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VOL 11.2 FEBRUARY 2010 R38 incl. VAT

IN THIS ISSUE: New technologies in glass bricks, facades and buildings

Trusses and roofing innovations Top green building trends Creative use of bricks

Cover stories

Volume 11 Number 2 2010


04 08 010


Choosing an environment-friendly paint Colour trends for 2010 Top-quality waterproofing

Concepts & Visions

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036 040 047 050 058 064 068 076 080

Bioclimatic design

Top 10 green building trends

Clay Brick Aesthetics

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Creative use of clay brick




Face bricks offer modern appeal

Glass as a structural element

Changing trusses and roofing systems Green roofs Functional roofs Revolutionary steel products Steel cladding solutions

Specific design for mental hospital


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Insulation and testing with SANS 204 Save with window film

Green Star rating in KZN Local company make big stride


South African architects

New trusses and roofing systems

Extraordinary glass faรงades

Tech Savvy

Water and humidity barriers

Energy Efficiency

028 034

Transparency at local brewery


Discrete security with roller shutters

Green Design


SA under-utilise glass


Colour trends for 2010

Green design


Natural looking tiles

Green D e si gn

WALLS & Roofs focusses on the aesthetics of walls and roofs and technicalities pertaining to the aesthetics. Readers are welcome to contact us for any information. WALLS & Roofs is published six weekly by Media in Africa (Pty) Ltd. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. We accept no responsibility for the accuracy of information published. publisher: Media in Africa (Pty) Ltd

Infrastructure spending and jobs According to President Zuma in his State of the Nation address, the government will spend R846 billion on public infrastructures over the next three years. Although he mentions “ambitious targets for skills development, to produce additional engineers and technicians”, he hasn’t made the actual figures public. It would be interesting to see what these targets are and how government intends to deliver the qualified professionals to the built environment. They are not without support though. The Consulting Engineers South Africa CESA, comprising over 450 firms in South Africa, recently reiterated their endorsement of the preferred Dinokeng Scenario of “Walking Together” and being an active player in building a well run South Africa. The decreasing number of engineers employed by government is a major problem. 5100 professional engineers served 14 million people outside the “homelands” in 1990. This figure has been reduced to an estimated 1800 engineers serving 47 million citizens in 2010. But this isn’t the only problem facing government. Professionals in the built environment have a very high regard for their profession, a fact which is sometimes underestimated in other spheres of society. The position of municipal engineer was a much respected profession 20 years ago. Now, an engineer is assigned on a 5 year contract basis, and his job is no longer his career. This churns out unhappy, disenchanted skilled specialists out of government and to corporate positions. Let’s take into account the commitment, specialist skills and expertise needed to build a country. And let’s respect each other a little more for it!

Contact information: Tel (012) 347 7530 Fax (012) 347 7523 International: Tel +27 12 347 7530 Fax +27 12 347 7523 E-mail PO Box 25260, Monument Park, 0105 Republic of South Africa First Floor, Unit G Castle Walk Corporate Park Cnr Nossob & Swakop Streets Erasmuskloof Ext. 3 the WALLS & Roofs team: Editor: Marlene van Rooyen – 083 327 3746 Key Accounts Consultant: Shayne Lessing – 082 549 8226 Founder: Schalk Burger (1943 – 2006) Journalist: Adrienne Brookbanks – 082 468 4566 Business Unit Coordinator: Lorraine Coetzee Publishing Manager: Liezel van der Merwe Financial Director: Fanie Venter Financial Manager: Sietske Rossouw Accountant: Denise Bakker Design and Layout: Ilze Pohl Proofreader: Signa Evans Reproduction & Printing: Business Print Centre

On the cover!

Hunter Douglas - Luxaflex Llumar


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Solar Shading Industries (SSI) recently completed an innovative louvre system for Boogermatn and Partners Architects. The building featured here is in the Riverwalk Office Park just off Garsfontein road in Pretoria, Gauteng. Find out more about overcoming problems with fixed solar shading and glass louvre solutions on page 44


RY 201 0 R38 incl. VAT


Trusses and

roofing inn


UE: New tec

Top green


in glass bric

building tren

ks, facades

ds Creativ e use

and buildin

of bricks


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Environment-friendly paint uses non-toxic pigments for colour.

Get good coverage with low-VOC paint. Ideal for new construction and redecoration

Choosing an

environment-friendly paint

Did you know that paints and finishes are among the leading causes of indoor air pollution? Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air and, according to the EPA, indoor air is considered to be one of the top 5 hazards to human health. With the increasing focus on our immediate and global environment, environment-friendly paint has become a much needed alternative in today’s paint industry. When purchasing environment-friendly paint, it is important to pay attention to these three main factors: • Low VOCs Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) refer to a class of chemicals that evaporate readily at room temperature. Many paints contain these chemicals that can cause a variety of health problems such as nausea, dizziness, irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, heart, lung, or kidney damage and even cancer. VOCs are the main solvents in oil-based paints, meaning they are used to dissolve and disperse the other ingredients. Although water-based paints use water as the main solvent, they still often contain five to ten percent VOCs. As a general rule, low VOC paints marketed by reputable paint manufacturers usually meet the 30 g/L VOC threshold. Paints with the Green Seal Standard (GS-11) mark are certified lower than 30 g/L.

• Natural pigments Some of the toxic chemicals in paints come from the substances used to colour them. Make sure that non-toxic pigments are used in the paint.

• Low biocides Environment-friendly paint should have low biocide content. Water-based paints have low biocide content compared to oil-based paints (which also have high VOC content).

VERSUS Tel: 011 885 3136 E-mail: Website:

An environment-friendly choice Versus Paint Specialists have formulated a paint that meets all the requirements of being a durable and cost-effective, environment-friendly paint. Versus paints have less than 16 grams/litre of VOCs, contain non-toxic pigments and have minimal biocide content. Versus paint and wall coatings are guaranteed for 10 years, virtually maintenance-free and suitable for new construction and redecoration. Give your walls a luxurious finish while making a positive contribution to the environment and your health with environment-friendly paint from Versus.

Benefits of Versus paint Health. There are little or no hazardous fumes and reduced toxins benefit everyone, including those with allergies and chemical sensitivities. Environment. Reduces landfill, groundwater and ozone-depleting contaminants. Performance. Low-VOC products perform well in terms of coverage, scrubability and hideability (covering flaws on previous coats). Fewer odours. Low odour during application; no odour once cured. Painted areas can be occupied sooner, with no odour complaints. No hazardous waste. Versus paint is not deemed as hazardous waste. Left: Green paint offers easy cleanup with soap and warm water.


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New acid for

concrete cleaning Environmental Manufacturing Solutions (EMS) of the USA has appointed Chryso SA and Sharkcrete to jointly handle the Southern African distribution of its synthetic acid Syntech. This safe synthetic acid for the ready-mix building and construction industries is described as “the world’s only synthetic hydrochloric acid replacement which delivers the cleaning power of hydrochloric acid, while remaining non-corrosive, non-regulated, and totally The effectiveness of acids for concrete cleaning can be seen halfway through the cleaning process pictured above.

safe for humans, animals and plant life”.

Sharkcrete has integrated its operations into the Chryso organisation and Sharkcrete’s Bradley Booth will be working with the Chryso team in developing the business. According to Hannes Engelbrecht, marketing manager of Chryso, Syntech synthetic acid – used to clean ready-mix concrete vehicles, drums and extension chutes in an environmentallyresponsible manner – forms the basis for three new products to be distributed by Chryso and Sharkcrete: • ‘Barracuda’: a non-acid, non-corrosive concrete stripper which has the capacity of dissolving almost 15% more concrete than hydrochloric acid. It can also be used to clean concrete moulds or any construction equipment, as well as stains and efflorescence on bricks; • ‘Ready-mix Truck Wash and Wax’: a non-acid, non-corrosive, truck wash that removes concrete as effectively as traditional acids without irritating the skin of the user; and • ‘Fusion’: a revolutionary internal non-stick treatment for ready-mix concrete vehicle drums and equipment.

Two new

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Chryso SA Tel: 011 395 9700 E-mail: Website:

products for SA market

Stick It roof repair kit, a new DIY roof repair product, has been launched by a.b.e. Construction Chemicals to the South African market. The Stick It roof repair kit consists of one litre of acrylic waterproofing compound, 200 mm x 2,5 m membrane, and a free 50 mm utility brush. “This innovative DIY product is ideal for waterproofing up to 0,5 square metres of roof laps, flashings, parapet walls and screws. The product, which comes in an all-in-one value bucket, is simple to apply for any small waterproofing job,” says Elrene Smuts, Brand Coordinator for a.b.e. Stick It is available in eight colours (white, grey, red, charcoal, terracotta, green, brown and burgundy) from all leading hardware outlets. Other innovations at a.b.e. include the launch of its popular duraflex Waterproofing Slurry in a smaller DIY 5 kg size. The decision to package duraflex Waterproofing Slurry in 5 kg, in addition to the 15 kg container previously available, is in response to growing


“Hydrochloric acid is widely used in South Africa to remove concrete from trucks, drums and extension chutes, but it is dangerous to the user, corrodes the vehicle and damages the environment,” says Engelbrecht. “With the new Syntech-based products, no personal protective gear needs to be worn, so it’s safe for drivers and truck-wash personnel, as well as the environment. The new products have been enthusiastically welcomed by the construction industry.” EMS is a world leader in the development of environment-friendly replacements for acid and caustic products and the company’s products are rated with a triple zero Hazardous Materials Index Score (HMIS).

demand from home improvers who do not require such large volumes of the widelyused flexible slurry. “The 5 kg pack will offer DIY customers the convenience of waterproofing smaller areas without any wastage. More retailers will now also carry the product as the 15 kg version was mainly aimed at larger contractor jobs. duraflex has built up a reputation as the best quality two-component, flexible cementitious waterproofing available in South Africa. You can tile or paint over it after waterproofing showers, balconies, terraces, tanks, containers, water reservoirs or buildings,” concludes Smuts. a.b.e. Construction Chemicals Tel: 011 306 9000 E-mail: Website:

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Colour trends for 2010

Akzonobel is the world’s largest global paints and coatings manufacturer and, once a year, it draws together an international group of creative experts in the field of design, architecture and fashion that have an eye for trends and a passion for colour. Dulux forms part of Akzonobel and Sonica Bucksteg represented Dulux South Africa and the African continent at this year’s event. “The overall theme for 2010 is “RECLAIM” - it represents a new hope, truth and integrity for the world we live in. Respect for old and new, by reclaiming our values and being proactive as individuals we want to give back to society rather than relying on the State for total control. We want to take responsibility and fairly share our planet’s resources, as to preserve it for future generations,” says Bucksteg. What constitutes a ‘trend’? A trend is a movement or inclination in a prevailing direction. Trends are influenced by the social and economic state of the world and can be seen through fashion, music, culture, design and architecture, to mention a few. Overall colour trends for 2010 In 2010 there is an overall move towards colours that are lighter in mood and more optimistic in feeling – shades to lift our spirits, given the dark and uncertain times that we have been through and this renewed feeling of freshness is the driving characteristic of the palettes. Each individual colour family is cohesive and self-contained with little crossover of colours or colour ambiguity. Less deep shades, more pastels Mid-tones tend to predominate overall with some new cleaner off-whites and fewer heavy deep shades are evident. Zingy pastels are a new area coming to the fore over many of the more saturated shades of recent years – this light touch lends a sense of hopefulness and modernism.


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Reds There is a move from powder-like neutrality to colours that are warmer, more saturated and more positive, but still easy to live with. A deep coral-based red, which has a ‘burnt’ quality, gives softness and warmth that allows it to be used in many settings. Oranges There is a move to yellow-based shades from the red influence of last year. An optimistic and sunny yellow orange that seems to radiate happiness and light – a little will go a long way. Yellows The soft, reassuring shades of yellow are returning in 2010. A reassuring shade, that puts over an image of warm summer days and natural goodness. Warm Neutrals One of the more dramatic trend shifts is a move from last year’s soft beige to an honest and earthy deep brown with a strong environmental image. This natural shade of brown is ultra-fashionable when combined with clean turquoises and teals. Cool Neutrals A move to tinted greys with a true sense of sophistication and elegance that allude to both the past and the future, the classic and ultra contemporary. Combine with neutrals or as a chic background to brighter accents. Greens An almost yellow shade of green that represents new shoots, new life and regrowth is set to become increasingly popular this year. The palest yellow lime that seems to emit light works well when balanced with cool neutrals and greys. Blue – 70BG 70/113 Colour of the year! A real sky blue, not influenced by green, which is pure and luminous, is the trendiest colour for 2010. This shade of blue exudes a sense of ozone freshness and spatial airiness. With these associations plus the fact that it is a receding colour it will always create a sense of space - a great shade for opening up small dark spaces where light is at a premium. Want to know more about 2010 colour trends? Download the colour futures 2010 at Dulux Trade Tel: 011 861 1000 E-mail: Website:

Important note “Colour trends forms part of one aspect, regarding the effect and response colour has on us as human beings. Therefore other aspects such as symbolism, cultural background, physiological effect (visual impairments) and psychological effects need to be considered carefully, especially within public buildings which host people from different backgrounds, age and gender. Professionals should always strive to produce colour designs that are beneficial and promote our general wellbeing.” Sonica Bucksteg

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Wet 2010 summer will need top-quality waterproofing With most regions, especially Gauteng, experiencing an exceptionally wet summer – and press headlines screaming about New Year floods in Australia, Brazil and Kenya – local home-owners’ thoughts are now inevitably turning to waterproofing tasks interrupted by the year-end holidays. a.b.e. Construction Chemicals, which started operating in 1939, is now advising DIY enthusiasts to use the first dry summer spell this year to waterproof their dwellings. The company has in the past 71 years provided waterproofing products for well over 772 000 South African houses. In fact, 4 current a.b.e. products – super laykold rubberised waterproofing emulsion, super laycryl liquid waterproofing compound, brixeal brickwork waterproof coating, and flintkote heavy-duty bituminous coating – were launched in the 1940s. Even then the company had the foresight to realise that the old bituminous waterproofing products had to be modified to eliminate the

need for heating or boiling of bitumen for the home improver. a.b.e. has over the years constantly researched and developed new waterproofing products, especially formulated for the South African market, including products that soon became household names: bituseal liquid and plastic, silvakote, and the relatively new hydroproof and super laycryl in fibrated format, are just a few. The quest for perfection in waterproofing continues and in the last quarter of 2009, a.b.e. launched a brand-new product, Stick It roof repair kit, and also introduced a smaller 5 kg version of its popular duraflex waterproofing slurry especially for the DIY market. a.b.e. Construction Chemicals Tel: 011 306 9000 E-mail: Website:

New covering material combines performance and aesthetics

Fitnice is a new concept of covering materials that integrates technology with aesthetics. Made of vinyl-coated, high-tenacity polyester fabric with a backing of recycled material, these covering materials contribute to dimensional stability and a high level of soundproofing as well as thermal insulation. Finishes applied to Fitnice render this material unalterable and unaffected over years. The versatility of Fitnice offers solutions for floor and wall coverings, and for upholstery for interior and exterior. The material also provides flameretardancy as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties. Fitnice is a brand of Vertisol, a European manufacturer equipped with the ISO 14 001, Emas, Oeko-Tex and Greenguard Children & Schools certifications. The features of Fitnice are guaranteed and backed by the ISO 9 001 and it also possesses the IMO 033/08 certification of the

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International Maritime Organisation, stating that it is resistant to saline environments and severe weathering and fit for use within the nautical industry. Fitnice E-mail: Website:

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Custom-designed roller shutters are hidden away during the day when they are not needed to protect a store from burglars or vandalism.

Provide discrete security

with roller shutters There is a wide range of roller shutter designs available, ranging from work-horse versions that serve as an effective security barrier to high-end models that are discretely hidden away when not required to do their job of protecting a building or space against vandals, theft or general abuse. Kevin Bonner, Roll-Up Serranda’s sales and marketing executive, believes that being involved during the design phase of a building makes a difference in the type of roller shutters that can be prescribed. “If we are called in at the design stage of a building, we can make efficient use of the ceiling space to roll our doors into when not in use,” says Bonner. “The alternative is to build bulk-heads, which can often be a design feature in themselves.” Safety in the VIP area of Green Point Stadium Roll-Up Serranda recently provided their technical and design expertise in order to recess both the roller shutters and their frames in the VIP dining area of the new Green Point Stadium. “When the shutters are open, occupants have a clear, unobstructed view of the stadium, making them discreet as well as effective,” explains Bonner. The roller shutters are linked to the stadium’s central electronic control centre so that they will shut automatically in the event of fire or any other emergency. Custom-designed shutters “We also worked closely with the architect of a new bank in Durban to custom-design a roller shutter that reflects the clean lines of the building as well as doing its job of securing the banking hall after hours. The side guides are encased in beautiful, specialist-designed stainless steel tubing,” says Bonner. Roll-Up Serranda’s designs often include components that the company considers essential, but which are not included in other suppliers’ quotes. “An example of these types of essential components is the end locks that prevent lateral movement of the slats, and aluminium ‘T’ bars with a weather seal to prevent water seepage,” explains Bonner before commenting that the T-bars can be custom-designed. “We custom-made the ‘T’ bars for American Swiss at the new Galleria Mall in Amanzimtoti.” As part of a building’s security arsenal, roller shutters can be electrically operated by remote control and linked to the alarm system, providing convenient, integrated security. Settings can include automatically closing the shutters if the alarm goes off to opening them as an escape route should the fire alarm be activated. When closed, the shutters are a highly visible deterrent to criminals.

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Points to note about roller shutters Roller shutters can be used where other security barriers can’t. For example, they don’t require wall space as they roll up on their own frame into an overhead bulkhead so are useful where space is at a premium. Roller shutters also serve as both a front or back door and a security barrier. This two-in-one package saves considerably on costs. Both steel and aluminium roller shutters display considerable strength and are robust enough for frequent-use duty cycles. Built-in safety features make the doors virtually impossible to prise open once locked into place. From solid steel panels to perforated patterns in both steel and aluminium, there is a wide choice of designs available. The roller shutters can be powder-coated to suit the building’s finishes or left as plain galvanised steel. Roll-Up Serranda has been manufacturing roller shutters for over 50 years, and has a wealth of experience to share with their clients. They are part of the Trellicor Group, with a network of consultants countrywide trained to specify the best products to suit individual requirements and provide reliable back-up service. Roll-Up Serranda Tel: 011 494 5809 Email: Website:

Roll-Up Serranda roller shutters Can be easily integrated into the building’s design Can be linked to semi-intelligent electronic security systems Are the physical barriers that keep criminals out Can be customised to suit local conditions Range in size from small counter closures to unusually large openings

Co nc ep t s & Vi s i ons

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Co nce pts & V i si o n s

Fusing high-tech and organic principles

for bioclimatic design

Dr. Ken Yeang, inventor of the bioclimatic skyscraper and one of the world’s leading architects in ecological and passive low energy design, is set to speak at this year’s Green Building Conference Exhibition, to be held at Gallagher Estate on 29 - 30 April. Yeang received his doctorate in Architecture from Cambridge University, attended graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard and he has delivered over 200 built projects. His publications include: The Skyscraper: Bioclimatically Considered, The Green Skyscraper: The Basis for Designing Sustainable, Intensive Buildings, and his latest book Ecodesign: A manual for Ecological Design. Yeang, a Malaysian born architect living in the UK, fuses high-tech and organic principles in order to design high-rise, bioclimatic towers. He seeks to design low-energy, passive buildings that focus on the comfort of occupants. According to, Yeang considers these

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points vital to bioclimatic skyscraper design: variability in façade and building performance in response to climate and location alignment of building along the solar path flexibility in order to adjust to different climatic needs throughout the year use of entirely passive means of lighting and ventilation whenever possible material selection based on ecologically sound principles Menara Mesiniaga, the high-tech IBM headquarters in Subang Jaya near Kuala Lumpur, is seen as Yeang’s signature buiding. This 15-storey building was designed by Yeang and his firm, TR Hamzah and Yeang and it received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1995.

Co nc ep t s & Vi s i ons

According to, the singular appearance of this tower is the result of Yeang’s ten-year research into bio climatic principles for the design of medium-to-tall buildings. The tri partite structure consists of a raised “green” base, ten circular floors of office space with terraced garden balconies and external louvres for shade. The building is also crowned by a spectacular sun-roof, arching across the top-floor panel.

