Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  15 Feb 2010

BUILDING: Warehouse Completed In Record Time


Recent Western Cape Business News

SACD Freight’s vast, and vastly impressive, new R160 million container depot and wine warehouse in Paarden Eiland, a mere 800m from the Port of Cape Town, has been completed by the NMC Alliance a full two months ahead of schedule.

Site works on the project, involving principally the demolishing of the foundations of the old Paarden Eiland power station, began in March 2009, but the contractors only started work on May 12, with completion scheduled for the end of February - which seemed, at the time, a pretty tight timetable. However, things went so well that the contractors were able to hand over the completed facility in mid-December, with SACD Freight then having the task of moving out of their former premises and into the new facility so as to be open for business on January 10.

The contract, says Marius van den Berg, NMC’s contracts manager, was undertaken on a design and construct basis, with all the contractors working within the NMC Alliance as ‘co-contractors’ rather than ‘sub-contractors’, and being treated as full partners in the Alliance.

This worked unbelievably well, with everyone pulling together and respecting each others’ areas of expertise,” he says. “There was a fast and smooth flow of information throughout, which is often not the case under the old ‘traditional’ construction system, and a high degree of synergy with everyone adhered scrupulously to the agreed schedule, so that work on a particular aspect was completed on schedule for the following contractor to get to work at once.”

This lack of hold-ups enabled us to complete comfortably ahead of schedule - and after all, time is money, both for the contractors and the client.”

It is interesting to note that this fast track contract won this year’s MBA National Safety Award for projects in the category R120 million to R200 million - an achievement of which Marius van den Berg and the NMC Alliance team are extremely proud.

The project involved the construction of a 19 000sq m warehouse storing goods for export, and incorporating 1 500sq m of A grade open plan office space, and in addition an area of 5 000sq m dedicated to the handling of imports. The facility also has a 300sq m reworks area where goods can be re-labelled or re-palletised, operating separately as a BEE development project. In addition, the contractors completed 44 000sq m of external works on site, such as paving.

The facility has 800mm deep cement stabilisation to support the 17.6m high container stacking area, with defined aisle flooring and high quality category 1 4.5m wide strip cast floor. The floor itself is 250mm thick to support the back foot of each rack, which carries the main weight of 9 000kg.

A pre-cast walling system has been used, which does not require any footing, resulting in a saving of R800 000, using concrete pre-cast panels with a span just under 5m. Seamless zinc sheeting roofing has been employed throughout. This is, of course, highly resistant to rust, and carries a 15-year guarantee.

A very important element in the contract is the sprinkler system, which employs 200 main sprinklers with pipes of 80ml and 50ml respectively, designed to operate on the top three levels of the 7 level storage area, cascading down profusely to the levels below.

A feature of the wine warehouse is that there are 25 undercover off loading bays for interlink trucks serviced by double handler forklifts. This extensive off loading area, which enhances the turnaround of trucks, required a 420mm concrete slab x 30m wide and 200m in length to support the steady flow of trucks.

We are very pleased to have completed this exciting project within budget and ahead of time,” says van den Berg. “I believe the partnership concept which the NMC Alliance used played an major role in this success, and I congratulate our co-contractors on the high degree of co-operation and efficiency they have shown.”

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