The new facility is an extension to the existing Mango packing plant to accommodate the new citrus packing plant and supplementary services.


What was the brief to the architect:

The brief to the team was to design, plan and implement an extension to the existing mango packing facilities which share overlapping services and spaces. The new facility was designed around the product flow, volumes, packing line, storage space and vehicle movement to optimise the structure and spatial configuration.

The two products (mango & citrus) need to share a receiving area and empty bins area in order to reduce the footprint of the facility which operates in different seasons.

This building typology requires a functionally driven design approach which aims at optimising all aspects of the building and usable footprint while creating an interesting and appealing architecture. The summary brief is: A cost effective, product driven building able to process the required volumes in the constrained timeframe which looks great in the context.

Was the project envisaged in steel from the start?

Yes, the large spans and spaces require the implementation of a metal clad steel structure. It was therefor a design aspect form the initial stages.

Give a brief description of the structural framing:

The structural frame of the building was entirely driven by the process which takes place within it.

The column size and spacing are primarily placed according to the pack line requirements which determine where product is received from the pack line. Considering the pack line is a high value item with specific positions of product output, it is sensible to adapt the structure to suite the line instead of vice versa. Steel profiles (H & I Profiles) where determined by the concrete stubs on which they where placed. These vary from 450 x 450 to 600 x 300 depending on the placement of the pack line.

A second layer of consideration is the racking planned for the dispatch area of the building. In order to optimise racking space the column spacing was staggered again to offset the grid according the racking layout. This was achieved by implementing the Metsec Z-Purlin roof structure allowing purlin spans of up to 10,400mm. This method allows for an uninterrupted racking space and optimal forklift movement below the 37m truss spans.

Due to the locality of the project a further consideration was the transport of steel members for large distances. By cladding the roof of the building in Safintra Saflok 700 it enabled the pitch to remain below 4 degrees, in turn enabling the steel columns to be limited to 13m for transport purposes. By placing the steel columns on 1530mm concrete stubs it allowed for the transport to be addressed while protecting the steel against forklift movement.

Give a brief description of the cladding process:

The decision was made early in the design process to apply the Saflok 700 profile to the roof and the Widek profile to the side cladding of the building. This decision allowed the roof a relatively low pitch of 3 & 4 degrees with a stepped ridge for vertical polycarbonate sheeting. The choice of sheeting further allowed continuous sheeting lengths of 70+ meters in turn omitting the need for interim gutters within the building.

The roof is therefore serviced with only gutters and downpipes at the ends.

Due to the large site available the sheeting was rolled by the mobile mill directly onto the roof by means of a scaffold system from the mill to the building.

3 Colours sheet were applied to create an interesting elevation to the building by using different colours for the sheet and the flashings. This allowed the cladding to be “framed” by the flashing.

Were there any challenges in the fabrication of the project from the engineer’s design? Process and Innovation:

The collaboration of services at fabrication was highly exciting for the team considering the architect and steel fabricators use of advanced BIM software. The building was designed using BIM (Building Information Modelling) Software by the architect, which was developed by the structural engineer and finally processed by the fabricator in the form of 3D shop drawings. The shop drawing model was transferred using an IFC file format which is compatible between software, allowing any issue / clash / query to be solved in a virtual environment. Following the co-ordination process within the 3D environment shop drawings were signed off and fabricated by with assistance of cnc technology.

The main contractor applied GPS technology in the setting out of the building which was issued by the architect who co-ordinated the various services. This virtual co-ordination enabled the accuracy of construction and fabrication to marry seamlessly on site.

The methodology therefore allowed any challenges to be resolved prior to any material sent to site.

What was special / unusual / innovative / aesthetic about the steelwork / cladding of this project?

Such building type are very hard for architects to resolve in terms of aesthetic, proportion and scale. The use of different colour cladding assisted somewhat in creating an interesting elevation and human scale to the very large elevations which have little or no openings. The inclusion of the diagonal line on the south elevation allowed a contrast in colour and also space to frame the signage.

Dock cubicles clad with sheeting at odd angles to the structure allow for some architectural expression on the dispatch side of the building, which is in public view.

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 November 2018
Tons of structural steel used 365 tons
Structural profiles used Various: IPE, Parallel Flange, Angles, U-channels, Lipped channels, Z-purlins
SA content 100%

Completion date of cladding November 2018
Cladding profile/ type used Safintra Saflok 700, Safintra Widedek
Cladding area/ coverage and tonnage 21,000m2

Nominator Safintra roofing
Client/ Developer Indigo Fruit Farming
Architect Bespoke Architects
Structural Engineer Mošomo Structural Engineers
Engineer Mošomo Structural Engineers
Quantity Surveyor Feroqs Consult
Project Manager Feroqs Consult
Main Contractor Ikotwe
Steelwork Contractor NJW engineering services
Steel Erector NJW engineering services
Cladding Manufacturer Safintra Roofing – MPU
Cladding Supplier Safintra Roofing – MPU
Cladding Contractor Roofing solutions
Corrosion Protection Paintwork Contractor IPS Industrial Painting Services


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.