065, the national

and impartiality.

Van Zyl explained that all national

standard for certification bodies and it

Moreover, tender requirements will

specifications belong to SA and are re-

not be affected by the new CMA Product

ferred to as SANS specifications, as op-

Certification Mark, as it will comply with

posed to the period prior to 1994, when

all the requirements for a certification

all specifications were owned by the SA

body. There will be no difference between

Bureau of Standards and were referred

the CMA Mark of Approval and those of

to as SABS specifications. However, the

other certification providers and it will

bureau is still used by the Department of

enjoy the same level of competence as

Trade & Industry as a publisher of SANS

any other certification body.

specifications and a service provider.

Van Zyl advised that CMA Certifi-

For example, although it no longer owns

cation Services will be conducting an

the standards, SABS is still very much involved in the drafting of new standards


(Above): CMA executive director Frans Minnaar during his feedback presentation in Cape Town.

extensive marketing strategy to alert all precast concrete role-players and


associated professionals about the entry of a new certification provider to the market. He also explained in considerable detail what the CMA certification process entailed. Creating competition Van Zyl wrapped up his presentation by


saying that it is not the CMA’s intention to change the status quo or to challenge the certification business for the sake of it. Rather, by introducing another service provider into the precast concrete certification arena – and, with it, competition – service providers will be more alert and creative, which will be to the benefit of all precast concrete producers and the public at large. Minnaar added that once CMA Cer-

standard on which the SABS standards

tification Services is well established,

were originally based is no longer valid.

it will also investigate the possibility of

The new standard SANS 50771-3:2015

providing an ISO certification service.

will be based on the European standard

Furthermore, it is well placed to handle

and SANS 1215 is being withdrawn. The

an increase in demand for its existing

new standard is imminent.

certification services and it has a list of

Minor changes and administrative re-

additional auditors waiting in the wings.

visions were made to SANS 542:2015 for

Before being appointed, new auditors will

concrete roofing tiles. SANS 541:2012

undergo a strict assessment procedure

precast concrete slabs was also scruti-

to ensure they comply with all the SANAS

nised and contradictory wear and abra-

auditing requirements.

sion requirements were amended after

Once product manufacturers obtain

the specification was changed. It was

the CMA Mark of Approval, they will be

also found that the necessary testing

posted on the CMA’s website, together

equipment was not available in the coun-

with a list of all the other product manu-

try. A request for the complete overhaul

facturers. Certification will be valid for

of the SANS 541 has been submitted to

three years and after the initial assess-

the SABS. SANS 937:2013 concrete

ment follow-up, audits will take place

kerbs, edgings and channels has also


been revised. SABS’ Auditing Division has recently

Technical committee

undertook to initiate the drafting of an

clamped down on CMA members’ inter-

All the standards on requirement for

installation manual for wetcast products.

pretation of the standards on aggregates and water. The CMA is working on

precast concrete raw materials are up for review. Taco Voogt heads the CMA’s

Standards revision

changing the specifications for water,

Technical Committee and represents the

A workgroup was created for SANS

but the ratification process of workgroup

CMA on SABS technical committees and

1058: 2012 on concrete paving blocks.

members is still underway. This has led to

workgroups. He serves on TC 0081– the

Concrete aggregate requirements as

certifications being withheld on products

Cement Lime & Concrete Committee – as

per SANS 1083 were reviewed and the

that were previously deemed to conform.

well as several sub-committees under TC

water absorption requirement was taken

0081 on materials, products and test

out of the main body of SANS 1058 and

The past year

methods. Sub-committee workgroups

moved to the annex as a recommendation

Besides the initiatives described above,

include members from the precast in-

only. Greater clarity on measuring the

the association enjoyed a productive

dustry who assist with the initiation of

length of pavers for the tensile splitting

2015. Membership-drive roadshows

new specifications and the revision of

test was achieved and the K factor was

were held in Durban and the KZN Mid-

existing ones.

removed. The amendments are awaiting

lands, as well as in Limpopo’s Polokwane

ratification by the SABS.

and Tzaneen. This was the first time that

In the past all standards were reviewed every two years, but at different

A SANS 1215: 2008 concrete ma-

Limpopo had been visited by the CMA and

times. From now on, all specifications will

sonry units workgroup was created at the

the response was very positive. As a

be reviewed jointly. During the feedback

request of the CMA and the joint struc-

result, a Polokwane producer has already

meeting in Cape Town, the CMA also

tural division of SAICE because the British

joined the association.


Western Cape and KZN. Paving seminars

programs will be held after the updates

are planned for the same centres, as are

are completed at the end of 2016.

to inform members of changes to the

seminars on paving software. The paving

The collection of industry statistics

standard. Seminars on Hybricem, which

seminar will take the form of a workshop

has been resumed and is being controlled

examines the combination of in-situ con-

presented by local and overseas experts;

by the CMA chartered accountants.

crete with precast, were held in Cape

its main focus will be the manner in which

The accounting and auditing functions

Town, Port Elizabeth and Midrand.

paving should be properly installed and

have been separated and new auditor

the workshop will involve some actual

Strachan & Crouse has been appointed.

paving installation work.

The newly-appointed bookkeeping firm is

The CMA participated in Totally Concrete, together with CMA members, in May 2015 on a 27m² stand. This ini-

SK Accounting.

tiative spurred renewed interest in the

Upcoming technical publications in-

activities of the association. Demand for

clude a substantially revised roof tile

Precast, the CMA’s official mouthpiece,

manual and this project has progressed

is growing and has reached a circulation

to its second revision stage. In addition,

of 5 000+. In future, the magazine will

the CMA’s paving manual is to be reviewed

include one or two technical articles.

and a wetcast manual is being considered.

New CMA publications released during

Three issues of Precast are being pub-

2015 included a manhole manual and a

lished during 2016 and emphasis is being

quality management system manual. The manhole manual has been placed on the

placed on making the magazine increasingly An upgraded and user-friendlier web-

relevant to the precast concrete indus-

site was launched in January 2016 and

try. Totally Concrete was staged again in

the site is being continually reviewed and

May, this time at Gallagher Estate, which

Road ahead

updated. The site is currently averaging

was more accessible than the Sandton

2016 promises to be an exciting period

43 visits per day. Paving design soft-

Convention Centre. Once again the CMA

for the CMA. Roadshows on the CMA

ware, Permpave and Lockpave, which is

took a 27m² stand with 15 panels. The

mark were held in Cape Town, Port

marketed by the CMA, is currently being

association is also due to participate in

Elizabeth, KZN and Gauteng and roof

revised by Dr Beechham on behalf of the

the Cape Construction Expo at the Cape

tile seminars will be held in Gauteng, the

CMAA in Australia. A seminar on the two

Town International Convention Centre.

CMA’s website.



A seminar on ISO 9001:2015 was presented by Advantage ACT in Midrand


TAKING THE CMA TO THE WORLD The appointment of a new marketing manager marks a new phase of expansion for the CMA, as it reaches out to an increasingly wide member base and engages the industry to highlight the benefits of sourcing products from CMA members. Simultaneously, new campaigns to introduce and market CMA Certification Services and the CMA Mark of Approval have necessitated the appointment of an experienced campaigner with a passion for marketing and deep-rooted experience in the industry. A tough ask, but one met by Henry Cockcroft, who is a wellknown figure in the industry. He is also a stalwart with experience in both the contracting and manufacturing of bricks and blocks. This gives him a unique understanding of the requirements throughout the precast concrete value chain and provides the crucial link to service those needs. All-round campaigner Cockcroft’s background in sales and marketing will also stand him in good stead as he takes on the role of communicating the available services and benefits on offer to existing members and potential members. At the same time, his teaching and training experience will be used to raise awareness of the CMA and its members, as well as popularise the CMA Mark of Approval among professionals in the construction industry. “I have a long history in the construction industry as a civil lecturer for various technical colleges, as well as private-sector training facilities. Most recently, I was a training and business development manager for one of our member companies before finally taking on this new challenge with the association. “It’s important that our members know what we do so that they can get the maximum benefits from their membership. I also want to address other contact points so that we’re in constant communication with our members and the industry at large. We want to continue working with other industry bodies in order to build meaningful relationships with specification writers, who need to know the benefits of specifying CMA members’ products,” says Cockcroft. Setting goals Although he is still learning the ropes, he has big plans, but adds that his immediate goal is to develop a marketing strategy for the CMA NPC, as well as for the CMA CS. He is already working on ways to make contact between members and the association easier. His longer-term plan is to unlock more value to members, grow the overall membership base and work towards achieving the CMA’s goal of becoming a fully independent and self-funding body while maintaining the inclusive fundamentals of the association. “Through our marketing efforts, we want to establish the value and proposition of our association to stakeholders everywhere so that they know the value of the CMA, its certification services and the importance of dealing with its members whenever they procure precast concrete products,” says Cockcroft.