Project Name: Menara Mesiniaga Client: Mesiniaga Sdn. Bhd. (IBM Sole Agent in Malaysia) (“Mesiniaga” = “Business Machine”) Location: 1A, Jalan SS 16/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Number of Storeys: 14,5 storeys (including one basement) Areas: Total Net (Office) Area 6 741,50 m2 Total Net non-Office (ie. Gym, café, etc.) 476,34 m2 Balconies, Skycourts & Pool-Deck 981,38 m2 Circulation & Toilets 2 318,45 m2 Mechanical Rooms 1 424,02 m2 Carpark (Basement) (145 bays) 404,00 m2 Date Start: June 1989 Completion Date: August 1992 Total: 12 345,69 m2 Site Area: 6 503 m2 Plot Ratio: 1 : 1.6

Design features: The building brings together the principles of the bioclimatic approach to the design of tall buildings developed over the previous decade by Dr. Yeang’s firm, T.R. Hamzah & Yeang. In particular, the building has the following features: • Vertical Landscaping (planting) is introduced into the building façade and at the skycourts. The planting starts by mounding up from ground level to as far up as possible at one side of the building. The planting then “spirals” upwards across the face of the building with the use of recessed terraces (as skycourts). • Passive, low-energy features are incorporated. All the window areas facing the hot sides of the building have external louvres as solar- shading to reduce solar heat gain into the internal spaces. Those sides without direct solar insulation have unshielded curtain-walled glazing for good views and to maximise nautral lighting. • The lift lobbies on all floors are naturally ventilated and are sun-lit with views to the outside. These lobbies do not require fire-protection pressurisation (i.e. low-energy lobby). All stairways and toilet areas are also naturally ventilated and have natural lighting. • The sunroof is the skeletal provision for panel space for the possible future placing of solar-cells to provide a back-up energy source. BAS (Building Automation System) is an active Intelligent Building feature used in the building for energy-saving. Structural system: Reinforced concrete structural frame and brick infill, mild steel truss structure for sunroof, gym roof and mezzanine deck. External skin: Laminated float glass, composite aluminium cladding. Sources:;;;;

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Green D e si gn

Green building trends for 2010

International quilt study center and museum

On 6 January 2010, Earth Advantage Institute announced its selections for top green building trends to watch out for in 2010. The latest trends, according to this non-profit green building resource, ranges from energy “scores” for homes to web-based displays that track energy usage in real time. All the trends were identified by Earth Advantage Institute based on discussions with a broad range of audiences during the second half of 2009, including builders, architects, real estate brokers, appraisers and homeowners.


The smart grid and connected home Custom monitors and web-based display panels that show real-time home energy use, and even real-time energy use of individual appliances, are making huge strides in terms of development and application. According to the Earth Advantage Institute, these innovations will go a long way towards helping change homeowners’ energy behaviour and driving energy conservation. Riaan Meyer, Research Engineer at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University, says that electricity monitor usage in South Africa is definitely gaining popularity but that we are lagging behind in terms of web-based applications. “People are more aware of the advantages of the new types of energy usage technologies,” says Meyer. “There are new monitors that you can put outside your house and other monitors that show an in-house display of your geyser’s energy usage.”


Energy labelling for homes and office buildings More accurate energy rating systems for homes and office spaces are starting to catch the attention of energy agencies and legislators. “There are different rating systems and they take a while to adopt and perfect. One of the rating systems that South Africa is adopting is the green rating system from Australia,” says Meyer. These types of systems make building-to-building and home-to-home comparison easier, but they also provide a publicly available score on the multiple-listing services, which could galvanize owners to make needed energy improvements while adding value to their buildings.


Building information modelling (BIM) software CAD (computer-aided design) software for building design continues to evolve, producing new add-on tools with increasingly accurate algorithms for

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energy modelling as well as embedded energy properties for many materials and features. These tools, according to Earth Advantage Institute, will prove instrumental in predicting building performance. “New technology is continually being brought out,” says Riaan Petzer, sales and marketing manager at Vela SBS, a South African company that uses CAD software in the design of lightweight steel frame building systems. “Green building isn’t a static thing. Just as there are new innovations in terms of green building materials and green building methods, people are continually improving the software that we use to build green.”


Financial community buy-in to green building According to the Earth Advantage Institute, lenders and insurers are coming to realise that not only are green buildings better for their bottom line, but they are also starting to believe that green homeowners are more responsible, place higher value on maintenance and lower operating costs, and are less likely to default. Joe Kondos, ABSA’s National Manager of Real Estate Asset Management Valuation Technology, believes that this green building trend might be slightly premature in South Africa. “Green buildings are still a bit more expensive, but they are insurable and people that can generally afford them are coming to realise the benefits of having green homes,” comments Kondos. An article entitled “Building Green Thinking in South Africa” on the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) website (, states that attractive buildings draw tenants – and attractive green buildings keep tenants, which makes them even more financially attractive. Petzer agrees that labelling a house as “green” has many consequences for various parties that are indirectly involved in green building. “A green house or building is a major selling feature and people are seeing a gap and running with the idea,” explains Petzer. “Green building isn’t only about the manufacturer of the building or the homeowner. Making the process work involves a bunch of people and all, from lenders to insurers and real estate agents play their role.” Whether homeowners are less likely to default remains open for debate. “Homeowners aren’t always looking for a ‘green’ alternative, but they are looking for ways to reduce their maintenance and lower their operating costs,” emphasises Petzer. “For the individual homeowner, the ‘green’ factor is almost like an added extra. People in South Africa are starting to look for alternative ways to run their households in order to lower their costs due to rising electricity prices,” says Petzer.

Gre en Des i gn


“Rightsizing” of homes The price of energy will undoubtedly rise and the forecast for home valuation remains conservative, leading many to believe that a larger home no longer translates into greater equity. According to Earth Advantage Institute, homeowners will likely feel more comfortable building smaller homes and smaller add-ons in 2010. John Loos, senior property strategist at FNB, says that the rightsizing of homes has been taking place for a while and that there is a clear shift towards smaller homes in the residential market. “Not only are an increasing ammount of people buying smaller homes, but they are also more inclined to buy properties without swimming pools, servant quarters and all the extra luxuries,” explains Loos. According to FNB’s Property Barometer for the 4th quarter of 2009, real estate agents believe that the traditional affordability measures amongst buyers have improved. “FNB’s traditional affordability measures also point towards this,” says Loos. “However, we do not believe that the affordability issue has diminished in importance, it has merely changed in nature. While the average price/average income ratio has improved, the ‘new affordability issue’ now relates to the cost of running a home which will lead even more people to buy smaller homes.”


Eco-districts Although South Africa is yet to create a green community to the same extent as Denmark or Portland that capture, manage and re-use their own energy, there are smaller-scale initiatives that list “eco-friendly” and “environment-friendly” as their attractions. Elgin Country Estate, situated in Grabouw, the heart of the Great Outdoors in the Western Cape, is one of the first contacts that appear in Google when an “environmentally friendly” community in South Africa is sought. On the home page of the Elgin Country Estate website, it reads that the estate is a “green” development. Everything that can be recycled, re-used or utilised in an environmentally friendly way has been integrated in the design and maintenance planning of the estate. Sustainable green initiatives start with empowering the local community to manufacture bricks on site.” “You get various golf estates and eco-estates that market themselves as green developments, but I am not aware of any municipal efforts towards eco-districts and communities,” says Loos. Duncan Palmer, Research Engineer at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University, believes that eco-districts in South Africa are possible but that formal processes and regulations are needed. “We are busy setting up a net metering initiative in a Stellenbosch suburb that will service the households with renewable energy, and any additionally generated electricity will be pushed back into the Eskom grid,” says Palmer. “This is still very much in the planning and idea phase. What we want to do is set up a 1 or 2 kW photovoltaic (PV) system with that meet the majority of the basic household demands. We are currently building a demonstration unit at the University to show people that this is technically feasible. We do, however, still need to find out who will pay for these PV systems and who in the municipality will put the processes in place for a renewable energy based community like this,” says Palmer.


Water conservation In America, a voluntary WaterSense specification for new homes was specified in December 2009, which reduces water use by about 20 percent compared to a conventional new home. South Africans are aware of water scarcity problems and new tap fittings that reduce water consumption and other innovative household water-recycling schemes are also becoming more common in green building circles.


Carbon calculation Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the American institute for architects shows that buildings are responsible for almost

half (48%) of all carbon emissions in the environment. According to www., buildings consumed between 40% and 50% of the world’s energy produced, about 30% of resources, 20% of available water, and emitted about 23% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions during construction and life-cycle, which is more than any other single sector. also claims that buildings produced about 30% of the world’s waste. Due to the huge impact of buildings on the environment, the building industry is looking at ways to document, measure, and reduce greenhouse gas creation in building materials and processes. In 2009, the Green Building Council of South Africa reported that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Australia, the UK and the US aims to map and develop metric equivalents to measure carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from new homes and buildings, is a positive step by the three most advanced green building councils globally. According to Earth Advantage Institute, as soon as a cap-and-trade mechanism is launched, these efforts will be heightened.


Net zero buildings A net zero building is a building that generates more energy than it uses over the course of a year. This is achieved due to relatively small size, extreme efficiencies and onsite renewable energy sources. While the Architecture 2030 Challenge sets forth net zero as the goal for all new buildings by 2030, they are already within striking distance on energy efficiency know-how. According to a report entitled “Green Building in South Africa: Emerging Trends 2009” on the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) website (, the increasing awareness and threat of global climate change has forced a focus and move towards carbon neutrality in all spheres of human activity and this means that there is a trend towards zero carbon buildings in the built environment. The paper, which was prepared by Kelly Gunnell from the Sustainable Social Ecological Systems Research Group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) states that to meet the zero carbon homes standard, homes should be built with high levels of energy efficiency,achieve at least a minimum level of carbon reductions through a combination of energy efficiency, onsite energy supply and/or (where relevant) directly connected low carbon or renewable heat; andchoose from a range of (mainly offsite) solutions for tackling the remaining emissions. According to Meyer, building net zero buildings is not yet a possibility for South Africans. “You can build a house that generates more energy than it uses, but you wouldn’t be able to sell the excess energy. Legally, you would need a PPA (Purchase Power Agreement) to do that,” says Meyer.


Sustainable building education As the demand for greener buildings rises, new learning opportunities become available. Not only are these opportunities available for designers and builders, but also for the entire chain of professionals involved in the building industry, including insurance brokers and real estate agents. “A whole lot of sustainable building education needs to become available, especially with the SANS 204 standard for sustainable building,” says Meyer. Commenting on the SANS 204, Petzer agrees that information needs to be shared and passed around among professionals in the industry. “Green building trends don’t start with individual homeowners, they start with architects and developers. The SANS 204 is being put into place and it is our job to drive this initiative in order to create momentum for sustainable building education and green trends,” concludes Petzer. For more information, visit, to which full thanks and acknowledgement is given. Additional sources:,, www.,

Number 2, 2010



Architect: Wouter Mocke

Feature : Cl ay B ri c k

The creative use of clay brick and clay brick aesthetics

Clay face bricks are not stand-alone materials that can only be used in single building applications - they are versatile and they allow patterns to be created easily.

Clay brick has entrenched itself as one of the most versatile building materials of all time. Today’s architect and creative designer can be inspired by the plethora of styles, colours, textures and shapes that are available for almost any building design and application.

Photograph courtesy Ocon Clay Bricks

“Some of our clay brick members have even invested in dedicated production facilities to produce special shapes and sizes of bricks that differ from the norm,” says At Coetzee, Executive Director of the Clay Brick Association. With the above in mind, more and more architects, building designers and property owners are opting for the warm, earthy, rustic appeal of raw clay brick to be incorporated into a building’s interior and exterior.

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Dedicated production facilities produce specially shaped clay bricks.

But how can Clay Bricks be used to enhance different styles and applications? “When it comes to aesthetic building design, one should not think of clay face bricks and pavers as stand-alone materials that can only be used in single building applications,” heeds Coetzee. “Clay bricks are highly versatile and allow for patterns to be easily created, whether you are using a singlecoloured face brick, or making use of various coloured clay bricks to achieve a desired result.

Cl ay Br i ck

Architect: Wouter Mocke

Role of Clay Brick in Sustainable Building Design Yet with clay bricks there are more complex and technical issues involved, such as thermal mass, slow movement and transfer of heat, and the regulating of temperatures inside and outside of buildings. The high thermal mass offered by clay brick means that if a building with internal clay brickwork walls is subjected to a heating and cooling cycle that crosses the comfort zone, the brickwork will maintain a stable level of heat energy for an extended period. Thus in summer the building will remain relatively cool and in winter the same building will remain relatively warm. These attributes obviously have a positive effect on heating and cooling costs. Furthermore, due to their mass, clay bricks provide excellent acoustic insulation, particularly for low frequency noise. Clay brickwork walls also resist the penetration of rainwater, including wind-driven rain, as experienced in the Western Cape. An added benefit is that clay bricks are completely fire-resistant, as a result of the high temperatures used in their manufacturing process. Unavoidably, energy is used in the process of product manufacture; however the investment of embodied energy is repaid repeatedly by the longevity of the material, with clay brick buildings enjoying a lifespan exceeding 100 years. Along with their low maintenance costs, they make a potentially sustainable form of construction.


As a product of Mother Earth, clay bricks naturally complement any built environment, and can easily be used with other building materials and surface finishes like plaster and glass to further enhance the appearance of the building. Clay bricks are affordable, require little or no maintenance, have an attractive appearance and possess high durability and load-bearing capacity. Cost-wise, when building with clay face brick, the initial cost is the only cost. This adds value to the building due to very little maintenance being required after construction. In developments like office parks or residential estates, these savings can be carried downstream to reduce levies.

Number 2, 2010



Courtesy of Crammix

Cl ay Bri c k

Matching Bricks for further Expansion “Unless otherwise specified, all clay bricks produced by members of the Clay Brick Association conform to the imperial brick size of 222 mm long x 106 mm wide x 73 mm high,” points out Coetzee. This uniformity in size offers flexibility in design in terms of curved archways, rounded walls and the ever-classic bay windows. These clay bricks can also be placed at different angles to create unique patterns and special effects, like parapet walls. As far as matching of clay bricks is concerned, uniformity in the actual colour of the brick can shift and change over time. The raw materials extracted from the earth are in constant flux, so matching a particular colour of clay may not always be viable – the same applies to other materials like concrete bricks and natural woods, even leather. “The best way to manage developments and match up colours over a long period of time, for instance in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of a particularly large development, is for the professional to discuss colour, quantity and delivery requirements with the manufacturer well in advance,” asserts Coetzee. Those clay brick manufacturers who carry the SABS mark and ISO 9001 accreditation will most likely have the relevant systems in place to achieve the same blending process and temperature controls, to ensure a similar result. Prominent Architect Wouter Mocke of Theunissen Jankowitz Architects in Mpumalanga, who favours clay bricks in many of his building projects, says, “One of the reasons is the aesthetic flexibility offered by clay brick. It is particularly useful if you want the building to blend in with the environment, or be used with other product applications such as plaster and paint.” One of Mocke’s most recent projects is the Pinnacle Building in Nelspruit, an eight storey office block where stretcher bond which looks like a header course was used. “We cut an extra groove in the face of the brick, so that it looked like a joint. This was then laid it in the normal way so that when finished it looked liked a header course wall.” Mocke states that uniformity can be viewed as a problem if you stick to the same batch, but this can be overcome by taking bricks from different batches. “You can also use techniques such as changing the bricks on the inner and outer corners of the wall, so that you don’t see the variations. This technique can also work if you apply the bricks in different panels as part of the design,” he says. This technique also poses the opportunity for the architect or designer to expand on the creative aspect. Colour variations are inevitable and one needs to design around them and employ some forward thinking to accommodate potential changes in colour, for instance: A subtle break in the building design or development layout can be made to match Phase 1 up to Phase 2, or to match up the different batches by repositioning the angle of the newer buildings so that they are viewed differently. A separation gap in the building design can be used as a design element

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to incorporate a similar coloured brick without it being noticed. It always helps if you can break the pattern, ever so subtly, even if it is as simple as strategically positioning a downpipe so that it breaks the line of sight. The bricks could also be extracted from different batches to allow the varying colours to be alternated and thus avoid a perfect match. Slight design changes can make all the difference. For instance, if a building is very straight, the height of the windows could be adjusted to break the design pattern. The use of multiple colours in the design is also another creative way of lessening the impact of the colour change in the design. Particularly in a building renovation or extension, use a completely different colour brick so that the wing is distinguished from the rest of the building. The building phases themselves are seen as exactly that – distinct phases within the building development. Therefore, as long as the colour of the selected brick meets the stipulated specification, the actual colour itself should normally not be a big issue. Forward planning is highly recommended and the building professional will be advised to store or allow for bricks to be put aside for blending into the next phase. The best way to approach this is on site, with the bricks being taken from alternate batches, i.e. from one pallet to another or multiple pallets. Site management plays a huge role here. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that, unlike most other products that are exposed to environmental elements, the colour of a clay face brick tends to improve with age. For example, a brick that was supplied 25 years ago would then have been much lighter than what it is today. Clay brick has a proven track record that allows the architect freedom of expression. Creativity in design can be expressed through the use of the brick, and play on shadow lines, in various ways and forms. “Clay brick is durable, easy to work with and highly sought-after for its thermal and acoustic insulation properties. The majority of high-profile buildings in South Africa are built with clay brick,” concludes Coetzee. Acknowledgement and thanks are given to the following companies who graciously supplied us with information for this article. • Theunissen Jankowitz Architects • Clay Brick Association • Algoa Brick • Crammix Bricks • Langkloof Bricks • Namakwa Stene • Ocon Brick Tel: 011 805 4206

Cl ay Br i ck

Number 2, 2010



Cl ay Bri c k

Water and humidity barriers for clay and concrete

The high water repellence and high water vapour effect of the water and humidity barrier reduce the water absorption of clay bricks by 80%.

Siloxanes, which are used as a water and humidity barrier on building materials, can be post-treated on clay bricks to improve physical and aesthetic qualities of the constructed product.

Humidity and wetness are two of the major reasons for various kinds of damage and unsightly appearance in buildings and walls. Capillary water absorption of building materials results in destructive effects, such as freeze-thaw changes, erosion of the structure and reinforcing steel as well as microorganisms which prosper in humid environments. Furthermore, wet masonry can negatively affect the thermal insulation of a building and the growth of mosses, fungi and algae also occur on wet surfaces. How humidity barriers can help Hydrophobic siloxanes have proved to be highly effective in creating humidity barriers in building materials such as concrete, clay, natural stones, plasters, mortars and roof tiles. The combination of high water repellence and high water vapour provided by siloxanes leads to a dry substrate, saving you time and costs. The use of these siloxanes will reduce the water absorption by 80% and the chloride intake by 85% when compared to untreated surfaces. Benefits of siloxanes for building materials • High water repellence • Excellent vapour permeability • Good alkali resistance • Good penetration • Unchanged appearance of the substrate • Long-term effectiveness New waterborne technology Traditionally, protective siloxanes were diluted in organic solvents. Increasing focus on the environment, however, has lead official regulations to demand low VOC or true VOC-free products in the field of hydrophobic impregnation for construction. Southern Chemicals are pleased to announce that Momentive Performance Materials have developed a special emulsion technology for siloxanes, resulting in excellent storage stability and superior performance.

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The importance of keeping concrete dry Although concrete is renown for its durability, this building material is subject to erosion due to humidity and chloride ion penetration attacks. Erosion due to water and humidity not only influences the concrete, but also the reinforcement steel which is used to improve the tension of the concrete structure. Keeping the concrete dry is an important feature for concrete protection and maintenance. Clay Bricks Clay bricks can be post-treated with siloxanes in order to improve all physical and aesthetic qualities of the constructed product, thereby virtually eliminating efflorescence, eroding and growth of mosses, fungi and algae. Southern Chemicals (Pty) Ltd Tel: 011 608 0560 Fax: 011 608 1140 E-mail: Website:

Efflorescence, lime washout and the growth of mosses, fungi and algae occur on wet surface

Cl ay Br i ck

Efflorescence and moss

Green growth on clay brick

Damp pavers


ty Chem icals

Fibres a nd Filler s

Silic ones and Deri vativ es

Resi ns and Poly mers

Water repellency effect on clay

Southern Chemicals (Pty) Ltd 10, Quark Crescent, Linbro Business Park, Sandton 2065 Tel: 0116080560 | Fax: 0116081140

Sales and distribution of industrystandard speciality chemicals Number and2,additives 2010 WA LLS & ROOFS


Cl ay Bri c k

Face bricks

offer modern appeal to office parks

The attractive Ballyoaks Office Park, situated in Ballyclare Drive, stands out from the classical designs of surrounding buildings with its crisp, modern feel. The office park comprises five different office buildings offering custom-built space of various sizes.

