Steel Awards 2009 – all the winners
Dr Hennie de Clercq, executive director of the Southern African Institute
of Steel Construction (SAISC), which recently hosted Steel Awards 2009,
said the entries – a record number this year – reflected the outstanding
quality of the local steel construction industry in all its diversity. “We
congratulate the winners but emphasise the exceptional quality of all the
entries, which augur so well for the future of our industry,” he said.
Steel Awards, held on the 3rd September 2009 at the Vodadome in
Midrand and simultaneously at the Sun Coast Casino in Durban, was
hosted by the SAISC with DSE Structural Engineers and Contractors
(DSE) the main sponsor.
Moses Mabhida Stadium – Overall Winner
In announcing it the overall winner the judges said that the Moses
Mabhida Stadium (Durban’s 2010 soccer stadium), named after
Durban’s iconic working class hero, was a statement of international
prestige. “Built to the highest international standards this steel structure
is every bit a world winner,” they said.
As with all iconic stadiums, the central engineering and aesthetic
element of the Moses Mabhida stadium is its roof structure, which
consists of five structural elements – a major steel arch, supporting
cables, a membrane roof, and a steel compression ring resting on steel
The 350 metre long and 106 metre high (at the pitch) free-span arch,
consisting of 56, 5 x 5 m steel hollow boxes and weighing 3500 tons,
was fabricated in Germany and shipped to Durban in sections. The
magnitude of this arch is such that a cable car will carry visitors up the
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middle of it, to a viewing platform on its north side, while the south side
will have a 550-step adventure walk.
The compression ring, the structure to which the roof elements are
linked, is supported on a series of vertical and inclined structural steel
façade columns comprising 102 boxes fabricated from steel plate.
Repeated testing was a strong feature of this project and to achieve the
required accuracy for the complex geometry, four compression ring
elements were bolted together in a trial assembly simulating the
unstressed geometry. “The fastidious attention to detail and the
meticulous testing thereof were a major part of this project’s success,”
said the judges.
This project was one of the most complex sets of steelwork DSE has
ever produced in its workshop. “They overcame all of the significant
challenges they faced,” said the judges, “and, in so doing, produced
innovative and creative thinking and a roof structure that works like a
“The Moses Mabhida stadium is a formidable and awe-inspiring work of
genius of which South Africa and the world will be proud for generations
to come,” they concluded.
Moses Mabhida Project Details
Developer/ Owner: eThekwini Municipality
Architect: GMP International Architects
Structural Engineer: Schlaich Bergermann und Partner
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon
Project Manager: BKS (Pty) Ltd
Main Contractor: WBHO/ Group Five/ Pandev JV
Roof Structure Main Contractor: Pfeifer ‐ Seil und Hebetechnik
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Steelwork Contractor: DSE Structural Engineers and Contractors
Gottlieb Distribution Centre – Architectural Structures Award
The offices and distribution centre for the Gottlieb Group won the
Architectural Structures Category. The judges were unanimous that this
building was an outstanding illustration of the aesthetic use of structural
steel in the development of industrial buildings. “This pioneers a new
generation of industrial buildings,” they said.
“The first impression when arriving at the premises of ‘Gottlieb House’ is
one of a structural steel warehouse, situated high on the natural hills of
Kwa-Zulu Natal designed by an architect who loves the aesthetic feel of
exposed steelwork and is great at making it work,” the judges said.
The ‘room with a view’ reception is an excellent example of exposed
steelwork complimented by coloured and clear glass in diagonal panes.
This area also has a striking steel staircase, illustrating the architect’s
appreciation for using the right material in the right place.
The judges stressed that, apart from its aesthetic and functional
brilliance, it was the pioneering use of steel in an industrial environment
that won this project the prize.
“Should other industrial enterprises follow the example of the Gottlieb
offices and distribution centre, the entire aesthetic face of South Africa
could undergo a radical change,” they concluded.