FIRST AUDITS UNDERTAKEN BY CMA CS CMA Certification Services (CMACS) has hit the ground running in its first month of operation, having completed its first certification audits (Above): General Manager of the new CMA Certification Services, Christo van Zyl.

at the end of June. According to general manager, Christo van Zyl, the company kicked

off its audit services with an audit of Bosun Bricks Brits and Midrand. These will be followed by another eight companies which have already added their names to the list with applications for at least 20 permits. Full schedule “Bosun Bricks Brits and Midrand will be followed by a host of others and at this rate, after one-and-a-half months we’ll have reached half of our annual target. So clearly we underestimated the demand for our services and we’re pleased that our members finally have an alternative to the existing certification services,” says Van Zyl. Garth McMillan, divisional general manager of Bosun Bricks, says the process has been smooth and seamless. “The audits were handled in a professional manner and were comparable with other certifications we’ve undergone in the past. Technically, the audits are comprehensive and dealt with all aspects, including viewing procedures such as our quality management and testing, etc. “In addition, the process was far more personal, taking a one-on-one approach, rather than the impersonal one we’re used to. Christo was approachable and even took the time to meet us to iron out the process and the requirements upfront in order to avoid confusion at the time of the audits,” says McMillan. Long process While the first audits are already underway, CMACS is still feverishly completing all the formalities of its own certification with the SA National Accreditation System (SANAS). “The process has required a mountain of documents to be submitted and once this has been vetted, we’ll be audited on our own audit process, whereafter we’ll become SANASaccredited. This will be the last step to establishing CMACS as a world-class certification service,” says Van Zyl.

(Above): The CMA Mark of approval.


RETAINING WALL SECURES PROPERTY Some split Face L12 Terraforce retaining blocks manufactured by CMA member, Klapmuts Concrete, have been used to construct two closed-faced retaining walls, es(Above): The lower concrete block retaining wall at House Joubert.

sential structural landscaping elements for a new upmarket private

residence in Cape Town’s northern suburb of Welgemoed. Situated on steeply sloping ground, the luxurious House Joubert development comprises a 500m² double storey private dwelling at the lower end of the slope, and above it, outbuildings which house six garages and extensive staff quarters. The lower of the two retaining walls is situated between the house and the outbuildings, while the upper wall has been built above the latter. Designed by consulting engineer, Fred Laker, the walls were constructed by retaining wall specialist company, Surewall, in close collaboration with the main contractor, PB Construction. Both walls slope at an angle of 65˚ and were built with attractive convex and concave curves which the L12 block handles with ease. The lower wall, which covers an area of 180m², rises to four metres for most of its 55m length and the 200m² upper wall, which is 60m long, reaches a maximum height of three metres. According to site manager, Conrad Steyn of PB Construction, a full geotechnical report was undertaken before construction



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use as backfill material. Surewall owner, Hannes Mostert, said that both walls were built with reinforced foundations 900mm wide and 350mm deep and the first six layers of blocks were filled with concrete for additional stability. “We also stabilised the ground between the foundation of the house and the lower retaining wall with cement. “As with all concrete block retaining walls, drainage was a crucial design element. To this end we placed 110mm slotted pipes covered with Bidim and 90mm aggregate at both cut faces and we installed weep holes at every two metres. Drainage was further enhanced by the introduction of 300mm of clean sand as alternative backfill material which we placed immediately behind both walls from bottom to top,” advised Mostert.

• 2015







began and the ground was found to be sufficiently stable for








• 2016























20 year s

Tel: 083 701 3278

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• New home for CMA • Pus hing producti • Pion on with eering self-com prestres pacting sed slab concrete manufac turer celebrat es


Contact Wally Armstrong for more information


yc as

t in concret


k trac

• CMA CS undertakes first audits • Creati ng safer workplaces • Seawa ll protec ts Strand


(Above): An architect’s impression of House Joubert.



professional members of our association

T hose invol ved in the manuf actur e of

enable them to make better decisions,” says

concrete products or who use and specify

Johan van Wyk, GM of Sarma.

who are eager to work with delegates to find solutions to their construction challenges. “This year the conference will also look at strategic, up-to-date information related to the economy and the industry that can help decision-makers develop strategies that will

the use of concrete on construction sites are being specially invited to attend this

Tech talks

year’s readymix conference.

He adds that the many technical talks

This is being done in order to stimulate

delivered at the show will appeal to the

discussion and foster innovation in the

widest possible audience and will be centred

industry, which is based on the changing

on providing solutions to real-life technical

needs of the construction industry. By

challenges, case studies, best practices,

working together, the industry may be able to

changes in standards relating to the way

change the way concrete is manufactured,

concrete is manufactured and used, as well

delivered and received on site and could give

as new technologies aimed at better, faster

rise to smarter and better construction

and more efficient construction techniques.

in future.

F u r t h e r m o r e, t h e c o n f e r e n c e w ill

The Southern Africa Readymix Associa-

highlight opportunities for the industry and

tion (SARMA) has therefore invited the CMA,

look at ways of utilising resources more

as well as other organisations involved in

effectively. This will include a technical

the concrete industry to participate in the

discussion on the use of Eskom-generated

conference. Together the industry associa-

fly ash, which has the potential to be used as

tions are inviting industry professionals to

an admixture/extender in the manufacture

attend the conference in order to be part of

of concrete, with potential benefits for

a new way of thinking in order to overcome

certain types of mixed concrete.

challenges in both the concrete industry, as well as the overall construction industry.

These and many more topics will be discussed at our Readymix by SARMA Conference and we invite all stakeholders

New thinking

in the construction industry to be part

“We want this year’s conference to be

of this groundbreaking forum. For further

about using concrete wisely in order to get

information, contact the Sarma office on

the most out of its properties, about part-

tel: (011) 791-3327, e-mail: johan@sarma.

nering with like-minded organisations and or register online as soon as possible

companies and about forging co-operation

on: to benefit from our

between suppliers to the industry, produc-

early-bird booking promotions.

ers of concrete and the users and specifiers of concrete products.

Book early

“Therefore we want architects, en-

Delegate bookings are currently being made

gineer s, quantit y sur veyor s, pr ecast

on a first-come, first-served basis. The

concrete manufacturers and contractors

conference and exhibition will be held at the

to attend in order to find out more about

Misty Hills Conference & Exhibition Centre

exciting developments within the readymix

in Muldersdrift from 26-27 August 2016.

concrete industry. We also want to share ideas and forge relationships with the many


(Top): Last year’s readymix conference was bigger than ever.


GEARING FOR NEXT YEAR’S FULTONS The Concrete Society of Southern Africa

The awards continue to celebrate

NPC is calling for nominations for its

the legacy of scientific and technologi-

prestigious biennial Fulton Awards, which

cal advances in concrete within the built

recognise excellence and innovation in the

environment, as well as the late Dr

design and use of concrete.

“Sandy” Fulton’s life and achievements in the industry. The 2017 awards will include both new categories and a new approach to judging and the society is

• Overall aesthetic impact of the concrete aspects of the structure. • Rationale behind the chosen concrete finish. • Standard of workmanship of the concrete. • Effect of the concrete on the architectural landscape and environment.

proud to announce that PPC is once again the Anchor Sponsor for them. According to John Sheath, CEO and director of the Concrete Society, after more than 30 years of the awards’

Some unique criteria will apply to the Innovation in Concrete category: • Significance of the use/application of the innovation.

existence, some serious updating was

• The industry’s need for this innovation.

required in terms of both the criteria for

• Does it address or contribute to

adjudication of the entries and the entry categories themselves.

sustainability issues? • Will it make concrete more competitive and therefore grow the market?

(Above): John Sheath, CEO of the Concrete Society.

New focus

also changed. These can be made online

all that was special and exceptional in

through the society’s website and will

the concrete,” says Sheath, “and in the

require a short motivation explaining why

opinion of the Fulton Awards Committee,

the nomination deserves an award. The

we were focusing too much on the total

judges will assess these nominations and

project, considering aspects that had

a short-list of entries will be drawn up for

little to do with the material.”

subsequent adjudication on site.

So, irrespective of category, the

T he de adline f or nomina tions is

adjudication criteria that the judges will

31 August 2016, while the completed

be using are:

entry packs must be submitted by 30

• Quality of concrete – focusing on finish.

November 2016. The award-winners will

• Sustainability – green building initiatives.

be announced at a special gala week-

• Inventiveness/innovation in the

end to be held in the Drakensberg from

application of concrete technology. • Innovation in concrete (Above): Fairscape Precinct Office Tower, Botswana – a 2015 Fulton Award-winner.

The procedure for nominations has

“We had drifted away from identifying

construction methods. • Innovative geotechnical use of concrete.

2-4 June 2017. Full details of the 2017 awards are available on the Concrete Society website at:

The new categories for 2017 are: CATEGORY TITLE


Buildings up to three storeys

Residential, schools, commercial, factories, warehousing, industrial, etc

Buildings of more than three storeys

Office buildings, multi-family housing, etc


Slabs, paving, hardscape, etc


Bridges, roads, water resources, marine structures, power, transportation, etc

Innovation in concrete

Initiatives where totally new materials, techniques, technologies, applications, designs, and/or concepts using concrete as the principal material have been developed or utilised

Architectural concrete

Use of concrete as the principal construction material, demonstrating a unique and exceptional structure, surface finishes or particular detail in an aesthetic manner


Special or unusual concrete applications within the mining sector, both above and below ground


SOCIETY WELCOMES NEW PRESIDENT Well-known concrete industry personality,

“It’s a task I won’t take lightly, as I cher-

Hanlie Turner, was recently inaugurated

ish what the Concrete Society stands for

as the Concrete Society’s new national

and its sense of belonging”, she continued.

president for 2016/17.

