CONSTRUCTION: M&R Finds More Work In W Cape
Recent Western Cape Business News
MURRAY & ROBERTS Western Cape is on track to complete the construction of the new R300 million Willowbridge Place office development by the end of this year. The new development is located on the corner of Old Oak Road and Carl Cronje Drive, Tyger Valley in the northern suburbs of Cape Town.
The property is being developed by the Eris Property Group for FirstRand Bank and Growthpoint Properties. FirstRand Bank will be using the new office block as a regional office complex for First National Bank (FNB) and Rand Merchant Bank while Growthpoint will be offering leasing space for corporate tenants.
Eris chief executive, Warren Schultze, says his company regards the Tygerberg suburbs as a key development area for the Western Cape.
“More businesses are being set up there and it is becoming a node for companies that want to move away from the CBD or want to have a second presence in the Western Cape. It has also become important to demonstrate that our own buildings and facilities have been built in a sustainable manner. We are dedicated to ensuring that we design and execute sustainable and environmentally responsible infrastructures.”
The Willowbridge Office Park, designed by Stauch Vorster Architects, will comprise two separate office blocks for FirstRand and Growthpoint Properties of 8 500 sq m and 6 600 sq m respectively with additional retail showroom space also available.
Murray & Roberts Western Cape, an operating division of Murray & Roberts Construction, was awarded the R193 million contract in October last year, against robust competition from another six contractors, and began construction in November. Gerald Kriedemann, the company’s senior contracts manager, says pricing was a factor in the adjudication of this contract and he also believes the work was awarded based on Murray & Roberts Western Cape’s good reputation in the local construction market.
The Willowbridge contract involves the construction of five levels of parking decks, incorporating a podium level, with the two office towers above consisting of five floors each, complete with internal finishes, external driveways, paving and soft landscaping. Construction will follow a typical post tensioned concrete structure methodology with a combination plastered brick and flush glazed aluminium facades.
Kriedemann says the limited space around the perimeter of the site poses somewhat of a challenge to the construction team, with the footprint of the building taking up 90% of the site area.
Deep sloped embankments on three sides also make it difficult to use these areas as lay-down zones for materials and equipment.
“As a result, we’re double-handling material in order to maintain progress. The fact that our access into site is adjacent to the busy Willowbridge Shopping Centre poses the additional challenge of traffic control and close co-ordination is therefore required for all material deliveries to site.”
“We’re working to a very tight construction programme of 11 months and everybody involved in this project - from designers and consultants to the main contractor team and sub-contractors - is being called on to put in a maximum effort at all times.”
The builder is simultaneously at work as principal contractor on another contract awarded by the Eris Property Group and Old Mutual - the R1.6-billion Portside project in Cape Town, a new commercial office tower comprising two basements, double volume ground floor retail, reception and back of house, seven structured parking floors incorporating plant, twenty office floors and covered and open plant above.
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