Gootleib House Project Details
Developer/ Owner: Winsport Trading Enterprises (Pty) Ltd
Architect: Elphick Proome Architects
Structural Engineer: Young + Satharia
Quantity Surveyor: Aybob Ismail and Mohamedy
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Project Manager: Arbuthnot Projects
Main Contractor: Stefanutti Stocks
Steelwork Contractor: Impact Engineering
Land Surveyor: LD Baker and Associates, Cellular beams: Macsteel
Breedezicht Estate – Light Steel Frame Building Award
In a year when the number of entries in this category grew significantly, it
was not a single house that stood out from the rest but rather three
houses in the same estate –the Breedezicht Estate in Witsand, Western
“The award-winning houses showed professionalism comparable to
anywhere in the world. Their finishes are incredible with straight and
level lines and vertical and square corners. Add to this the simplicity of
running services in a cavity wall ready to receive them and in double-
quick time and this project demonstrates, in a world class fashion, one of
the most exciting building technologies for the future,” the judges said.
The judges were suitably impressed by the efficiency of LSF home
building. “Breedezicht amply demonstrated how the LSFB system
produces a home of exceptional strength and solidity whilst affording
easy, fast and accurate installation. “
The double-storey luxury house on Stand 1090, erected on a standard
engineer-designed slab, took only four months to complete from start to
finish while the Vermont style, single-storey on Stand 1081, took only
three and a half months to complete.
LSFB was also very suitable for this area said the judges. “A minimal
amount of waste was generated by this project while the amount of dust,
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grinding, residue, off-cuts, water usage and pollutants were reduced to a
The judges said that the overall project was outstanding. “The standard
of finish was excellent, the homes have the most stunning views and all
this was achieved cost-effectively, the cherry on the top in a truly brilliant
construction project,” concluded the judges.
Breedezicht Estate Project Details
Developer/ Owner: Central Developments Property Group
Architect: HUB Architects
Structural Engineer: DMT Projects
Main Contractor: Whippet Construction West cc.
Steelwork Contractor: Light Frame Homes
Highveldt House – Residential Award
Highveldt House won the Residential Category. The judges said that this
project’s outstanding achievement was the incorporation of steel as
primary construction element in a residential setting fully integrated into a
protected, natural and unspoilt environment.
Highveldt House is set in a typical South African Highveld environment,
within the ‘Cradle of Humankind’.
The house is designed as a series of pavilions arranged between the
horizontal planes of the floor and the roof. These planes are located
within a section of a stinkwood forest, on the edge of an intrusion of veld
and are elevated above natural ground by an ‘apparently randomly
measured forest’ of skew columns - 2 legs per column - to give the feel
of tree trunks.
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The judges were particularly impressed with how steel was used in this
project saying that despite the many advantages of steel as a
construction material, it has not been extensively used in the South
African residential sector as a prominent construction element.
They added that Highveldt House demonstrates clearly how warmth can
be created with steel. “The juxtaposition of steel columns and rafters,
clad in timber, framed in glass and successfully integrated into its
environment has created a warm and homely atmosphere.”
“This project could pave the way for showing the ‘steel objectors’ that
steel can easily be part of a successful solution, in a variety of settings,
including sensitive public spaces, in the construction of warm, beautiful
homes,” concluded the judges.
Highveldt House Project Details
Architect: Van der Merwe Miszewski Architects (Pty) Ltd
Structural Engineer: WSP Structures Africa (Pty) Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: Turner & Townsend (Pty) Ltd
Project Manager: Turner & Townsend (Pty) Ltd
Main Contractor: IQNC Imagine Construction (Pty) Ltd
Steelwork Contractor: Cosira International SA (Pty) Ltd
Rio Tinto QMM Ilmenite Project - Export Award
Fort Dauphin, on the south-east coast of Madagacar is a challenging
location. “The discipline of this project team and its unique ability to
succesfully complete a project of this nature in a very remote area
contributed to this project being a clear winner,’ said the judges when
announcing the Rio Tinto QMM Ilmenite project the Export Category
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Apart from the direct, and significant, challenges to logistics and
construction, great care had to be taken of this area’s sensitive ecology.
As such, the protection of the island’s unique fauna and flora were as
much a priority for the project as the usual elements like health and
Despite these challenges the project logged a world class safety
performance with a frequency rate of 0.07 and 12 million hours worked
without a lost time injury. The judges noted that this is testament to the
degree of co-operation and co-ordination that existed on this project,
which was vital to its ultimate success.
The wet plant was built on special pontoons which were sourced from
China. The pontoons were shipped to Tamatave and then transferred to
barges – sixteen 7.8m wide x 3.7m high x 21m long pontoon modules
were barged 700km south in four trips.
