FOR THIS PARTICULAR ARTICLE, I want to the osophise a bit.But before I go there - I know that our industry is in a depression. With the economic, political and social challenges we endure, it is easy to slide into the abyss of frustration, suspicion and compromise - to lose passion, to simply work for the pay cheque. Some are even at the point of doubting their choice of career in civil engineering.
Geopile Africa is a specialist deep foundations and piling contractor who has established itself in all geotechnical engineering sectors as a reliable, professional and technically skilled partner who gets any job done safely and in the shortest possible time, particularly in the most challenging conditions, thanks to the company's skilled personnel and its modern equipment, combined with the benefits of the remarkable TRM piling system.
"One thing that's always bugged me was that, if you asked someone to tell an engineering joke, they were always jokes that were disparaging. Engineers seem to have a bad stereotype, and this is from the jokes. This reputation means that we get quite a few email forwards joking about engineers at our expense. But my favourite jokes have always been the jokes by engineers. Yet I didn't feel like there were any civil engineering jokes that reflected our profession in a positive way. That always never sat right with me. I wanted to see if we could do better."
The following two reports were recently submitted to cross and will appear shortly in the on-going quest to keep designers up to date with areas of design wherein the required standards of design and supervision have not been met. These designer-created problems are a failure of the structural design process and of the understanding of the wider safety issues - from which we all can learn.
There are a number of international approaches to the regulation of a profession, including:
Registration: Statutory regulation of a profession involves the setting of standards, the keeping of a register of qualified persons, the awarding of titles, the protection of title by law, the establishment of rules of conduct, and the disciplining of registered person who transgress such rules.
Licensing: An area of work restricted by statutory licensing cannot be undertaken by an unlicensed person.
Specialist lists: The non-statutory, voluntary listing of professionals who have met a defined standard of competence in a specialist area, typically administered by a professional or trade body.
Structural engineering is the science and art of designing and constructing, with economy and elegance, buildings, bridges, frameworks and other similar structures so that they can safely resist the actions to which they may be subjected. The design,construction and maintenance of structures, including temporary structures designed to provide support or means of access during construction, are regulated in South Africa through the following pieces of legislation:
Construction Regulations issued in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993
National Building Regulations issued in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act of 1977
The NHBRC Technical Requirements included in the Home Building Manual issued in terms of the Housing Consumer Protection Measures Act of 1998.
These pieces of legislation require competent persons to assume responsibility for the design of structures, including confirmation that design intent is met during erection, condition assessments to ensure that structures remain safe in use, and the provision of specifications for repairs and remedial work to the structure to ensure their continued safe functioning.
The Standards Act of 2008 requires the South African Bureau of Standards to develop, issue, promote, maintain, amend or withdraw South African National Standards serving the standardisation needs of the South African community. South African National Standards, as is the case for International Standards, are reviewed every five years to ensure continued market relevance. The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) developed the SANS 1200 (Standardised Specification for Civil Engineering Construction) and associated SANS 0120 (Code of Practice for use with Standardised Specifications for Civil Engineering and Contract Documents) series in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the support of the South African Federation (now Forum) of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) and the South African Association of Consulting Engineers (SAACE, now Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA)), and handed it over to the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to publish and maintain. These series of standards, however, stagnated in that they were not further developed and most of the parts were not amended to reflect changes in technologies, practices, procedures, materials and methods since their publication.
Sasol Mining's greenfield Impumelelo project near Secunda is one of three coal replacement projects. The complete Impumelelo project is estimated to cost R4.6 billion and is being undertaken by Sasol Mining and RSV ENCO/Goba JV. The original design was for 8.5 million tons per year, with the materials handling portion designed for future expansion to 10.5 million tons per annum. The Impumelelo project, located about 50 km from Secunda, will replace the Brandspruit mine in supplying Sasol Synfuels with coal. The Brandspruit operation will ramp down as the Impumelelo mine comes into production. The Impumelelo mine, a conventional board-and-pillar mechanised mine, will be about 220 metres deep and will be one of Sasol Mining's deepest mines, with a life expectancy of about 35 years. The materials handling portion for the Impumelelo coal delivery system is significant. A 1 500 t underground coal bunker feeds coal onto a single conveyor to the surface. This conveyor feeds into a 15 000 t surface bunker which feeds coal onto a 28 km overland conveyor and then on to the SCS coal bunker of 4 000 t before entering Sasol's Secunda operations.
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) experiences destruction or loss of its permanent train-carrying bridge decks during severe weather conditions, and derailment of trains. Consequently, train lines are out of service until such time that permanent decks are repaired or temporary decks placed, resulting in a loss of revenue. TFR's previous temporary emergency bridge decks were not of a modular-type design, resulting in time-consuming and costly preparations to accommodate the fixed-length temporary emergency bridge decks. TFR needed to procure temporary bridge decks which are designed to be assembled, taken apart and reused during fabrication/construction of the permanent structure. Temporary bridge decks can be erected relatively quickly, thus allowing less out-of-service time. When permanent decks are eventually replaced, the temporary ones can be used elsewhere. The project entailed the full scope of design, shop-detailing, fabrication, painting, quality control and delivery of temporary bridge deck components to TFR's yard in Sentrarand, Gauteng.
Kirstenbosch Canopy Walkway: Side rails were added to form the complete deeper truss for an efficient, flowing structure
House De Clercq: House De Clercq and Cottage in Mount Verde, KZN
Mediclinic Midstream: The Mediclinic's structure exposed
Kuruman Casino Façade: ETICS provided the flexibility to create the 'chop stix' façade
Hennie De Clercq House: The De Clercq House consists of I-section beams and columns which enable the open plan and the cantilever stoep
Medupi Power Station Air-cooled Condenser: Pre-assembly under way
Value Logistics Distribution Centre: The substantial clear height inside the building allows for storage and for handling operational vehicles
Multichoice City: The mechanised glass louvres, ETFE cushion roof and dramatic cantilever 'peak cap' roof ensure a modern and elegant office building
Peak cap cladding at Multichoice City: Cladding for the new Multichoice City is to a 12-metre cantilever which follows its structural shape requirements
The Watershed: Structural steel was the ideal material tovisually connect the spaces on the various levels