The purpose of the project was to extend the existing storage facilities at Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, CCBSA,  Pretoria west plant. This included a mezzanine office building to be used as a delivery office for the warehouse. The building had to span 21m and be high enough to allow forklifts to pass underneath. In addition, the building was to be constructed in the existing warehouse and whilst the warehouse remained operational.

The brief to the architect

The brief from the client was that forklifts had to be able to drive underneath the office building. This resulted in a truss configuration that spanned 11m and had a clearance of 4.8m

The architectural concept was largely driven by function. The architect had a number of constraints to work with: (i) A building that spans 21m would have to be a truss type structure, and (ii) the truss had to have  transverse elements that works in tension. These members were likely to be large UB sections.

The idea from the get go was to provide an aesthetically pleasing structure with lots of coke red in.

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

A brick structure with a steel truss roof was considered but due to the large spans and limited time available for construction, it was clear that a steel truss would be the most effective solution.  The steel truss was manufactured in the contractor’s workshop and merely assembled on site. This allowed for minimal disruption to the warehouse that remained in use throughout the duration of the project.

Give a brief description of the structural framing. What type of sections were used (e.g. hollow, cellular, I beams etc) and why?

The 21m spanning truss is made up of I beams. I beams were used due to good stiffness to weight and therefore cost ratio. The fact that I beams are regularly available also added to this choice.

Give a brief description of the cladding process (complexity, difficulty, innovation etc)

Roof cladding was added to protect the gypsum ceiling in the event that the existing roof leaks. The side panels were cladded with soft boards where possible and with glass framed in aluminium where required.

Were there any challenges in the fabrication of the project from the engineer’s design – if yes, please tell? Tell more about fabrication and erection process if it was complex, difficult, innovative etc.

The structure was assembled under an existing canopy making carnage very difficult. Note that the warehouse remained operational thought the duration of the project. As far as possible, parts were assembled and manufactured off site. Small sections of the warehouse was barricaded off to allow for the construction work. In addition, the contractor had to avoid forklifts that continued to load and off load coke trucks in the warehouse.

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

The inclined I beams in the truss were cleverly cladded with aluminium framed glass.  Clearance for deflection was allowed for to avoid cracking of glass. The clear glass and red board cladding resulted in an aesthetically pleasing structure.

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

The project team consisted of a WSP project manager Tumelo Makubo, Architect Riette Postma from Flaneur Architects and Structural lead Johnnie Strydom from WSP.  WSP and Flaneur Architects works closely with the CCBSA Factory manager, Alan Clark.  Alan provided clear directives of what was required from CCBSA’s side and since WSP, and Flaneur have deliver a number of successful projects in the past, some of which was for CCBSA, the working relationship was professional and vibrant.

Completion date of steelwork 26 September 2018
 Completion date of full project 26 November 2018
Tons of structural steel used 17 tons
Structural profiles used UB Sections
Nominator WSP
Client/ Developer CCBSA
Architect Flaneur Architects
Structural Engineer WSP
Quantity Surveyor JS & Associates Quantity Surveyors CC
Project Manager WSP
Main Contractor WNR Construction Group
Steelwork Contractor RSB Contracts
Steel Erector RSB Contracts
Corrosion Protection
RSB Contracts
Corrosion Protection
Paintwork Contractor
RSB Contracts