“This architecture has been one of the major attractions for the blue-chip clients wanting offices that match their corporate identity and image. The developers have offered clients a turn-key office solution to take the headache out of moving into new premises,” says Frits Schuite of Boogertman and Partners Architects, who was instrumental in the design of Ballyoaks. Developers Abland and Cornerstone set out to provide corporate tenants with modern solutions that meet their every need. According to the developers, aesthetics, cost and ease of construction were key factors in the design element. “Aesthetically we were looking for a facebrick with colour variance within the brick to create rustic surfaces that are “alive” in contrast with the uniformly painted plastered

surfaces and reflective glazed windows. Corobrik’s Tambotie FBS gave us everything at a reasonable cost and with relative ease of construction.” Energy efficiencies in buildings Built as a cavity wall, these clay bricks offer maximum thermal efficiency regulating the temperature fluctuation. Motion detection lighting as well as double-glazing and insulated floor and ceiling slabs ensure optimum temperature control. The Ballyoaks development forms an H-shape allowing the courtyards to lead to the glazed entrance and central foyer. There are five three-story office buildings of approximately 4 000 m2 each with parking for 1093 cars in basements and a central landscaped area with a rolling water feature and outside seating, giving the development a park-like ambience. Buildings in the Ballyoaks development have been designed with simple clean lines. Hard landscaping around the buildings for roads, pavements and courtyards have been laid in a combination of Corobrik Burgundy Piazza, Nutmeg 60 mm, Cedarberg 60 mm and 50 mm and Nutmeg bullnose pavers. The earthy and rustic feel of the face brick work is complemented by the paved areas in the office park. Frits Schuite concludes, “The choices of façade materials and paving blocks were done in the design phase, looking at the required design intent as a whole.” Construction of Ballyoaks commenced in 2008 with tenants in the first phase building taking occupation in February 2009. Phase Two was occupied in July 2009 and the remaining three phases will be constructed over the next year. Corobrik Tel: 031 560 3111 Fax: 031 565 1532 Website:

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Cl ay Br i ck

Number 2, 2010



Cl ay Bri c k

Jacques Malan from the Eastern Cape won the regional finals. He will represent the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University at the upcoming Corobrik architectural student of the year awards.

Cemeteries, prisons and police stations for award Jacques Malan from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is the winner of the 2009 Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards for the Eastern Cape region. Malan’s entry is entitled ‘An examination of the role of architecture in dealing with death, through the design of a crematorium and ecological funerary complex in central Port Elizabeth.’ Traditional form of burial is problematic “Today, owing to the high death rate, rapid urban expansion and lack of open space, the traditional form of burial has become problematic. Cemeteries in cities are rapidly filling and are posing serious health hazards, such as the contamination of underground water reserves. There is currently a world-wide concern towards the environment and architecture can play a decisive role to help provide solutions to some of the environmental concerns,” says Malan. “The typical crematorium provides an opportunity to respond constructively through a design response, which takes into consideration the function of the funeral, psychological needs of the bereaved as well as the evergrowing concern for the environment. My design communicates a message through architecture, by clarifying the thinking behind the design of funerary architecture to hopefully promote the use of more environmentally friendly methods of bodily disposition.” National finals are coming up This competition was initiated to promote quality design and to acknowledge talent among young architectural students. Each regional winner receives a

prize of R6 000 and is entered into the national finals, where these winnersl compete for top honours and a prize of R40 000 on 10 March 2010. The runner-up, Cornelia Faasen was awarded R4 000 for her project entitled “A Prison that Pays”. Faasen believes that women’s correctional centres receive little attention and that her design would enable the prison to be self-sustaining. “There is a need for correctional centres in South Africa that are designed according to the unique needs of women. Only 2,1% of incarcerated offenders in South Africa are female there are thus fewer women’s correctional centres, with little attention being paid to issues that are unique to women in prison, e.g. sanitation and babies and children that reside in prison with their mothers,” explains Faasen. “My design is for a self-sustaining prison where inmates would partake in activities such as vegetable gardening, the washing of laundry, textile- and clothing manufacture, the manufacturing of crafts, and recycling. Goods produced by inmates would be consumed or used by inmates themselves, and/or sold commercially. The idea is not to generate profit by the use of cheap inmate labour, but rather to generate enough funds for the correctional centre to be self-sustaining.” David Hollis was in third place and his entry entitled ‘Blue streak – a community police station’ received R3 000. “The police have changed their service to the public in the new democratic South Africa, however the old buildings have a military style and don’t respond to the new relationship between police and the public,” says Hollis. Factors such as visual appeal, efficiency an creative design are taken into consideration in the additional category for the best use of clay bricks, which is awarded regionally. Jacques Malan receives a bonus prize of R3 000 for his work. Corobrik Tel: 031 560 3111 Fax: 031 565 1532 Website:

Pictured from left: the winner, Jacques Malan, with runner up Conelia Faason, Rod Taylor of Corobrik, Prof. Albrecht Heroldt and David Hollis

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Tech Savvy

Number 2, 2010



E nergy E f f i c i e n c y a nd I ns u la t ion

Example of a timber window system installed to be tested in the RGHB.

SANS 204: Energy Efficiency in Buildings was published in October 2008 and, according to Hans Schefferlie, Executive Director of the AAAMSA Group, it is set to be declared mandatory by the Department of Energy (DME) and Department of Trade Industry (DTI) by the end of May 2010.

According to TIASA (Thermal Insulation Association of South Africa), which is administered by the AAAMSA Group, the Rotatable Guarded Hot Box (RGHB) situated at the Thermal Test Laboratory (TTL) in Pretoria is used to determine the thermal transmittance of a building envelope system, i.e. roof and insulation system or fenestration system and is recognized as a formal certification test method. Insulation companies have been having their products tested in the Hot Box since the end of 2009 and Schefferlie believes that companies are doing this in order to ensure that their products can be marketed as “certified” by TIASA. “The days where insulation was regarded as non-essential are over. Manufacturers need a way to prove how energy-efficient their products perform in a roof system,” says Schefferlie.

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Building envelope systems results Insulation companies have recently started testing different roofing configurations with various insulations products to determine the total R-value of the complete roof/ceiling system. According to Des Schnetler, administrator of the South African Fenestration & Insulation Energy Rating Association (SAFIERA), SANS 204 is an ongoing standard and it is likely to change in the future. “We have adopted principles from overseas, but the South African values will have to be determined through testing of the complete system and SANS 204 might be revised accordingly,” says Schnetler. Similarly “If fenestration systems are not tested, then default values will kick in and it will make that supplier’s product less competitive,” explains Schefferlie. “When it comes to fenestration, getting your

Energy Effic ienc y a nd Ins ul ati on

products tested is the only way to ensure architects and specifiers that what you claim is true. SANS 10400 Part XA is opening a lot of doors – we hope the right products will be used!” About SANS 204’s insulation requirement Thermal insulation is set to play an integral part in the future design of buildings in order to reduce energy consumption. The appropriate degree of insulation for naturally ventilated buildings will depend on the climatic region, construction design, orientation and location of each individual building. A roof or ceiling which is part of the building envelope must achieve a specific Total R-Value for the direction of heat flow. Although there is a variety of insulation products that may be used to achieve the minimum added R-Value, care must be taken to ensure that the choice made is appropriate for the climatic conditions and construction. There are also different recommended levels of insulation to achieve the deemed-to-satisfy rule for energy efficiency in an unventilated roof and ceilings (see p.34 of Walls & Roofs Vol no.2, 2009 for a full table of R-Values and insulation requirements according to SANS 204). Example of roof system: Pitched tiled or metal roof with flat ceiling – Insulation installed over rafters No



Outdoor Air Film


Tiled Roof (example 25 mm cement tile)


Un-ventilated 38 mm air space (batten)


Reflective Foil Insulation or bulk RFL


Attic space (100 mm)


Bulk Ceiling Insulation


Plaster/Ceiling board (10 mm thick)


Indoor air-film (non-reflective)

Testing insulation in the Rotatable Guarded Hot Box The Hot Box determines the heat transmission values of a building envelope system by determining the thermal transmittance or U-factor (in W/ m2.K) in accordance with ASTM C 1199 and ASTM C 1363. Besides thermal insulation products and systems, walls, floors and fenestration systems can also be tested. The Hot Box has two main chambers, a room side chamber (also referred to as the indoor or warm chamber) and a climate side chamber (also referred to as the environmental or cold chamber), which sandwich a surround panel. This panel has an opening in which the test specimen is mounted during testing. The surround panel separates the different thermal and airflow regimes in the two chambers. Energy losses or gains from the outside environment are eliminated by the highly insulated construction. A representative section or specimen of the assembly is installed into the 1.5m high and 1.2 m wide opening of the surround panel, which is able to determine the thermal efficiency of a building system, according to TIASA. The specimen’s thermal transmittance is calculated from the various measured air and surface temperatures, airflow rates and energy consumption measurements. All forms of heat transfer, conduction, convection and radiation is taken into account when determining the heat transmission of the specimen. Accuracy of results The Hot Box took two years to complete and the Thermal Test Laboratory

recently received local accreditation from SANAS and internationally from the National Fenestration Rating Council of America (NFRC). Schefferlie says that the Hot Box is a world-leading facility that will be immensely beneficial to not only professionals in the industry, but also the members of the related Associations in the construction industry. “This is the first laboratory outside of North America that has accreditation,” explains Schefferlie. “Using a Hot Box to test the thermal performance of a building envelope system is a very reliable method.” Insulation and greenwash Although there are instances where suppliers knowingly make false claims about the energy efficiency of their products (a term referred to as “greenwashing”), Schefferlie believes that the gap between a product’s claim and actual performance is merely a matter of differing perceptions, evaluation methods and opinion about the products. “People may think that their insulation products perform in a certain way, but in reality it is a much different scenario. This is not only a South African problem; it is a worldwide dilemma with regard to proving the energy efficiency of insulation products,” says Schefferlie. Is the insulation market changing? Schefferlie believes that the insulation market is going to experience a growth spurt as soon as SANS 10400 Part XA is passed. “When SANS 10400:XA Energy use in Buildings is published, the insulation market slices are going to be getting bigger,” says Schefferlie. According to Schnetler, the way key players in the industry compete for market share, will also change. “In the past, insulation providers in our industry used to be focused on each other and competing for market share. Now, with SANS 10400 and new testing methods, it would be wise for them to work together and start finding better solutions for energy efficiency systems,” says Schnetler.

“When it comes to fenestration, getting your products

tested is the only way to ensure architects and specifiers that what you claim is true. SANS 10400 Part XA is opening a lot of doors – we hope the right products will be used!”

One of the things that many local insulation suppliers may not expect is a stronger overseas presence from international competitors. “There are definitely overseas players that are very interested in supplying South Africans with their products, which will also force local suppliers to be on their toes,” explains Schnetler. What about imports? Although an influx of insulation importers is on the cards, Schnetler believes that the country’s strict regulations will likely deter inferior imported products from being used. “A product from overseas might have a good thermal property, but might not necessarily withstand our climatic conditions. Local products are exposed too much higher temperatures, due to the warm climate in sub-Saharan Africa, whereas many overseas products do not contain the necessary UV-protection requirements, for example.” says Schnetler.

Number 2, 2010



E nergy E f f i c i e n c y a nd I ns u la t ion

Acoustical ceiling at the Cristal House School in Cape Town

ThermocousTex PlasterBoard was chosen by architect Duncan Rendall of Brinkman Ndayi McAll Architects to be installed in the Cristal House School in Cape Town. The plasterboard was used in the classrooms as a retrofit application school hall in an over purlin application, offices as a suspended ceilings at the Cristal House School. “The reason why Duncan Rendall specified ThermocousTex PlasterBoard is because of its thermal properties, acoustic values, fire properties and its ability to contribute to achieving the South African Green Star Rating for your building,” explains Thomas Datel ThermocousTex. “The finish used for the school was raw plasterboard. For the offices we used a vinyl laminated product.” Buildings that emphasise the need for acoustic plasterboards ThermocousTex PlasterBoard is a popular choice for ceilings that require acoustic and thermal insulation and it is suitable for domestic, commercial and industrial ceilings. “The acoustic values are very important in schools and similar projects where a certain level of quietness is required,” says Thomas . “Learners at a school need to concentrate, so it is good idea to use plasterboards that can limit the amount of sound that can travel between rooms.”

also worked well at the Cristal House School due its fire properties. All of ThermocousTex’s products conform to SANS428, with either a B1 or B2 rating.” ThermocousTex can also be skimmed to provide a flush ceiling for houses, shopping centres and offices and it has been verified as a green product by Ecospecifier. About the acoustical ceiling tiles Description: Butt Edged ceilings panel in various sizes. Application: Suitable for domestic, commercial and industrial ceilings when acoustic and thermal insulation are required. Properties: • Does not contribute to flame spread • Complies to SANS 428 Fire Standard • Test reports: FTC 07/149 B1,B2,H – 25 mm Plain Board; FTC 08/049 B1,B2,H – 120 mm Plain Board; FTC 08/081-A B2,B3 – 25 mm Plaster Board; FTC 08/033-B B1,B2 – 35 mm Vinyl-Faced Board. FTC09/049 60 mm MetroBoard Packaging: Corrugated cardboard corners and wrapped in plastic Finishes: • Whitish product, unpainted • Plasterboard Suspended Ceilings, Panels are laminated with a vinyl finish Profile: Butt joint

Applications: • Ceilings (Skimmed, Suspended and Retrofit) • Roof (Over Purlin, Top Hat) • Floors (Silent Floor) • Walls (Dry Walling, Cavity Wall)

According to Thomas , the incorrect installation and use of products with acoustic properties can also have a negative effect on their performance. “The incorrect use of products, such as in restaurants, will cause a lack of performance and this can lead to people not enjoying their experience. When a restaurant is too noisy, people become irritable because they can’t hear one another speak over the music or white noise,” explains Thomas. Thermal properties “The product has excellent thermal properties, which obviously contributes to temperature control, thereby reducing energy costs and greenhouse gases,” says Thomas, before adding that ThermocousTex PlasterBoard is the only acoustical ceiling tile offering superb thermal insulation. “It performs exceptionally well in high humidity areas - up to 95% RH. The product

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Width: 600 mm

Length:1 200 mm, 1 500 m, 1 800 mm, 2 100 mm, 2 400 mm,

2 700 mm, 3 000 mm, 3 300 mm, 3 600 mm.

Thermal Conductivity: 0,034 W/m.K R- Value: 25 mm

0, 74 m².K/W

35 mm

1, 03 m².K/W

50 mm

1, 44 m².K/W

Density: 50 kg/m³ (Plasterboard 80 kg/m³) NRC Value: 0, 69 Weight: 25 mm : 1, 25 kg/m²

35 mm : 1, 80 kg/m²

50 mm : 2, 30 kg/m²

25 mm : PlasterBoard 2, 00 kg/m²

35 mm : PlasterBoard 2, 80 kg/m²

ThermocouxTex Tel: 0861 datlink E-mail: Website:

Number 2, 2010



E nergy E f f i c i e n c y a nd I ns u la t ion

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Energy Effic ienc y a nd Ins ul ati on

Cellulose fibre insulation at Capetonian nightspot

Removing individual roof sheets to allow access into the roofspace

Club Vaudeville in Cape Town’s fast-redeveloping Foreshore district is a different kind of Capetonian nightspot. It is snug under a blanket of highly efficient cellulose thermal insulation. Located in a redecorated building that dates back to Cape Town’s early days, it offers a supper club with nightly live entertainment. The venue provides theatre-cabaret seats for 340 diners, with the opportunity of a latenight retreat into a Moroccan-themed bar and club on the mezzanine level. The venue is located underneath 700 m2 of corrugated steel roof and has since been retrofitted with an extensive airconditioning system to keep the 340 patrons comfortable – cool in summer and warm in winter. Of course, air-conditioning an extensive open venue such as the supper club is a highly expensive exercise. Therefore much thought was given to passive measures to keep the premises climate-controlled. Ease of access, quick turnaround and a professional turnkey service was therefore the requirement by the designers and owners of the Club. Cape Town-based Eco-Insulation installer Richard Ellis provided the solution that the designers were seeking and quickly moved on site. Working in temperatures of over 40°C on the roof, the Eco-Insulation team removed panels of corrugated roof sheeting in order to gain entry to the roofspace below. “We were the veritable cats on a hot tin roof,” said Ellis. The method of installation of Eco-Insulation makes it highly possible to work efficiently in difficult-to-access areas of the roof. In the case of Club Vaudeville, the roofspace was large, but movement across this area was difficult owing to the absence of roof purlins. Product was hence pumped across the void between the trusses. In this way the product flowed across the top of the ceiling quickly and distributed itself into every recess, giving 100% coverage. Eco-Insulation demonstrated the unique strengths of fire-rated cellulose fibre insulation in this job, as well as the specially developed delivery system for installation. The team was off site in time for the Club’s grand opening just prior to the Christmas holidays. According to Eco-Insulation founder, Cecil Homan, architects and project managers should give more consideration to using cellulose. The product is fully approved by the SABS and is fire-rated as “no spread of flame” above the ceiling. “Architects often forget about the sound-insulating benefits of the product, as well,” he says. This is very important for the hospitality industry, where levels of noise need to be controlled and sonic absorption is required for effective acoustics inside the building. ‘Was the job of thermal insulation successful?’ we asked Mr Homan? “Temperature conditions inside the building are anything from 5°C to 10°C cooler this summer without the aircon, depending on the time of day. This is what we mean by natural climate comfort,” he answered. Eco-Insulation Tel: 021 555 3766 Fax: 021 555 3776 E-mail: Website: Number 2, 2010



E nergy E f f i c i e n c y a nd I ns u la t ion

One-Minute Challenge:

Find out what



will save you

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that one-third of a typical building’s cooling load is from solar heat gain through windows and nearly 75% of existing windows are not energy-efficient. When energy is wasted, everyone pays, including an architect or builder’s clients, their tenants and the environment. LLumar Energy Saving Window Film reduces energy use and saves 5-15% on a building’s energy costs. As much as 80% of excessive solar heat gain can be reduced by using LLumar Window Film. Test your savings with a new online tool But you don’t have to accept these figures without concrete proof. You can see how much LLumar can save on your next project by taking the OneMinute Challenge online at The online energy analysis allows you to customise the cost calculator to determine your exact savings. This is done by entering the details of your building and region and submitting the results.

Impressive payback times on window film investments LLumar delivers an impressive average payback time of just 2.65 years, making it an investment in your clients’ – and our planet’s – future. LLumar produces all components of its ISO-9001-certified CPFilms in-house, making it the ideal solution for all types of new and retrofit construction in commercial applications ranging from hospitals, schools, retail sites, offices and more. LLumar Tel: 011 321 8040 Fax: 011 324 8045 E-mail: Website:

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Energy Effic ienc y a nd Ins ul ati on

Eliminating heat and glare with glazing film Ecco Restaurant is one of the most highly reputed dining establishments in Jardins, Sao Paulo. The large glass windows in the restaurant had enabled customers to take in the view and make full use of Brazillian sunshine, while enjoying a picturesque view. The owners’ only worry was that the comfort level of their customers might be compromised by the heat of the sun through the large glass windows. Transmitting light, rejecting heat In order to eliminate the excess heat and glare caused by the sun’s rays passing through the large windows, the restaurant owners chose LLumar N1050 film. This high-performance sputtered film features 42% total solar energy rejection, 49% visible light transmittance, and blocks 99% of damaging ultraviolet light. “The Llumar film gave my customers more privacy, while allowing them to see through the windows,” commented Mr. Sergio Roberto Cusin, one of the owners, after the installation. Discomfort and glare were eliminated. The tables by the windows can now be used on hot sunny days. We have reduced energy costs and are able to operate our airconditioning more efficiently. Our LLumar film also protects against UV rays, which will help to keep our upholstery and decorations from fading.” About the glazing film LLumar N1050 film is a multi-layered glazing film that is applied to interior glass surfaces in order to block excess solar heat. Besides minimising the discomfort of your clients in the case of large windows at a restaurant, you

Ecco restaurant without glazing film

Ecco restaurant with glazing film

are also able to protect your furnishings, merchandise and carpeting by reducing the glare and solar impact of UV rays. The film is available in a full range of colours, including clear, bronze, grey, grey-silver, gold, blue, green and neutral. Llumar are specialists in high-performance glazing film, offering a range of automotive, residential and commercial film. LLumar’s authorised dealers are factory-trained by CPFilms technicians in order to ensure high-quality installations. For more information about their patented scratch-resistant, corrosion-resistant and virtually maintenance-free coating, visit www.llumar. LLumar Tel: 011 321 8040 Fax: 011 324 8045 E-mail: Website:

Number 2, 2010



Feature : G l ass

The exclusive Paul Smith boutique in Parkhurst is an opaque pink, non-transparent glass box.

South African architects

under-utilise glass “You know how it is - if an architect has a requirement to satisfy, he or she will take the least appropriate material and product for the job,� jokes Hugh Fraser, renowned South African architect and General Manager of Architectural Products of the PG Group. His passion for innovative designs and interesting structures built with glass has taken him around the world. Walls & Roofs caught up with Fraser to find out what his travels have taught him and what he has learned in terms of the use of glass, architecture and innovation in South Africa and overseas.

The oval shaped glass of the Memorial for terrorist attacks is shaped into a glass cylinder weighs 140 tons, is 11 meters high and has a diameter of 8 by 10.5 meters.

