Fertilizer company Westfert required a massive warehouse to take advantage of favourable global conditions in the market. The large-scale dome in Hoopstad that was built is described as the biggest in the southern hemisphere. The main objective of the structure was to create an inland fertilizer storage facility where various basic granular fertilizers can be blended and bagged for the specific needs of farmers. The structure is 116 meters wide and 152.25 meters in length and covers approximately two hectares.

There are no supporting pillars within the structure, which creates enough space for two Airbus 380s to fit inside the building. A triangular pipe frame structure was use for the trusses. A single 194mm diameter bottom cord pipe and two 140mm diameter pipes were used as top sections. The bracing is 76mm pipe and all the sections are 3mm thick.

Creating a structure of this scale wasn’t without its challenges, says project engineer Hentie Park. One of the main challenges was to ensure that all the trusses were rolled on a 96m radius. Secondly, all the welded connections were profiled with a CNC plasma cutter to ensure exact fit. Each truss consisted of 10 sections that were joined by specialised welding on site. Articulating joints were designed where the truss connected to the concrete plinth. Two halves of the trusses were lifted by two 25ton cranes and the centres were connected with three pins – one for each cord. The latter reduced the election time and costs significantly.

The unsupported span of this building is 116m. Global Roofing Solutions supplied approximately +-27000m2 of Klip-Tite and NuRib for the product and 127m long sheets were rolled on site and clipped into positionThe dome is the fourth largest such structure in the world and it will be able to house approximately 200 000 tons of fertilizer.  Thanks to the new dome warehouse, Westfert will now be able to buy input ingredients such as urea in bulk when exchange rates and prices are at their most favourable.

Cladding profile/ type used KlipTite & NuRib
Cladding area/ coverage +-27000m2
Cladding tonnage +-160 Tons

Project Team

Project Team Role Company
Nominator Global Roofing Solutions
Client/ Developer West Fertilizers
Structural Engineer Alliance Con Systems
Project Manager Alliance Con Systems
Main Contractor Alliance Conveying Systems
Steelwork Contractor Vic Engineering
Steel Erector Vic Engineering
Cladding Manufacturer Global Roofing Solutions
Cladding Supplier Global Roofing Solutions
Cladding Contractor Alliance Conveying Systems

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.