Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The New Mayors Parlour and Lift Installation


Another very interesting project entered into this year’s Excellence in Construction Awards was the new Mayors Parlour and Lift Installation at Durban City Hall that won in the category of Alterations, Additions & Renovations – Non-residential (under R20m).

The scope of work included the complete installation of a new lift, alterations to the existing lift core, the construction of the New Mayor’s Parlour, new offices and alterations to existing offices. 

The work involved construction of a new lift core from basement level to second floor level including demolitions of existing concrete slabs, additional concrete slabs etc.

The site was a controlled environment involving minimal noise and disruptions to the Mayor’s offices.  Time tables for council meetings had to be worked around and contract work on those days had to be minimised.  Further interruption of work caused delays to the completion date. Access to site was also a concern as the current entrance on the basement level was not to be used by contractors. This prompted the use of a mechanical hoist to gain full access to the second floor roof. The building finishes were not compromised and budgets were increased to accommodate the architect’s requirements.

The work was performed by Serengeti Projects CC.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, October 29, 2012

29° South - 2012 Supreme Winner


In earlier post, I mentioned that the projects entered into the 2012 Excellence in Construction Awards do indicate a shift towards green building. This year’s Supreme Winner which went to Ilembe Building WBHO & Group Five JV for 29° South, is a standout example of green innovation.

Its structure consists of a concrete frame with a brick envelope with an atrium design to reduce the carbon footprint with a minimum perimeter area.  The building has a relatively narrow floor plate of 12,5m which maximizes daylight from both sides of the building, with a high percentage of glass on the external envelope.

The material used for the construction consisted of recycled steel and concrete with reduced cement content.  A reduction in the total voc (Volatile Organic Compounds) was possible with the use of non pvc products and the paint specs were from the evolution range of Plascon.  The external coatings to the walls were Comet coatings which has recycled glass aggregate.  With the emphasis on being a green building a lot of time was given to the energy design of the building to enable a 45% energy saving as compared to another conventional building.  Regenerative lifts were installed together with an efficient HVAC system and lighting as motion sensors.

The highlight of the building is the green roof which is designed as an active park to ensure a minimum of 30% landscape coverage on the site.

A unique feature of the building is the recycled water system where rainwater is harvested and stored in the basement for irrigation purposes as well as  being pumped up to the roof to be used for the ablution facilities.  Surplus run off is further stored in retention ponds around the building.

The building boasts a fully advanced BMS system that is key to ongoing monitoring and the responsible operation of all sustainable buildings.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, October 26, 2012

A Definite Swing Towards Green

Wild Waves

Something I felt was quite pleasing to observe while working on the project descriptions for the Excellence in Construction Awards, was the amount of consideration that is being given to the environment. Several of the projects entered had adapted green innovation, and some contractors it seems went to great measures to preserve the environment. A great example of this is the WBHO entry 'Wild Coast Sun Waterpark', also known as Wild Waves.

The client Sun International, was particular about the surrounding environment and had a full time environmentalist that ensured no building or dumping of materials took place in the forest areas as well as on the primary dunes.

Before the start of the project all protected species were removed and stored off site.  These trees and plants were then re-planted once the slides and structural work had been completed.

Well done to WBHO and Sun International!

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Unforeseen Challenges

 Winner: Single Residential Above R3M, Southern Natal Construction & Jesjo Building Enterprises JV

Every year, once the Excellence in Construction event is behind us, I begin the arduous task of writing and editing copy for the Excellence in Construction web pages on masterbuilders.co.za. 

The way the process works is that with every entry, the entrant has to provide a detailed description of the project in writing and once the award recipients have been announced, I take that information and summarise it into either three paragraphs or one, depending on whether it  is category winner or a highly commended recognition.

Albeit that it is a slow process and from a time management point of view it takes me out of the loop for a while, I do find it exceedingly interesting. I particularly enjoy learning of the unforeseen challenges that contractors face when embarking upon these projects and how they adapt to overcome them.

Our Excellence in Construction pages should be fully uploaded in about a week’s time. I am aiming for next Friday, Monday week the latest.  If you are interested in finding out more about the winning projects, keep an eye on http://www.masterbuilders.co.za/excellence_in_building.htm

IF you would like to know who the winners were, read our press release.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Excellence Awards - A Job Well Done


As most readers of this blog will already be aware, last Friday night saw the hosting of the 8th annual Excellence in Construction awards.  It was a fantastic evening out and thus far we have only had positive feedback.

I would like to take the opportunity to give credence to the team of people at the Association who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, by sharing one of several testimonials that came through this morning.

The reason why I have particularly chosen this one is that came from a member of the media, whom I would assume attends many such events:

“Dear Tanya 

Thank you again for a wonderful evening and MBA Function. As functions go yours is the Top Event I have attended this year.


Well Done MBA Team.”


