The Shoprite Cilmor Distribution Park is the latest installation of the national distribution centre rollout for the owner/operator client, Shoprite Checkers. The project comprises more than twenty buildings, the largest of which are three warehouses serving as the core of the development. The biggest is the 76,000m2 Dry Goods warehouse, followed by the 18,000m2 Refrigerated Building and the 12,000m2 Returns Centre.

The architectural brief was to deliver purpose-fit infrastructure that is aesthetically pleasing, given the facility’s prominence from the adjacent freeway and surrounding neighbourhoods, while also maximising the value of the client’s investment. The architectural and structural teams collaborated closely to allow function to define form, yet ensure refined aesthetics and a wow-factor to the overall appearance.

Structural steel was the natural choice to realise the large open span roof structures and curved architectural features. The operational design required a 32x32m internal grid for the ambient warehouses and 24x24m for the refrigerated warehouse. No construction material other than structural steel could achieve the same construction economics for these light-weight, large-span roof structures under the given programme constraints.

The design of the buildings and the subsequent construction methodology were all centred around safe and fast erection on site, delivering a light yet failure-tolerant structure. The buildings are stabilized by large cantilevering concrete tilt-up columns that were constructed during the fabrication period of the steel. The largest of these columns was 24.3m tall, weighing more than 44tons. Starting off with a stable structure greatly reduced the risk during the erection of the long-span structural steel girders and trusses.

The girders were built-up from horizontally orientated UB chords laced with double equal angle web members. This configuration allowed optimized utilisation of the material and produced a girder that was easier to handle on site due to the lateral and torsional stiffness of the box-shaped assembly. The trusses for the ambient warehouses were classic lattices made from equal angle chords and web members. To provide a flat fixing surface for the refrigeration panels, the trusses for the refrigerated buildings were also boxed lattices with channels as chords.

The connection design and detailing, especially for the girder-to-column and truss-to-girder nodes, also aimed at a reduction of risk during the erection process. All major connections are first seated and secured, after which the main structural bolts or plates are fastened. This greatly reduced handling of heavy bolts and plates while girders or trusses were suspended from cranes.

The appointed specialist steel contractor, Mazor Steel, delivered 2963 tons of structural steel on time and to highest quality standards following a strict safety plan under constant scrutiny by main contractor, Stefanutti Stocks, who achieved over one million lost-time injury free man-hours on this project.

The size of the building and the resulting rainwater run-off lengths of the Dry Goods building supported the choice of a curved roof structure for these buildings. As a result of the curve, the roof angle increases with increasing run-off length, thus improving run-off performance of the roof. A jointless sheet transition from -0.5° to 0.5° was incorporated at the apex of the roof in order to avoid a large flat zone. Typical step laps were detailed to facilitate watertight installation and minimise the effects of temperature strain with the first sheeting laps occurring at slopes of more than 2°.

In order to ensure transparency of the sheeting tender, all tenderers were required to submit test compliance data as an entry criterion to the bidding process. This data was to be derived using the methods of the draft cladding code, SANS10237, which is in development by the South African Metal Cladding and Roofing Association.

Scheltema won the sheeting tender with GRS KLIP-TITE as the product of choice, rolled from Safal’s AZ150 Colorbond. Similar to the structural steel erection, the contractor deployed safe erection methods far above industry standard while tight collaboration between Safal, GRS and Scheltema ensured a high quality installation with an uncompromised guarantee for the client.

The project was completed on time and within budget while impressing with outstanding design and way-leading quality of works.

Tons of structural steel used ± 2 963 tons
Structural profiles used UB, UC, C, EA, CFLC, CHS, SHS, RHS
Cladding profile/ type used GRS KLIP-TITE™ roof sheeting, IBR side cladding
Cladding area/ coverage 118,140m2 roof surfaces, 19,914m2 side cladding
Cladding tonnage ± 787 tons

Project team

Project Team Role Company
Nominator WSP Group Africa (Pty) Ltd
Client/ Developer Shoprite Checkers Properties
Architect Steyn le Roux Truter
Structural Engineer WSP Group Africa (Pty) Ltd
Engineer WSP Group Africa (Pty) Ltd
Quantity Surveyor iQS
Project Manager SiVEST
Main Contractor Stefanutti Stocks
Steelwork Contractor Mazor Steel
Steel Erector Mazor Steel
Cladding Manufacturer Global Roofing Solutions (Pty) Ltd
Cladding Supplier Safal Steel
Cladding Contractor Scheltema
Corrosion Protection
Galvanising
Advanced Galvanising (Pty) Ltd
Corrosion Protection
Paintwork Contractor
Nu Nation Protective Coatings
Photographer
Photo competition
WSP Group Africa (Pty) Ltd
Photographer
Aerial photographs
Subiaco Photography

 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.