n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - Rubble masonry concrete dam design and construction - part i : new-generation RMC dams in SA, as illustrated through the Bakubung, Welgevonden and Genadendal dams : technical paper




For a little over a decade, arch dams of various configurations have been constructed in Zimbabwe using a variation of traditional masonry technology, termed rubble masonry concrete (RMC). Bringing this technology to South Africa in the 1990's, we find a dam building material and method that is extremely cost-effective, produces a durable, low-maintenance dam wall and is particularly labour-intensive. The author has been involved in a number of RMC dam projects to date, three of which - the Bakubung, Welgevonden and Genadendal Dams - have been taken to, or beyond, the detailed design stage. In this paper the experience gained and particularly interesting phenomena observed in the design and construction of RMC dams are presented.


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