Steel Awards 2013

Home » Events » Steel Awards 2013


Yet another successful year for the Steel Construction Industry

Fifty entries of projects completed in 2012 were received this year and Spencer Erling, SAISC Education Director and convener of the Steel Awards judges, said that although the number of entries this year was less than those in the bumper years of 2009 and 2010, it was still a significant amount considering the industry has experienced a significant slowdown since then. “However, the quality of entries this year makes up for the lack of quantity. I am constantly amazed how the standard of entries seems to improve each year.

[pull_quote_center]Considering the history of high-level work that has been entered into Steel Awards over the years, it is most encouraging that the bar is raised on such a consistent basis,” Erling says.[/pull_quote_center]

This year was the 32nd Steel Awards, which recognises excellence in the use of structural steel in various construction projects. Steel Awards is hosted by the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC).

Medupi Wins Overall and Mining and Industrial Category Awards
The main frame and boiler grid supports project at Medupi Power Station is the Mining and Industrial category winner as well as overall winner for Steel Awards 2013.

The judges said: “The boiler support structures really exhibit excellence in the use of structural steel. It is a classic heavy engineering project of spectacular proportions. It is heavy engineering at its best. The structures look so clean and simple, especially before all the rest of the steelwork, platforms, boiler casings and piping bundles, and other equipment enclose them. And don’t be fooled – these four legged braced monsters soar 105 metres into the sky!”

The main sponsor of Steel Awards 2013, which was held simultaneously in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban on 19th September, was Aveng Steel (Aveng’s steel cluster consisting of Aveng Trident Steel, Aveng Steel Fabrication, formerly DSE, and Aveng Steeledale).  Other sponsors were:  Macsteel (Table Décor); Cadex SA (Photo Competition); The Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers of South Africa (Tubular Award); Stewarts & Lloyds (Light Steel Frame Award) and partner sponsors:  ArcelorMittal SA; B&T Steel; Eazi Sales & Service; Genrec Engineering; NJR Steel; Peddinghaus; Tubular Holdings; Vital Engineering.

The fabrication of the Medupi structure is worthy of special mention. The major boxed column and beam components are fabricated to the extremely exacting dimensional tolerance requirements – 2 millimetres on those massive chunky pieces of steel. The boxed columns have extensive diaphragm and stiffening requirements making it difficult to meet the ‘squareness’ requirements, especially taking the distortion resulting from the welds into account.

The boiler support grid at the 105 metre level is critical to the success of the boiler house structures. It consists of 110 structural elements. A structural failure at this level could result in the release of super-heated steam which could be disastrous in terms of loss of life to people in the vicinity!

“The enormously high standard of engineering at every level in the process  – structural design, connection design, detailing of the structures, fabrication and erection and the comprehensive checking to ensure that the demanding requirements are fully met – are therefore completely justifiable,” the judges said.

Louis Breckenridge, a judge representing the Constructional Engineering Association, said that
It is difficult to grasp how impressive they are until you get close to these gigantic objects. ”These structures demonstrate clearly the capability of South African fabricators to supply and erect very sophisticated, heavy structures on a par with any country in the world. The quality of the workmanship, particularly the welding and fit up, is exceptional. This project is a deserving winner of the overall prize at Steel Awards 2013,” he concluded.

Project Team Overall Winner
Developer/ Owner: Eskom
Architect: Eskom
Structural Engineer: Hitachi Power Europe
Quantity Surveyor: Genrec Engineering
Project Manager: Hitachi Power Africa
Main Contractor: Hitachi Power Africa
Steelwork Contractor: Genrec Engineering
Detailers/ Detailing Company: Genrec Engineering
Site Erection: Murray & Roberts

NTT Audi New Showroom Wins Light Steel Frame Building Category
Audi’s new showroom in East London has won the Stewart and Lloyds Light Steel Frame Building (LSFB) category. One of the judges, Peter Curr, representing the Association for Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers of South Africa, said that over the past few years the entries for the LSFB category have been predominantly for residential structures.

“This however was a top-end motor showroom, which was certainly a departure from the norm and certainly required closer inspection. It came through with flying colours demonstrating the unique attributes of LSFB.  In this case instead of straight and square lines, we were treated to dramatic curves that illustrated the versatility of the product,” he said.

As expected, the interior of an upmarket car showroom must be unique and classy to, after all, show off one of the most respected German-made car brands. The client wanted curved walls and bulk heads to get the right effect and usually this would have been done in concrete. But, as with most retail and commercial projects time is money and the LSFB method was the perfect solution given this scenario.

Due to the very tight project programme as well as the size and height of the curved walls, the LSFB method was the perfect system to use in place of standard dry-walling. Furthermore the use of pre-assembled structural beams and joists allowed for very quick on-site erection of curved walls with the added advantage of consistent sizes and accuracy.
The judges said that in every aspect of this technically challenging project, LSFB performed as we have come to expect from this versatile building method. “This is a deserving winner of the Stewarts and Lloyds light steel framing category award,” they concluded.

