What makes the Cummins project unique from a structural perspective, specifically the structural steel design is the intricacies linked to the architectural aesthetics of the manufacturing facility. The brief was to design a manufacturing and assembly facility with multiple workshops and testing centers, which would from the outside not look that way. This is by no means a standard mechanical engineering, testing, and assembly facility, as the clean curved lines give the building a sophisticated yet functional envelope.

Engineers Motivation:

The steel design had to suit the architect’s vision, whilst keeping the structure light and within budget.  Behind all the curved sweeping lines is a steel structure made up of large span girder trusses supporting trusses in the opposite direction. The trusses are all made up of angle sections of varying sizes which form the truss chords and lacing members. This allows for a light and economic design, easy to transport and assemble on site, also allowing for the installation of solar panels over the entire roof area. Inside the facility, all services such as fire protection, electrical cable trays, and lights are suspended from the roof structure. There is a separate gantry crane steel structure inside the warehouse, suspended on top of reinforced concrete columns, which allows three gantry cranes to services about 75% of the floor area inside the facility. This is for the numerous operations taking place on floor level such as servicing and assembly of large engines and generators.

All offices inside the facility have lightweight steel structure designed to support low-level ceiling and services

Steelwork Contractor Interview:

As steel contractors, we were challenged on this project from the very beginning stages. This was no regular warehouse. The workshop drawings were very complex. Having to detail the steel facades with different levels, different elevations, Cladding stepping in and out, raised monitors, cantilever “Pop-Out” Monitors.

Once all of this was modelled using Tekla Structures, The fabrication had to begin. With the extremely tight program required by the client we had to produce the steelwork in record time but at the same time give the highest attention to our quality.

Erection on site is something to give special commendation to. To implement what the architect envisioned, to accomplish what the engineer required, and to do this in the time that the client needed was a feat to accomplish.

As the structure was a combination of concrete and steel much effort was needed to ensure that the steel facades are installed straight, level and with the correct steps in the façade to give the perfect final picture once cladded.

The main roof structure also required much attention, with the raised centre portion creating the roof monitor allowing for ventilation and natural light.

Inside are crane gantries that sit on Concrete Columns. Here we had a challenge to hand over the crane beams to the correct tolerances required by steel construction and crane beam specifications, as concrete tolerances are far larger that these. But with good detailing and accurate installation, this was accomplished to client satisfaction!

As Ferro Eleganza we are very proud to have been part of the team that constructed one of the Flagship and most attractive Warehouses next to the N1 Highway!

Completion date of steelwork November 2018
Completion date of full project December 2018
Tons of structural steel used 258 Tons
Structural profiles used H/R sections / C/R Lipped channel
Nominator Ferro Eleganza (Pty) Ltd
Steelwork Contractor Ferro Eleganza (Pty) Ltd
Steel Erector Ferro Eleganza (Pty) Ltd
Corrosion Protection
Paintwork Contractor
IPS Industrial Painting Services
Cladding and Roofing Global Roofing Solutions