What is the brand identity of civil engineering professionals and the civil engineering profession - what are its discernible elements - its colours and insignias that together distinguish us from other professionals and members of civil society? What about sentiment and brand value - what does the world see and feel when they come into contact with us? Despite individual engineers starting to embrace emotional and spiritual quotients, the word feel is still a nuisance term amongst our stereotype. Numbers, equations and common sense, however, do little for texture, sensation and romance.
In the aftermath of the very successful Civilution Congress 2014, held in April this year, the Civilution Forum was established to retain the Civilution momentum. Since its inception, the Civilution philosophy has embodied engineers' hope of regaining the level of respect and recognition they once enjoyed, so that, in partnership with government, they can help lead our country out of failing infrastructure into long-term sustainable development and prosperity for all.
Bigen Africa, a leading infrastructure development company with a strong presence in southern Africa and a growing African footprint, has utilised innovative conservation principles to create the country's first 'green' taxi rank at Wallacedene in Cape Town. As provider of the civil engineering, project management, electrical and structural services on this R25 million project, Bigen Africa has seen to it that the Wallacedene taxi rank is largely self-sufficient in terms of energy and water use. This facility not only offers 5 000 commuters and 50 taxi drivers the amenities they need to refresh and regroup between trips every day, but also delivers cost efficiencies based on 'green' principles.
ILISO Consulting, known for its award-winning infrastructure solutions for developing communities, has partnered with Forefront Engineering Solutions to develop the first Roediger vacuum sewer technology project in South Africa. This pilot project was carried out in Van Stadensrus for the Naledi Local Municipality in the Free State.
The changing landscape in South Africa, together with the drive towards creating a sustainable environment, is progressing, but not without its own set of challenges. The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) (2011) of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), clearly sets out deliverable objectives for municipalities, such as the provision of a basic waste service. However, in order to achieve this and promote a manageable waste solution, the type of waste disposal infrastructure selected is important in bringing poor waste management to an end.
According to Plastics SA figures, 280 000 tons of plastics (20% of all plastics manufactured in South Africa) were diverted from landfill, and recycled during 2013. This equates to a 2.7% increase from the previous year's figures. Of this, 220 400 tons were plastic packaging (30.1% of all plastic packaging) resulting in a year-on-year increase of 8.9%.
Various hydraulic actions, such as pump power failure, can cause damage to pipelines by generating excessively high or low pressures. Th is can result in damage to property, costly repairs, service interruptions and injuries. A surge assessment is often the most effective approach to quantify potential surge pressures in a pipeline, as well as to identify the measures required to protect such a pipeline.
Dorper Wind Farm is located 11 km southeast of Molteno in the Eastern Cape Province. The site covers an area of 1 400 ha within which 40 wind turbines (each with a nacelle height of 85 m and a dead mass of 4 000 metric tons) are located. During preparatory work for construction of the first phase of this development, geotechnical investigations were undertaken inter alia to assess the founding conditions for turbine footings. During the investigation it was thus necessary to determine foundation conditions to aid footing design and placement - thereby ensuring safe bearing capacity and turbine stability. Initial assessments indicated that bedrock on site either outcrops or occurs within 2 m of natural ground level over at least 90% of the site.
The Pietermaritzburg Urban Renewal Project (PURP), aimed at the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal capital, was initiated by the Msunduzi Municipality to coincide with the city's 175th anniversary in 2013. Achieving stunning aesthetics, the PURP project has dramatically enhanced the streetscape around the majestic City Hall and surrounding historical buildings, increasing property value and rendering the CBD a more pleasant place to visit. The associated engineering challenges centred mainly on construction in an existing CBD laden with a myriad of services, under high pedestrian and traffic volumes.
The Constitution of South Africa mandates airports as a function of all three levels of government. However, it is necessary to draw a distinction between airports and aerodromes. Airports are taken here as referring to manned and controlled runways for aircraft, whilst aerodromes are unmanned, though licensed, landing strips of which many hundreds exist (in excess of 600) in the country.
This is the third in a series of articles on Dispute Boards (DBs) and is Part 2 on the operation of DBs. It describes the operation of DBs, dealing with site visits, site visit meetings and reports, documents to the DB and activities between site visits. Informal advice and opinions, formal referral of disputes to the DB, hearings, DB decisions and the avoidance role of DBs will be dealt with in future articles. The first two articles (introductory and Part 1 on the operation of DBs) appeared in the August, and September 2014 issues of Civil Engineering.
A borehole is an expensive investment - you want to avoid it becoming a time-consuming liability with continual repair or replacement of pumps, due to poor borehole construction, wrong pump installation or incorrect pumping. Earth science and groundwater consultancy Umvoto Africa, specialising in environmental resource development, management and sustainability, has over 20 years' experience in both individual and major corporate and municipal contracts. They offer some sound advice to avoid problems down the line.
IMQS is a market-leading, international software company that provides strategic and operational decision support solutions to the municipal infrastructure market. By leveraging the latest browser, cloud and desktop technologies, as well as its own proprietary GIS software, IMQS has created a modern device-independent solution with a clean, well-designed interface that is intuitive to use, through which users can access information in real time and from any location to carry out their work and deliver an optimised service to the communities they serve.
On 21 May 2014 a group of third-year civil engineering students from the University of Cape Town visited the Berg River Dam, which lies to the west of Franschhoek, as part of their hydraulic engineering course. The trip was kindly sponsored by Hatch Goba Consulting Engineers (one of the consultants on this project), and was organised by the UCT SAICE Chapter and Prof Kobus Van Zyl.
Kiruna, a small town in northern Sweden with about 20 000 inhabitants, is about to undergo one of the biggest urban transformations of our time. The entire city will be relocated three kilometres to the east over the next few decades. Yes, the entire city - three kilometres!
Having successfully helped over 400 students in the Western Cape transition from high school to guaranteed employment in the built environment and related sectors, Go for Gold will open its first Gauteng campus in January 2015.
The finals of the very successful annual AECOM-SAICE International Bridge Building Competition, organised by SAICE, were held at the St Albans College in Pretoria at the end of August. RiChem again provided the glue for the competition and Sika contributed towards the equipment. AECOM, for the seventh consecutive year, generously provided the major sponsorship for the event.