Mamondo & CoreSlab make light work

CoreSlab is behind the successful uptake of pre-cast concrete systems in many of the residential projects in Limpopo

Mamondo Development & Construction is back in Lephalale where it is now completing a 10 bedroom guesthouse in Haakbos Street on behalf of Eskom.

The Polokwane-based developer and building contractor is closely associated with many other development projects in Limpopo and has retained its edge in the extremely competitive emerging contracting market by ensuring the timely completion of its projects and a high quality final structure.

Its sound project management capabilities are again evident at 8 Haakbos Street, where Alfred Chauke, as Project Manager, is in charge of the timely completion and quality of the build.

“We are on track to complete this project well within the six-month project timeframe. This is a major advantage for our client, who will now be able to take ownership of the structure earlier than initially anticipated,” he says.

The brickworks for the 170 m² ground level was completed in only seven working days, ahead of receiving the hollow-core precast concrete slabs that will support the second storey of the structure.

Chauke and his team decided to use hollow-core slabs, as opposed to other building methods, to further fast-track the construction programme and mitigate any risks on this contract.

These high quality concrete elements were manufactured by CoreSlab at its factory in Polokwane and delivered to the site where they were installed by the precast concrete specialist in a few hours.

In addition to shaving weeks off the construction programme, the use of hollow-core slabs has mitigated the need to manage large construction teams that would have otherwise been required to install the formwork and steel reinforcing, as well as propping and staging.

CoreSlab’s Clifford Mogale has been involved in the project right in the early stages when he was initially approached by Mamondo Development & Construction to supply the hollow-core slabs. The order was placed two weeks prior to the planned installation date.

Mogale’s responsibilities on this construction site also span the timely delivery of the elements to the site and their swift installation by a small team comprising only six people. He sources this capability, including the transportation, as well as the lifting and installation of the elements internally.

This level of involvement in the project by a specialist in the field also helps mitigate the many quality-related risks associated with the rib-and-block system.

Sometimes referred to as plank-and-block, or beam-and-block, rib-and-block is another alternative to conventional on-site construction methods. It comprises rectangular-shaped precast concrete blocks that are supported by filler blocks, over which concrete is poured.

“As precast concrete specialists, we also specialise in rib-and-block systems. However, we have definitely noticed a preference for hollow-core slabs over the years,” he says.

“This is considering that building contractors still have to install the system and cannot outsource this to a specialist. The process takes longer than the installation of hollow-core slabs and the quality is reliant on very active on-site management. This is not always possible for these building contractors considering their workload and time pressures in what has become an extremely competitive market.”

The 43 hollow-core slabs and four precast concrete beams were delivered to site from CoreSlab’s factory in two truck-and-trailer configurations. With a combined weight of 44 t, the hollow core slabs were placed in just more than four hours using a knuckle-boom crane that was easily positioned next to the structure. Generally, a team of six people are able to install a hollow-core element every six minutes. The hollow-core slabs were placed on a mortar bedding mix – comprising cement, sand and water – that was prepared by Mamondo Development & Construction ahead of the arrival of the installation team. Mogale advised Norman and his team on the mixture and undertook an assessment of the bedding prior to the lift to ensure a high quality installation.

Once the hollow-core slabs are in place, building contractors can commence work on the next floor level almost immediately. Having completed the installation on a Friday, Norman and his team were set to commence brick works on the next level on Monday.

CoreSlab’s scope of supply also included two flights of precast concrete stairs, which allowed for further time savings on the project. In addition, the building teams are now able to easily access the second level.

The brick works on the final level will be completed within seven days to allow for the installation of services in the remaining five rooms.

At the same time, the general labour on site will be augmented to complete external plastering works in a day, ahead of the completion of the structure’s pitched roof.

Jaco de Bruin, managing director of CoreSlab, says he is encouraged by the number of enquiries he has received from building contractors for proposed projects in Lephalale.

“This may indicate that we will be witnessing an upturn in building activity in the town sooner than later. This follows inactivity after a very busy building period associated with the support infrastructure for the new Medupi power station and expanded Grootegeluk mine in the town,” De Bruin concludes.

For more information contact Debbie Poggiolini at 082 873 4318.

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