keyboard_arrow_upBuilding South Africa – MBSA Congress
keyboard_arrow_downBuilding South Africa – MBSA Congress

Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) recently brought together members of the building industry at its 107th annual congress, convened under the theme Building South Africa. Invited speakers and panel discussions looked at future infrastructure trends, growth opportunities and the challenges and changes experienced in the construction sector. Experts from South Africa and other African countries shared their knowledge and highlighted the need for collaboration among stakeholders to promote the industry.  Environmental issues and sustainability in building were a key focus as was the important role the industry can play in South Africa’s economic growth. 

keyboard_arrow_upCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award
keyboard_arrow_downCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award

Another win for Cape Town – alongside its recent successful World Design Capital 2014 bid – is its selection as the city to receive the fifth Deutsche Bank Urban Age.  The Urban Age Award recognises and celebrates creative solutions to problems and opportunities that face more than half the world’s population now living in cities. The award focuses on projects that benefit communities and local residents by improving their urban environments. It seeks to encourage citizens, policy-makers, private business and non-governmental organisations to take a proactive role in adopting shared responsibilities for the cities of the 21st century – mankind’s first truly ‘urban’ age.

keyboard_arrow_upCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award
keyboard_arrow_downCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award

Another win for Cape Town – alongside its recent successful World Design Capital 2014 bid – is its selection as the city to receive the fifth Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award.  The Urban Age Award recognises and celebrates creative solutions to problems and opportunities that face more than half the world’s population now living in cities. The award focuses on projects that benefit communities and local residents by improving their urban environments. It seeks to encourage citizens, policy-makers, private business and non-governmental organisations to take a proactive role in adopting shared responsibilities for the cities of the 21st century – mankind’s first truly ‘urban’ age.

keyboard_arrow_upInternational exposure for students’ short films
keyboard_arrow_downInternational exposure for students’ short films

The prize-winning entries in the Cement & Concrete Institute’s Moving Space annual short film competition for students are enjoying increasing local and international exposure.  In September this year, the five prize-winning entries in the 2011 competition – themed ‘Science Friction’ – were screened at a film festival at the National Student Conference in Port Elizabeth; and in October the University of the Free State hosted a premiere for the UFS entry, Umbrella Man. The five films were then screened at the Prague Architectural Biennale at the end of October, and in November at the international SNIFT Short Film Festival in Berne, Switzerland. The films will also be screened at film festivals nationally through the Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor platforms, as well as on SABC 2.

keyboard_arrow_upUnited Nations World Habitat Day
keyboard_arrow_downUnited Nations World Habitat Day

UN Habitat is the United Nations’ agency for human settlements and the UN has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. World Habitat Day will be celebrated this year on 3 October. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The event is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

keyboard_arrow_upClay pavers in urban upgrading
keyboard_arrow_downClay pavers in urban upgrading

International trends confirm a growing preference among urban design professionals for clay paving – providing functionality with character and charm in urban environments. Keeping pace with this trend locally, more and more urban upgrades are opting to use Corobrik clay pavers to bring life and vibrancy to our urban landscapes.

keyboard_arrow_upCool roofs combat urban heat islands
keyboard_arrow_downCool roofs combat urban heat islands

The term ‘urban heat island’ (UHI) refers to a phenomenon that occurs in urban areas where temperatures are often significantly higher than in surrounding peri-urban or rural areas. According to BlueScope Steel, a leading multinational supplier of coated steel roofing materials, two of the most effective ways of cooling urban heat islands are to make use of urban forestry and cool roofs.  

keyboard_arrow_upSA to host World Water Day 2011 Conference
keyboard_arrow_downSA to host World Water Day 2011 Conference

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) is pleased to join UN-HABITAT, UNSGAB and UN-Water in co-organising World Water Day (WWD) 2011. The global observance of WWD 2011, to be hosted by the government of South Africa in Cape Town with the theme Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge,

keyboard_arrow_upeThekwini Water & Sanitation will celebrate World Water Day
keyboard_arrow_downeThekwini Water & Sanitation will celebrate World Water Day

As the world gears up to commemorate the 18th World Water Day (WWD) on 22 March 2011, eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS) says it is on target with this year’s theme, Water for Cities: Responding to the urban challenge.

keyboard_arrow_upInterlocking pavers meet varsity challenge
keyboard_arrow_downInterlocking pavers meet varsity challenge

The University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus is more than a centre for learning – it’s also centre stage for major social and sporting events which regularly attract big crowds. To handle the heavy flows of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, Technicrete’s Double Zig-Zag concrete paving blocks were specified to form a continuous hardwearing surface on the network of roadways leading into and around the campus and university facilities, as well as the extensive parking areas.

keyboard_arrow_upTransport hub considers pedestrian traffic
keyboard_arrow_downTransport hub considers pedestrian traffic

At the new public transport hub in Athlone, Cape Town, Terraforce concrete retaining blocks have been used to ease the flow of pedestrian traffic and offer informal seating in the forecourt of the centre. Strategically situated at the intersection of the N2 highway and Vanguard Drive, this R100 million provincial government development provides a central hub for public transport and vehicle related issues.

keyboard_arrow_upWorld cup victory for clay pavers
keyboard_arrow_downWorld cup victory for clay pavers

Corobrik, South Africa’s leader in clay pavers and bricks, is proud that its products were chosen for extensive use in the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium precincts of two host cities: Durban and Cape Town. Regarding Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, Mike Ingram, director of sales at Corobrik, says, “Corobrik products have been used in all the upgrade and beautification projects in Durban’s preparation for 2010.

keyboard_arrow_upChoosing the right sealant for concrete walkways
keyboard_arrow_downChoosing the right sealant for concrete walkways

In two recent major construction projects in Durban, a.b.e. Construction Chemicals’  Dow Corning 813C silicone sealant was used to seal the concrete joints on the public walkways. Deon de Kock, technical sales consultant for a.b.e. in KwaZulu-Natal, says the sealant was applied to the Moses Mabhida Stadium’s Heroes’ Walk and the new Durban beachfront promenade – the walkway that links the 2010 Soccer World Cup stadium with uShaka Marine World.

keyboard_arrow_upRetaining blocks support Kayamandi upgrading
keyboard_arrow_downRetaining blocks support Kayamandi upgrading

Last year, Cape Retaining Systems, a retaining block manufacturer and Terraforce licence-holder, was approached by Requad Construction to assist in establishing a greater habitable surface area for building low cost houses near the informal settlement of Kayamandi, outside Stellenbosch. After various options had been considered, Terraforce retaining blocks were decided on as they would provide a cost-effective and durable method for creating platforms and road/sidewalk support on the old farmland that was to be reclaimed for the housing development.