Watch masterbuilders.co.za for the Excellence Awards Press Release.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

South Coast Community Initiative


Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal South Coast Region has for several years now been taking on an annual community initiative, aimed at supporting a non-profit charity cause in need of a built structure or renovations to an existing structure. Their latest project is to assist those residing at Reinhardt's Place in Pumula, on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast near to Umzumbe.

Reinhardt's is a registered welfare organisation that attends to the needs of the mentally challenged. Many of its occupants are young people from the local area and maintaining the overheads for such an establishment is always going to prove challenging.

Their electricity bill at present is considerably high and heat pumps are to be installed to assist with consumption. To ensure that the beneficiary does not incur costs, it will be seen to that all labour apparatus gets donated.

Well done to our South Coast members for taking the time to improve the lives of others.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, October 12, 2012

49th Annual Regional Health and Safety Awards


We have over the last couple of weeks put a lot of time and effort into promoting our annual Gala event the Excellence in Construction Awards which is to take place next Friday night.

Another awards evening that is also a highlight on the Association’s calendar is our annual Regional Health and Safety Awards, which is scheduled to take place on the 2nd of November 2012.

The regional Health & Safety Awards is preceded by the National Health & Safety Awards where members of Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal have over the years fared exceptionally well. This year sees the 49th edition. The event is attended by over 200 guests, most of who have a vested interest in Construction Health & Safety and enjoy the opportunity to network with like minded people.

For news on category winners, keep an eye on masterbuilders.co.za and watch the press in upcoming weeks.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager 

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Minister of Public Works to Address Us


For those who may not already be aware, the Association is extremely pleased to announce that Minister of Public Works Mr Thulas Nxesi, is to be the guest speaker at the Excellence in Construction Awards evening.

Followers of masterbuilders.co.za as well as regular readers of our e-newsletter may recall Pieter Rautenbach's two excellent articles titled 'Does this Man Deserve a Bells' and 'Does This Man Deserve another Bells' which highlighted the excellent work the Minister is doing. Needless to say we are delighted that he will be there and we look forward to hearing him.

Companies who are interested in aligning themselves with the awards evening will be pleased to know that there are still marketing packages available. Time is however running out so if you do wish to participate, please make sure you contact Tanya on 031 266 7070 as soon as possible.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Monday, October 8, 2012

New UIF Threshold, Effective 1st October 2012


 
Greg Beykirch  

The Association's Financial Director Greg Beykirch draws our attention to the following important notice:

“A contribution for Unemployment Insurance shall not apply to so much of the remuneration paid or payable by an employer to an employee as exceeds:

With effect from 1st October 2012 R14 872 per month (R178 464 annually)

Please ensure that your salaries/wages program is adjusted accordingly effective 1st October 2012."

Thanks Greg!

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Recipe for Disaster


Included among life’s many great recipes for disaster, are individuals who’s BQ (Bravado Quotient) way exceeds their IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Those who suffer from this infliction are destined to suffer for it and more often than not, are doomed to pay the ultimate price.  One such character was Wayne Roth, 38, formerly of Pittston Pennsylvania.

Wayne was bitten by a cobra belonging to his friend, Roger Croteau, after playfully reaching into the tank and picking up the snake. Wayne subsequently refused to go to a hospital, telling Roger, "I'm a man, I can handle it".

Falser words have seldom been spoken. Instead of a hospital, Wayne reported to a bar. He had three drinks, and enjoyed bragging that he had just been bitten by a cobra. Cobra venom is a slow-acting central nervous system toxin. He died within a few hours, in Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania.

Animal lovers will be pleased to know, the snake suffered no reported side effects.   

Reference: www.darwinawards.com 

Ernest Roper

Membership Services Mnager

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More on COID


The last blog we posted comprised of a list pointers with regard to COID registration, which we got off the Department of Labour’s website.

Bearing in mind the source of the information, we assume that the intel is accurate. It has nonetheless been brought to my attention by somebody who I consider to be a very astute individual, that one of the points listed doesn’t sound right to him.

The item in question....

The site states that workers who are totally or partially disabled for less than 3 days, are excluded from compensation.

Although I am personally inclined to trust the source, I thought it worth mentioning.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manger

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases


A question we often get asked is if I only employ casual labour, do I have to be registered for COID (Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases)? The answer is yes you do, when people are in your employ, you are responsible for them.

The Department of Labour website informs us that the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act applies to all employers; and casual and full-time workers who, as a result of a workplace accident or work-related disease:
  • are injured, disabled, or killed; 
  • or become ill.
This excludes -
  • workers who are totally or partially disabled for less than 3 days;
  • domestic workers;
  • anyone receiving military training;
  • members of  the South African National Defence Force, or the South African Police Service;
  • any worker guilty of wilful misconduct, unless they are seriously disabled or killed;
  • anyone employed outside the RSA for 12 or more continuous months; and
  • workers working mainly outside the RSA and only temporarily employed in the RSA.
Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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