The plant towers above its surroundings to a height of 33m at its highest
point and is anchored against severe wind conditions by four large
winches at its corners which also render it manoeuvrable in the
The statistics for this almost surreal project speak for themselves with
the plant boasting the following material tonnages: pontoon mass 1888
tons, structural steelwork 1582 tons, equipment 1347 tons, material and
water 2800 tons giving the plant a total mass of 7617 tons under normal
The judges said that exports require extraordinary discipline, planning
and sometimes almost indescribable execution skills. “This project
demonstrated all these skills abundantly,” they said.
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Rio Tinto Project Details
Developer/ Owner: QMM (A Subsidiary of Rio Tinto)
Structural Engineer: Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: PCC (Pty) Ltd
Main Contractor: Kentz Engineers and Constructors
Steelwork Contractor: Louwill Engineering/ A.Leita JV
Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace - Technical Excellence Award
When awarding the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace upgrade project the
Technical Excellence Award the judges said that the all-South African
team had produced ‘some amazing results’.
In the upgrade, the western stands were increased in capacity
necessitating the removal of the existing tubular steelwork to make way
for the new stand extensions and roof covering. The capacity of the
ground was increased from 39 000 to 45 000 seats.
Amongst the many complexities of the project were the nodes above the
under-slung steel sheeting. Each node is a ‘multi-faceted’ meeting point
for the columns, the roof rafters and the horizontal bracing and tie
The judges commented that the nature of football stadiums almost
invariably dictates elliptically shaped roof structures and that the Royal
Bafokeng stadium is no different. “This means the angles of the bracings
connecting into the nodes vary in every bay. The end result is that all 32
nodes are unique and different from every other node.”
They also noted that every purlin is its own small masterpiece with each
length and each end-bevel unique.
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The judges said that the careful planning for this complex project was
palpable. “The effort put into the detail made a significant impression,”
“From the design, through to the fabrication and erection, this project is
testimony to the world class expertise of our local professionals,” they
Royal Bafokeng Project Details
Developer/ Owner: Royal Bafokeng Administration
Architect: BSP Architects
Structural Engineer: M2 Consulting Engineering (incorporated into VelaVKE Consulting
Quantity Surveyor: CP De Leeuw
Project Manager: CP De Leeuw
Main Contractor: Liviero/ Wramatshe JV
Steelwork Contractor: Midmar Engineering (Pty) Ltd
Galleria – Tubular Award
Inspired by the design of the iconic Second World War Vickers
Wellington Bomber, the roof of Galleria in Melrose Arch has won the
Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers Tubular Category
The ‘Melrose Arch Offices and Shopping on the Piazza’ scheme was
conceived as a return to the ‘High Street’ shopping experience. It was
with this design ethos in mind that the challenge of realising the Galleria
as an open, but covered street was tackled.
An initial scheme for a glazed roof was deemed too ‘mall-like’ and so,
sparked by Barnes Wallace’s geodetic lattice structure, which he used
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for the Vickers Wellington Bomber, the design team set about realizing
this unique, glazed tubular steel canopy.
The desire for a continuous, seamless solution required innovation
geometrically, technically and in the procurement process. “The result
was a highly innovative construction methodology and a custom-
designed aluminium glazing system,” said the judges.
The judges said that despite challenges such as unforgiving glass
panels, the curved shape of the roof, rain water accommodation etc, the
team came up with an innovative roof that is both functional and highly
“This project was an outstanding demonstration of how tubular steelwork
can perform when creatively and innovatively put to the challenge,” they
Galleria Project Details
Developer/ Owner: AMDEC Property Development
Architect: Boogertman + Partners Architects (Pty) Ltd/DHK Architects JV
Structural Engineer: Pure Consulting (Pty) Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: Norval Wentzel Steinberg (Pty) Ltd
Main Contractor: Murray & Roberts Construction (Pty) Ltd
Steelwork Contractor: OmniStruct Nkosi (Pty) Ltd
Facade Engineer: Pure Consulting (Pty) Ltd
Facade Contractor: Geustyn and Horak
Soccer City - Sports Stadia Award
In awarding Soccer City the Sports Stadia Award the judges Soccer City
does all the right things. “It represents a true African aesthetic; combines
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outstanding steel, concrete and tensile materials that complement each
Soccer City, situated just outside of Soweto, is the flagship venue for the
Soccer World Cup 2010 and will soon be known by billions worldwide.