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G l as s “Glass is definitely under-utilised in South Africa,” says Fraser, before setting up his silver MacBook Pro to show us pictures of buildings, structures, monuments and memorials which have caught his interest during his travels. “One thing is for sure, though - the international markets are using glass for some of their most recent and inspiring buildings.” The pictures that Fraser takes during his travels amount to tens of thousands of photographs, which are snapped within milliseconds of one another and shown back-to-back, creating the illusion of a video. “This is the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, which was designed by David Chipperfield,” says Fraser while skipping through pictures of a gigantic, luminous glass structure. “It is extremely energy efficient and they have reclaimed a lot of taxes due to this,” says Fraser, before jumping to showcase breathtaking projects from another continent. The possibilities of concrete and glass “This is Nordwesthaus in Austria and it is situated in a private harbour,” says Fraser. “One of the functions of this building was to exploit the possibilities of combining concrete and glass.” The glass of the Nordwesthaus is laminated and glazed and it appears to be frosted – a look which was achieved by using an old technique of putting glue on the glass. “The first time I was in the house, I thought the frosted appearance was due to condensation on the inside of the glass,” laughs Fraser, before briefly flicking through pictures of an oval-shaped glass cylinder that is over 11m high (the memorial for terrorist attacks in Madrid) and a tall building that uses different colours of glass (a retirement home in Holland).

Plussenburgh retirement home, Holland - There are 200 different shades of self cleaning glass at the Plussenburgh retirement home.

Nordwesthaus, Austria - A glass box, which is made up of floating glass panels, envelopes the openwork concrete structured. The glass panels are fixed to the structure with steel clips.

IAC building Frank Geary, New York – The curving glass facade on the row of tilted columns at the IAC headquarters building in New York.

International versus local use of glass An article highlighting important glass-related stories on www.glassonweb. com entitled “What happened in 2008?” regales the success of the biannual Glasstec event in Dusseldorf. According to’s editorial staff, 2008 was the first time that the Glasstec exhibition occupied over 73 000 m2 of net exhibition space. “Over 1 300 exhibitors from throughout the world presented their innovations in the fields of glass industry, glass machinery and equipment, construction as well as the glazier trade,” reads the article. Over 55 000 people attended this event and exhibits presented architects with new types of functional glass, such as glass that can be switched from transparent to frosted at the touch of a button and novel thin-film modules that offer a promising alternative to conventional silicon-based solar cells with films measuring as little as a few thousandths of a millimeter. “There are many new types of glass that give architects a bigger scope for creativity. And it’s not that glass is cheaper or better overseas, the international market is just using it more! One of the trends and technologies that European architects are using is double skin glass, for example,” says Fraser before explaining the difference between doubleglazed glass and double-skin glass. “Double-glazed glass is a sealed unit, but double-skin glass literally has two separate sheets of glass next to each other. This can be from a few centimeters to a few feet.” Fraser also believes that South Africans are lagging behind in terms of using LED lighting with glass. “LED lighting is big overseas, where we are only starting to get into the whole idea. It is true, however, that South Africans have different needs and requirements when it comes to building with glass. The use of glass dance floors in night clubs is gathering momentum as entertainment facilities become more technological. Additionally the concept of exploiting glass buildings at night with colour is quite appealing.” says Fraser. Appropriate uses and varying factors of glass use in SA “Mechanical shading is important for South African architects – we can’t just go and build a big glass box. A lot more can be done in terms of building innovations to ensure optimal light exposure and minimal heat transfer when using glass and I believe mechanical shading is the answer Number 2, 2010



Gl a ss to this problem,” says Fraser. “Either horizontal louvers or vertical louvers could be used for this.” (Walls & Roofs will be dedicating an entire feature to the use of sun louvers, shading and sun control in the next issue due out mid April) Appropriate use of double glazing and low-e glass “People are not always using the correct type of glass for their buildings and structures. Quite often, people use double-glazed glass where low-e glass should have been specified, and vice versa,” says Fraser. “Using the correct glass not only influences the energy efficiency of the building, but you can also save a lot in terms of costs if you know which type of glass to use. There are six different climatic zones for South Africa – glazing requirements for Johannesburg isn’t the same as glass for Cape Town. We advise architects to liaise with us during the beginning of the project in order to ensure the correct product is used, which can save thousands of rands and spare the project team a lot of frustration.” says Fraser. SANS 204 and climatic zones SANS 204 standard for Energy Efficiency is aligned with international standards and it is set to be passed by the end of March 2010. This standard sets minimum requirements for the energy efficiency of new buildings and it is hoped that the standard will promote energy efficiency and sustainable building practices. According to, compliance of the standard should be through a rational design prepared by a competent person and in compliance with SANS 204-2 and SANS 204-3 (i.e. deemed-to-satisfy). The Deemed-to-

Satisfy Provisions are based on six climatic zones and energy intervention measures will vary from region to region. About bioclimatic design Bioclimatic design refers to the design of building spaces (interior, exterior and outdoor) based on local climate, with the aim of providing optimal energy-efficient performance. The three basic steps of bioclimatic design are: • Understand the local climate – What type of climate are the designers designing for (such as Highveld climate, or a Tropical Coastal Climate, for example). • Understand the type of building and its occupants. Is the building a house or an office? • Choose the correct bioclimatic strategies, taken cognizance of the first two steps above and a thorough research. (See more about bioclimatic design on p.24-25 of Walls&Roofs VOL 10.6). Local thoughts and inspirations “There is an incorrect perception amongst South Africans that glass is less environmentally friendly and energy efficient than other materials, but this isn’t true,” says Fraser. According to, ordinary glass allows 40% of energy out, which would cost you more in terms of wasted heating or cooling systems. A performance glass has a variety of insulation, acoustic performance and energy saving characteristics. “All materials have their place and I can foresee some exciting projects and changes in the local glass industry in the near future,” concludes Fraser. Sources:,,

Constructing the glass waves of Waverley The glass curtain-like wall of Waverley Office Park, Phase 2, is a first of its kind for glass façades in Africa. Referred to as ‘the waves of Waverley’ by those who worked on the project, the façade exhibits true uniqueness, with its concave and convex shapes forming a dramatic exterior for its tenant – the Department of Housing. “This is part of an ongoing re-development of an old industrial complex that was used primarily as a textile mill for the manufacture of blankets, called Waverley blankets,” said Raleigh Keating from Raleigh Keating Architects, designer and principal agent for the project. Jean du Plessis from Slipknot Investments 777 (Pty) Ltd is the owner of the project and UWP Consulting (Pty) Ltd were the Structural Engineers for the glass curtain wall structure. The sloping, tapered and curved façade spans an area of approximately 650 m2 and it took four months to complete. “The concept for this re-development was to make a dramatic change to the dull industrial buildings by giving them modern glazed façades,” said Keating. “I wanted to create a tilted wave of glass that would give reflections

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of the surrounding area, roads, buildings and sky and to soften this harsh industrial area with soft curves.” Measuring each sheet of glass Keating explained that the glass and aluminium expand and contract much more quickly than the concrete and steel of the building, forcing him to allow for a minimum of 300 mm between the pivot points and the structure. According to Keating, the turnbuckles simplified the process of aligning the glass sheets because the turnbuckles would allow for minor adjustments. “Each sheet of glass had a different shape and had to be measured and cut individually,” said Keating before explaining that the curtain wall is essentially a free-standing skin which is made up of NuKlip aluminium sections, set on stainless steel pivots on the ground. “All of the stainless steel brackets and their loadings were done in consultation with Robert Dommerholt of Hulamin Building Systems,” concludes Keating. Raleigh Keating Architects Tel: 043 735 4518 E-mail:

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Gl a ss

Glass creates transparency at local brewery With L&D’s involvement in the glass façade detailing of a brewery outside Johannesburg , an integral design feature has enhanced the aesthetic of what could have been a series of bland boxes.

“The objective of the building was to achieve a feeling of total transparency and this was done with the innovative use of glass and translucent products,” says Vernon Schroeder, architect at Osmond Lange Architects and Planners. “Approximately 700m2 of glass and 250 m2 of Lexon, a translucent cladding material that allows light into the building were utilised.” The draping glass curtain wall, sloping and curving is an impressive feature which lightens the ‘weight’ of the building as well as functioning as a looking glass on to the brewing landscape. Osmond Lange deconstructed the staid ‘box’ building by composing the facades of the building into three definitive parts:- the sturdy base of clay brick emerging from the earth, supporting a lightweight steel façade encapsulating the intricacies of the brewing process, topped by a ‘floating’ roof connecting the building to the sky. L&D’s 11 m high glass curtain ‘wrap’ goes on to further activate a dramatic and technically evolved building. Although Schroeder acknowledges that the technical intricacies of designing this vast glass façade led to a beautiful final construction, he says that building it in order to comply with international standards and specifications was not without its difficulties. “Timing and lifting required a well-thought-out plan. We needed to lift large pieces of sealed insulated glass,” says Schroeder. He goes on further “We also needed to ensure that the slope of the glass matched International Architecture Branding.” Using vast amounts of glass brings about a number of challenges. By incorporating the use of double-glazed panels, the architects and glazing

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specialists were able to successfully moderate the internal working temperatures and prevent condensation occurring on the inner glass skin as a result of temperature differences between inside and out. It was necessary too to make use of toughened glass because of the large size of the glass panels as well as the stresses and strains brought upon glass under fluctuating temperatures . Making use of the brewing process as aesthetic inspiration, the architects drew on the rich colours of the malt and the vibrant reds associated with the fermentation process as a palette to be applied throughout the buildings. The use of glass with its reflective and smooth finish works in direct contrast with textured finishes of the buildings, so extracting greater aesthetic from the brewery buildings. L&D have been involved in many spectacular large scale projects and the Brewery is yet another feather in their cap. “The fact that we are constantly calling L&D Enterprises back to do more work at the brewery and continually involve them in our other projects is testament to their excellent top-quality workmanship. We are more than happy to be associated with them in our flagship projects,” concludes Schroeder. L&D Enterprises Tel: 011 618 1512 Fax: 011 618 1563 E-mail: Website:

Expert, trusted, guaranteed

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Glass & glazing services

Commited to glass and glazing excellence “The fact that we are constantly calling L & D Enterprises back to do more work for us is testament to their top quality workmanship” Vernon Schroeder Architect for Osmond Lange Architects and Planners (Pty) Ltd


L & D Enterprises (Pty) Ltd Tel: 011 618 1512 • Fax: 011 618 1563 Email: Website: Number 2, 2010 WA LLS & ROOFS 041

Gl a ss

A glass brick staircase.

Sandblasted skylights allow light in while reducing the glare of the sun.

The efficiency, sustainability and design features of

glass brick cladding

The Seves range of quality glass bricks by Aluglass marks an important step forward in the evolution of the glass brick. Seves offers new solutions to architects and design professionals focused on long-term sustainability, who will not renounce the strong aesthetic impact of building façades made entirely of glass bricks. Seves presents contemporary architecture with a new advantage: a more precise control of thermal dispersion to protect the environment. This range of glass bricks is imported from Europe and they are manufactured to exacting EN and ISO standards, with test certificates available for fire resistance, acoustic values, bulletproof competency, and much more. Energy-saving and thermal technologies Glass bricks provide a series of technical characteristics often found in other building materials and they offer important solutions for two fundamental construction needs: energy saving and security. Besides the possibility to moderate light (which depends on the design, colour and finishing of the glass brick as well as how the wall or structure is created), glass bricks can also provide significant levels of thermal and acoustic insulation, impact resistance, and resistance to fire. Thanks to these high performance features, glass bricks can also be utilised in critical contexts such as railway stations, seismic zones, or in any project requiring specific technical characteristics. One of the most important characteristic in a security material like the glass brick be it a

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single element or a component in a wall, is its capacity to resist mechanical strain, thermal shock and provide an effective barrier in case of fire, giving occupants time to run to safety. In certain instances, specifically designed glass bricks can guarantee thermal insulation levels superior to those of conventional walls of equal thickness, thereby contributing to the conservation of the environment and the overall comfort of the interior space. Using glass bricks in noisy areas The internal air chamber of the glass brick provides elevated levels of acoustic insulation which permit the use of these blocks in loud and noisy environments and Seves dedicates a complete line of high-performance glass blocks, called “Technology�, to these technical characteristics. Seves was the first glass brick manufacturer in the world to obtain ISO 9001 certification, and has since established its own quality criteria by which it abides, even more demanding and restrictive than the norms. As a result, Seves production line is in first-class with respect to the European standard EN1051.

G l as s

The evolution of the glass brick offers new solutions to architects and design professionals for strong aesthetic impacts of building façades.

Testing of the new energy-saving glass bricks The new energy-saving glass bricks have been subjected to the following laboratory tests in addition to the standard tests required to obtain CE certification in accordance with norm UNI EN 1051-2: • Compressive strength test on the bearing surface of the glass brick in accordance with norm EN 1051/1:2005 • Thermal endurance test in accordance with norm EN 1051/2:2008 • G-Value calculation in accordance with norm EN 410:2000 • U-Value calculation in accordance with norm EN 673:2005 • Sound insulation test in accordance with norm EN ISO 717/1:2007

Sustainable and ecological technology As a result of its continual efforts to safeguard the environment and conserve energy, Seves marks an important achievement in glass architecture with the introduction of a more sustainable and ecological technology. Thanks to special investments in the production process, and to ongoing collaboration with national scientific institutes, Seves has redefined and reset the U-value limits for the thermal transmittance of glass. The new and innovative technology modifies the reflective and transmissive properties of the glass brick, without altering its mechanical and chemical characteristics. Reduce the thermal transmittance of the glass brick by up to 50% Seves developed the ES technology, which effectively reduces the expenditure of energy through glass bricks, thus improving their energy

New glass brick technologies present contemporary architecture with new advantages, such as a more precise control of thermal dispersion.

efficiency. With the introduction of a low-emissivity glass plate and pressure-controlled argon gas, energy-saving (which is patented by Seves) effectively reduces the thermal transmittance of the glass brick by up to 50%. The glass plate is inserted between the glass brick halves to interrupt the thermal bridge, while the argon gas is added to reduce the thermal transmission caused by convective motion. The result is a classic glass brick, like the famous Pegasus 19x19x8cm, that can reach a thermal transmittance value of U=1.5 W/m² K. The new value of thermal transmittance is obtained by introducing a low-emissivity glass plate, as well as pressure-controlled argon gas, between the glass brick halves. The glass brick is also eco-friendly” because it is entirely recyclable at the end of its life cycle. It is made from all natural raw materials by a low-impact production process where the residue of one production cycle is used in the next one. Having been in existence in South Africa since 1973, Aluglass is a familyrun business that has established an exemplary reputation with a wide sales programme that meets the varying demands of the local building industry. Aluglass stocks a standard range of Seves glass bricks, but imports regularly to give customers the freedom to choose exactly what suits their needs and décor requirements, with a wide range of sizes, designs and colours to choose from. Aluglass Tel: 011 451 8400 Fax: 011 609 8097 Info: Website:

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Vertical Colt Solarfin CEL400/80 perforated sun screens Location: Riverwalk Office Park; Garsfontein Pretoria

“The challenge is to maximise daylight entry into the internal space whilst minimising solar heat gain�

Vertical Colt Solar C100 sun screens to corner windows Location: Office Park; Northcliff

Fixed Colt CEL400/80 Solarfin sun screens to entrance feature Location: PD Naidoo Head Office; Waverly, Gauteng

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Horizontal and vertical Colt Grata & Schermo sun screens Location: Grid Eye Office Development; Riverhorse Valley, Kwa Zulu Natal

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Internal view of Colt Solarfin CEL400/80 automatic sun shading system Location: PD Naidoo Head Office; Waverly, Gauteng

Robertson Series 4000 Ventilation Louvres to shopping centre mall Location: Greenstone shopping mall; Edenvale

Fire escape staircase enclosure by means of Colt Solar C louvre system Location: Eco Glades Office Development; Centrurion

Custom designed Colt Solar C and Solarfin sun screens and aluminium feature elements Location: Albaraka Bank; Durban

Curved Colt Solar C sun shading installation to feature widow Location: Meyersdal Office Park; Meyersdal

Gauteng Tel: +27 11 608 4640 • Fax: +27 11 608 4643 Kwa Zulu Natal Tel: +27 31 307 4640 • Fax: +27 31 304 6640

Number 2, 2010



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Artistic Ornamental Granulated Light and Media Façade Always looking for the unusual and informative, WALLS & ROOFS in Africa chanced upon this wonderful design and use of new materials employed at the Iluma Centre – Singapore’s largest urban entertainment centre. Known as the CMesh façade, it has been developed in a close collaboration between WOHA architects (Singapore), in charge of the general architecture of the ILUMA complex and realities and united (Berlin) in charge of the general concept of the media installation, the design of the ‘crystal’ façade element system and the concept of the authoring/operating software. In various ways this concept blurs boundaries as it actively merges the concept of a media screen with an ornamental architectural screen filtering air and light as it blends abstract futuristic shapes with a 1970s Vegas style. Crystal Mesh forms the building’s visual façade; the constructionphysical functions are carried out by another exterior wall deeper inside. It consists of a tessellated pattern made of 3 000 modules of deep-drawn polycarbonate covering a façade area of more than 5 000 m². About 1 900 of these modules contain a regular matrix of compact fluorescent light tubes forming “active patches” within the façade. At night the light matrix superimposes the idiosyncratic physical structure of the white, crystalline daytime façade. But the irregular arrangement of these patches – dividing the façade into areas with different resolutions – does not create a large, homogeneous screen in front of the building, but instead forms a more general impression of the building’s “medianess” as an addition to and an essential ingredient of its architecture. Conceptually, Crystal Mesh is the agglomeration of different influences. Its function and design recall historical ventilation façades, the modular façade designs of the 1960s and 1970s, and the analog light-bulb aesthetic in the entertainment districts of the 20th century. At the same time, it also contains the “futuristic” concept of the monitor as

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complete substitute for the conventional façade construction: the façade as digital medium. These divergent themes have been put together in a formal design system – not in hegemonic addition, but as a mutual interpenetration, overlaying, and masking, which leads in detail to substantial interference between individual aspects. The original idea of the commission – the façade as monitor – is simultaneously realised and obstructed by the modular and crystalline façade system. The large-format structure of the polycarbonate crystals can depict only 75% of the underlying matrix; the “monitor” is thus “perforated”. In addition, the surface of each individual “pixel” is distorted by the modules’ idiosyncratic geometry. CMesh rejects the formula of “media architecture” as an addition of a conventional building plus a conventional TV screen, which often results in the replacement of architecture by digital signage. The work is centered on the exploration of scale, composition, structure, integration (in architecture, in surrounding conditions, etc), content and other key questions in regard to large-scale media elements in architecture and urbanism. It aims to integrate various new (inevitable) dynamic elements in architecture by connecting them with and by founding them in architectural traditions. The research aims to prepare the next stage for the development of architecture as a dynamic rather than static discipline, where dynamic media and architectural qualities do not contradict but augment each other. Reproduced mainly from to which acknowledgement and thanks is given.

extraordinary Chiselhurst Waverley Blanket phase 2 at Waverley Office Park, designed by Raleigh Keating Architects, is the first building in Africa to exhibit this extraordinarily beautiful and unique design of concave and convex shapes and slanting angles. Situated in East London, this landmark building was the brainchild of owner and developer, Jean du Plessis, who funded the project and now rents out the building to the Department of Housing. Building such a glass façade requires not only a fair amount of planning, but also the use of expert professionals and products. Bonding and sealing the glass The exterior glass surfaces needed to be cleaned, bonded and sealed in order to execute this façade. Sika was called in by Coastland Sales to supply the specialist bonding and sealing materials for this incredible curtain-like wall. Before bonding, SikaCleaner 205 (100 x 1 000 ml) was

used for cleaning the glass and aluminium frame on the front of the building. Sikasil SG 18 (1 700 x 600 ml) was supplied for bonding and sealing the glass to the aluminium frames and Sika Clean Glass (2 x 25 ltr) was used to clean the glass after bonding. This is the third building in the office park to be built with glass façades. The long term goal is to ensure the entire office park is finished with glass façades, many of which will certainly use Sika’s advanced materials and products to help bond and seal the glass. Sika South Africa Tel: 031 792 6500 Email: Website:



Number 2, 2010



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What gives an aluminium manufacturer a competitive advantage?

YS Manufacturing CC was established in Durban, South Africa, in 1995 and in 2001 the company

name changed to YS Distributors (Pty) Ltd. Along with many changes, upgrades and offerings that have been added, this aluminium brushware manufacturer and distributor continues to offer customised products to a range of clients.

YS Distributors specialises in importing, manufacturing and distributing top-quality aluminium brushware to independent clients such as Africa Floorcare and Kinghorn Brushware, as well as major chain stores in South Africa, such as Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, Makro and Game. The aluminium division of YS Distributors started off as a family business and for the last 3 years it has continued to grow and gain popularity within the South African aluminium market. Customer-specific creations The ability to provide customer- and architect-specific designs and creations has led to YS Distributors being seen as a competitive aluminium manufacturer and distributor within the South African market. In order give their clients added value, YS Distributors also has a Trading Items department which sources promotional items according to their requirements, at the best prices, through their branch in China.

Besides door and window frames that can be manufactured to precise engineering requirements, a variety of other products including aluminium extrusions are among their fabrications. Some of the successful products that have been introduced by YS Distributors to the market are the Super and Mega Mops, the Mop and Squeegee Deluxe Kit, the Dust Cloth and, most recently, the Double Roller Mop which uses the increasingly popular double roller technology.

