Precast concrete flooring panels aid home building

Echo Floors’ newly launched operating section specially geared to the needs of the home-building market has come to the aid of an owner-builder who faced materials and labour supply problems when he chose a remote rural site for his new home.


The site, located 20km from Zeerust in North West Province, made the availability of building materials and skilled labour a problem for owner Solomon Mothupi. But a ready supply of Echo Floors reinforced, precast concrete flooring panels presented an immediate and cost-saving solution. Fortunately, Mothupi also found a competent local bricklayer to assist with construction.

The use of the precast concrete flooring panels was motivated by engineer and project manager Nick Stolp of DNS Construction Engineers, based on his own experience. The fact that Echo Floors maintains a 30 000m2 stock of panels in varying lengths meant that the inevitable on-site design changes could be accommodated much more easily than would have been possible had a purpose-made slab been specified.

Careful preplanning and collaboration, with the professional team adjusting both the architectural and engineering designs, resulted in innovative structural combinations of reinforced precast floors, cast in-situ beams and steel beams which are concealed in the depth of the slabs. A combination of screeds and structural toppings was used, which proved both economically and structurally sound.

Building the roof slab was also easier using precast panels than any other system as, in some areas, the roof slab is five metres above the first floor slab, which would have made propping and formwork difficult.

Innovation, cost-effectiveness and speed of construction, as well as efficient control on site despite its distance from the project manager, made this project a success, according to Stolp.

“It is also a typical example of the versatility and flexibility of precast panels when they are used on a challenging and intricate architectural design,” says Echo projects director Danie Esterhuizen.

Previous story
keyboard_arrow_upWorld class standards in roller shutter doors
keyboard_arrow_downWorld class standards in roller shutter doors

Capital projects completed for the Soccer World Cup taught South Africans to build to internationally accepted standards, particularly in terms of public safety, and specifiers are now more insistent on conforming to them. This is the view of Dave Kearney, managing director of Roll-Up Serranda, the company that supplied the roller shutters for both the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth stadiums.

Next story
keyboard_arrow_upBeyond your imagination
keyboard_arrow_downBeyond your imagination

An alternative to ceramic tile, Inoxta stainless steel tiles are ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, interior walls and any cladding applications

keyboard_arrow_upa.b.e. Reflective silver waterproofing protects art treasures in Standard Bank Art Gallery
keyboard_arrow_downa.b.e. Reflective silver waterproofing protects art treasures in Standard Bank Art Gallery

a.b.e. Construction Chemicals, South African distributors of the renowned VIP range of high performance coatings, supplied a special VIP elastomeric coating with reflective cooling qualities for the waterproofing of two of the roofs of the Standard Bank Art Gallery in the Johannesburg CBD.

keyboard_arrow_upKaytech geosynthetics save Strubens Valley site
keyboard_arrow_downKaytech geosynthetics save Strubens Valley site

Urgent subgrade stabilisation for a construction site access road was economically and effectively solved with Kaytech’s geotextile and geogrid at a new development for the Chamberlain Hardware Distribution Centre in Strubens Valley, Roodepoort. Eco-friendly bidim geotextile in conjunction with TriAx, the innovative geogrid developed by Tensar International (and supplied locally by Kaytech), were the products […]

keyboard_arrow_upHabitat Apartments high-rise tower is Nairobi’s first ‘vertical village’
keyboard_arrow_downHabitat Apartments high-rise tower is Nairobi’s first ‘vertical village’

Architecture and interior architecture practice Paragon, in conjunction with Design Source of Nairobi, is overseeing Habitat Apartments in Kilimani, a 24-storey, 160-unit mixed-use apartment tower. Under development by Ekco Investments, the project is scheduled for completion by mid-2020. Habitat Apartments is a 24-storey, 160-unit mixed-use apartment tower in Kilimani, Nairobi. The design brief was for […]