“The Concrete Society ticks all the boxes

As a technical information specialist

of what a professional interest group is all

with cement company PPC, Turner has

about, the real value-add being the network-

been a member of the Concrete Society for

ing opportunities created at both branch

many years and has held several voluntary

and national level.”

positions in the organisation, including

“Members’ personal level of involvement

chairperson of the Inland Branch and, more

with the Concrete Society will determine

recently, national vice-president.

the value they can add to their jobs, their

Outgoing president, Tseli Maliehe of Ibhayi Contracting in Port Elizabeth, told

personal and professional development and the strategic insights they can gather.”

members attending the meeting that he was confident the society would be in good hands under Turner’s leadership, guidance and enthusiasm for all things concrete. Proud moment In accepting the chain of office, Turner said she was honoured to assume the responsibilities that came with it and thrilled to be part of the industry that shapes our skylines and in many aspects defines our civilisation.

(Above): Hanlie Turner with outgoing president of the Concrete Society of Southern Africa, Tseli Maliehe.

ENTRIES OPEN FOR IMAGINARIUM AWARDS Following hot on the heels of the success-

Concrete Sculptor Awards, the PPC Im-

ful PPC Imaginarium 2015/16 Awards, the

aginarium encourages artists and designers

organisers have sounded the official call for

to create and express their abilities using

entries for the next edition, with registra-

Portland cement-based concrete as a pri-

tions accepted online via the official website.

mary base or material.

Unestablished artists and designers

The competition will feature six disci-

stand a chance of changing their careers

plines in the arts and design fields. These

through financial support, recognition,

disciplines are sculpture, jewellery, archi-

mentorship and guidance by entering the

tecture, film, industrial and fashion design.

PPC Imaginarium Awards 2016/17. Having

Boasting prize money to the value of R500

evolved from the long-standing PPC Young

000, each category winner stands a chance of winning R50 000, while runner-up contestants receive R15 000. The overall competition winner will receive the grand prize of R100 000 at the winners’ exhibition in 2017. Entries close on Friday, 30 September 2016. The winners in each competition category will be announced in March 2017 and their work will be on display at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park. The overall competition winner announcement will take place in April 2017. To enter the PPC Imaginarium Awards, visit:



CONCRETE CONVERSATION PIECES For its participation in National Library

concrete and also to demonstrate the

School of Concrete Technology, provided

Week, The Concrete Institute (TCI) Infor-

material’s renowned versatility. “At the

the staff with expert guidelines on creat-

mation Centre invited staff to enter a

same time, our fun competition’s educa-

ing the conversation pieces, which now

special competition to see who could cre-

tion element was in line with the Library

have pride of place at their workstations

ate the most innovative small concrete

& Information Association of SA [LIASA] ‘

in the TCI offices in Midrand.

“conversation pieces” for their desks.

#libraries4lifelonglearning’ theme for 2016

Guest judge for the competition was

Susan Battison, the institute’s infor-

and endorsed the LIASA viewpoint that

Michelle Fick, Chryso SA’s executive re-

mation specialist, says the motive behind

libraries have a major role to play in the

lationship and projects manager. Three

the “First Impressions” competition was

development of a knowledgeable nation.”

prizes were awarded, plus another for

to showcase how easy it is to work with

John Roxburgh, lecturer at the TCI

the entry with the best title.


1 122m of concrete palisade fencing

donated more than 1 000m of concrete

for two Viva properties: 286m at the

palisade fencing to impoverished commu-

Mamelodi East Viva Village and 836m at

nities in the Mamelodi and Cullinan areas.

the Refilwe, Cullinan Viva Sharehouse.

According to the group’s marketing and communications manager, Guinevere

Raising hope

Thomas, the South African impoverished

“Projects such as the Viva Villages pro-

community faces many challenges, not

vide a lot of hope for those living in these

least the increasing development of

informal settlements, particularly the

informal settlements and the related

children, whom we at Technicrete ISG

problems that create an environment

wanted to assist in securing facilities

of insecurity.

and equipment – hence our donation of

The Viva Foundation, a non-profit organisation which strives to turn these

concrete palisade fencing and its installation,” says Thomas.

informal settlements into stable and safe

“Both of these Viva facilities offer

Meleney Berry-Kriel. “Obviously, at site

neighbourhoods, relies heavily on support

crucial activities such as education,

we have valuable training and computer

from the industrial and business sectors

sport and recreation, employment, social

equipment, as well as hardware and tools

for funding and donations of materials

awareness support and developmental

for the farming activities. The donation of

that assist in the establishment of safe

programmes, accommodation, farming

the concrete fencing by Technicrete ISG

havens, known as “Viva Villages”. In or-

and fresh vegetable projects,” says chief

has been most welcome and affords our

der to assist, Technicrete ISG donated

executive officer of the Viva Foundation,

village community some security in this poverty-stricken area.” “Hav ing the perimeter concr ete palisade fencing also ensures that we can keep the children and other Viva employees safe while conducting our daily activities and classes.” (Left and above): The Technicrete ISG steelreinforced concrete palisade fence acts as a deterrent to intruders, since it renders them clearly visible.



usz will complement our strong team of lead-

Techmatik SA has appointed Mariusz Gil as

Techmatik and the entire Columbia Group.”

president of the well-known global equipment supply company.

ers who’ve built Techmatik over the years. “His experience as a leader of companies in similar industries to ours, as well as his high energy and proactive, customer-focused personality, will fit in well with our team at Rick Goode, CEO of Columbia Machine, says: “Dariusz will be working closely with

Gil comes to Techmatik with extensive

Mariusz over the coming months to bring

experience in the construction materials

him up to speed on the many opportunities

industry, where he was previously focused

Techmatik’s currently pursuing. These will

on paving stones, slabs and bagged prod-

help continue the significant growth our

ucts. He had formerly held the positions of

company has experienced over the past few

managing director and CEO of Quick-Mix,

years. Dariusz will remain as an advisor to

sales and marketing director of Semmel-

Techmatik for the foreseeable future.”

rock Stein + Design (Wienerberger Group) and various sales positions at Henkel. “We’re happy to have Mariusz join Techmatik. He brings a strong level of industry experience to it,” says Dariusz Kupidura, founder and current president of the company. “We’re a family company, with extensive experience in the markets we target. Mari-

YOUTUBE MARKETING CMA member Revelstone is a company

YouTube videos to entertain and inform

which has positioned itself at the de-

visitors of its products, as well as shed

fining edge of concrete marketing and

light on the ability of the manufacturer

design, with modern and exotic products

to make superb and “unusual” architec-

that often go beyond the “norm” of con-

tural creations.

crete manufacture. Likewise, its marketing has recently gone high-tech with the introduction of

Search Revelstone on YouTube to see what the company is up to on the digital stage.


company manufactured and donated 320

Revelstone, manufacturer of cast-stone

six-week period.

delightful art concrete bunnies for the fundraising drive. The bunnies were sold for R50 each and the target was reached within the

products, recently raised a grand “paw-

DARG is a pro-life, non-profit organisa-

some” total of R16 000 for the Domestic

tion that rescues, cares for, sterilises and

Animal Rescue Group (DARG) with the sale

re-homes previously abused, neglected

of specially cast concrete bunnies.

and abandoned cats and dogs. DARG pro-

The fundraiser was held over a period of

vides a crucial role for the communities of

six weeks from 1 March-5 April 2016. The

Imizamo Yethu, Hangberg and the greater Hout Bay area. Andrew Cyprianos, CEO and founder of Revelstone, says: “We were overwhelmed by the response we got from our clients and the general public. We’d like to thank everyone who contributed towards this fantastic fundraiser. It’s been a huge success.” The funds raised will go towards assisting DARG with continue its work in the Western Cape.




these machines, we’re easily able to

Products recently installed a set of four

produce quality bricks using a 7% cement

T10 brick-making machines to boost

to aggregate ratio. As a result, our maxi

production at its Rustenburg factory.

brick has an average 20MPA strength

The equipment, supplied and installed by CMA non-producer member QuanGong

after 10 days and we can change this to meet customers’ needs,” says Lin.

(Clockwise from top right): Some of the high-quality bricks produced; quality control; Mighty Cement Products’ batching plant and yard; one of the QGM T10 fully automated brick machines that was recently installed at Mighty Cement Products in Rustenburg. (Below): Fresh off the production line, a forklift removes pallets of bricks produced on the T10 machine.

Machinery (QGM), will enable Mighty Ce-

He adds that due to the advanced

ment Products to produce quality bricks

nature of the four T10 machines, the

Maschinenfabrik Gmbh, a manufacturer

for the Rustenburg area, as well as pro-

supplier has a full-time engineer on site

of fully automatic mobile and stationary

viding cost-effective units to customers

who oversees the equipment and ensures

multi-layer machines, as well as Zenith

in areas as far afield as Johannesburg,

that the four machines maintain their

Formen Produktions, a well-known mould

Dundee, Stanger, Pinetown, Newcastle,

maximum output of 260 000pcs per

production company in Austria. As a re-

Cato Ridge and East London.

eight-hour shift.

sult of this acquired expertise, GQM is

According to the owner of Mighty

making a name for itself in the brick and

Cement Products, Mr Lin, the company

About QGM

is aiming to become one of the biggest

Established in 1979, QGM is the biggest

and most reliable suppliers of concrete

block-making equipment manufacturer in

products in North West Province, with a

China. In recent years it has acquired and

range of quality approved products that

partnered with a number of international-

meet all the relevant SANS specifications.

ly renowned companies in the equipment

“We chose the QGM T10 brick machine

manufacturing industry and has become

due to its German-designed functionality,

a force to be reckoned with globally.

as well as the fact that it’s manufactured

Recent acquisitions and partnerships

according to European standards. With

include German manufacturer Zenith


block machinery market.