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The product range incudes: • Super Mops. These mops, sometimes referred to as sponge mops or roller mops, use colloidal EVA sponges and incorporate a mechanical roller wringer. YS Distributors recently started to produce their patented second-generation double-roller super mop locally. • Window Cleaning Squeegees. A range of squeegee heads are manufactured, including squeegee heads from 8” to 10”, which can be mounted on telescopic handles ranging from 1,1m to 2,1 m when fully extended. • Mega Mops. These are a range of mops manufactured from 100% recycled cotton, which are used to clean floors, walls and ceilings. They come in various forms for feet and hands and they have a one touch pad application. • Product Kits. These are made up of various products in our range to provide for valued-added packages of YS Distributors products to the market. Hydrolin, a hydraulics company, has joined forces with YS Distributors in

order to provide clients with reliable servicing and repairing of engineering equipment. For more information about quality aluminium manufacturers and distributors, contact YS Distributors. YS Distributors (Pty) Ltd Tel: (031) 579 4800 Fax: (031) 579 1231 Website:

YS Distributors

specialize in the fabrication of raw aluminum into client specific final aluminum products

Aluminum Doors frames

Aluminum Window frame

Aluminum extrusions

YS Distributors 29 Aloefield, Crescent Spring field park, Durban Tel: +27 31 579 4800 Fax +27 31 579 4808 Email: Website:

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Using glass Although glass has traditionally been used for walkways, walls, roofs, fins, skylights and cladding, emerging trends have shifted architects to use this product as a structural material. Maximising sunlight, views and the aesthetic qualities of a building have been taken to the extreme in recent constructions, with Apple’s new Manhattan store claiming top spot in innovative glass structures. 050 WALL S & R OOF S

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as a structural


The glass cube in the heart of Manhattan On November 14 2009, Apple opened its fourth New York City store in Manhattan. Situated on Broadway Street and 67th Street, this all glass, steel and marble building is just minutes away from Central Park and Lincoln Center. The building features a breathtaking all-glass arched roof as well as the largest area ever created by Apple for personal training and technical support on the building’s lower level. Due to the building being situated on an intersection, its shape is unconventional. The City required Apple to keep at least half of the original exterior wall, which lead Apple to combine brick and glass walls in a very daring design. The glass at the Apple store is used as a structural element, with only spider fixings holding it together. Structurally glazed systems use a structural sealant to hold the glazing panel in place, against the window mullion – this allows for a capless mullion system which can profile a building with a clean modern finish. Typically a cap serves as a compression plate to hold the glazing panel in place (

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It is in Apple’s brand mantra to create something that has never been done and seen before.

A building like no other It is in Apple’s brand mantra to create something that has never been done and seen before and although many of the 294 stores worldwide are located within shopping malls, the stand alone flagship stores in places such as Tokyo, Sidney, Montreal, Paris, Beijing and, of course, New York City have received numerous architectural awards. The new Manhattan glass storefront is 22,86 metres wide and 9,14 metres deep in order to make space for two of the three store levels which are actually underground. It is a freestanding building (a Manhattan rarity) and the alluring display of Tennessee marble with end-matched vein patterns show a costly investment on Apple’s behalf. Apple Stores’ signature structural glass buildings Designers/Architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and structural engineers Eckersly O’Callahan collaborated with Apple’s in-house design team and used Apple Stores’ signature structural glass vertical circulation to entice plaza level passersby down to the store’s underground main level. The glass walls are mullion-free and they ascend 12,19 metres high to meet the gently vaulted all-glass roof with an almost invisible joint. According to, Karl Backus (the principal-in-charge at

architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson) said that Apple prefers to build one large selling room in order to “present the entire interior to the street. The openness is the invitation,” said Backus. Eckersly O’Callaghan engineered the all-glass roof by mounting fritted, insulating-glass panels on thin metal purlins that incorporate lighting, and (invisibly) sprinklers and security systems. Tension cables were picked out in machined stainless steel for the trusses and the iconic spiral glass stair, which has a patented design, is a spectacular feature that is almost unnoticed at street level. Although the notoriously secretive Apple refused to comment on the cost of the store, it has been reported that it amounts to approximately USD$37,9-million. According to Ron Johnson, Apple’s senior vice-president of retail, these stores merit lavish outlays because “they are the most profitable.” Sources:;; Original sources:;; Number 2, 2010



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Glass and aluminium at

City Lodge Monte Casino

Centurion Glass and Aluminium (CGA) supply a variety of products to City Lodge’s for the City Lodge Hotels group and one of their most recent projects includes the City Lodge Monte Casino Boulevard opposite Monte Casino. Situated on Witkoppen Road in Fourways, Gauteng, Alex Kerrod from CGA believes that the hotel will enhance the landmark in this area. “It is a great looking building and only top quality products were used,“ says Kerrod. “Construction of the hotel began in June 2009 and finished eight months later in January 2010. Some of the products supplied by CGA include aluminium windows, glass curtain walling, shopfronts, automatic doors, stacking folding doors and windows and double doors.” Kerrod believes that their quality products as well as skilled team have contributed to the aesthetic appeal of the City Lodge. “We have a policy of providing skilled assistance so that developers and architects are reassured of an all-round quality service and end product,” explains Kerrod. “We have a professional technical drawing department and

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we use recognized design software and qualified drafting technicians, which means that our clients have the comfort that they are dealing with a professional outfit.“ Besides the City Lodge group of Hotels, other impressive projects that CGA is currently and has been involved in include Labone School (a social upliftment project encompassing a school and university), Wits revamp (this revamp came after the successfully completion of the University of Johannesburg upgrade) and Freedom Park (a prestigious national museum project for which CGA will supply façades, windows and doors). “A sound strategy, backed by well thought out tactics, and reliable planning have helped us reap significant rewards and the City Lodge Monte Casino is a great example,“ concludes Kerrod. Centurion Glass & Aluminium Tel: 012 666 8000 Fax: 012 666 8007

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Solar radiation and glass louvres As the demand to optimise internal climates through energy-efficient means intensifies, the importance of solar protection systems is being increasingly realised by architects. Solar heat gain and solar glare are a costly and unwanted hindrance for building owners and shading is becoming a popular recommendation as a preventative measure. Although fixed solar shading performs well on North-facing faรงades, their performance is dramatically reduced on East and West facing faรงades. East- and West-faรงades take in a large amount of sunshine during the day and therefore pose an often underestimated design challenge for architects when considering and selecting the correct solar shading system. Overcoming problems with fixed solar shading To overcome the problems associated with fixed solar shading and to achieve optimum results, East and West faรงades require controllable solar shading. Sun-tracking louvres follow the path of the sun, making sure the solar shading system is always optimised. Colt Shadoglass incorporates glass panels into the sun-tracking shading system, allowing the occupants to have not only optimised shading, but also full view of the outside during all times of the day. Colt Shadoglass combines practical solar control technology and stunning aesthetics to offer designers an architectural product that is ideally suited to modern lowenergy buildings. Shadoglass maximises natural daylight whilst controlling solar heat gain and glare.

How the product works Radiation from the sun is partially absorbed and reflected by the glass louvres. As a result solar heat gain is prevented from passing into the building, minimising ventilation requirements and reducing cooling loads. Through the automatic control of the shading system the building is protected against overheating by the fully-adjustable glass louvres that are controlled in accordance with the position of the sun. Additionally, daylight levels are enhanced whilst levels of glare are reduced. Features of these glass louvres include; optimum performance of reducing solar heat gain whilst maintaining daylight levels, wide freedom of design and striking aesthetic opportunities, and the glass is available in various performance and appearance specifications. Solar Shading Industries Tel: 011 608 4640 Fax: 011 608 4643 E-mail:; Website:

Alternate product designs of glass louvres are available in order to suit applications from single windows to large faรงades.

Occupants can remain connected with their external environment when glass panels are incorporated into the sun-tracking shading system.

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Co nc ep t s & Vi s i ons

Fixed Solar Shading Systems • Fixed & Controllable Solar Shading • Acoustic Louvres Glass Solar Shading Systems • Screening Louvres, Rain Defence & Performance Louvres


Tel: +27 11 608 4640 • Fax: +27 11 608 4643 Chris Edwards: 082 855 9776 Email: Eric Whelan: 082 452 2257 Email:


Tel: +27 31 307 4640 Fax: +27 31 304 6640 Ron Burns: 082 936 0562 Email:

Solar Shading Industries is the sole Southern Africa distributers of Colt Solar Shading Systems Technology and Products

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There is a new machine in South Africa that enables architects and designers to print virtually any design, image or picture on glass. Diptech Ink Jet Printer is the buzzword within the inner circles of innovators and Walls&Roofs went to find out what the machine can offer in terms of the latest printing technologies for glass.

Top: A Diptech operator controls the printing process from a computer. Left: The image is being baked onto glass. Right: An image of penguins is done on the computer and printed onto glass.

New ink jet printer opens new doors for architects Changing the way we design “This machine can put anything on glass – and I mean anything. I’m very excited about it,” says architect Hugh Fraser enthusiastically before showing us pictures of everything from fish species to patterns that he wants to get printed on the glass. “This is truly a first for the South African market.” This new printing machine, called the Diptech Ink Jet Printer, is a oneof-a-kind solution to previous glass printing restrictions. Quintin Taljaard, Managing Director of Advanced Armour Glass Pty Ltd, explains the process he went through to make this machine available to the South African market. “I saw the machine at the Vitrum glass exhibition in Milan, Italy, two years ago and since then we’ve been putting the plans in place to get it here. It will be fully operational soon and available at our factory in Isando, Johannesburg,” says Taljaard. Traditional colour printing on glass required ceramic based ink, which had ceramic beads in the glass. The Diptech ink jet is the first printer that offers multi-colour printing. “You can basically design a picture in Adobe Photoshop and have it printed by the machine because it is like a giant ink jet. There are five basic colours that can be mixed into 50 colours,” says Fraser. The days of creating separate screens are over Architects and designers that use glass have become accustomed to creating individual screens for each image or picture. “In the past, you had to manufacture a screen for every single image – this costs approximately R3 000 per screen. With the Diptech ink jet, you can create a huge picture and sub-divide the image into panels forming a design on a façade or advertising glass panel,” says Taljaard. “Think of the huge advertisements that are used to cover a building that is under construction. With this new technology, we can transfer a complete design or feature onto a façade of any building in a dot matrix design allowing light in and people inside the offices to see out, while viewed from outside the complete feature will be seen.

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We’ve got what you want “This really is a huge leap forward and the design possibilities that the machine provides take a while to sink in,” says Fraser. “If you tell somebody that we can print anything on glass, they immediately ask what we can offer, which in turn get you to emphasise that they can choose absolutely anything!” Taljaard agrees that many architects are rightfully excited because whole new worlds of options are now available to them. “Designers can literally let their minds run wild – the sky is the limit,” concludes Taljaard. Advanced Armour Glass Pty Ltd is a subdsidiary of the PG Group and the Diptech ink jet printer will be operated out of the Isando factory. For more information, contact 011 971 1300 or e-mail

The machine is able to print extremely high black and white photo resolution onto glass.

Mirror tiles

UV Bonding

Mirror picture

Front window

Window frame

OR Tambo


Uwe Schl端ter, National Marketing Manager of MiTek Industries South Africa, has been in the roofing industry since 1973, using timber trusses since 1973 and steel trusses since 2000. Although Schl端ter acknowledges that the two types of trusses cannot be compared, he believes that market needs are changing the way we

Changing trusses and roofing systems in South Africa build and the way we use the products.

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“It’s not simply a case of which type of truss is better – we use both. Timber has been around longer, but light gauge steel has been making a huge difference in the market because one is able to use a lot less of the product,” says Schlüter. “People are used to building with wood, but I think that light gauge steel is going to become increasingly popular,” comments Schlüter. Paradigm shifts in building Schlüter feels that there is reluctance from the market when it comes to switching to light gauge steel trusses. “Less than 8% of structures that could be built with light gauge steel are actually built with this product. People have been using timber trusses forever and they feel that it works,” says Schlüter before adding that switching from timber trusses to light gauge steel trusses requires a different outlook on roofing systems. “Timber trusses and light gauge steel trusses require different techniques and a mind-shift is needed to change the way you build with these products.” Our age-old resource Stephen J. Kelly (BS, Architecture, 1976, MArch, 1978, University of Illinois, Senior Consultant at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc, and part of the Historic Preservation faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) wrote a book entitled “Wood structures: a global forum on the treatment, conservation and repair”. In this book, Kelly writes that the versatility and usefulness of wood have made this material a major contributor to the development of architecture, structural forms and building construction. “Elements of ancient Greek architecture evolved from timber prototypes, the Medieval Gothic vault evolved from simple timber roofs and clay dome or shell vaults with wooden armature as a reinforcing mesh, modern structural framing (in steel and reinforced concrete) and truss systems were first modelled from timber framing and truss system concepts, and jointing techniques and details for iron and steel were initially patterned after those in timber. Wood and wood-based products have been used extensively as formworks and/or falseworks in almost all reinforced concrete structures,” writes Kelly. Timber preferred for clusters Schlüter believes that even though many roofing systems will now favour light gauge steel, wood is still preferred for certain residential houses. “Wood is still

“People are used to building with wood, but I think that light gauge steel is going to become increasingly popular,” comments Schlüter.

more competitive than steel when it comes to clusters where hip roofs (multi-faceted roofs) are being built,” says Schlüter. “When building a development where many similar roofing systems are required, timber trusses are still preferred, though this perception is slowly changing with the introduction of lightweight steel. The timber trusses get manufactured in a factory, so you can design the same roof that is applied to a number of houses, making it a relatively easy exercise. This might be a problem if the clusters are in a rural area though, because the trusses are pre-assembled and transported to site.” South Africa’s quality of wood According to Schlüter, the low quality of wood in South Africa is also partly to blame for the shift to light guage steel trusses. “Wood receives S-grades, which range from 5 to 10 and are indicative of its strength (with ten being the best). Wood with an S-grade of 10 can take 10 megapascals of bending, for example. The most common grade for South African wood is a 5 and one even struggles to get wood with a 7 S-grade in South Africa,” says Schlüter. Kelly writes that wood is our only basic renewable resource and if we properly manage our forests, recognise the changing nature of timber supply and building demand, continue to advance our knowledge of the properties of old and new wood and wood-based building products, it may continue to be so in the future. The role of heavy steel in roofs Neither light gauge steel nor wood can be used as an effective portal frame for constructions because these building materials are too weak compared to heavy steel. Schlüter says that in order to overcome this, one needs early interaction with the developer and engineer of the project. “A different approach needs to be taken and if the structure has already been planned, it is difficult to change. You have to get in at a conceptual stage,” says Schlüter. Changing the roofing system: a case study Schlüter refers to the phase 5 of the Zambezi Mall project, where the developer of the mall saw an opportunity for more revenue at a late stage in the project. The original plan was a concrete slab for a rooftop parking area, but the new idea included a cinema roof that spans 22,5 metres (with a 950 mm overhang at high end); a restaurant area with a skylight in the middle with 15 metre spans on both sides (the skylight roof span is 7,5 metres) and an indoor soccer stadium with a 30-metre span, all covered under long-span steel roof structures. The problem with this new idea is that most of the concrete structure had already gone up, the roof structures of the cinema and restaurant had already been erected and construction of the site was in full steam. The solution that Schlüter and his team from Mitek found was to use light steel

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The total roof area to be covered by light steel roofing at the Zambesi Mall was 7 844 m² and a total of 78,5 tons of steel were used.

I’m a great believer in combining things, says Schlüter. One must be open-minded – there is always room for innovations and improvement in the industry.

frame roof trusses, roll them in Mitek’s factory, transport the sections to site, assemble and erect with the main contractor’s tower cranes. Structuring the trusses The total roof area to be covered by light steel roofing is 7 844 m² with a total of 78,5 tons of steel. The 22,5 m span roof structure covering the cinema is a simple truss structure with spacing between each truss of about 1 400 mm. There are horizontal bracing frames between every 4th and 5th truss running parallel to the trusses, one in the plane of the top chord and one in the plane of the bottom chord. Each truss weighs 220 kg. The 12 m high concrete columns on the external side of the cinema required structural support to withstand the wind forces from the north. The roof structure was hence designed to act as a stabilising structure and by connecting it to the opposite concrete gutter, the wind force on the concrete column was accounted for. The cold-rolled members were formed in the Mitek factory in Midrand,

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where they were specially rolled to fit onto a 12,5 metre truck (the usual stock lengths are 5,8 metre long sections to fit into a 6-metre container for export purposes). The sections were transported to site and the trusses were fabricated on site in 20 days prior to erection. The future of trusses “I’m a great believer in combining things,” says Schlüter. “In the near future, we could be attaching timber to light gauge steel which is attached to heavy steel in order to create savings. One must be open-minded – there is always room for innovations and improvement in the industry.” Thanks and acknowledgement are given to Mitek. Additional sources:, Stephen J. Kelly (2000). Wood Structures: Global Forum on the Treatment, Conservation, and Repair of Cultural Heritage Original sources: and

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Bracing of steel roofs

Not to be missed:

Roof Engineering Conference of the year MiTek Industries (Pty) Ltd will be hosting a Roof Engineering Conference on 18 – 20 May 2010 in Midrand Johannesburg. This conference, entitled “Roof Engineering in line with South African National Standards – Current Practice”, will focus on reviewing the current practice of roof design in compliance with relevant SANS codes, establishing design innovation and engineering education which are essential ingredients to design compliance.

Some of the topics that will be covered during the conference include: • Engineering Insurance and liability • Legal consequences of failure • The evolution of roof design • Demonstration of the latest software in steel and timber (20/20) • The manufacture and erection of timber roof trusses • SANS10163 • Bracing of steel roofs • Manufacture of light gauge steel trusses • The future of the roofing industry Guest speakers Heinrich Kammeyer Heinrich qualified at UCT with a B.Arch degree in 1971, obtained his M.Arch degree in 1992 at UP and has submitted his PhD for evaluation at UP. He started teaching and practising in 1972 and he taught design and construction as an integrated subject because he believes that, as designers, architects need to make their drawing details transformable into buildings which will stand the test of time.

