The purpose of the project was to design and construction of a new central Distribution Centre for ARB Electrical in the Gauteng Region. The brief to the Architect was to optimise the site to allow for the extensive cable storage outside the warehouse, whilst allowing for a new covered warehouse allowing for 14m racking height, a new 3,000sqm office facility, and undercover loading to cater for the weather conditions in the region.

Was the project envisaged in steel from the start? If not – why was it built in steel in the end?

Yes. Steel was the only option to provide the client with the height, and substantial clear spans required in the loading areas.


For the unique requirements and clear spans – the steel frame consists of a combination of lattice girders and castellated beams throughout. Bracing members were predominantly circular hollow sections. Standard i-beams were used in the gatehouse and ancillary structures to the yard.

We used Colorplus AZ150 Kliptite 700 from Global Roofing Solutions. The biggest challenges with the sheeting on this structure would have to be the initial stages of setting up the sheets on the roof and handling the single length roof sheets in windy conditions. The latter required careful planning whilst for the initial stages we lifted the mill onto a platform which allowed the sheets to be rolled straight onto the lower roof for easier handling.

What is special/ unusual/ innovative/ aesthetic about the steelwork/cladding in this project?

The use of castellated sections from Macsteel with 2m deep spine girders serves as an excellent example of maximising spans whilst keeping the frame design within acceptable weight and design parameters. The free and open areas consist of only 8 freestanding columns throughout approximately 12,500sqm of warehouse and covered loading.

How did the project team work together (e.g. contractor involved early, challenges/ ease of communication etc.)

Cousins Steel International has done previous work with ARB Holdings and we were consulted in our capacity as civil & structural engineers, as well as structural steel experts for guidance right from day 1. The architect and project manager were brought in early and the team planned the facility closely with the ARB team to ensure the facility catered seamlessly to the growth of the client’s operation in the region.

Project motivation editorials are provided by the project nominator. If any technical details, company names or product names are incorrect, please notify the SAISC so that the error can be corrected.

Completion date of steelwork August 2018
Completion date of full project February 2018
Tons of structural steel used 345 tonnes
Structural profiles used Castellated Beams
Completion date of cladding October 2018
Cladding profile/ type used GRS Kliptite 700 Colourplus AZ150
Cladding area/ coverage and tonnage 19,255sqm, 90 tonnes
Nominator Cousins Steel International
Client/ Developer ARB Electrical
Architect ARC Design
Quantity Surveyor Oliveir & Partners
Main Contractor Bantry Construction
Steel Erector RS Rigging
Cladding Manufacturer Safal
Cladding Supplier Global Roofing Solutions
Roofing and Cladding Global Roofing Solutions
Cladding Contractor Ferrum Trading

If you were a part of this project, and your company details are incorrect or missing – please notify the SAISC so that the error can be corrected.