Construction World December 2017

Special Mention


SHELL HOUSE RESIDENTIAL APARTMENTS REFURBISHMENT Shellhouse, an iconic Johannesburg skyscraper, recently underwent refurbishment to accommodate the ever growing population. Sadly, due to deterioration within the city eastern borders, Shell House became a playground for vagrants, depleting the building of its once grand internal fittings and fixtures and in so doing destroyed the building’s once proud stature.

• Company entering: Belo & Kies Construction • Client: HCI Propco • Contract value: R160 626 313 • Start date: March 2016 • End date: July 2017 • Main contractor: Belo & Kies Construction • Architect: Paragon Architects

• Quantity surveyor: SVRSA • Consulting engineer: WSP

The next challenge was moving the building material from ground floor to first floor slab where the hoists were. To solve this, a telehandler was used. Substantial demolition work took place based on risk assessments which identified the necessary control measures to ensure that all work was done in a controlled, supervised and safe manner. Towards the end of the project the project manager requested the contractor to start using Everite’s new autoclaved aerated concrete blocks – they are much lighter and cause less wastage as the mortar is used much more efficiently. Core staff was used while the balance was employed from the area around the project. The Shell House refurbishment had many challenges regarding access and public safety.

After the new owners purchased the structure, the building was earmarked for refurbishment, with Belo & Kies Construction taking up the challenge. This project required planning to allow demolition and the removal of rubble for 23 storeys. The project consisted of renovating 23 floors and four basements. The contractor had to strip out the old layouts which consisted of brickwork, ceilings, floor finishes, lifts and all plant. It then had to construct new layouts for 24 apartments on each floor with brickwork and plaster, install new ceilings and new lifts. The building, in the Johannesburg CBD, is bordered by two busy roads namely Plein and Klein Streets. To the one side there are closed off hawker stands, while De Villiers Street at the back, had hawkers who

occupied the entire length of the site. The first challenge was to create a small builders yard in De Villiers Street to collect builders rubble, receive deliveries to take materials up the building. After long negotiations with the hawkers and creating additional space for them to trade, they agreed to move away far enough for the contractor to create a yard area. It then had a telehandler to lift all materials to the 1 st floor podium. Materials handling was the heartbeat of the project. The telehandler and two builder hoists were the most important equipment on the project. A tower crane could not be installed as the base of the crane would stand on the basement slab. With high rise buildings all around the site, a tower crane was impractical.

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