Mitek 20/20 software illustration

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Johan Hafenscher Johan is a professional engineer who studied and obtained his degree in civil engineering at the University of Pretoria in 1977. He has been with MiTek since 1980 and his work involved the design of timber roof structures, checking of software, design checking, bracing design, preparing bracing details and carrying out site inspections. The experience Johan gained in observing structural behaviour during site inspections in relation to bracing design details proved invaluable in developing and improving empirical bracing standards and rules. Mike Newham Mike graduated from the University of Pretoria with a BSc Eng. (Civil) degree in 1978 and obtained his Professional Registration in 1983. After working for the Department of Public Works for 5 years and the National Timber Research Institute for 3 years, he joined Hydro-Nail in 1988 as an Engineer and Software Programmer. After running R&D, Customer Support and Factory Operations, he was promoted to Operations Director in 1999. Other guest speakers at the conference include leaders in the industry such as Professor Peter Dunaiski, Richard Bailey, Roly Adams, Tony Aimer and Victor Booth. The cost of attending is R7 500 for ECSA members and R7 900 for non-ECSA members and registrations close on the 15th of April 2010. For more information, visit the MiTek website at MiTek Industries (Pty) Ltd Tel: 011 237 8700 E-mail: Website:

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Green roofs:

the eThekwini Municipality green roof pilot project

Sustainable buildings are a hot topic around the world and green roofs are currently being used in many countries to reduce temperatures and storm water run-off. These roofs offer an opportunity to promote inner-city biodiversity on underutilised, empty roofs and to address food security issues through the production of food. eThekwini Municipality initiated a Municipal Climate Protection Programme in 2004 and initially this programme focused on understanding the vulnerability of the city to the impacts of climate change. The green roof pilot project is part of this programme and according to Clive Greenstone, who is part of the Green Roof Team for the City of Durban and the principal of Green Roof Designs, the green roof pilot project is a response to the higher temperatures and increase in the frequency and severity of floods and droughts that are expected as a result of climate change. Increasing temperatures will exacerbate the already high temperatures experienced as a result of the Urban Heat Island effect. Large, flat roofs are ideal Large, flat and empty rooftops are abundant throughout Durban on institutional, private, residential, industrial, municipal and commercial buildings and these spaces are seen as ideal locations to create rooftop gardens. Buildings with suitable roof structures could be developed into a network of green spaces, which may provide a mixture of urban food security (through both container gardening and/or extensive rooftop gardens) and city greening as well as providing opportunities to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The green roof pilot project is located on one of the buildings in the City Engineer’s complex, on two flat roofs on adjacent sides of an arched roof. The entire area of green roof is 550 square metres (5,920 sf), broken down as: 5 x modular systems at 55 square metres (592 sf) each; 3 x direct applications at 55 square metres each; and 1 x control area at 55 square metre. The current pilot study of the green roof is testing the following: • Both the direct and modular (trays) methods of green roof construction • Different growing media across a range of nutrient levels, textures,

composition, depths, weights and drainage characteristics • A range of indigenous plant species found within a 50 km radius of the building • Some trays are being used as ponds, to see which submerged aquatic and wetland plants will survive under rooftop conditions • Different watering rates • Temperature variances of green roofs as opposed to blank roofs • Amount of Rainfall flowing off the green roofs as opposed to blank roofs as well as the velocity water • Biodiversity, plant palettes and insect data • Potential for growing food on the roof Urban agriculture and rooftops Rooftops are increasingly seen as unused space available for urban agriculture and the usefulness of vegetative roofs is becoming widespread knowledge. Greenstone believes that future research avenues could be to circulate grey water and rainfall run-off, back on to the existing Green Roof to monitor the viability of vegetable cultivation that requires greater amounts of water for survival. The future of roofs In a recent article on, Sustainable Roofing Technologies Editor Ralph Velasquez wrote an article on what types of sustainable roofing technologies might be available in the year 2020. Besides vegetative being a normal way to roof or re-roof a building, Velasquez wrote that perhaps we will have vegetative roofs that come in completely inclusive rolls of waterproofing, soil and plants. Other musings included the capturing of storm water from roofs and buildings, condensate water from HVAC units, grey and black water from building use, that could open up whole new industries and career opportunities for the next generation. Green Roof Designs Tel: 083 398 6902 E-mail: Website:

Project Name: eThekwini Municipality Green Roof Pilot Project Year: 2008 Owner: eThekwini Municipality Location: Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa Building Type: Municipal/Government Greenroof Type: Extensive, Test/Research Greenroof System: Single Source Provider Roof Size: 5920 sq.ft. Roof Slope: 1º Access: Accessible, Open to view by the Public, tours on the roof must be organized through the Ethekwini environmental management and climate protection department Submitted by: Clive Greenstone, Green Roof Designs Designers/Manufacturers of Record: Project Manager and Designer: Clive Greenstone, Green Roof Designs Michael Hickman, Ecosystems Management and Green Roof Designs Geoff Nichols, Geoff Nichols Horticultural Services

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Practical roofing systems to carry a variety of coverings

“Lightweight steel roofing support systems are winning more favour in the local construction industry. There has been a significant demand over the past three years, indicating that the South African market recognises steel as a practical and economically viable roofing material,” says Brandon Harding, Managing Director of Dezzo Roofing. According to Harding, the demand for steel roofing systems across a broad range of sectors has increased over the past three years. Some of these projects include residential houses, rural schools, shopping centres, hotels, factories and office buildings. Corrosion-resistant steel to accommodate a variety of designs Dezzo Roofing’s steel roofing system is specifically designed to carry all roof coverings including concrete roof tiles, steel sheeting and fibre cement sheeting. Almost any roofing design can be accommodated and each roof is custom-engineered and designed. Beat time constraints The roofing systems are lightweight and easily transported in knockdown kit form for assembly on site. “Alternatively, the truss manufacturing can

Innovative steel roofing support systems are winning increasing favour in the building market as they are lightweight, durable and easy to erect.

be done on site and takes about five minutes per truss,” says Harding. Roofing teams are able to erect the complete roofing structure for simple housing units in under two hours, as no cutting or drilling is needed on site. “A substantial part of our business is in supplying roofing systems for RDP housing. This allows for mass volume and a high turnover, allowing us to keep our prices extremely favorable.” Dezzo Roofing has over 10 years experience in supplying steel roofing systems in South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Indonesia. The company is a Division of Dezzo Development Holdings, a 72% black-owned company that is involved in the delivery of RDP houses. It is also a proud member of SASFA. Dezzo Roofing Tel: 031 713 6571 Email:


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Choosing the correct roofing products for coastline construction BlueScope Steel Southern Africa markets coated steel products to local roll-formers and roofing system suppliers. The current product range arises from R&D work done at high-tech development facilities in Australia and Southeast Asia. A major focus of the R&D includes real-time field testing, leading to constant improvements in coated metallic substrate and customised paint

Courtesy of Safintra

systems for pre-painted products.

A housing development in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs where an aluminium/zinc alloy coated steel was uniformly used.

“Corrosion is a major issue along South Africa’s coastline, threatening project sustainability in a surprisingly short term, as well as placing the reputations of the architect and project developer on the line,” says Wayne Miller of BlueScope Steel Southern Africa. Since 2007, Miller and his team have surveyed the local steel roofing market and have identified two overriding factors that are of concern, especially along the coast: Corrosion – early failure of the roof because the wrong grade of steel and/ or coating was used. Fading of pre-painted metal roofs – many pre-painted steel roofing materials fade in a short length of time affecting both the appearance and property values. “As the country develops as part of the global economy, surely it is important to ensure that each new project or retrofit should give the best possible in-life service and low-maintenance benefit to the community at large?” asks Miller. Peace of mind Sustainability and protection of the building and professional reputation underpin the BlueScope Steel corporate ethos in the South African region. “One of the greatest benefits to South African infrastructure development from the BlueScope Steel product offering is access to choice and quality. Many architects, developers and built-environment professionals are already placing their trust and reputations in line with high-performance brands such as Zincalume® steel, Clean Colorbond™ steel and Clean Colorbond™ Ultra steel,” concludes Miller. This promise is underpinned by the Bluescope Steel warranty – provided the designer registers with the company prior to commencement of works. Pre-painted galvanised products are not recommended near the sea “Did you know that no pre-painted galvanised products are recommended within a 1km distance from the coast?” asks Wayne Miller. “In fact prepainted Galvanised Z200 is not recommended within 5 km of the coast. If construction takes place within 1-5km of the coast then pre-painted Galvanised must have a Z275 coating,” he adds.

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BlueScope Steel recommends using only premium aluminium/zinc alloy coated steel such as Zincalume® steel. Pre-painted products, such as Clean Colorbond™ Steel, with an aluminium/zinc alloy coating (AZ150 coating) are advised if building within 5 km – 400 m of the sea. When building within 100 - 200 metres from the water, use Clean Colorbond™ Ultra Steel, with an AZ200 coating – coated to a mass of 200 g/m2 over the steel substrate. This also applies to severe industrial environments – where there are aggressive fumes or particulate fallout within the 200-metre radius. BlueScope Steel Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Tel: 021 442 5420 Email: Website:

The coating on ZINCALUME steel comprises of 55% aluminium, 43.5% zinc and 1.5% silicon and was developed after extensive research into improving the traditional performance of galvanized iron. By blending aluminium with zinc in an alloy coating, BlueScope Steel researchers discovered a way to greatly enhance corrosion resistance. This coating protects the steel base in two ways. Firstly, the aluminium components of the coating provides a tough physical barrier between the extreme atmospheric conditions and the inner core of steel. Secondly the zinc in the coating protects the steel at the cut edges. Galvanic action causes zinc compounds to automatically build up at cut edges and around scratches through an electrolytic reaction when water is present. It slows the rate at which surrounding coating is consumed around the damaged areas. Atmospheric exposure tests confirm in correct application, BlueScope Steel ZINCALUME steel’s corrosion resistance is far superior to that of ordinary zinc coatings, lating up to four times longer in an identical environment.

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Functional and aesthetic roofs for

affordable housing

The Chief Albert Luthuli (CAL) Park on the East Rand forms part of the Government’s Breaking New Ground policy which involves the creation of integrated communities. In its current phase it involves the building of 1 801 houses in CAL Park Ext 2 (206 units), Ext 3 (285 units), Ext 5 (310 units) and Ext 6 (1 000 units). Infraset, a CMA (Concrete Manufacturers Association) producer member, supplied its bold roll Sunset range of concrete roof tiles for the development. The tiles are being used in a variety of colours, including terracotta, slate, dolomite and a vintage multi-blend. The tiles are being laid on metal trusses in CAL Park Extensions 2, 3, and 5 and on timber trusses in Extension 6.

Locals help with roof erection In line with Government policy, previously unskilled locals have been trained to do all the construction work, including the erection of the roofs. Two teams comprising four workers in each were trained by Infraset and they are erecting roofs in Extensions 2, 3, and 5, while the other two are working in Extension 6. According to Grant Uys, each team has reached an exceptionally high level of productivity, taking no more than an hour to complete a roof, which means that each team can erect eight roofs a day. “Not only does this one-hour period include the laying of the tiles and underlay material, but involves the installation of the truss assembly as well. Once this project has been completed, these workers will be able to sell their acquired roof construction skills on the open market, either as independent sub-contractors, or as individual workers,” explains Uys. “We have created a special range of Sunset concrete roof tiles for the affordable housing market and, besides CAL Park, these have been deployed on several other projects in areas such as Krugersdorp, Mafikeng and Rustenburg. Although very competitively priced, these tiles carry the inherent aesthetic and durability properties which make concrete roof tiles such an attractive roofing solution for the affordable housing market.” Uys explains that one of the reasons why the roof construction teams are

so productive at CAL Park is due to the way in which the tiles are packed. “We use a modern system in which five tiles are strapped together in a pack. This facilitates the easy stacking of tiles on truss assemblies prior to laying and has also resulted in a marked reduction in tile breakages during transportation,” notes Uys. “Concrete tiles raise value of a house” Thabong Civils is the main contractor on Extensions 2, 3, and 5. Jakes Buthelezi, Thabong site manager, observes that roofing affordable houses with concrete tiles makes a considerable difference to their ultimate value.

“The CAL Park units are being erected next to a suburb where the houses are valued at between R300 000 and R450 000, and we have not witnessed any drop in value since the CAL Park project, which is on the other side of the road, began. The main reason for this is that the houses at CAL Park boast concrete tiled roofs. Concrete roof tiles add value to affordable housing far in excess of their cost. I’ve always maintained that it’s not the people who bring down the value of housing estates but the building materials used in their construction,” says Buthelezi. Besides the Sunset range that was used at CAL Park, Infraset also manufacturers a flat shingle tile, Horizon, in a range of five through-colours. Infraset has overcome certain weaknesses in the design of traditional flat roof tiles by re-enforcing the transversal ribs for extra strength, which has improved on-site handling and reduced breakages. Infraset Tel: 012 652 0000 E-mail: Website:

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Many of the leading tube and pipe manufacturers are investing in state of the art machinery specifically to handle the new spec. Pictured here is one such machine

Grade S355 steel for structural tube has been launched, replacing the previous 300 standard and making steel a more competitive option for engineers and architects to use. The new grade, which was launched by The Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers of South Africa (ASTPM) and the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC), has been designed using international best practice and complies with the minimum standard based on EN10219 Part 1. “This will make a significant difference to the structural steel tube industry as, for the same amount of steel as the previous 300 standard, higher loads can now be resisted,” explains ASTPM executive director Colin Shaw. “This will render steel tube much more competitive against both other steel profiles and other construction methods like reinforced concrete.” Promoting the advantages of steel According to Dr Hennie de Clercq, SAISC’s executive director, S355 will help considerably in the process of encouraging architects and engineers to, inter alia, build high-rise structures in steel rather than concrete. “We will be promoting strongly the advantages of tubular steel and steel in general for these structures,” said De Clercq. Franco Mordini, ASTPM’s Technical Committee chairman, believes that the new grade will help tubular steel become even more recognised for its inherent advantages. “Apart from its widely acclaimed aesthetic properties, it is becoming increasingly accepted that closed tubular sections, when concentrically loaded in compression, offer considerable savings to structures. Also, tube is inherently the most efficient form for resisting torsion loads, which may also be applied during the fabrication and erection processes,” explains Mordini. “Importantly, tube does not have a weak axis and the steel is optimally distributed.”

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Another crucial advantage of S355 is that tubular steel is now in line with the grades used with hot-rolled steel products. “This obviates the complication of having to specify different grades for different products thus making it easier for architects and engineers to specify tube for an entire job, or portion thereof, rather than tube either being used sporadically or not at all,” says Mordini. Improved cutting and preparation technologies To prepare for the expected increase in demand for tubular, some of the ASTPM’s members have invested significantly in cutting and preparation equipment which is able to make the most of this new grade. These improved plasma and laser cutting technologies have eradicated many profiling difficulties and will contribute to simplifying the fabrication process of steel components made out of tube and hence the competitiveness of tubular product. Be a part of the official launch of S355 The official launch of S355 will take place in February 2010 in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, where the keynote address will be given by Dr Jeffrey Packer, world-renowned tubular specialist. The launch will be followed by a one-day seminar on tubular design and construction, led by Dr Packer, that will cover topics such as the latest design recommendations, innovative tubular solutions including concrete filled columns, welded and bolted connection and practical connection recommendations. ASTPM Tel: 011 823 2377 E-mail: Website: SAISC Tel: 011 726 6111 E-mail: Website:

Shopfr ont

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developments Above: Decking profiles at 22 Fredman Drive in Sandton, Gauteng.

in decking solutions

Given the nationwide positive vibe in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup and Minister Gordhan’s announcement of increased spend on infrastructure and housing, the outlook for development and construction is positive. Global Roofing Solutions (GRS), major regional metal roofing suppliers, say that they are seeing a strong growth for not only metal roofing products, but also for permanent formwork and composite flooring products. Constantly searching for new markets and expanding their already diverse product range, GRS have expanded their coated metal tiles by adding UNI-TILE to the Agrément-approved ArmatileTM range of coated metal tiles. The UNI-TILE is in its third year of production and, according to GRS, it has proven to be a strong and suitable alternative to other similarly profiled metal tiles on the SA market. Closing gaps in the metal tile market Together with the premium ArmatileTM and ArmashakeTM profiles, the less expensive Uni-tile is filling a gap in the metal tile market. Whilst Uni-tile is focused on the national new- and re-roofing market, Armatile has grown to

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become more of an export product for GRS. GRS metal tiles not only provide dependable roofing cover, but they are available with a full range of flashings, accessories and fixings, providing a complete roofing solution. Following their strategic incorporation into the KMG fold as a subsidiary, GRS as a metal roofing manufacturer is party to the Group’s Level 6 BBBEE status. “We believe that GRS is well poised to reap the benefits of the continued housing demand in the country. This factor, coupled with the strong and growing demand for quality roofing materials in the rest of Africa, preludes constant growth for the company,” says Stephan Schoombie, marketing manager at GRS.

T r us s es

Flooring at Magalies Kruin.

QC Flooring in luxury double-storey townhouse development, Magalies Kruin, Pretoria. No additional ceiling was required for ground floor.

Composite floor and decking solutions One of GRS’lesser-known product groups is their composite flooring or decking solutions, comprising QC Flooring (also known as Q-deck), Bond-Lok and Bond-Dek, metal floor decking profiles. According to John Marais, one of the GRS’s decking product managers, their decking products are well known amongst engineers and designers of steelframed-buildings, and the products are now also starting to find their way into more general applications. “Metal floor decking is the standard for quick-and-easy slab systems in the developed world and with transport and labour becoming more expensive by the day, it is fast becoming a popular, cost-effective alternative for the construction of floor slabs in Africa,” says Marais.

Below: Flooring installations form the concrete roof of a silo roof at Mozal and Major cement factories.

Diverse applications for metal decking Metal decking (also known as composite flooring) has been used in a number of interesting and diverse applications, such as the storage silo roofs for Mozal and Major cement factories, underslung ceilings for many fuel station canopies, walkways and bridges at Wits University and the Johannesburg Railway station, as well as floor decks for major parking garage expansions in Sandton City and the ABSA building in Johannesburg City centre. “As an alternative to traditional wet and dry slab (in situ) systems on the market, the metal decking acts as a permanent shuttering, concrete is cast and, while curing, construction work can continue underneath,” says Schoombie. According to him, these products provide a neat underside as a ceiling (QC Flooring and Bond-Lok), or the fashionably profiled ceiling of Bond-Dek, whilst saving on the cost of labour and time for temporary shuttering, and are easy to install. “The real value of these decking profiles lies in their flexibility of design and, whilst perfect for new multi-storey buildings, they are also a strong choice for refurbishments, as in the case of 22 Fredman Drive in Sandton,” says Schoombie. Schoombie explained that the entire 22 Fredman Drive building in Sandton had to be widened, ramps built for increased parking space and two additional floors were added on top. “Bond-Dek, from GRS Boksburg (Brownbuilt), was the answer for a quick and clean refurbishment, and it was also used to provide the basis of the uniquely sloped circular roof for the National Bank of Tanzania Conference Centre in Dar es Salaam,” says Schoombie. This box-rib-type decking profile was developed for use in steel-framed buildings and in other fast-track decking applications and it has the support of the S.A.I.S.C. for use in steel-framed construction. “The main beams and secondary beams can be spaced at 2,4m, making it easy for Bond-Dek to

span this distance unpropped, and leaving clear space for other contractors below to carry on unhindered,” says Schoombie. Being a lightweight, box-rib system, it eliminates the use of a crane to put the sheets in place and allows major savings in concrete volumes used. According to Schoombie, the lightweight sheets generally also bring about a substantial cost saving in transport especially to outlying areas. To prevent corrosion, Z275 hot-dip galvanized sheeting is used. “A major advantage of Bond-Dek is its 900 mm cover width which, together with its interlocking side lap, makes it the fastest erecting steel decking system available. The shape of the Bond-Dek profile, with its 75 mm deep troughs and transverse crenulations, is roll-formed from specially graded structural quality steel having guaranteed yield and tensile properties,” says Neil Goosen, Technical decking consultant, before explaining that this allows the product to span 3 metres, unpropped, under the weight of wet concrete with a minimum depth of 65 mm over the profile. “This leads to major cost savings as it eliminates temporary propping when beams can be positioned at suitable spacings, in the design stage,” says Goosen. ISO 9001:2008-listed Global Roofing Solutions divisions, Brownbuilt and HH Robertson, have cumulatively more than a century of experience in supplying the residential and commercial construction markets in South Africa with roofing products. “We are certain to start seeing the above products in more and more applications from residential to commercial, industrial and infrastructural projects,” concludes Stephan Schoombie. Global Roofing Solutions (Pty) Ltd (A Kulungile Metals Group company) Tel: 011 392 9800 GRS Isando Tel: 011 898 2900 GRS Boksburg E-mail: Website: Number 2, 2010




Refurbishing thatch roofs

with natural-looking tiles Holley Harveytile, an approved contractor of Harvey Roofing Products (Macsteel Group Company), has been part of an ongoing refurbishing project at Fairways, Drakensberg Gardens in KwaZulu-Natal since 2001. Over the past nine years, approximately 6 000 m2 of Thatch Tiles from Harvey Roofing have been used to refurbish these upmarket chalets that belong to the Gooderson Leisure Group and which is a RCI Gold Club resort.

“The purpose of this project is to reroof and renovate over existing thatch roofing,” explains Greg Hayton, owner of Holley Harveytile in Pietermaritzburg. “The Fairways Drakensberg Gardens is an ongoing project and we refurbish two or three chalets a year, depending on the need.” Natural-looking thatch tiles Many South African resorts have traditional thatch roofs due to the character and warmth that these roofs provide. Sandra Blessie, Resort Manager at Fairways Drakensberg Gardens, says that the traditional thatch look was a necessity for the chalet roofs at the resort. “We have always had thatch at the resort and we really wanted something that looked exactly like thatch so that it would blend in with the area,” explains Blessie. Situated in the Southern Drakensberg, the Fairways Drakensberg Gardens offers visitors scenic views of the mountains, a pristine golf course and hiking trails and the resort management wanted their roofs to reflect the nature and beauty of the environment. Blessie says that the area in which the resort is situated and the nature of traditional thatch led them to seek out alternatives. “It is very windy in the Drakensberg and the wind started to cause too much damage to the thatch. I would say that wind damage and damage caused by mould to the grass were the main reasons for switching,” says Blessie before adding that fire risk was also a concern. “There is also a huge fire risk in the Drakensberg

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area which makes grass roofs a safety risk. But the aesthetic value of a thatch roof is huge – especially in our type of resort.” Hayton agrees that, although the aesthetic appeal of thatch roofs are perfectly suited for the area, the Fairways Drakensberg Gardens needed to convert to HarveyThatch to end the struggles that arose from their traditional thatch roofs. “Natural degradation of grass as well as damage caused by birds and weather are some of the problems that have become associated with natural thatch roofs. The thatch roofs need to be assessed every five years to determine if they need re-thatching, making them high-maintenance,” says Hayton.

Over 6,000 m2 of roofing area has been refurbished at the ongoing reroofing project at the Fairways Drakensberg Gardens.

T r us s es Due to weather and safety risks, the Fairways Drakensberg Gardens started switching to natural-looking roof tiles that blend in with the mountains and scenery of the area.