PP C announced an inter esting set

pleased with the cost savings achieved

independently owned readymix concrete

of results, with a number of ups and

across the business during this period.

supplier in southern Africa.

downs following approval of its board to

We ha v e a deliber a te appr oach to

“PPC is fundamentally strong and

change the financial year-end from 30

navigating the current economic

profitable, with a solid operating base.

September 2016 to 31 March 2016.

landscape by driving cost-efficiencies

In the long term, [we aim to get] the

According to a statement from the

and leveraging our capabilities to achieve

company future-ready to partner with

cement producer, the group EBITDA

operational excellence,” says Darryll

and enable economies across Africa

was up 2% to R1,1 billion, largely due

Castle, CEO of PPC.

to achieve their growth imperatives,”

to impr oved ef f iciencies and cost-

“Our strategy to expand into a di-

sav ings which r esulted in r educed

verse pan-African player is starting to

administration and other operating

bear fruit, as evidenced by CIMERWA’s

Raising capital

expenditure. The Profit Improvement

positive contribution to group revenue.

PPC seeks to raise R3 billion-R4 billion by

Programme (PIP), which aimed to deliver

The three African expansion projects to

way of a proposed rights issue to improve

R400 million by 2017, generated R178

be commissioned in the next 12 months

liquidity and alleviate constraints. The

million for the period after

will provide us with the

capital raised will mainly be used to

providing R212 million by

necessary headroom to

repay debt funders for a guarantee

September 2015.

cushion us against macro-

extended to PPC bond-holders and an

PPC’s total cement

economic movements and

existing term facility that redeemed a

sales volumes for the six-

operational risks, including

PPC bond in March 2016, as well as for

month reporting period

increasing competition.”

the redemption of BEE 1 debt maturing

were 1% below those of

says Castle.

in December 2016.

last year. In SA, cement

Commercial division

volumes were up by 1%,

According to the state-

capital in the latter half of 2015 and

al though lower selling

ment, in order to enable

were far advanced with an orderly capital

prices reduced revenue.

PPC to effectively execute

raise process which was interrupted by

While revenue in the lime

its new strategy, a few

the sudden and severe ratings action

changes have been made

taken by S&P two weeks ago. The ratings

aggregates and readymix operations

to the group’s operating architecture.

downgrade meant that we needed to

contributed positively to group revenue.

PPC Aggregates, Pronto Readymix, Ulula

accelerate the capital raise and increase

CIMERWA, PP C’s new oper ation in

Ash and PPC Lime have been consolidated

the quantum to ensure that we can pay

Rwanda, achieved sales volumes of

into a materials business and a new com-

down the required debt and strengthen

124 000 tons at the expected EBITDA

mercial division with a dedicated project

the balance sheet,” explains Castle.

margin, adding nearly R200 million to

management office has been introduced.

“A de-gear ed balance sheet will

group revenue for the reporting period

The materials business division –

give us greater flexibility to absorb

which is focused on expanding PPC’s

any further weakness in the operating

product range and service offering in

environment, as well as the ability to

Higher costs

aggregates, readymix, fly ash, lime and

pursue our corporate strategy, which is

Group cost of sales were only 2% higher,

related businesses – has made good

to be a world-class provider of materials

following the inclusion of CIMERWA in

progress, including the imminent acquisi-

and solutions, with a view to doubling the

Rwanda, with cost increases particularly

tion of 3Q Mahuma Concrete, the largest

business every 10 years.”

business declined 12%,

(Above): Darryll Castle, CEO of PPC.

to 31 March 2016.

well managed in the South African and Botswana cement businesses, as well as in the lime division. Cost of sales in the South African cement business was down 3%, on a per-ton basis, while administration and overhead costs fell 12% for the period. PPC’s expansion strategy, embarked on in 2010 to extract value from highgrowth economies, is progressing well. Projects in the DRC, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia are all over 70% complete and due to be commissioned in the next 12 months. with ramp-up to the required production capacity to take appr oximately thr ee year s. “We’r e


“We identified the need to raise






COOLS CITIES Concrete’s relatively light colour has several important environmental

ment. In contrast, dark materials, such as new asphalt, can have an albedo or reflectance capacity as low as 0,05,” says Perrie. Concrete is cooler “The incorporation of high albedo con-

This principle also applies to urban areas

crete products in exposed surfaces

and car parks.

such as roads and parking areas can significantly reduce the heat island ef-

Heat islands

fect and lead to cooler urban areas. In

The two primary benefits of concrete’s

Bryan Perrie, MD of The Concrete In-

Arizona, USA, for example, the summer

light colour are reduced lighting energy

stitute, says that on hot summer days,

temperatures of adjacent concrete and

consumption and a decrease of the

ambient conditions in urban

asphalt roads were measured:

“heat island” effect in cities and built-

areas can be 2-6˚C warmer

concrete was a staggering

up areas, both of which help to combat

than the adjacent countryside,

11˚C cooler,” he adds.

global warming.

thus making the built-up areas

In the first instance, the light col-

“heat islands”.

He says using concrete with its high heat reflectance abil-

our of concrete provides a safer en-

These urban heat islands

ity can lower average summer

vironment and also enables lighting

can influence rainfall patterns,

afternoon temperatures in sur-

requirements in a town or city to be

with higher rainfall downwind of

rounding buildings by as much

reduced, both internally and externally.

cities compared with upwind

as 3˚C, cutting air-conditioning

For concrete roads or parking areas,

areas. The reflectance ratio,

research in the USA has shown that

or “albedo effect”, of reflected solar

“The potential increase in cost during

surface reflection readings on concrete

radiation to the amount that falls on the

the design and construction phases in

pavements and other surfaces are four

surface rates from 0 (when no incoming

providing a green structure will generally

to five times higher than other road

radiation is reflected) to 1 (when all in-

be more than offset by the savings from

surface materials.

coming radiation is reflected). The light-

reduced energy usage when concrete

This means increased visibility for

er the surface colour, the more solar

structures are used. Life-cycle cost

drivers and increased security in urban

radiation it will reflect and the less heat

analyses have shown that, because of

areas. Similar research has shown that

it will absorb. The solar reflectance of

concrete’s durability, the whole life cost

the increased reflectance of concrete

concrete varies from 0,2-0,4, compared

of many projects is lower when concrete

roads calls for fewer lighting masts and

with asphalt’s much lower reflectance,

is used as the major construction ma-

up to 24% lower energy requirements.

which ranges from 0,05-0,2.

terials,” Perrie concludes.

usage by as much as 18%.

“Exposed building materials with a

“The light colour of concrete provides a safer environment.”

high albedo reflect more heat and lead to cooler cities. The average albedo of normal concrete is about 0,35, with reflectance values as high as 0,7-0,8 for white concrete made with white ce-

(Top): Exposed concrete areas such as expansive parking lots reflect more heat and help produce cooler cities, according to The Concrete Institute. (Above): Concrete’s relatively light colour has several environmental benefits, says Bryan Perrie, MD of The Concrete Institute.



AVOIDING BOTTLENECKS ON SITE While achieving a dense, cohesive con-


crete mix with sufficient paste volume

CMA member, Chryso, has also developed

will enable the correct level of workability

“Fill Free” technology which helps manufac-

of concrete, concrete manufacturers

turers produce concrete that is cohesive,

must also avoid practices that result in

yet still has a moderate viscosity. This

risky segregation during concrete pump-

modified PCE technology was developed to

ing on sites.

have non-thixotropic properties and makes

site workability is attained so that the

use of Chryso superplasticisers.

concrete can be pushed or transported

“Where material segregates and the


water separates out of the mix – in other

Correia explains that other factors

words, where water washes out of the

which could contribute to segregation

through this channel,” he says.

paste – there’s a strong possibility of

are pumping pressure and material grad-

Getting it right

blockages occurring in the pipeline,” says

ing. If the pumping pressure used is too

Chryso Fill Free technology facilitates a

Eddie Correia, executive vice-president

high, excessive pressure is placed on the

cohesive concrete paste which is less

at Chryso Southern Africa, a producer

mix and this could force segregation of

sticky. This is important, as stickiness

of superplasticisers.

the concrete during pumping. Likewise,

can produce lower cleaning efforts in

These water-reducing agents enable

if the grading of the aggregates is in-

the pipeline and also increase the resist-

good aggregate coating by dispersing

correct, they will be pushed out during

ance of the flow of the concrete there.

the cement grains, thereby minimising

pumping and this will result in blockages

Moreover, a paste that is too sticky will

agglomeration of the mix and increasing

in the pump and/or pipeline.

make it difficult to maintain a constant rate of pumping.

plasticity and therefore workability of

“When being pumped, concrete moves

the concrete. Superplasticisers from

in the form of a cylinder and is separated

Again, this is where superplasticisers

the Chryso Fluid range will assist in

from the pipeline wall by a lubricating

are invaluable in achieving the plasticity

creating a favourable water/cement

layer made up of water, cement and

and workability needed for the concrete

ratio by reducing the amount of water.

fine aggregate or sand. It’s essential

paste to pass easily through reducers

This also prevents shrinking, cracking

that this lubricating film is achieved on

and move through bends in the pump and

and porous concrete.

all sides of the pipe and that the requi-

pipeline without causing blockages.

