Manhours milestone reached on site

04 November 2002

Architect's impression of the new Chemical Engineering building.

THE new Chemical Engineering building project, situated below Ring Road on Upper Campus, is on schedule, within budget and already 10% of the way towards completion.

Excavation for the basement of the building has been completed and the construction of the surface slab, retaining walls and columns for the basement is well under way.

According to the project manager, Jan Bester, a tower crane and batch plant have been installed on site, both of which will reduce the construction time.

The new building will consist of six levels: a basement, four floors and a mezzanine, or loft, at the top. The bulk of the new building covers approximately 8 300 sq m, of which laboratories will account for approximately 3 200 sq m, and offices or teaching space for another 2 000 sq m.

A further milestone was reached last week when the number of man hours worked on the project, including the upgrade of the Snape laboratories in the Civil Engineering Department, reached 100 000, without any injuries to people involved in the project, Bester said.

Work is underway on the detail of the interior, as well as the design of the laboratories. “The objective is to portray the lifestyle and image of the department and to create an inviting environment for students and staff on Campus,” Bester added.

“We also aim to provide a building that will serve as a living laboratory of engineering. Thus our focus has been specifically on the laboratories, to create flexible, state-of-the-art facilities for research and teaching.”

The building has also been designed with sustainability in mind. Features will include the use of grey water for the air conditioning plant, mountain water in the toilets, solar heating, and the provision of movement sensors for savings on lighting.”

The facility is due to be completed in September, 2003. Relocation is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2003 and full occupation for the start of the 2004 academic year.

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