A low-maintenance solution HarveyThatch tiles are tough but flexible lightweight steel tiles coated with element-proof natural stone chips. The overall look of this tile matches that of natural thatch. “HarveyThatch was an ideal solution because it gives the user a natural thatch look but without the associated problems which thatch roofs typically give. The product provided the advantage of maintaining the internal charm of thatch, but with a maintenance-free roof cladding that can withstand bird damage, vermin, algae and fungi. They are also able to withstand strong winds and you do not need to use a special lightning conductor,” says Hayton before adding that he has received many referrals due to the success of this ongoing project. “The tiles ensure high quality and durable roofing systems that are basically maintenance-free. Other RCI Clubs have seen the results that these types of refurbishments can offer, leading them to refer their roofs for similar projects,” says Hayton. Another feature regarding HarveyThatch is that it is able to follow the natural curves and contours over dormer windows, eyebrows and doorways, including rondavel roofs and rondavel ends. “These tiles are also finely fluted so that the tile can conform to the shape of the roof itself. For re-roofing an existing thatch roof or planning a new thatched roof, HarveyThatch is one of the best options available,” says Hayton. Longevity HarveyThatch is based on the original Harveytile, which has been specified for use throughout the world for the past 30 years and it is also covered by a 30-year manufacturers guarantee backed by Harvey Roofing products. Harvey Roofing Tel: 011 741 5600 or 033 394 0221 Fax: 011 813 3639 E-mail: Website:

Thatch tiles are tough but flexible lightweight steel tiles coated with element-proof natural stone chips, giving them the appearance of traditional thatching.

• • • • • • • •

Re-roof over existing thatch Cost-effective due to savings on maintenance Fire-resistant No lightning conduction required Vermin-, algae-, fungi- and bird proof Available in natural colours Tiles can conform to the shape of the roof 30-year warranty

Number 2, 2010




Services can be taken through openings in the beam web, reducing building heights and therefore overall costs.

Various shapes can be cut from the web, allowing for a variety of services.

Revolutionary steel products hit the local market A new range of steel beams that are set to revolutionise the local steel construction industry, especially in the multi-storey arena, will soon be manufactured in South Africa. Konti Steel group company Konti Blue (Pty) Ltd, will be manufacturing these beams under licence from Fabsec Ltd in the UK. According to Konti Blue’s Managing Director, Costa Kontopirakis, the unique manufacturing process of the plated FABSEC® beams requires significantly less energy than standard manufacturing methods. “This will lower building costs to the point where multi-storey construction using steel framing will become a very competitive alternative,” says Kontopirakis. The ‘I’- and ‘H’-shape beams consist of web and flange all stripped from hot-rolled steel plate and coils, assembled and welded together using state-of-the-art assembly, handling and submerged arc-welding technology. The unrivalled cell geometry and position permitted in FABSEC® beams includes circular, rectangular and elongated openings in both normal and fire-engineered conditions. “With the beam design optimised through the FBEAM® proprietary software, the beam weight is usually substantially less than the equivalent hot-rolled steel beams or castellated alternatives,” says Kontopirakis. FBEAM® embodies the latest in structural engineering know-how and it can design symmetrical or asymmetrical, composite or non-composite, plain or cellular beams with a wide combination of web and flange sizes. Using the programme’s unique Beam Wizard® technology, designers are able to optimise anything from a single beam to a whole floor or building with the click of a button. “Designs that previously took days can now be completed in minutes usually saving significant mass and cost,” says Kontopirakis. “The bottom line is that the low weight and the low cost of design and manufacture produce an economical rate per ton, resulting in a highly competitive overall price.” Rendering multi-storey steel structures in larger spans Two products will initially be manufactured locally: Firstly, FABSEC® plate girders, purpose-designed to take advantage of the fact that they render multi-storey steel structures in larger spans very cost-competitive and, secondly, K-Sec stock sections, which are ‘I’ beams made from plate/coil and can replace universal beams and columns. These will be sold in two groups: the KI-SEC range of welded plate girder ‘I’ sections that will compete directly with the locally manufactured hot-rolled ‘I’ sections and the KH-SEC ‘H’ sections that will compete directly with the locally manufactured hot-rolled ‘H’ sections. “Kilogram for kilogram these

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plated sections are more structurally efficient than any existing hot rolled profiles readily available locally,” says Kontopirakis. Optimism from the steel construction industry Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) education director Spencer Erling says the Institute is optimistic about this new venture. “We are very familiar with the FABSEC® products made in the UK and their successful use in multi-storey steel-framed construction,” he says. “Heretofore in South Africa, steel has not been sufficiently competitive in tall buildings and the new products will open up the market for buildings being built in steel as opposed to the traditional concrete methods used in South Africa.” Erling believes that there is no doubt that the products will be used in South Africa and that acceptance is a mere formality. “Fabsec Ltd is a renowned, highly successful company whose design technology has been developed, and whose products are accredited, by the Steel Construction Institute (UK), one of the world’s foremost research bodies in the steel industry. Having seen similar manufacturing equipment in use in the UK, we have no doubt that Konti Blue will easily produce the beams to the requisite quality standards.” According to Erling, another important advantage of the process is its sustainability. “The efficiencies of this lower-energy manufacturing technology and long-span steel construction in general are added benefits to the excellent environmental attributes of steel as a whole,” he says. Konti Blue will be will offering a variety of free training services across a range of professional disciplines including architects, engineers, contractors and steel fabricators in the South African market. Technical advice can be accessed by phone, email or through the website where a constantly updated library of free technical downloads will be available. Konti Blue’s K-SEC range will be in production early in 2010 and they are currently finalising a 13 000 m², state-of-the-art, manufacturing facility in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng. SAISC Tel: 011 726 6111 E-mail: Website:

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- a suitable solution Zinc for South African designs

A private residence at Betty’s Bay shows the innovative use of Rheinzink roof designs. Architect: Revel Fox and Partners.

Details make the design of a house visually appealing. The accent features on an entrance, the structure and the roof – as well as the materials used – are some of the elements that can help create a perspective of a home that is individual. But for architects, developers and builders, in today’s age of sustainable construction, there is a new dimension to appreciation and application of architectural detail and materials. This new challenge is underscored by concerns over power supply and the growing global respect for the basics of sustainable construction. This respect is evident in measures to calculate and analyse a building’s energy consumption, to categorise a building according to ecological, economic, socio-cultural and technical criteria and to measure the influence a building and its materials have on the environment. Recyclable and environmentally friendly solutions As ecological home construction advances to become a standard in South Africa, the use of sustainable materials will grow in importance. Material recycling after usage is also under the spotlight. One natural material which combines economic and ecological preservation of resources is zinc which is 100% recyclable. Without taking recycling into account, today’s known resources of 3 400 million tons provide a zinc stock for about 700 years. “For decades, zinc has played a major role in architecture internationally as one of the main components of an innovative contemporary building material,” explains Stephen Wilkinson, business manager of Rheinzink in South Africa. Rheinzink, an alloy consisting of 99,995% high purity zinc and precisely defined amounts of copper and titanium, is not only recyclable but also requires little energy in production. “Known for quality, durability and lasting value, Rheinzink has allowed ideas to be implemented cost-effectively and securely for roofs, as the most visible element of style, for drainage systems, façade cladding, and for adding tasteful features to roof dormers, chimneys, canopies, roof edges or other building components,” says Wilkinson. Building for South Africa’s climate According to Wilkinson, all Rheinzink products, which are manufactured in the Ruhr industrial area of Germany, are 99% pure zinc and are particularly relevant to South African conditions. “Apart from blending into every architectural environment, Rheinzink carries a 30-year material guarantee, the maximum period allowed by German law. It preserves its outstanding properties and appearance over a service life of 80-120 years, even in harsh marine environments, such as the corrosive conditions encountered, for instance, on the Namibian and Zululand coasts,” says Wilkinson.

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“After a period of natural weathering, Rheinzink bright rolled material takes on a pleasant blue grey patina and needs no paint or any other surface protection – and thus no maintenance or cleaning. “ Solar properties Wilkinson says that Rheinzink’s innovative solar solutions can be used to help address energy concerns which continue to be a subject of debate given proposed price increases by Eskom. These allow solar collectors to be integrated beautifully into roofs and façades. “They enable a multifunctional use of roofs and façades. A one-step mounting technology that has proven itself for decades is all it takes to obtain an aesthetic building protection that uses the sun‘s free energy from day one. As the sun does not shine everywhere with the same intensity, the roof- or façade-integrated Rheinzink PV (photo-voltaic) cells can be used as needed: on the entire roof or only on parts,” says Wilkinson, explaining that Rheinzink Solar PV does not need to penetrate the roof, nor does it need additional mounting elements. “The highly effective Triple Junction Technology enables usage even in dim light or with little direct sun. In addition, the system is extremely light-weight – it is the perfect solution for practically any roof.” Another important feature in the South African context, says Stephen Wilkinson, is that Rheinzink averts lighting strikes and spreading of fire and sparks, also in combination with various types of separating layers. “Rheinzink on a roof and façade is an integral part of the external lightning protection. The natural, uncoated metal surface intercepts the lightning, diverting it across surface areas and locking joints together with the grounding line. Lightning protection in the form of ungainly antennas and fanned-out, disfiguring deflectors is no longer required.” According to Wilkinson, various independent institutes have conducted countless international research projects to investigate the potential effects of zinc in rainwater and have unanimously found zinc in rainwater is not toxic. To complement the national availability of the Rheinzink corrugated sheeting system and the matched Rheinzink gutter system, the company’s South African office offers a comprehensive support service, inclu­ding technical assistance on application technique and specifications for planners and installers. Rheinzink Tel: 021 671 2600 E-mail: Website:

R oofi ng

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Doublejack Construction has become the professionals’ choice for expert advice and service delivery for any project that may require the delivery of innovative solutions. Such were the stringent requirements for Phase 2 Nkomati Mine Project based in Mpumalanga, where Doublejack Construction did more than rise to the occasion by erecting over 13 000 m² of steel cladding products within the pre-described quality standards and targeted timeline.

Walkways and drive-throughs needed to be constructed on the site of Nkomati mine in order to comply with strict safety regulations.

Steel cladding solutions at large mining projects

Snaking conveyors One of the rigorous tasks at hand was to install bullnosed sheeting on top of the overland conveyors that would transport materials from the blasting area at the bottom of the mine, up to the stockpiles. The 4 km stretch of conveyor belt was built by Delras Engineering (Pty) Ltd and consisted of gantries that would stretch up to exceptional heights which made access a unique challenge. Although this project was different in terms of the snaking conveyors on site, the Doublejack Construction team is experienced in supplying and erecting steel cladding for large mining projects. At the Zondagsfontein mine Doublejack Construction also supplied and erected sheeting on top of the silos often as high as 60 metres in the air, and sheeting for the overland conveyors stretched over 17 kilometres,” explains Mark Knight, Project Manager Doublejack Construction. The process of installing steel cladding Doublejack Construction evaluates the technical specifications and product requirements indicated in the scaled structural drawings submitted by the Client at the beginning of each Project. It is from this experienced form of analyses that they also compile a cutting-list of all materials and resources required to complete the Scope of work in order to meet the Client’s requirements.

Materials supplied were 0,8 mm and 0,58 mm thick IBR 686 profiled “Sandstone beige” colour one side roof sheeting and bullnosed conveyor sheeting. Flashing Solutions cc supplied all the necessary flashings required to seal off the buildings.

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Steep slopes, remote areas and safety risks Besides the external conveyor belt, Doublejack also supplied steel sheeting to 16 MCC buildings on site at Nkomati mine. “The design and allocation of each building was placed in and around the mine itself, so we often had to work in remote areas on steep slopes, making access and safety very risky,” says Knight. According to Knight, safety regulations are among the foremost concerns when supplying and installing such a large amount of steel cladding products. “Many precautions need to be taken to avoid any accidents during construction. Internal conveyors were placed at all heights and workers had to attach their safety harnesses to a lifeline at all times. Conveyors placed on the ground were just over 2 metres from the top of the steel work and employees had to have their safety harnesses attached above their heads at all times,” said Knight. Walkways and drive-throughs also had to be constructed on site so that nobody would be directly exposed to anything that could possibly fall off the conveyor. “Complying with all the safety regulations and safe working guidelines might take some time, but it means that the task at hand could be completed with no injuries,” said Knight. Record timing The team that worked on the steel ranged from 15 – 20 people, depending on the demand for labour at each stage of the project. “We finished within five months, which was a month and a half before schedule for the size and task at hand,” says Knight. “Meeting the needs and deadlines of clients requires a personalised service. Doublejack aims at providing quality workmanship, technical advice and products for each specific project,” concludes Knight. Doublejack Construction (Pty) Ltd Tel: 011 828 3453 / 3445 / 9126 Fax: 011 828 5578 E-mail: Website:

Tech Savvy

Number 2, 2010



Tech S avvy


hospital order called for specific design details Vitrex has supplied 280 vitreous enamelled steel toilet cubicles and 130 vanity tops for Botswana’s new Lobatse Mental Hospital in an unusual order that involved some very specific design parameters.

Cristian Cottino, Sales and Marketing Director for Vitrex, says the large-scale contract was secured by Vitrex through their agents in Botswana, Mercurio Trade C.C. “Because the Vitraflex modular cloakroom components were to be installed in Botswana’s national mental hospital, Vitrex had to consider several design details. In the first place, all colours had to produce a soothing, calming effect. No bright or vivid colours could be used due to the mental health of some of the patients and the possible negative effect this could have on them. A special new colour, ‘Light Blue Green’, was formulated by Vitrex to meet Pinagare Architects’ requirements. The idea for this colour was taken from preliminary work done by Vitrex for cladding panels to several hospital theatre rooms in Italy.”

Recent authoritative European studies of the bacteriological properties of nine different materials concluded that vitreous enamelled steel provides maximum anti-bacterial protection. “Secondly, no components that could be loosened or removed could be used. No screws were allowed on the cubicles and all ironmongery had to be secured with one-way, anti-theft screws, which fortunately is a standard feature on all Vitraflex installations. On the vanity tops, all fixings had to be concealed.” “The position of hat and coat hooks also had to be lower than standard to prevent possible suicide attempts by the patients. Finally, hygiene and

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ease of cleaning were of critical importance because of the type of patients that would be using the cloakrooms. In this respect, the Vitraflex surface provided several major advantages,” Cottino stated. Recent authoritative European studies of the bacteriological properties of nine different materials concluded that vitreous enamelled steel provides maximum anti-bacterial protection. Cottino says that amongst the other material surfaces tested were stainless steel, raw aluminium, painted iron, ABS polymer and PTFE. The tests were carried out in Italy by the Istituti Ospedalieri di Modena on behalf of the Centro Italiano Smalti Porcellanati, the Italian Vitreous Enamel Association. The results of the tests showed that, on all the surfaces, the bacterial level underwent a fall, which became apparent at 24 hours. However, the greatest drop – and the only instance in which the drop reached or exceeded 50% or more of the initial bacterial level - occurred on vitreous enamelled steel. The greatest inhibition of micro-bacterial growth was also found on porcelain steel, which also showed the best decontamination qualities, no matter how infected or chemically washed. “Finally, the studies also dealt with mould flora often found in refrigerators and which is difficult to eliminate once it becomes established. In this case, vitreous enamelled steel was the only one of the nine materials to show maximum resistance,” Cottino added. Mercurio Trade also supplied close on 500 pin boards and white writing boards from the Vitrex System 2000 product range on this contract. The properties of the vitreous enamel steel writing surface make it an obvious choice to meet not only the hygiene but also the other strict standards of the new hospital. The Lobatse Mental Hospital is owned and operated by the Government of the Republic of Botswana. The Main Contractor for the erection of the hospital, completed last year, was China Civil Engineering Corporation (Botswana). Vitrex Tel: 011 826 6057 E-mail: Website:

Picture credit: Gareth Griffiths Imaging

Tech Savvy

The Departures Terminal at Cape Town International Airport - Active and Passive Fire Controls by Firespec.

Passive and active fire protection at Cape Town International Airport Cape Town is positioned as Africa’s premier VIP and tourist destination and the Cape Town International Airport is the 3rd-largest on the continent. The airport recently received a R1,6-billion makeover with a view towards the future and to the benefit of passangers for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The makeover includes a new 5-storey central terminal building serving both domestic and international passengers. The facility, which was opened in November 2009, boasts 120 check-in counters with a consolidated security screening point, passenger spaces, with a public concourse and retail hub, spread over an area of 50 000 m2 . Other work in progress includes outdoor areas, parking garages and interconnecting walkways. FireSPEC was awarded the contract for providing both active and passive fire protection measures and completed the installation of various high-tech electronic and passive protective measures smoothly and in time for the November opening. Adequate fire protection for such a high traffic volume facility is critically important. FireSPEC CEO Leo Slootmans says that FireSPEC’s integrated service offering was one of the factors supporting the company’s involvement in the project. “The PA system is sophisticated and loudspeakers in the high-volume areas are located inside the columns on the main floor. This is significant, not only for routine travel announcements, but also for safety purposes such as an evacuation call. Allied to this are active integrated systems – for monitoring, fire detection and fire suppression. This serves many essential functions and is linked to other systems throughout the terminal, for example an emergency shutdown of cooking gas in all restaurants, when triggered,” says Slootmans. Preventing the spread of fire Adam Rodger, general manager for the FireSPEC Passive Division

describes some of the passive measures in place in the terminal building to prevent the spread of fire. “The steel supporting structure is painted with FireSPEC’s Intumescent Paint, providing a 2 hour fire rating,” says Rodger. “The pedestrian escalator framework, supporting structures and the luggage handling chutes are clad with FIRESPEC FIREBOARD CS TM rated 2 hours.” FIREBOARD TM may be used indoors or outdoors in cladding structural steel, for ceilings, roofs, floors, partitions and external walls. The main feature is the 2-hour fire-resistant property, certified by SABS. Panels are approximately 1,2 m x 2,4 m in size and 9 mm thick and are design flexible. With no toxic or hazardous materials emitting passively or under combustion, the product is also moisture-resistant and can be skim-finished and painted. In other areas, 120-minute penetration seals have been provided to maintain the integrity of compartmentalised areas in case of fire. The Cape Town International Airport contract is one of a number of successfully completed jobs undertaken by FireSPEC, supported by an exclusive range of modern products and underpinned by over 30 years expertise in the field. FireSPEC Tel 021 685 1111 E-mail: Website: Number 2, 2010



Tech S avvy

The Burj Dubai has 160 storeys and rises more than 800 metres, making it the tallest building in the world.

Concrete solutions for the Burj


On January 4, 2010, the tallest building in the world was opened. The Burj Dubai, which rises more than 800 metres to 160 storeys, had a construction period of five years and appears to touch the Dubai skies. Glenium SKY concrete additives from BASF helped to achieve this historic building. With dizzying heights and extreme climate conditions, this superstructure presented a very special challenge to the concrete plasticizer. With the high-performance concrete plasticizer from BASF, sold under the brand name Glenium SKY, it was possible to pump the concrete up to an altitude of 600 metres without interruption. The foundations and the Burj Dubai required approximately 180 000 m3 of concrete with Glenium plasticizer to erect this new world record. “The construction of Burj Dubai is an engineering masterpiece. We are proud that we could contribute to the success of this project,” comments Dr. Tilman Krauch, Head of Construction Chemicals Division of BASF.

Glenium SKY also improves the concrete’s early strength and the concrete cast to build a new storey quickly reaches sufficient stability so that construction work can be continued after a short while. Two storeys were built per week, ensuring that the Burj Dubai’s building speed exceeded the usual Dubai standard of one storey a week. The extreme height of the Burj Dubai causes a lot of pressure in the concrete structure. Glenium SKY lends the concrete a compressive strength of up to 80 N/mm2 to prevent the skyscraper from collapsing. This strength equals the entire weight of a small car resting on a space as small as the big toe.

Improved strength and great flowability The concrete used on the site of the Burj Dubai was easy to process without quality loss due to Glenium SKY. These super-plasticizers, which are based on polycarboxylate ether polymers, ensure great flowability and, during the pumping process, they are able to prevent segregation in spite of the high pressure used.

BASF Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd Tel: 011 203 2422 Fax: 011 203 2430 E-mail: Website:

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Tech Savvy

The retaining wall system is used to secure an embankment below the N1 freeway just off the site of the Botha Avenue tollgate in Tshwane.

An 8,5 m retaining wall at the new entrance to the main campus at UNISA in Pretoria.

RidgeBlock, a dry-stacked concrete block system for building retaining walls at angles of between 70 and 90 degrees, has recently been introduced by Infraset Landscape Products and it has already been used in a range of diverse projects. Besides the extensive use of the RidgeBlock system to shore up embankments on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), it has also been deployed to build a retaining wall, in some sections 8,5 m high, at the new entrance to the main campus at UNISA in Pretoria. Freeway embankments will cause less damage to vehicles Brennan Small, Infraset Landscape Products sales manager, explains why the RidgeBlock system was chosen for the GFIP. “Should a vehicle stray off course and collide with a wall constructed with the RidgeBlok system, the resultant damage to the vehicle would be less than that inflicted by a wall built with conventional blocks,” says Small, before explaining why a solid faced wall causes less damage that conventional blocks. “Conventional blocks have cavities or holes in them, which causes a car to hook onto the wall during collision, causing a lot of damage. During 2009, the Johannesburg Metro and Johannesburg Road Agency decided that these types of walls are no longer acceptable next to highways. Once you have a solid face wall, a car bounce off the wall after collision, which will cause less damage to vehicles during a collision with these barriers.” Exceptional clamping force is the major advantage According to Small, the RidgeBlok system is suitable for tight convex or concave curves, and is one of the very few which can be erected at a true 90 degrees. “Factors such as its lip-and-recess (tongue-and-groove) design, its solid concrete composition, and its mass of 24 kg, mean it exerts exceptional clamping force, especially on the geosynthetic stabilisation material usually placed between individual blocks. Therefore any chance of the material being worked loose is extremely remote. This aspect is seen as a major advantage over conventional concrete blocks which rely on friction to prevent geosynthetic creep,” continues Small. “The compressive strength of RidgeBlok allows for the construction of higher walls than can be built with hollow blocks. Moreover, its lip-andrecess system provides a positive interlocking force which effectively dissipates the horizontal forces exerted on the interfaces between the blocks,” says Small.