Wet Cast & Precast Production line

RER TU Comprehensive range of equipment for custom-made C FA NU the Concrete Industry Manufacturer of Equipment Afor plant definition M H NC FRE

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QUADRA - 40 route de Findrol - 74130 Contamine-sur-Arve - France Tel. +33 4 50 03 92 21 - Fax. +33 4 50 03 69 97




A range of versatile precast concrete barriers, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, is finding favour across industries as a rapid-to-erect and effective means of separating areas for different land uses. The Yfel barrier, designed and manufactured by CMA member Remacon, is an ingenious barrier that can easily be transported and erected on sites as an alternative to permanent immovable structures. Whether it be in a stockyard to prevent material contamination, a security barrier with an anti-climb curve or even as a traffic or noise barrier, the Yfel has few peers when it comes to sturdiness and versatility. According to Silvio Ferraris of Remacon, the idea of the Yfel is to provide easy-up barriers that provide sufficient sturdiness to be used in heavy-duty or even permanent applications. Should the need arise, however, they can simply be uploaded with a forklift and their positions changed, or they can be transported to a new area. What’s more, the barriers are available in a number of other configurations with additions to the mould that can produce security, noise barriers and more. (Left): Silvio Ferraris of Remacon shows the bolt on noise barriers allow the Yfel to fulfil multiple roles as a physical security wall as well as noise barrier.

Diversifying offerings

(Above, far right and below): Remacon provides a wide range of solutions for all industries requiring material bunkering, noise attenuation and security walling.

the construction industry, so I started

“I wanted to reduce our dependency on to look at potential new products that cut across all industries. Having just


YFEL Storage solutions for different types of dry bulk materials noises, although they can also be used to dampen noise at construction and industrial sites, or even playgrounds. When combined with the Yfel barrier system, they provide an all-in-one noise and perimeter barrier par excellence. As can be expected, the Yfel barriers have been well received across a number of industries and are already in use in industrial applications such as chemical plants, aggregate stores and building suppliers’ yards, where they are used as bunkers to prevent cross-contamination returned from Paris, the Eiffel Tower

of products. The curved anti-climb bar-

was still fresh in my memory and the

rier types have further been used to

strength of the shape came to mind. I

deflect wind to prevent fine particles

used this basic shape to model a new

being blown away in these yards.

creation that has enough strength

“Yfel barriers can be used in security,

and stability to withstand considerable

agriculture, roads and construction,

forces and enough height to be effective.

retail and a number of other industries.

“So the Yfel was born and we’ve sub-

They can also be used for architectural

sequently worked on a number of types

purposes in prisons, stadiums, ports

that harness the basic principle for use

and harbours, airports and a myriad of

in a wide range of applications. Where

other locations,” says Ferraris.

the original concept has an Eiffel Towershaped side cross-section, others have been adapted to either curve over at the top to create an anti-climb or windblocking shape. Still others have bolt-on precast noise dampers or adjustments for different heights, etc. “Units are interlocking and, if desired, they can be secured at the base, as well as with locking pins on either side to fasten them to units on either side. The nature of the moulds also allows us to manufacture the Yfels with ready-made fittings or conduits to house electric fencing, lights or other fittings, if neces-

Road fixtures Remacon is well known for manufacturing the patented Deltabloc highway barrier systems from Austria. Designed to withstand and divert the forces of speeding vehicles, the Deltabloc is a modern, high-quality fixture on highways across the globe. A derivative of the original concept, the Citibloc, aimed at providing barriers for suburban, retail and office park roads, has recently

sary,” says Ferraris.

been introduced to the South


to its smaller size (600mm high)

Regarding the manufacturing process, he explains that the moulds are standard steel ones sized in accordance with the standard product line-up. Additional fitments can be bolted on to produce anti-climb curves or other shapes, as required by the customer. Reinforcing and concrete strengths are done in accordance with the original design, but can be modified in to make allowance for special requirements. Bolt-on noise barrier mouldings are separately moulded and make use of noise-dispersing and absorbing patterns, as well as more porous types of concrete finishes. They are particularly effective in blocking road and railway


African market by Remacon. Due and lighter weight, the Citibloc is easier to move and transport, so it is ideal for use in traffic-calming situations where it can be erected during certain times of day and moved as the need arises. It is has also been earmarked as a solution for taxi ranks, where

Dry bulk materials such as: • Sand and stone

lanes need to be created for dif-

• Waste, fertilisers and compost

ferent routes and where marshals

• Coal and mineral ores

need to maintain order within the

• Scrap metal

rank to prevent lane-skipping. This newly-released “mini-road barrier”

• Silage etc, require separation using YFEL

is also expected to find favour with municipalities for traffic control purposes.

ReMaCon Products Tel: 011 393 5504 • Fax: 011 393 5502 E-mail: Website:


FASTER FORMWORK WITH MAGNETS L ong-standing r ebar and f ormwork

The Spartan Precast Concrete Sys-

without problems. It is fully configurable,

supplier RMCS has acquired the rights

tem is faster and more cost-effective

with fully adjustable sideform/edgeform

to distribute an innovative formwork

than traditional alternatives, with solu-

moulds that allow height adjustment in

system that allows quick and easy set-

tions for the precast manufacturing and

5mm increments, as well as providing the

up of moulds to produce a wide variety

tilt-up construction industry. Its light-

ability to change the edge fillet chamfer.

of different cast products.

weight, magnet-connected construction

Precast System include:

reshaped after use to cast different

• Magnet clamps, which provide out-

shapes and sizes, with the addition of

standing pull-down strengths in a fully

various lengths and profiles.

sealed housing that protects it from dirt

According to Louis Aylward, managing

and foreign metallic magnetic matter.

director of RMCS, the high-tech system

The magnet’s structural polymer housing

is light and easy to move, requiring less

is designed to minimise concrete adhe-

manpower and effort to reconfigure. In

sion, which allows easier cleaning and

addition, its snap-together magnet joints

maintenance, while the handle operation

do not need to be bolted and secured,

is easy to engage and disengage and

which dramatically cuts down set-up

provides a semi-engage setting for fine-

time. This ensures that more time is

positioning. The magnet is also designed

spent casting products and less time wasted on building and rebuilding forms. Hard-wearing He adds that despite its light weight, it is fully as robust as traditional systems (Above): Magnet makes for easy operation.

T he components of the Spar tan

means that the formwork can easily be

and can be used for thousands of cycles

“The Spartan Precast System requires fewer man-hours to be spent on set-up.”

A name truly cast in concrete

HOLLOW-CORE CONCRETE FLOORING ECHO PRESTRESS (Pty) Ltd. (Prestressed Hollow-Core Floors) Private Bag 1, Edleen 1625 Tel: 011 589 8800 Fax: 011 589 8955 Email:

ECHO PRESTRESS DURBAN (Pty) Ltd. (Prestressed Hollow-Core Floors) P.O. Box 40726, Red Hill, 4071 Tel: 031 569 6950 Fax: 031 569 6974 Email:

ECHO FLOORS (Pty) Ltd. (Reinforced Hollow-Core Floors) P O Box 706, Muldersdrift, 1747 Tel: 011 662 4600 / 083 602 0966 Fax: 086 667 2037 Email:

TOPFLOOR (Prestressed Hollow-Core Floors) P O Box 124, Sanlamhof, 7532 Tel: 021 951 7700 Fax: 021 951 7790 Email:


to absorb production vibration from vibrating beds and tables. • Composite sideforms are specifically designed for magnetic clamp precast application for support onto the steel casting bed table. They have ball lock rail strip at the rear, which allows for quick and simple engagement and dis-


engagement of the magnet clamp. They are lightweight and easy to handle, with no bolts, screws or any complicated and tim-consuming fixing required. Shapes and sizes Sideforms come in 5,8m lengths with joiner plates available to allow them to be joined together for very large panels. Available in 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm, 225mm, 250mm, 275mm and 300mm heights, they can be lapped to make different size panels.

(Above): The layout of the Spartan Precast System shows the sideforms held in place with magnets.

Sideform caps are used to vary the

that there is a watertight seal between

Precast System requires fewer man-

size of the panel in 5mm increments. They

the sides and the casting bed, and prevent

hours to be spent on set-up, which means

are available to clip onto the top of the

bleeding at bottom of sideforms.

that labour can be redeployed in other

sideform with ease and are available with

“This is a system that enables high vol-

revenue-earning roles. This is especially

straight or chamfered edges. Bottom

umes to be produced from relatively small

true wherever manufacturers produce

caps are available with a straight edge or

casting yards. Thanks to its ease of use

a lot of custom products that require

a chamfered edge rubber seal to ensure

and time-saving features, the Spartan

regular mould changes,� says Aylward.


TOTALLY CONCRETE ROUND-UP The Concrete Manufacturers’ Association and its members were well represented at this year’s instalment of the Totally Concrete Expo. Once again the


CMA commandeered a large stand in the middle of the exhibition, with a number of CMA members choosing to share space with the association and highlight the services and products they offer. Others were represented in their own stands where they had more room to show their wares.