The project involved the total refurbishment of the old FNB Stadium into
a 90,000-seater. The scope of works included 120,000m³ earthworks,
65,000m³ concrete, 7,500 tons reinforcing steel and 7,500 tons structural
steel. “This, in combination with the erection of 28,000m² fibre-reinforced
façade panels and 54,000 m² of PTFE roof and ceiling membranes onto
a complex three dimensional double curvature steel structure, has
resulted in this stadium being transformed into one of the most striking,
impressive and well-equipped stadiums in the world,” said the judges.
Like with most modern sports stadiums, the roof of Soccer City is its
most important and interesting element. Constructed mainly in steel this
roof not only expresses the symbol of World Cup 2010, it also
showcases the flexibility of steel through its curved shapes and radial
arches, which form the central design element – the calabash.
“The calabash was a most appropriate choice for the shape of the
showpiece of the 2010 World Cup. The integument is defined by earthy,
African colours, and an almost animal hide-like tightness, while inside,
the stadium springs powerfully to life.”
“From a steel perspective the deep overhanging roof and capacious
circulation spaces are testament to the ability of steel to span large
distances; and if sports stadia are the cathedrals of this age, then steel
has contributed much to that sensation,” said the judges.
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“The sheer enormity of this project and its success as a symbol of Africa
will boost the image of South African skill and expertise for generations
to come,” concluded the judges.
Soccer City Project Details
Developer/ Owner: City of Johannesburg
Architect: Boogertman Urban Edge & Partners in association with HOK Sport
Structural Engineer: PD Naidoo & Associates
Consulting Engineers: Schlaich Bergermann und Partner
Quantity Surveyor: Llale / de Leeuw JV
Project Manager: Phumaf Consulting Engineers
Main Contractor: Grinaker‐LTA / Interbeton JV
Steelwork Contractor: Cimolai S.P.A, DSE Structural Engineers and Contractors
Impala Platinum - Mining and Industrial Award
The Main Shaft Headgear of Impala Platinum #17 Shaft won the Mining
and Industrial Category.
“This was truly an outstanding steel project,” the judges said. “It
embodied several qualities that made it stand both literally and
figuratively head and shoulders above other entries.”
These qualities included it being the tallest steel headgear in the world;
its expert design with the most modern winding gear technology; its well
planned methods of erection that were built into the design; its top-flight
corrosion protection involving galvanizing, hot metal spray and duplex
paint coating guaranteeing a long maintenance-free life and its superb
quality of workmanship.
The judges explained that the headgear was designed as a dual purpose
headgear to be used for sinking and equipping condition and the
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permanent hoisting condition. “In its permanent condition it will be used
to hoist two 31 ton skips, one double deck man/ material cage with its
counterweight, and a double deck service cage with its counterweight.”
In terms of the use of steel on the headgear, the judges noted that some
of the unique features of the headgear were the extensive use of tubular
sections for bracing members, cruciform plate girders for columns and
the size of some of the beams.
The judges said that it was an unadulterated pleasure visiting this site.
“From the offices to the safety briefing, from the loaned gumboots to the
highly technical details for the project itself, one knew one was dealing
with a highly professionally planned and executed project,” they
Impala Platinum Project Details
Developer/ Owner: Impala Platinum Limited
Structural Engineer: TWP Consulting (Pty) Ltd
Quantity Surveyor: Turner & Townsend
Project Manager: TWP Consulting (Pty) Ltd
Main Contractor: TWP Consulting (Pty) Ltd
Steelwork Contractors: Grinaker‐LTA Mechanical & Electrical (Metal & Minerals) , DSE
Structural Engineers & Contractors
DSE Structural Engineers and Contractors (DSE) was the main sponsor
for Steel Awards 2009 along with an array of leading steel and related
companies. The full list of sponsors was: DSE Structural Engineers and
Contractors (main sponsor), Cadex SA (New Generation Sponsor)
Association of Tube and Pipe Manufacturers of South Africa (Tubular
Structures Sponsor) and NJR Steel, Group Five Projects, Trident Steel,
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Cosira International, MiTek Industries, Robor, and Vital Engineering