Construction World

Concor has made a great showing in the 17th annual Construction World Best Projects competition, showcasing excellence in the South African building and civil engineering sectors.

Experienced members of the construction fraternity judge the awards, which are hosted by Crown Publications, the publishers of Construction World magazine. There are six categories available for project entries, and they are judged according to a range of criteria that include construction innovation technology, design, cost, quality, risk management, health, safety, corporate social investment and environmental impact.

Double header for Concor in Best Projects Awards

In the Building Contractors category, Concor Buildings won the top award for its Menlyn Shopping Centre project; and in the Civil Engineering Contractors category, Concor Infrastructure received a ‘highly commended’ award.

Menlyn Shopping Centre

Winning the Construction World’s Best Project award in the Building Contractors category is a huge accolade for Concor Buildings, especially given the scale and complexity of this contract. In a R2,2- billion extension and refurbishment, this project has made Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria the ‘biggest shopping experience’ in Africa.

The length of the malls – on four levels – is now over 3,4 km, and the shops cover 173 500 m2 of floor space. In addition to all the refurbishment work – which included 14 000 m2 of mall ceilings and tiling – some 60 000 m2 of retail space was added. All this was completed in less than 15 months. There were close to 60 subcontractors on site when the project hit its busiest phase, with about 100 bricklayers placing 3,5 million bricks.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this job was that tenants and shoppers still had access to the existing mall areas so there could be business as usual. This meant that many of the teams worked at night, so that tasks were done before the mall opened each day at 8:00.

The project even received a Green Building 4 Star rating for its environmental and sustainability considerations – a ‘first’ for the retail sector in South Africa.

To fast track the construction programme, the project made use of steel elements which were fabricated in advance in a controlled factory environment. These were used to achieve a contemporary and timeless atmosphere with light-filled spaces, also including aesthetic features.

With limited space, all logistics were carefully planned so that delivered materials could be quickly erected, creating space for the next deliveries. Innovative use was made of smaller cranes and spider cranes on the decks to move steel to required areas.

Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms

In the Civil Engineering Contractors category of the Construction World’s Best Projects competition, Concor Infrastructure was highly commended for the two pioneering renewable energy projects in the Hantam Municipality of the Northern Cape: the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and the Khobab Wind Farm.

In a consortium with CONCO, Concor Infrastructure was responsible for the construction of all 122 wind turbine generator foundations, as well as the adjoining hard stands and internal roads on both sites. Each of the wind turbine bases is 19 metres in diameter, and holds a 99 metre high turbine tower with an 80 tonne nacelle.

Concrete design was key to the performance of this contract, demanding the right strengths while limiting the carbon footprint. The plinths at Loeriesfontein, for example, were constructed using high strength 60 MPa concrete with a design mix of 75% ground granulated corex slag (GGCS) in place of cement. Concor Infrastructure used 50% waste material for both the plinth concrete and the 30 MPa conical base concrete. This helped reduce the project’s estimated overall carbon footprint by 31%.

All this was done in an efficient and continuous work process that allowed each foundation base to be completed from excavation in just 10 days.

In line with Concor Infrastructure’s skills development strategy, these remote projects managed to source and train much of their workforce from the Loeriesfontein community 60 km away.

Situated in such an arid area, the project conserved water through re-use and re-treatment, using a screening system to remove the heaviest solids and bacteriological rollers for the remainder. Many environmental issues were addressed, including protecting and trans locating threatened and endangered plant species, and reclaiming contaminated soil through bioremediation.

Safety was always a high priority, allowing the project to achieve two million Lost Time Incident Free (LTIF) hours in August 2017.

About Construction World’s Best Projects awards

These are the only awards that recognise excellence across the entire built environment from contractors (civils, general builders and specialists) to suppliers to professional services (such as architects and consulting engineers).

The credibility of the awards is ensured by the experience of the three judges, each of whom has been in the industry for decades. They also represent various professional bodies of which they were presidents, namely the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Master Builders Association (MBA).


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