Jul 08, 2011
New building to aid in training more engineersBack
The project was started in September 2009 after government identified the need to train more engineers.
“This, combined with the urgent need for additional parking space for the university’s students, staff and visitors, was the driving force behind the construction of the new building and parkade,” says Aurecon structural engineering technical director Johann Weinmann.
The parkade is located on four levels, two of which are underground storeys, while the new teaching facilities are housed in the two upper-level storeys.
The R7-million steelwork aspect of the project was completed in May.
He adds that about 230 t of structural steel, including tubular and hot-rolled steel sections with various types of cladding, was used in the project.
Other steel components in the building are a steel and glass lift shaft, a number of canti- levering steel stairs and steel link bridges that include a minimalist glass-clad steel bridge, which connects the building to the neighbouring Musaion building.
Large metal cowls were also installed at the top of the building’s chimneys to assist ventilation through convection.
“This was the first project of this size where Aurecon used Revit.”
Designed by US-based multinational cor- poration Autodesk, the software offers the benefit of complete and accurate three- dimensional modelling, compared with manual two-dimensional electronic drawings.
“Combined with the extensive use of windows for natural lighting, this resulted in potentially significant heat gains that would necessitate extensive air conditioning. “This was not ideal for the energy efficiency design required by the client,” says architectural firm ARC Architects owner Anton De Jongh.
ARC was responsible for the architectural aspect of the project.
However, the challenge was partially overcome through the use of steel in various forms as shading devices. These include conventional horizontal louvres, vertical shading screens consisting of woven steel mesh in steel frames, as well as green walls.
The green walls comprise steel frames that run along the full height of the walls and are filled with interchangeable planters containing vegetation.
“The steel frames were meticulously designed to support the considerable load of the soil in the planters, while minimising the amount of bracing to maintain the desired, aesthetically pleasing appearance,” Weinmann says.
The task of quantity surveying was undertaken by quantity surveyor firm Pentad and construction consultant Davis Langdon.
Construction contracting was awarded to building contractor Stefanutti Stocks Building Gauteng, while the steelwork was contracted to engineering firm Nancy Engineering.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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