SAFT is a cold storage facility for fruit. Fruit is brought in from various producers in South Africa where it is kept at an optimal temperature until it is exported to Europe.

What was the brief to the architect?

The brief to the architect was to create a visually pleasing exterior within the constraints of the industrial nature of the building and without adding too much to the cost of the project. The architect aimed at a solution which would not necessitate amendments to the original building envelope which was designed to accommodate the cold stores. The only structural change was the addition of a large fascia over the off-loading bay to give the building a strong presence on the M12 where the different sheeting panels and backlit polycarbonate is very visible to passing traffic. 

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

The cold store section was originally intended  / planned as a steel structure.

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

The cladding process was not much more difficult or complex than usual, except that additional angled sheeting rails had to be incorporated in order to achieve the angles and the change in level between the two different colours of sheeting. The flashing details were also more complex as the stepped (raised and recessed sheeting) had to be accommodated.

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

The architect’s approach to the brief was to incorporate two sheeting colours (light grey and darker grey) to articulate the facade. In addition to this the two different colours of sheeting are installed in different planes, i.e. the darker sheeting panels are raised 125mm above the lighter sheeting panels. This has the added effect of throwing shadows on the facade where the panels step. At night the recessed lighter coloured panels are washed from below by means of LED strip lights mounted at drip flashing level. This will ensure a striking effect at night. The office building components which are attached to the main steel structure are articulated with paint colours which closely match the sheeting colours on the steel structure. There are also portions of the facades on the office buildings which consist of LED backlit S-profile polycarbonate sheeting. Some sections of the main steel structure also have LED backlit polycarbonate sheeting to complete the whole and to complement the steel sheeting panels. The final effect will be striking, yet cost effective.

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

The engineer was consulted early on and assisted by detailing the raised and angled sheeting rails. and the cladding contractor were involved

Completion date of steelworkMain superstructure  February 2019.  Forced cooling tunnel racking    April 2019.
Completion date of full projectJune 2019
Tons of structural steel usedMain superstructure including ancilliaries and  walkways  500 tons       Forced cooling tunnel racking steel  230 tons
Structural profiles usedI-beams up to 305×165   H-columns up to 254×254 structural T ex 254×146. Angles from 60×60 to 100×100.  PF Channels. Cold rolled channels 150 x75 x20x2,5  
Completion date of claddingFebruary 2019
Cladding profile/ type usedSaflok 410, Armor Grey AZ150 0.53mm
Cladding area/ coverage and tonnage20,000 m2
Client/ DeveloperSAFT (PTY) LTD (Southern African Fruit Terminals Pty Ltd)
ArchitectJoe de Villiers Architects
Structural Engineer MH&A Consulting Engineers
Engineer MH&A Consulting Engineers
Quantity SurveyorDu Toit Pienaar Quantity Surveyors
Project ManagerAbland
Main ContractorIsipani Construction (Pty) Ltd
Steelwork ContractorUnion Steel
Cladding ManufacturerSafintra Roofing CPT
Cladding SupplierSafintra Roofing CPT
Cladding ContractorCladco Projects