Property experts help accelerate delivery of affordable office space in Polokwane

Pre-cast concrete wall panels
Pre-cast concrete wall panels help architect achieve a modern and sophisticated look
April 17, 2018

Property developers and builders are responding to a high demand for affordable and quality office space in Polokwane.

One of these astute companies is Golden Bay Properties. This property developer and building contractor already has a solid track-record successfully completing many developments in-and-around this growing node.

They include residential, commercial and industrial developments, and Jaco Kotze, a project manager with Golden Bay Properties, remains encouraged by the short-, medium and long-term outlook for the company’s operations in Polokwane.

“Demand for cost-effective commercial space indicates that we are also seeing the formation of, as well as growth in small and medium-sized businesses, the engine of any economy, in Polokwane. Importantly, this is on the back of expansions that are being undertaken to warehouses and industrial premises in the city. Both point to a positive future for Polokwane and the larger property and construction sectors operating here,” Kotze says.

Golden Bay Properties’ latest development is located on Biccard Street, and the company intends completing it before the end of 2017. This is well ahead of the start of the 2018 business year when 15 additional offices will become available in Polokwane.

The smallest units offer 55 square metres (m2) of work space and the largest 110 m2. They are fully air-conditioned and tenants will have the option of either vinyl or carpet flooring, complementing the tiled passages and stairs of the office block.

Following extensive demolition activities to make way for the building, the professional team, including structural engineer, Jan Fanoy, has maintained an impressive production rate on site since commencing construction works in April this year.

This is despite the many complexities associated with constructing in an extremely congested area and a built-up setting. The stand size is just under 800 m2 and was previously zoned for residential use.

“Restricted working conditions are arguably the single-biggest challenge on this project. Certainly, Golden Bay Properties’ familiarity with the working environment in Polokwane and our experience successfully completing eight office blocks prior to embarking on this build has been invaluable,” he says.

Golden Bay Properties also appointed CoreSlab to help the professional team accelerate production. The group was tasked with installing light hollow-core slabs to complete the second floor of the structure.

The project would rely extensively on the skills and capabilities of all CORE group companies. They include Coreslab, Corestruc, Corehire, Corefleet, Corebatch and Corebrick, all specialists in the various components of the overall construction value-chain, spanning the design through to the construction phases of the build. Their skills and capabilities have been deployed in successful civil-infrastructure delivery programmes through to property developments for government and the private sector.

Golden Bay Properties has worked with the CORE group before, and Kotze says that it has provided a good service. This was a major factor in Golden Bay Properties entrusting group companies with the design and installation of the hollow-core slabs.

While the first floor was built using in-situ methods, representatives of Golden Bay Properties decided to save costs and time by completing the last level using pre-cast concrete hollow-core slabs.

This approach would replace conventional on-site concrete casting, which is dependent upon large teams to erect and dismantle scaffolding and formwork.

The CORE group’s solution also replaces the need for extensive steel-fixing and the co-ordination of timeous ready-mix concrete deliveries to site, with its pre-cast concrete items cast elsewhere in a controlled factory environment.

CoreSlab was appointed to design, manufacture, transport and install the 540 m2 of hollow-core slabs on the load bearing brickwork and structural steel beams that were already accurately constructed by Golden Bay Properties.

The quality pre-tensioned hollow-core “slabs” are between 250 millimetre (mm) and 150 mm thick and have a concrete strength from 60 Mpa to 80 MPa.

Corestruc undertook their actual installation, starting with the establishment of a large 160 ton (t) crane on site to assist its own small and efficient construction teams.

To ensure a safe and secure site during the lift and to facilitate the timely delivery of the many slabs, Biccard Street was closed to traffic between South and Marshall Streets.

Sourced from Corehire, the crane’s fly jib provided a boom length of 62 meters (m) to achieve the necessary reach within the 45 m installation radius envelope.

In addition, the crane provided the necessary capacities to lift each slab, the heaviest 2,7 t, up to six metres (m).

Willie de Jager, managing director of Corestruc, says that a total of 150 t of slabs were delivered to site and placed in as little as four days.

“We have undertaken similar installations in less time. However, severe space constraints that hampered access meant that we had to adopt a more cautious and conservative approach on this project. This also took into consideration the very sensitive surroundings. For example, we had to work between trees and we did not damage any of them,” De Jager tells Review.

With the slabs successfully installed, Kotze and his team could continue with the brick works to complete the shell at that level.

The building features aluminium windows and the offices are partitioned by dry-walling, while the roof of the structure will comprise either wood or ultra-light weight steel trusses and covered with Klip-Lok industrial roof sheeting.

All that remains is the completion of the specialist trade activities, while Golden Bay Properties is already preparing for its next office project along Biccard Street. Watch this space!

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