keyboard_arrow_upA deepening crisis in the building industry
keyboard_arrow_downA deepening crisis in the building industry

At almost the same time as Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) expressed extreme concern at the low levels of building work being initiated in the country, despite the lowest interest rates in decades, the news broke on the Competition Commission’s finding evidence of collusion and bid-rigging in the construction sector. Clearly the allegations of such anticompetitive behaviour do not help the cause of the building industry.

keyboard_arrow_upThe Housing Debate – some thoughts on the way forward
keyboard_arrow_downThe Housing Debate – some thoughts on the way forward

The State of Housing in SA formed the focus of the opening debate at Architecture ZA 2010 (AZA 2010), the architectural festival that was held in Johannesburg in September last year. The debate looked at the successes and challenges of South Africa’s contemporary housing strategy and how it contributes to the restructuring of South African society in economic, social and spatial terms.

keyboard_arrow_upEPS wall panels simplify residential upgrades
keyboard_arrow_downEPS wall panels simplify residential upgrades

Many old commercial buildings in Johannesburg’s central business district are currently being transformed from derelict offices into secure and comfortable residential accommodation. Craig Paton-Ash of Ikhaya Futurehouse Systems says, “These refurbishment and conversion projects are challenging for building contractors,particularly when it comes to transporting heavy, bulky construction materials, like conventional bricks, in small, passenger lifts.

keyboard_arrow_upGround-breaking plan to speed housing
keyboard_arrow_downGround-breaking plan to speed housing

Social housing projects in Gauteng could be speeded up – and build quality substantially improved – with the introduction of a new foundation system adapting Echo hollow-core prestressed concrete floor slabs, traditionally used in multi-storey commercial and residential buildings.

keyboard_arrow_upA safe, clean and efficient home energy solution
keyboard_arrow_downA safe, clean and efficient home energy solution

Leading South African petrochemical and energy group, Sasol, has introduced LP gas reticulation for housing developments with supply from bulk tanks on site – offering property developers a ‘greener’ alternative energy option. With Sasol Homegas the carbon footprint of new housing developments is reduced and electricity consumption costs for the homeowners will be lower.

keyboard_arrow_upCMA Award winner for prestressed slabs
keyboard_arrow_downCMA Award winner for prestressed slabs

Echo Prestress was the winner of the Regional - Inland Award in the category for precast concrete floor slabs in the 2010 Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA) Awards for Excellence.

keyboard_arrow_upTwin technologies for fast-track building
keyboard_arrow_downTwin technologies for fast-track building

Fast-track building combining prestressed hollow-core concrete panel flooring with a lightweight steel frame structure enabled contractors to erect a three-storey, 90-room barracks building for the Botswana Defence Force in barely 20 weeks. This project marked a first for the use of these twin technologies in Botswana – and it was completed in record time.

keyboard_arrow_upRugged equipment for rugged terrain
keyboard_arrow_downRugged equipment for rugged terrain

As a supplier of concrete manufacturing equipment South African company Pan Mixers  has won several contracts across the African continent based on its ability to provide first-world technology built with third-world resilience. The latest of these is for the supply, delivery and installation of two VB4X block plants for construction giant Odebrecht's operation in Luanda, Angola. Odebrecht  is a Brazilian business conglomerate operating internationally in the fields of engineering and construction, chemicals and petrochemicals.

keyboard_arrow_upInvestment boost for building products supplier
keyboard_arrow_downInvestment boost for building products supplier

Institutional investors Metropolitan and Molash have jointly acquired a significant minority stake in Duro Pressings – one of South Africa’s biggest and longest-standing manufacturers and distributors of steel and aluminium windows, doorframes and allied building products for the housing development and construction sector.