Project Team LSFB Winners
Developer/ Owner: Audi VW East London
Architect: Alchemy Architects
Structural Engineer: Endecon Ubuntu
Quantity Surveyor: Cater & Associates
Project Manager: Dewing Construction
Main Contractor: Dewing Construction
Steelwork Contractor LSFB: Shospec
LSFB Manufacturer: Steel Frame Developments
Detailers/ Detailing Company: Shospec

Standard Bank Wins Tubular Category
The Standard Bank Rosebank building, known as 30 Baker Street, located on the corner of Baker and Oxford Roads in Rosebank, Johannesburg has won the Tubular Category. One of the judges, Franco Mordini, representing the Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers of South Africa, the category sponsor, said this project used tubes in an aesthetically pleasing and effective manner both from an architectural and engineering point of view while the quality of fabrication also impressed.

The architectural vision was for an “institutional building” with a transparent exterior that reflected Standard Bank’s desire for transparency with its client base. To this end steel and glass played an instrumental role in ensuring that this was achieved. Although open web sections were used in the construction of the roof elements that form a modern take on a traditional ‘saw tooth roof form’, tubular steelwork in the form of principally square hollow section tubular members were used extensively in the construction of the facades and atria.

For the façade the structural engineers wanted to incorporate very large panes of glass in the end walls of the atria so that the external envelope gridding was large in proportion thereby reflecting the large space that was the atrium itself. Because of steel’s superior stiffness and strength over aluminium it was possible to use nearly a full standard stock sheet of glass in the gridding of the facades. This gridding is also successfully applied in the eastern and western atria.

The judges said that tubular frame that supports the glass facade was well designed and constructed.

The north-south atrium is brilliantly transparent when viewed from a distance as well as from within and achieves the effect the architect was seeking. The strength and stiffness of tubular steelwork was instrumental in achieving this

The building has achieved a Five Star Design rating with the Green Building Council and intends on achieving a similar rating for its ‘as built’ operation. The building generates its own power with a tri-generation plant and has many innovative features.

The judges complimented the project team and said that the building was a worthy winner of the Tubular category

Project Team Tubular Winner
Developer/ Owner: Standard Bank
Architect: GLH Architects
Structural Engineer: Pure Consulting
Quantity Surveyor: Norval Wentzel Steinberg
Project Manager: Standard Bank Real Estate
Main Contractor: Wilson Bayly Holmes – Ovcon (WBHO)
Steelwork Contractor: Tass Engineering
Steelwork Subcontractor (part of the central atrium roof trusses): Omni Struct Nkosi
Detailers/ Detailing Company: Precise Structural Modelling
Erector: On Par Steel

New Alexander Forbes Head Office Wins Architectural Category
The new Alexander Forbes head office has won the Architectural category at Steel Awards 2013. The judges said that the building confirms a new maturity in the South African built environment. “We can do whatever is done elsewhere in the world and we can do it better. This shows that we have a unique South African style and that we do not need to copy overseas designs,” they said.

It was important to Alexander Forbes that the design of the new building reflected the values of the company.  These include: transparency, which is reflected in the huge volumes of natural light and glazed layering; and trust, which is portrayed throughout the design elements of the building revealing not only the mores of the company but also enriches the lives of its employees.
Since the health and well-being of staff is one of the central design mandates, it combines plant-filled outdoor areas, natural light, and energy efficient lighting. The circulation of fresh air and temperature control were also key considerations. As such, numerous pause or break areas are incorporated into the design.

It was therefore natural that environmental sustainability was crucial to the design of the building, which has been accredited by the Green Building Council of S.A. as a four-star Green Star building. “Not only is the building an aesthetic masterpiece, it is also ground breaking in its approach to energy, water, waste and material usage,” the judges said.

Architecturally the building features a continuous design of fluid curves. Sections of the facade incorporate s-shaped scallop walls, while wavy, flowing lines and patterns are further integrated throughout the interior of the building. Everything radiates out from the centre of the building – clearly shown by the shape of the bridge links. Bathroom facilities are concentrated around the central core of the building and occupants are never more than a 20m walk from these facilities.

Steel was used extensively in every form throughout the project especially in the following aesthetic elements: the bridges and roof lights; the spiral staircase and the cladding.

“From a structural steel design perspective the Alexander Forbes building exhibits excellence in a very sensible way supporting architectural designs that demand more than the norm. This is a most worthy winner of the Architectural category,” concluded the judges.

Project Team Architectural Winner
Developer/ Owner: Zenprop Property Holdings
Architect: Paragon Architects
Structural Engineer: Sotiralis Consulting Engineers
Quantity Surveyor: Schoombie Hartmann
Project Manager: Capex Projects
Main Contractor: WBHO/Tiber JV
Steelwork Contractors: Nancy Engineering, Spiral Engineering