The reason why concrete block retaining walls are used so widely is that they offer much more than the stabilisation of earthen embankments. They also give full reign to the creative talents of landscape architects and retaining wall builders. The Grove Mall, an upmarket shopping precinct developed by Resilient Africa and si tua t e d o f f Ly nw o o d R o ad in eastern Pretoria, illustrates this point in spectacular fashion. Its 420m long multi-faceted retaining wall structure on its southern and western boundaries has transformed a six-metre-high erosionpr one ear then emb ank men t in to a terraced wall garden, comprising three, and in one section four layers, of retaining walls interspersed and overhung with abundant plant and flower life. Despite their eye-catching attributes, public safety rather than aesthetics was the prime motivator for shoring the embankment with terraced walls which were designed, built and engineered by Engineered Interlock Solutions to provide many years of trouble-free service.


(Above): Public safety and natural beauty combine at The Grove Mall in Pretoria in a multi-terraced wall garden, built with over 46 000 of Aveng Infraset’s Infrablok™ 350 retaining wall blocks.





Right solution According to Engineered Interlock Solutions, owner, Manie Troskie, before the retaining wall option was considered, gabions were the front-running reinforcement solution. “We wer e appr oached by A x iom Consulting Engineers to provide an


alternative terraced concrete block retaining wall design using a cut-and fill construction technique. We submitted our design, which was based on Aveng Infraset’s very attractive and natural looking split-face retaining block, the Infrablok 350, to BJV Quantity Surveyors. “This solution not only proved less expensive to build than the gabion-based alternative, but offered the opportunity of creating a wall garden. Over 46 000 block were supplied by Aveng Infraset to cover a total wall-face area of 2 570m². We incorporated terracing for two reasons. It was a far more attractive option than a single wall and it provided the parking basement with more natural light. The individual walls were built in S

and unimpeded access for building the

shapes with varying wall heights to lend

lower wall. Provisional alternative drain-

Drainage was a very important facet

further aesthetic appeal,” said Troskie.

age was installed in this section during

of the project, given the large volume of

on all the walls for erosion protection.

construction. Dust was another problem

water on site. Sub-soil pipes were placed

Live construction

and the on-site water was used to damp

at the bottom of the cut face and outlet

Actual construction was complicated

down the soil.

pipes were run from the cut faces to the bottom of the walls. Sausage drains

because it commenced while the centre was fully functional. “This meant we had to work in a public space and this restricted our available working area. In addition, a section of the parking basement adjacent to the embankment had to be used for temporary storage of the excavated soil. Moreover, although

“We had to work in a public space and this restricted our available working area.”

the soil was suf ficiently stable for

were placed against the cut faces of the upper walls and the outlet pipes drained onto the flower beds of the lower terraces. Kaytech’s M100 Geopipe was used for drainage where the water flow was at its heaviest. Easy access

backfill purposes, there was so much

Solid construction

Troskie said that one of the reasons

water in one section of the embankment

In order to ensure that the walls were

why Aveng infraset’s Infrablok 350 was

that it ran continuously, and we had to

structurally sound and well drained, En-

specified is that it allows for the crea-

pay particular attention to drainage”

gineered Interlock Solutions was obliged

tion of concave and curves which were

said Troskie.

to use low-fines concrete as the backfill

deployed at The Grove. Aveng Infraset

The walls were completed at the end

material for the first wall. This wall varied

landscape products sales manager,

of 2014 and took six months to build. The

in height between one and three metres

Brennan Small, commented further, say-

bulk of the structure comprised three

and in one three metre section the wall

ing that the Infrablok 350 also allows the

walls, apart from the south western

was built around a substantial quantity

construction of staircases and two were

corner where a fourth wall was added.

of rock. The upper walls ran between one

built at The Grove to provide access to

and two metres in height.

the gardens.

Detailed logistical planning was required to counter the restricted working

All the walls were built with concrete

“Furthermore, the blocks can be

space and a ramp, which provided access

foundations and the excavated soil was

filled with concrete for the placing of

to the upper wall sections, had to be

used as backfill material for the upper

handrails, light posts and fences,” ad-

built. Besides excavating and stockpiling

terraces. All the walls were built at

vises Small.

the soil, an existing precast concrete

an angle of 80˚ with Maccaferri WG4

drainage channel, which ran along the

geosynthetic reinf orcement. In ad-

bottom of the embankment, had to be

dition, a layer of bidem was installed

temporarily filled in to provide adequate

under the second to last layer of blocks


(Above): Public safety and natural beauty combine at The Grove Mall in Pretoria in a multi-terraced wall garden, built with over 46 000 of Aveng Infraset’s Infrablok™ 350 retaining wall blocks.


CREATING SAFER WORKPLACES I I of chemicals or explosives on site may only

O O S some of the main causes of accidents/incidents on our sites.

be done by suitably qualified people with the right training and equipment, using the information available in the Material

“By far and away the biggest preventable

ensure workers are protected against

cause of injuries on site is not using the

the hazardous work they’re doing.

correct safety gear, like lock-out proce-

Safety Data Sheet. Legal-wise

dures or personal protective equipment

Preventing silicosis

“Other areas of concern I’ve noted in

[PPE]. Harm is caused to a person that’s

“Next is dust suppression and prevent-

my years of doing assessments in the

ing respiratory ailments caused

concrete manufacturing industry are

by breathing in cement or

lock out procedures that are either in-

entirely preventable when wearing the desired PPE. “ T her e’s also no ex-

dust generated from sands

adequate or non-existent.

cuse for not wearing PPE

and aggregates, etc. In-

“Equipment guarding needs to be cor-

because the nature of

halation of this dust can

rect and in place. Also, vehicles/forklifts/

the work we do is inher-

cause silicosis, a debili-

cranes on site must be managed correct-

ently dangerous and it’s

tating disease that can

ly and competency training and checks

therefore reasonable to

considerably decrease the

for operators’/drivers’ should always be

life expectancy of sufferers

done. Clearly demarcated areas where

assume that everybody on site should be using some form of PPE or another. Also, if you don’t

by many years.

equipment may and may not operate also

“As a result, the au-

need to be established.

know what the appropriate PPE equip-

thorities are clamping down on

“These are just some of

ment is for a task, do some research,

industries where dust is emit-

the issues we encounter on

as there’s a lot of information available

ted. Companies found guilty of

site, which we’ll be looking at in

through the CMA, online or through OHS

generating dust and not tak-

more detail in future articles.

consultants. Remember, prevention is

ing the necessary precautions

To begin with, it’s essential

better than cure, so try to avoid inci-

to prevent people’s exposure

that companies assess these

dents in the first place. If you can’t, then

to silicosis are liable to receive extremely heavy fines.

“Probably the biggest cause of serious injuries on site is falling from heights.”

“Equally dangerous, and probably the biggest cause

and other risks on their sites. (Above): Oom Callie Calitz is an experienced health and safety practitioner.

of serious injuries on site, is falling from

Once they’ve established, it’s critical to follow the letter of the law and ensure that all

stipulated requirements are met.

heights. Working at heights requires the

“The next step is to implement man-

correct training, medical fitness certifi-

agement systems to manage and mitigate

cates and fall arrest equipment, other-

risks, and this will also be the topic of a

wise lives are at stake. Similarly, handling

future article. Until then, stay safe!”



Without well-managed quarries the cost of construction will become unaffordable for home-owners and ture such as roads and hospitals.


Quarries are essential for the legal extraction of sands and aggregates used in the manufacture of concrete structures, as well as base and top courses of roads and ballast for railways. If for any reason the materials for these construction projects need to be sourced from too far away (more than 100km), the cost of transport can become prohibitive and dramatically increase the price of building products.



Research has shown that the average

population growth, a strong demand for

South African citizen accounts for over

infrastructure development has arisen

three tons of aggregates, which is

and needs to be supported by legal quarry

calculated using the house they live in, as

operations in every town and city

well as streets and other infrastructure

However, residents should remain

they use during this period. This means

vigilant and report quarries that are not

that even if a person is not actively

being responsible, as they may be illegal

involved in the construction industry,

operations which operate outside all laws

they still require that amount of material

of the country. These operators some-

just to go about their daily lives.

times operate “quarries” and borrow pits that cause severe damage to the sur-

Responsible citizens

rounds. Rather than creating sustainable

In order to raise awareness of the im-

work for residents, they often exploit

portance of well-managed legal quarries

workers and scar the environment.

nearby our towns, the Aggregate & Sand

“If residents suspect that quarrying

Producers’ Association of Southern

is being carried out in a manner that’s

Africa (ASPASA) has embarked on an in-

and water pollution, among others. An

harmful or if they suspect that a quarry

formation campaign to educate residents

additional benefit is the creation of direct

(or borrow pit) is being illegally operated,

of our towns and cities about the many

and indirect jobs that are sustainable

we strongly encourage them to contact

uses of materials being taken from their

o v er a long per iod,” say s A SPA S A

ASPASA, as well as their local police and

local quarries.

director Nico Pienaar.

Department of Mineral Resources offices.