Versatility and strength Besides the solid wall that can be built (as in the case of the GFIP where it was used to withstand the pressures of highway traffic loading), the RidgeBlock system can also be used to create a ‘broken’ wall where the blocks are spaced apart to allow for plant growth. Open spaces between the blocks provide a more open and permeable facing and prevent excessive build-up of pore-water pressure behind the wall. Foundation blocks are available from Infraset in either 75 or 85 degree configurations and, because they are solid and therefore robust, fewer breakages occur during transportation and construction. Infraset Landscape Products Tel: 012 652 0000 E-mail: Website:

Brennan Small, sales manager of Infraset Landscape Products, stands next to a retaining wall of the type that was used extensively for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

Number 2, 2010



Commercial development aims to receive KZN’s first Green Star rating Growthpoint Properties Limited’s Lincoln on the Lake is aiming to achieve the first as-built Green Star SA rating in KZN. This R110-million development, which was completed in August 2009, is the first building in a commercial complex situated in Umhlanga’s New Town Centre. The 6 700 m², mixed-use building is tipped to raise the bar on environmental standards for commercial properties throughout South Africa. One of the companies providing products to help achieve this green status is Corobrik. “It’s certainly a feather in our cap to have Corobrik products contribute to Lincoln on the Lakes’ potential Green Star rating. Large quantities of our products were selected for this prestigious development including clay non-face bricks, Roan Satin face bricks and the Burgundy 50 mm clay pavers which were used for pathways and pedestrian sidewalks,” says Director of Sales in KZN, Mike Ingram. Aesthetic value and sustainable qualities Ingram adds that the aesthetic value of clay face brick, which contributes to the neo-classical architectural style of Lincoln on the Lake, together with the sustainable qualities that Corobrik products offer, both contributed to the number of products being selected for the project. “The thermal performance of Corobrik masonry products of course will add value in moderating internal temperatures thereby assisting in ensuring low energy usage for cooling and heating over the life of the buildings,” said Ingram. Professionals dedicated to green building practices According to Torbjorn Hanssen of THA Architecture & Design, who was responsible for the design of Lincoln on the Lake, achieving a Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is no easy task and requires innovative thinking and applications. “When considering the design and construction of Lincoln on the Lake, environmental consciousness and sustainability were given top priority. As a result, our philosophy was to give preference to working with professionals that are dedicated to green building practices, of which Corobrik, the largest brick manufacturer in South Africa, is a worthy example,” explains Hanssen. “When selecting products and materials you must look at not only the Embodied Energy, which is the energy it takes to make the product, but also the Total Embodied Energy which includes the transport energy used to get the material to the building site,” explains Hanssen. The Corobrik products used in this project were selected from three of Corobrik’s six major factories being fired on natural gas, this ensuring

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Lincoln on the Lake at Gateway in KwaZulu-Natal raises the bar on environmental standards for commercial properties throughout South Africa

the lowest possible carbon footprint possible for the products required. “Notably Corobrik was the first company in sub-Saharan Africa to be awarded carbon credits by the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism for its fuel-switch project at Lawley factory. This a manifestation of Corobrik’s total commitment to providing the finest quality products in tune with the environmental imperatives of our time,” says Ingram. Corobrik Tel: 031 560 3111 Fax: 031 565 1532 Website:

Retraction of brand name used in error Referring to the article Aesthetic Solutions for Steel Frame Structures on page 4 of the January issue of WALLS&ROOFS in Africa, Halstead Boarding would like to retract the use of the term Vermont, which is a brand name of Everite Building Products. There was no intention of associating the name Shera Fibre Cement Products with Vermont, or of confusing the reader.

Archi tecti ves

One of the Nueva Europa baths supplied by Vitrex for the new 5-star Radisson Blu SAS Hotel in Sandton

First bathroom pods Vitrex EuroSan baths were one of the key components of the prefabricated bathrooms installed in the new 5-star Radisson Blu SAS

in Africa

Hotel in Sandton. The prefab bathroom pods are the first of their kind to be produced in Africa. Grant Vollmer, Sales Manager for the Vitrex EuroSan range, says the 1 700 mm x 700 mm ‘Nueva Europa’, white, enamelled steel baths were supplied to Exquisite Pods (formely Swiftpod SA) which produced the prefabricated bathrooms at its new Boksburg factory. The bathrooms were subsequently delivered to the Sandton building site, craned and installed in position during the construction of the luxury hotel by G.D. Irons Construction. Exquisite Pods production facilities were set up locally by the German-based company as a direct response to the requests of major international hotel chains. “Exquisite Pods is a pioneer in the development of prefabricated bathrooms pods which are designed to hold and support a complete bathroom,” says Vollmer. “Bathrooms are one of the most problematic areas of hotel and apartment construction and are notorious for causing delays and loss of quality using traditional construction methods.” Exquisite Pods is a lightweight self-supporting bathroom cell consisting of dry walling, ceiling, and floor supplied as a compact or modular construction system. The sanitary fixtures and fittings are ready-fitted on acceptance on site. The pods can be transported and then craned and wheeled into position, ready for installation and site hook-up within hours. “Prefabricated bathrooms allow for faster construction by reducing the need for skilled labour on site. The system provides valuable time and cost

savings over traditional bathroom building methods,” Vollmer stated. Vitrex’s EuroSan baths are made from vitreous enamelled (“porcelain”) steel which, in turn, is produced by fusing three layers of glass to sheet steel at temperatures of over 800 degrees Celsius. The absence of crevices and pores in the vitreous enamel surface inhibits the presence of mould and bacteria – this creates a more healthy and hygienic environment while also making the smooth surfaces very easy to clean. “The EuroSan bath surfaces are resistant to scratches, impervious to common chemicals so will not warp, deteriorate or discolour with time,” Vollmer added. “EuroSan baths, furthermore, are durable, non-combustible, and available in a wide range of colours.” In addition to the Nueva Europa, the EuroSan range also includes the Dafne, a bath which has proven to be the most popular design in Europe over the last few years. The EuroSan baths and shower trays are the only porcelain-coated steel baths and shower trays produced locally in South Africa. Vitrex Tel: 011 826 6057 E-mail: Website:

Number 2, 2010



A rchi te c t i ve s

One of the tasks required contestants to lay a 2 m² of paving according to secification using special shaped products

Ivor Daniel, Wally Peters, and Peter du Trevou Chairman of Corobrik

More ways of being an architect In January the first solo exhibition by an architect opened at the KZNSA Gallery, entitled ‘More ways of being an Architect’ because throughout his career Walter Peters has been active in architecture as an educator and academic, practitioner and editor. In fact, 2009 saw his centennial issue as editor of the tri-annual Journal of the KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture. The exhibition was first displayed in Bloemfontein in August 2009 as Professor Peters had been elected to present the 21st Sophia Gray Memorial Lecture and Exhibition. This prestigious event has been staged annually since 1989 by the University of the Free State in recognition of the contributions of a South African architect, usually a practitioner. Walter Peters is the 3rd Sophia Gray laureate hailing from KwaZulu-Natal, following Paul Mikula in 2004 and Janina Masojada and Andrew Makin in 2006. The 25 posters on exhibition show aspects of his teaching at UKZN where uniquely he rose through all academic ranks from Lecturer to Senior Professor of Architecture, and of his research into the architecture of Namibia and South Africa animated with scale models by students of the University of the Free State. In his lecture he emphasised the importance of the History of Architecture as a building block in the education and training of architects. Peters argues that there are more ways of being an architect than teaching or designing buildings. There is also an immensely satisfying job to do in seeking out and publishing answers to contemporary architectural concerns, of consulting with the best architects, and of editing the results in a form other practitioners and students need. Using the Sophia Gray Exhibition and Lecture as a basis, the KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture packaged the event as ‘A Celebration of Architecture’ to promote the art, science, research and practice of architecture, and took the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the sustained support for architecture by Corobrik. Its sole sponsorship of the Journal began in 1976, the annual prize for the top student at each university and a substantial prize for the national Architectural Student of the Year began in 1983, and over the last years, Corobrik has sponsored the Merit and Excellence Design Award Programmes of the South African Institute of Architects. As Corobrik also sponsored the 21st Sophia Gray exhibition, it was particularly appropriate that the event was opened by its chairman, Peter du Trevou. Corobrik Tel: 031 560 3111 Fax: 031 565 1532 Website:

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Amazing Archi Race raises funds The first Amazing Archi Race, an event organised by local architects to raise funds for disadvantaged communities surrounding Port Elizabeth and donate to existing charities, was held in November 2009 and is sure to be repeated this year due to its success. The event is based on the popular TV show “The Amazing Race” and 16 teams, each comprising five architects, architectural technologists and interior designers, set out to complete a number of tasks at different venues in Port Elizabeth. The team that could complete the tasks, which required them to brainstorm as well as have fun, in the shortest time, was announced as the winner. The top three teams at the end of the race were able to nominate a charity of their choice to receive the prize money. “The Corobrik leg of the race, called the ‘Dry Brick Construction’, was the third task performed by all teams,” says Indren Munsamy, area sales manager of the Corobrik Centre in Port Elizabeth. “Participants constructed a duplicate sample of two brick pillars, 500 mm in height and also laid 2 m² of paving. The fun part was in the colour choices we left up to the architects and their use of special shaped bricks that challenged their creative spirits – the serious part was seeing them working out how to put it all together!” Winners ESB Architects nominated the Isithembiso Babies Home which will receive a donation of required products and supplies to the value of R15 000. Runner-up Studio D’Arc nominated Quad House as their charity, which will receive R12 000 worth of products and supplies. Third place went to Hix Architects who nominated Aurora to receive R10 000. Quad House, the charity that benefited from Studio D’Arc who won second place, is the only charity that ownes its premises, and is to benefit from a further R4 000 worth of donated building products from various sponsors. Corobrik Tel: 031 560 3111 Fax: 031 565 1532 Website:

Archi tecti ves

Young architect’s mentors help him succeed Joseph Matebane a second-year architecture student at the University of Johannesburg who won third place in 2009 Saint-Gobain Construction Products’ DesignHub competition in his first year last year, has recently finished a two-week internship at PRP Architects, a practice based in London. (from left) Scott Sanderson, Joseph Matebane, Kim Fairbairn and Lisa Reynolds.

Joseph grew up in Ga-Masemola village in Limpopo and has always been interested in Architecture. As he grew older, he began to understand what architecture was all about and started to seek out guidance and mentorship. “The only way I knew how to understand and learn this art was to go out and seek guidance from the people that are in the industry – so on two occasions I walked into architectural practices and asked for guidance into the industry. In the process I made great relationships with people in this field of trade and met people in my life and at both university and college. That inspired and influenced my approach to architecture like France Kwati, an architect in Alexandra township, Room for all seasons in RDP houses and my current mentorship with LP Architects in The brief for last year’s competition challenged Melrose North and lectures from university, Phillipah students to create a space that could adapt to the Tumubweine and Suzette Grace and lecture and changing seasons of an environment or a lifetime. friend from Inscape design college, Ralf Bierman, “My design addressed the severe shortcomings also various individuals that I approached and of the so-called RDP houses,” says Joseph. “I learned and read about in my life, like Thorsten gave the design an aesthetic that responded to Deckler of 26’10” South architects, Peter Starchbury one’s need of space, taking into consideration the a very well celebrated Australian architect that I had possibilities influenced by their circumstance to warp the chance to meet on his visit to the country last an existing architecture into a personal phenomena, year and through all that I have learned over the where they could express their own aesthetic on years from all these great networks, influenced my a ‘palate’ based on their lifestyle, by introducing to approach to answering the brief for the Saint-Gobain the ‘BOX’. Extrusions that extend the existing box DesignHub competition and architecture as a whole.” and give it a ‘Human conscious’ conscious effect Joseph hopes that his design will challenge using Saint-Gobain building products, in essence Phillipah Tumubweinne and Joseph the way that government builds housing for introducing to the patterns that we currently see structuring a layout for an exhibition held in their department at FADA South Africans. now in townships where people’s spatial needs are mostly not met. Saint-Gobain A different kind of technology that is in keeping with current architectural Tel: 0860 27 28 29 responses to the environment and one that gives one the opportunity E-mail: to do however they wish to the existing ‘RDP’ House, So all in all Website: the RDP house could respond to the seasons environmentally and life stylistically.” This internship, which was part of Joseph’s prize, was intended to expand his support base of mentors in a most illustrious fashion. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by architecture,” said Joseph. “I feel like winning one of the categories in the Saint-Gobain DesignHub competition has given me the first HUGE step in getting myself exposed to the industry from a more socio-conscious perspective and lifted my love and passion for Architecture and gave oomph to my drive to being one day one of the most celebrated architects in South Africa, like Sir Herbert Baker, Sara Calburn, Thorsten Deckler, Stefan Antoni, etc.”

Number 2, 2010



A rchi te c t i ve s

Joining forces to become leaders in advanced glazing “The marrying of L&D Enterprises (Pty) Ltd’s managing structure has long been deliberating on a method to increase the company’s market share. In order to play a much larger role in the technically advanced glazing industry, L&D Enterprises (Pty) Ltd have bought Fentech Fenestration Technologies (Pty) Ltd. “L&D Enterprises’ marketing strategy has been significantly broadened by us acquiring Fentech Fenestration Technologies. There has been a change in shareholders and we are very excited about future prospects,” says Andy Wright, Managing Director of L&D Enterprises. “Gleaning expertise and winning business acumen by acquiring Fentech and some new shareholders will significantly strengthen our position in the market.” The directors now include Trevor Ahier (Non-executive and Chairman), Archie Rutherford (Non-executive), Owen Price (Non-executive), Andy Wright (Managing), Dennis Doo, Pieter Knox, Paulo Da Silva and Mike Lobley. “L&D’s, coupling with this top-quality aluminium specialist has injected new energy and power into the company because we are now able to facilitate and accommodate much larger projects. We now also have in-house access to aluminium expertise and can capitalise on the relationships both L&D and Fentech have fostered over time,” says Wright. Goals for 2010 Dennis Phillips, Sales and Marketing Manager of L&D Enterprises, explains that the company’s new goals are completely aligned with the existing marketing strategy, only larger in order to ensure a bigger annual turnover. “We are stretching our abilities and growing our company’s human capital to much-anticipated newfound heights with a level of excitement that is invigorating,” says Phillips. Over the past two years, L&D Enterprises have played a large role in various landmark architectural structures and L&D’s intention to become known as the preferred glazier in the architecturally challenging sector of the building industry is a short-term goal, according to Wright. “A business move of this nature has been mulling around in my head for a considerable amount of time and I had the luxury of a lot of time to think and plan for this acquisition. 2010 will also be the year where I lay down a foundation of the new L&D Enterprises and hand my position over to Dennis Doo,” says Wright. “Managing change in the current economy is a challenge on its own and all of the employees have been exceptionally enthusiastic about this new opportunity,” concludes Wright.

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technical expertise with masterful installation procedures” Pictured here and below, L & D and Fentech’s University of Johannesburg refurbishment project. The façade is a pinnacle of design, manufacture and installation excellence.

At the University of Johannesburg, FenTech’s Multi-Angle Corner façade system was used.

L&D Enterprises acquires Fentech Synergy through partnerships

A winning team with superior technical glass and alluminium installation capacity

Top-end solutions to satisfy project cost and vision

Expert adherence to time and safety frameworks

Dedicated to handling difficult challenges

Synergy promoted through teamwork

Unsurpassed dedication to excellence

A long history of success

L & D and Fentech’s installation of a challenging glass façade at Johannesburg University creates a majestic, heroic structure fit for the likes of international places of study.

Now able to tackle much larger projects

Winning Team

Archi tec t i ve s

Redesigned outlets for Juicy Lucy In keeping with their new logo and brand image in response to a definite move towards healthier fast food options coupled with growing environmental awareness, Juicy Luicy has completely revamped the interior décor of its outlets. Designers – especially interior architect Liani Luyt of the Limestone Design Studio – took their cue from the crisp salads, fresh veggies and wholesome baked goods that Juicy Lucy serves. Interiors needed to reflect the all natural ingredients and preservative-free juices, as well as the spontaneous fit of nutritious food in eco-friendly surrounds. Luyt’s brief was to create a naturalised design that was both ecofriendly and functional. The latter meant making outlets more inviting and open. She moved service counters to the fronts of stores, making them both more approachable and more accessible for take-aways. In each outlet, seating was designed to be more comfortable with the introduction of cosy bench seating and the sit-down area was opened to the kitchen. Design-wise, Luyt began with the ultimate icon of all things natural – the tree – which inspired earthy colours and tones as well as natural finishes and textures. The materials and shop fittings that are central to this down-to-earth look – bamboo table tops and counters, cork wall and floor finishes and glass and stone tiles – created a canvas for vibrant, colourful graphics.  The contemporary look is accentuated via the use of recyclable, polypropylene seats, and stainless steel which is 100 percent recyclable with the added bonus of not needing harmful chemicals to keep it clean and hygienic. The bamboo and cork wall and floor finishes are completely sustainable and unharmful. The end result is that Juicy Lucy is going a stylish green – right down to the green stain used to colour the wall and floor finishes. Made from totally natural dyes, it has been specially formulated for Juicy Lucy and will soon become the brand’s signature colour.

Jobs and business development increase in KZN Imbonini Park, the biggest serviced commercial and industrial development node just outside of the New Durban International Airport, is receiving a multi-billion Rand extension. This huge inflow of money promises to unlock billions in new buildings and the creation of thousands of jobs in 2011. The necessary Provincial and Municipal Authorities clearances have now been obtained, and the developers are ready to begin with the extension to Imbonini Park. Phase 2 will be 77 ha of prime property overlooking the N2 and R102, just North of Ballito. Paul Izzard, a director of Imbonini Park (Pty) Ltd, said that they expect to break ground early in 2011 and Kerry Quinn, Director of Amber Dawn Developments (the company which holds the management contract for Imbonini Park), confirmed that they have started to market the sites in Phase 2. Approximately R200 million in land costs, buildings and civil engineering has already been invested in Imbonini Phase 1 which has 17ha of platform area. Phase 2 of Imbonini Park (another 450 000 m2 of industrial platform area) will unlock massive platforms of between 10 000 m2 and 80 000 m2. Imbonini (Pty) Ltd Tel: 082 555 6161 Email: Website:

Three new ranges of green products in South Africa Southern Chemicals have recently launched three new product ranges. These products are aimed to provide customers green alternatives to standard non-environmentally friendly chemicals. Biodegradable solvents This patented range of bio-based solvents offers renewable resource alternatives to petroleum-based solvents. The blends of these biosolvents are based primarily on four major ingredients – ethyl lactate, fatty acid methyl esters (soy methyl esters), d-limonene and ethanol for a variety of specialty applications in industrial and agricultural markets. Sustainable and renewable feedstocks such as corn, citrus, soya and sugar cane are used to manufacture these solvents. The manufacturer has intellectual property for these blends and applications and they are used in many specialty product formulations such as inks, agricultural products, specialty coatings, paints and plastics recycling. These products are biodegradable and carbon-neutral and can be used as direct one-for-one replacements for well-known solvents such as xylene, toluene, methyl ethyl-ketone, NMP, acetone and numerous others. Of particular interest is their use in the manufacture of environmentfriendly paint strippers.

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Phthalate-free plasticisers Southern Chemicals have also recently announced that they have the distribution rights for a range of environment-friendly plasticisers that are completely phthalate-free. The plasticisers are based on benzoate esters and can replace standard phthalate-based plasticisers in PVC, coatings and most other applications. These products can be used in both solvent and waterborne applications. Membrane-free waterproofing systems A locally manufactured asbestos replacement has been developed for incorporation into coating systems to improve flexibility and allow a high-build coating to be applied. This product is manufactured from scrap newsprint and is surface treated in order to improve incorporation into a coating system. Southern Chemicals (Pty) Ltd Mike Formo Tel: 011 608 0560 Fax: 011 608 1140 E-mail: Website:

Walls & Roofs in Africa JNL 2'10  

IN THIS ISSUE: New technologies in glass bricks, facades and buildings; Trusses and roofing innovations; Top green building trends; Creative...

Walls & Roofs in Africa JNL 2'10  

IN THIS ISSUE: New technologies in glass bricks, facades and buildings; Trusses and roofing innovations; Top green building trends; Creative...