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Spectacular execution on risky project named Overall Winner at SAISC Steel Awards 2017


The BMW H-EMS Roof Lift project was announced as the Overall Winner as well as the Winner of the Innovation Category at the SAISC Steel Awards 2017 event, which took place on 13 September at Emperors Palace Gauteng, Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town and The Mount Edgecombe Country Club in Durban. Leading metal roof manufacturer, Global Roofing Solutions, is proud to have supplied the roof cladding for the project.

The assembly building at BMW Rosslyn, known as Building 50, is about 60 years old. Due to new planned vehicle production and associated new assembly line technology, the existing low saw-toothed profile roof that was supported by numerous columns at close spacings had to be replaced. When BMW began the procurement process for the appointment of Professional Services for the new roof, they confessed that they didn’t know whether it would even be possible to meet their goal, namely: build a new roof over the existing structure so that the entire Rosslyn plant could remain in operation. The alternative of shutting down the plant for six months in order to demolish the old assembly building and re-building a new one conventionally would have catastrophic financial impacts on BMW SA and their consumers.

BMW’s goal was to build a new roof over the existing structure so that the entire Rosslyn plant could remain in operationThe project team had to come up with an out of the box solution to meet the client’s goals. The proposed system, H-EMS (Heavy Electric Monorail System) comprises overhead conveyors fixed to the roof, with height-adjustable hangers that carry the vehicles being assembled. The H-EMS, along with a higher and stronger roof structure with fewer columns, was the chosen solution.

The entire roofing project was completed in 15 months. The quality or quantity of vehicles being assembled at the plant weren’t compromised in any way and the assembly line as well as partially assembled vehicles were protected at all times during construction. The layout of the assembly line wasn’t altered at all, enabling the client to continue its production without the extensive roof construction impacting its operations in any way.

Judge Amanuel Gebremeskel commented: “I think it’s rare that you get a challenge of this type, in engineering terms, and fabrication/erection terms. There’s a lot of risk involved, and you’re dealing with a very sophisticated owner. You have to come in and deliver without a glitch. That’s really what’s special about this. It’s a very risky project that they pulled off spectacularly.”

34 200m2 of Chromadek 0.58 Fish Eagle White and Dark Dolphin was supplied by Global Roofing Solutions for the project. This roofing solution was chosen for a number of reasons, including its versatile design options for architects and its longevity.

“Exhaustive tests are done on Chromadek to ensure it meets the requirements that will stand the test of time. It’s the ideal choice for heavy industrial applications and it enables colour coated steel roofing to be applied in some of the most demanding environments in Africa. I would like to congratulate the client as well as the entire project team for their future-thinking vision and spectacular execution on this demanding project,” comments Martin Smith, Managing Director of Global Roofing Solutions.

Watch the video of the winning BMW project:

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