“All too often residents only see the

“ASPASA members also get involved

negative side of quarrying, such as the

in a host of community projects that are

Working together

use of heavy equipment on site, blasting

specially identified to benefit and uplift

“Rather than single-mindedly oppos-

or increased heavy vehicle traffic and

residents of surrounding communities.

ing quarrying in our towns and cities,

get upset at the mere thought of having

They usually encourage residents to get

ASPASA encourages residents to work

a ‘big, dirty quarry’ nearby. Few people

involved and to make use of areas that

with our legal quarry operators to ensure

realise that formal, registered quarries

are suitable for activities such as bird

they’re operated in a way that’s accept-

belonging to the association are far from

watching, cycling etc in order to also

able to them. They should also provide

being bad neighbours.

make meaningful contributions to the

active input on how the quarry is reha-

residents’ lives.”

bilitated and possibly look at using the

“These legal quarries have to obtain mining, water usage and environmental

quarry as a dam, park, shopping mall or

permits and must abide by extreme

Illegal quarrying

other type of land use when the quarrying

str ic t r egula tions simpl y to b egin

Pienaar explains that the aggregates

operations cease,” advises Pienaar.

quarrying operations. Once in operation,

and sand quarry industry has never been

they are heavily regulated (in terms of

more responsible and committed to the

the impact on surrounding communities)

communities in which they operate.

and have to comply with very stringent

With the government’s commitment

r egulations r elating to noise, dust

to building new homes and the rising


(Top): Quarries should provide safe and sustainable employment for surrounding communities. (Above, left): Aggregates and sands make up more than 75% of the contents of concrete and are the main ingredients in road and railway construction.





mouth of the Eerste River. Sections of a seawall adjacent to Beach

(CCT), which included replacing a broken

Road in Strand were breached between

seawall with a temporary revetment on

April 2006 and June 2007, causing dam-

the eastern beach, the seawall to the

age to pavements and streetlights, and

west at the Sarel Cilliers intersection

threatening to flood basements in some

continued to be overtopped.

of the side-streets. Despite remedial

This ongoing damage to the Strand

measures taken by the City of Cape Town

seawall and other structures prompted CCT to appoint PDNA (later acquired

(Left and Top): L-shaped units are lowered onto the mass foundation. (Below): Concrete is poured into a section of the Phase 1 mass foundation.

by Mott MacDonald) to undertake a detailed coastal study from Gordon’s Bay to the mouth of the Zeekoevlei canal outlet in 2011. The study had a threefold objective: to realise a better understanding of coastal zone dynamics in a context of rising sea levels; to assess the condition of coastal structures along the 38km of coastline to Zeekoevlei, especially their performance in relation to wind-blown sand and beach-wall overtopping; and to propose solutions for the Strand beachfront.


dif ferent coastal defences were assessed against the allowable overtopping rates. Key factors in the elevation of the seawall also included future climate changes and line-of-sight for the public enjoyment of the beachfront.” Unimpeded views The amounts of water and wind-blown sand which could overtop the walls were crucial research elements. Given that this is a holiday destination, aesthetic considerations also played a significant role in the design brief. “For instance, we had to restrict the height of the walls, as measured from the promenade surface to the top of the walls, to give promenade strollers an unimpeded view of the beach and the sea. And even though Beach Road slopes gradually from the west to the east, the elevation of the top of the wall will remain constant, “The great bulk of the wall is buried below ground and the portion visible from the beach will vary constantly, depending on the vagaries of shifting beach sands. All our calculations, based on both our Technical team

numerical and physical models, indicated

Mott MacDonald assembled a team of

that 3,5m above zero land levelling datum

coastal research specialists, including

was our optimum height. This, and the

Geoff Toms, head of ports and coastal

horizontal alignment of the wall in relation

engineering at the University of Stellen-

to the coastline, was arrived at after

bosch, and Piet Badenhorst, a special-

extensive debate with environmental

ist in dune management. This two-year

advisers and City Parks,” says Cooksey.

research programme led to a decision to replace the existing Strand seawall with a 3km precast concrete seawall in a triple-phased construction programme. “The choice of precast concrete units for building the seawall was an engineering decision based on the need to build quickly and achieve high standards in durability and finish qualities,” comments Mott MacDonald specialist consultant

“Another quality requirement was the absence of blemishes and blow holes on the surfaces of the units.”

Tony Cooksey. “Manufacturing precast elements in a factory away from the marine environment made it easier to achieve the high specifications on a consistent basis. It was also more cost-effective. “The height of the precast wall was calculated through the numerical modelling of deep-sea wave conditions close to the near-shore and by physical modelling of the design wave (significant wave) against allowable overtopping rates. The physical modelling included flume experimentation at Stellenbosch University’s Coastal Engineering Laboratory, where


(Above): A section of the Phase 1 seawall and the reno mattress.


Effective solution Construction of Phase 1, which is 1,1km long and runs from the Strand Pavilion to a point between Burnard and Da Gama Streets, began in January 2016 and is due for completion at the end of July 2017. Phase 2 will begin where Phase


1 ends and will provide protection up to a point near the Strand Surf LifeSaving Club. Phase 3 will cover the area from the Strand Pavilion to Greenways. Phases 2 and 3 should begin shortly after the completion of Phase 1 and will run concurrently. As Mott MacDonald marine coastal engineer Brenton Heron says, an Lshaped gravity wall is an attractive op-

(Above): An engineer’s cross-section of the completed wall.

tion for a number of reasons. “It’s a highly flexible solution, as it can be integrated

beach nourishment. It can also be eas-

with various other coastal protection

ily integrated with a promenade, as in

measures, such as rock revetment or

the case of Strand, as well as other beachfront amenities. However, varying founding conditions at the Strand beachfront, and the placement of the L-shaped units in a challenging environment, made achieving a uniform vertical and smooth horizontal alignment one of our main

“The choice of precast concrete units for building the seawall was an engineering decision.”

construction-related challenges. Dur-

are: an in-situ concrete mass-concrete

ing the design stage, it was envisaged

foundation which, depending on the

that achieving a tight tolerance on the

bedrock, was laid on varying founding

works would be challenging. Therefore

conditions; L-shaped precast concrete

the coping’s been designed to take in

units which weigh 14-16 tonnes and

the differences in tolerances and deliver

measure 3,5m (length), 2,65m (height)

a smooth wall alignment, both vertically

and 2,4m (width); and curved 1,5-tonne

and horizontally.”

precast concrete coping units, 835mm

The walls contain three main structural

high and 795mm wide. On certain sections

elements. Starting from the bottom, they

there is a fourth element, namely rockbased reno mattresses which are 4m

(Left): Recently-installed coping units prior to grouting.

long and 300mm deep. They are placed at

(Below): A completed section of the Phase 1 wall.

the toe of all L-shaped units not founded on bedrock and provide scour protection. Strong foundations “Without de-watering, much of the sand is water-logged and during construction, de-watering has to be continuous,” says Brenton. “Where sandy saturated conditions persist, a 350mm pioneer layer of rock, wrapped in geotextile fabric, provides a stable surface for casting the concrete foundation. In drier sections, the mass concrete foundation is cast directly onto sand or rock, or a combination of the two.” The coping units are lowered into position onto galvanised rebar which are cast into the L-shaped units. They have vertical corrugated sleeves 80mm in diameter which run the full depth. CMA


on the surfaces of the units and we

winner, Concrete Units, is casting 494

changed our casting methodology to

L-shaped units and 1 600 coping units.

ensure this. Moreover, instead of self-

Approximately 100 L-shape units are

compacting concrete, we opted for a

being cast with curves to accommodate

high slump alternative.

the curvatures of the walls and there are

“Initially we batched the concrete

30 different types. Some 200 curved

ourselves, using a 26mm aggregate

coping units are being cast in eight

and pulverised fly ash from Gauteng and

different shapes. These were optimised

achieved a strength rating above the

by using innovative variable moulds.

required 40MPa. We’ve subsequently

Commenting on the casting process,

given our mix designs to Megamix, which

Concrete Units manager, Brian Cook,

is supplying us with the concrete. An

says a very high standard of concrete

exposed aggregate finish was considered

was a project specification. “The quality

as an option for the coping units, but

rating of the concrete centred around

ultimately of f-shutter finishes were

four durability indices and we submitted

chosen for both units. This simplified

our concrete mix design to the concrete

matters and gave matching finishes on

laboratory at the University of Cape

both units,” says Cook.


member and Awards for Excellence 2016


(Above): A section of the Phase 1 seawall and the reno mattress.

Town for verification. The results were

“This project also calls for 75mm

extremely satisfactory and were higher

cover to the rebar. We had to have

than what’s normally associated with a

the cover blocks cast locally because a

Concrete Units also designed and

marine environment. For instance, we

weak rand made the imported units too

built lifting systems for the loading and

were working on a permeability index of

expensive. They’re very heavy-duty units

offloading of the units. At the time of

9,6 and achieved 10,24.

with very low absorption properties and

writing, the construction of Phase 1 was

have the same durability properties as

only 25% complete and the final placing

Surface finishes

the concrete used on the L-shaped and

of coping units was being done. The client

“Another quality requirement was the

coping units. We’re using pulverised fly

and engineers are satisfied with the

absence of blemishes and blow holes

ash and many other special materials to

appearances of finished work to date.

achieve a cover-block strength rating of over 50MPa.”

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



CLINIC GETS SMART NEW PAVING Technicrete Stilfontein manufacturing

200 of the exterior of the building provides a reassuring and professional welcome for patients and visitors alike.

plant, and still met all delivery deadlines,”

The project team chose Double Zig-Zag

DZZ (Grey) 2 360m², 60mm DZZ (Slate)

crucial to Technicrete ISG and it’s critical

(DZZ), Trojan Square paving and kerbs

65m², 60mm DZZ (Tan) 65m², 60mm

that all walkways and kerbing are profes-

from CMA member, Technicrete, to

Trojan Square, as well as Fig7 semi-

sionally installed with a flawless and evenly

achieve the desired aesthetics, as well

mountable kerbs 96 x 1m.

laid finish.” added Steenkamp.

as provide the clinic with a long-lasting and durable solution for its traffic areas.

Quality first

This included paving and kerbs around

“The scheduling on this project was

walkways, parking and emergency drop-

extremely tight and we were pleased to

off zones where the installation needed

be able to meet all deadlines presented

to be professionally managed in order to

to us by the developer and building

provide a safe and attractive finish.

contr ac tor. We o v er came pr oduc t

The clinic required an area of 2 550m²

availability challenges and sourced the

to be paved. Technicrete supplied 80mm

correct quantities required from our

says Hendrik Steenkamp, Technicrete ISG sales consultant in Polokwane. “The safety of people who utilise parking and visitor areas at medical facilities is

created a visually impactful and rustic element to the faculty construction” says spokesperson Guinevere Thomas, group marketing and communications manager for the IS Group. She adds that the Wits faculty used 380 194 concrete masonry face-bricks which enhanced the look and feel of the building through the distinctive choice of paint colours, rustic concrete slabs and rhythmic patterns of glass for an architectural impact. Grey masonry was chosen for its aesthetic finish, as well as to increase the durability of the building, while the irregular pattern of the Technicrete Rockface brick illustrated the shadow lines of the building.




Concrete masonry face-brick was selected for the recently completed S the West Campus of the UniverW W Johannesburg.

The use of the Technicrete masonry product also eliminated the need for exterior walls to be painted, thereby reducing building maintenance costs. Technicrete ISG’s masonry products were required to meet manufacturing standards and building regulation requirements and have undergone testing for water absorption, as well as vigorous strength factor testing. Wide range T he Technicr ete Rock f ace masonr y brick comes in two thicknesses: 73mm and 70mm, with lengths and widths of 222mm x 103mm and 220mm x 100mm respectively. Standard colours available are “autumn”, terracotta, grey, plum,

A two phase re-build was commissioned in

slate and tan, although special colours

2013, in order to meet functionality and

can be made upon request.

standards pertaining to student accom-

Guinevere says the masonry bricks

modation and faculty requirements. The

used at for the university project are

buildings comprise lecture venues, stu-

an increasingly popular choice among

dent seminar rooms and staff offices, and

architects and contractors seeking

were completed towards the end of 2014.

a hard-wearing, durable solution that

The university chose masonry bricks

is highly attractive for high-impact

from CMA member Technicrete ISG due

structures. As a result, the company has

to its aesthetically pleasing appearance

made them available from a wide range of

and maintenance-free features. They

Technicrete ISG factories in Carletonville,

represent a durable form of construction

Stilfontein, Olifantsfontein, Polokwane,

and are commonly used for retaining and

Welkom and Witbank.

building walls for both residential and commercial building applications. Architectural impact “T he Technicrete masonr y range is used to create an appealing edge as a face-brick boundary wall solution. It’s a cost-ef ficient, high-end brick that delivers an aesthetically pleasing finish, and in the case of the new Wits faculty building, the Technicrete masonry range


“The Wits faculty used 380 194 concrete masonry face-bricks which enhanced the look and feel of the building.”


(Left): One of the elevated courtyards where Revelstone’s Ravine and Random Edge pavers were used to delineate and embellish gravel sections.

tial block, and retaining walls were built around the perimeters. “We felt that dropping the courtyard to the same level as the parking basement would have meant locating it in a


sea of parking. Moreover, the value of the courtyards would have been lost to the home-owners because the gardens would have been situated 2m lower than the patio levels of the ground-floor units. “Raising the courtyards allowed direct visual interaction with the ground-floor units and gave us the elevation needed


to create natural water features comprising ponds, waterfalls and streams.


Rabie prefers its landscaped areas to


and Revelstone pavers.




be quite soft, using lawn and indigenous plant life. However, the back ends of the courtyards at The Mayfair are shaded and this prevented us from grassing these areas. So we decided to create a hard landscaping experience using gravel

Adding dimensions “We used Revelstone’s Ravine and Kent





Random Edge pavers to create linear bandings to contain and delineate the gravel sections and to provide stepping stones in some of the soft landscapes. We

Construction was the main contractor.

chose Revelstone pavers because of their

Revelstone supplied a selection of paving,

pavers were loosely packed on a layer of

tiling and cladding products, specified

Bidim, rather than on a concrete haunch,

by the professional team to enhance

the extra weight of the Revelstone pavers

external building façades and provide

was an added advantage. Over time the

linear aesthetic expression to two gar-

courtyards will be fully hedged and this

den courtyards which form part of the

will add a further linear dimension to the

development’s residential component.

courtyards,” explains Dohse.

consistent quality. Moreover, because the

Topfloor provided a range of pre-

A combination of Revelstone products

stressed hollow-core floor slabs and

was used to beautify the residential

precast beams for the first floors and

blocks’ external staircases. Ravine tiling

roofs of six double-storey office blocks,

was employed to finish off the top of the

while Terraforce supplied precast retain-

concrete balustrade and Worcester split

ing wall blocks for the construction of

cladding gave the balustrade walls a rock-

retaining walls in the courtyards.

like façade. The actual stairs were paved with Ravine Bullnose pavers. Another


smaller external staircase was tiled with

“Rabie was concerned about how the de-

Ravine Bullnose.

velopment would affect the long boundary between the residential and commercial

Precast solution Commenting on the use of prestressed

buildings, so we placed a green buffer zone between them,” says Tim Hughes. Dohse says both residential courtyards were raised 700mm to 1m below the finished patio level of the first residen-

(Above, from top): Kent Random Edge pavers interspersed between lawn and flowerbeds create an attractive and durable path; a combination of Revelstone paving, tiling and cladding products makes for an imposing staircase.

slabs for the construction of the office buildings, Hughes says the original design called for in-situ columns and support beams.




NAVAL SECURITY WALL Some 3 400 prestressed hollow-core concrete slabs are being used to construct a 5km security wall for the Department of Public Works S S

result, nothing short of mechanised dem-

Designed by Delta Built Environment

country,” says Prinsloo.

olition equipment or high explosives would make any sort of destructive impression


on the wall. This is why prestressed slabs are being used on an increasing basis to safeguard property of strategic importance or high value in other parts of the

Consultants in close collaboration with leading prestressed hollow-core con-

Simple by design

crete slab manufacturer, CMA member

The wall is being built to a simple, yet

Topfloor, the wall is being erected by

effective design which uses galvanised

KP Construction, the project’s main

steel H-sections to support the 6m-

contractor. According to Topfloor direc-

long slabs. The H-sections are bolted

tor, Wessel Prinsloo, the slabs are being

onto six threaded bars cast into the

precast at Topfloor’s Cape Town factory,

reinforced concrete foundations. These

where they are prestressed with steel

ex tra-heav y-duty f oundations wer e

reinforcement before being delivered on

specified by Delta to ensure that the

and rises 3,2m and 4,2m above ground

flatbed trucks to Saldanha.

wall can withstand the frequent and

level; a section of approximately 400mm

sometimes gale-force winds prevalent

is buried below ground. Construction,

on this stretch of coastline.

which began in December 2015 and is

“Prestressing provides hollow-core slabs with additional strength and the

(Above, from top): Topfloor contracts manager, Norlando Nomdoe, stands on one of the concrete foundations; a section of completed security wall built with Topfloor prestressed hollow-core slabs at the Saldanha naval base.

slabs being used for the Saldanha wall

The wall follows the natural contours

due for completion by the end of 2016,

boast a strength rating of 50MPa+. As a

of the undulating fynbos-strewn land

is effected by hoisting the slabs using

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a truck-mounted crane. A special grab mechanism had to be designed by Topfloor to lift and install the slabs. The crane has sufficient reach to service three wall bays from one location. Once installed, the slabs are caulked into the H-sections with a plaster sand and cement mix.


“Nothing short of mechanised demolition equipment or high explosives would make any sort of destructive impression on the wall.” A conventional masonry wall, which isn’t

Part of the contract involves the

nearly as strong or durable, would have

planting of a line of various types of

taken twice or three times as long to

trees on the outer perimeter of the wall

build. The cost of constructing a security

to add a green and aesthetic element to

wall using prestressed hollow-core slabs

what would otherwise have been a stark

is considerably less than an in-situ wall

monolith. Additional aesthetic appeal is

offering the same properties. Moreover,

achieved by mounting the panels so that

precast walling requires no shuttering

the slabs’ smooth soffit sides are posi-

or propping, on-site curing, formwork

tioned on the outer (public) side of the

or grouting.

wall. Moreover, the slabs have been cast

“A s w i th o ther w alls buil t w i th

with bevelled edges which form V-shaped

pr estr essed hollow-cor e panelling,

channels where the slabs meet to further

the Saldanha wall will have a very long

enhance the appearance of the walls.

lifespan. It’s maintenance-free, and other than occasional cleaning, no other

Fast erection

servicing is required. The slabs can also

Prinsloo says there are several advan-

be dismantled and re-used elsewhere,”

tages to this type of walling, speed of

adds Prinsloo.

construction and the superior strength of the wall being major considerations. “Eight to 10 bays or 48-60 linear metres are completed daily (eight hours).

(Left, from top): A Topfloor wall slab is offloaded prior to installation between the steel H-sections; an inner section of the Saldanha wall in which the attractive V-shaped indentations between the slabs are clearly visible.


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PI – Precast Infrastructure PB – Precast Building


Precast Issue 2 2016  
Precast Issue 2 2016