One of the world leaders in the production of adhesives and chemical products for building, can look back on its 75-year history with pride.

From the massive Panama Canal project to the breathtaking Three Gorges Dam on China’s Yangstze River; from London’s ingenious Olympic Stadium to Cape Town’s tallest skyscraper, Mapei’s technical expertise and innovative products are playing a key role.

Bringing the technology to South Africa

The Group’s 55 000 customers are served by 58 production facilities operating in 27 countries on five continents, and 18 main research centres. In the last five years, the Mapei building chemicals technology that has proven itself successfully in the full glare of international competition has been introduced to the local construction industry by subsidiary Mapei South Africa.

“It has been an exciting growth phase for us,” says the local company’s Antony Offenberg, Manager Admixtures and Grinding Aids. “We are now viewed as a valuable contributor to the South African construction industry and are increasingly involved in major construction projects.”

Reaching for the sky

Mapei technology is currently being used for two prestigious office developments of Murray & Roberts: one in Cape Town and the other in Sandton, Gauteng. The 32-storey Portside building in Cape Town is destined to be the Mother City’s tallest building and South Africa’s first Green Star-rated skyscraper.

Mapei is providing close technical service support and is ensuring that the unequalled technical resources of the international Group are available to develop the most effective solutions to construction challenges. The extensive involvement with the Portside project has included the supply of products such as the modified acrylic-based super-plasticiser Dynamon Easy 31 for high water reduction and extra-long workability, as well as speciality high-strength repair mortars.

At 102 Rivonia, an architecturally advanced commercial development in Sandton, Mapei has a technical sales team on hand to provide support to the contractor with product installation advice, dosing systems and on-site testing.

The fast-track project is using a high cement replacement concrete mix incorporating fly ash, a recycled by-product from coal-fired power stations. The formulation provides a high ultimate strength of up to 80MPa for the building’s structure, while making a significant contribution to the ‘green’ status of the project.

This is further supported by the use of a vegetable-based mould release agent, Mapeform ECO 31, and Mapecure WF75, a biodegradable curing compound that fully degrades over 28 days.

“The Mapei range of products has allowed us to increase the green parameters of our projects with a welcome high level of technical service backup not experienced in South Africa until now,” says Murray & Roberts Group Concrete & Research Manager Cyril Attwell, commenting on Mapei’s involvement in the two projects.

“Their technical assistance has accelerated our own green technologies of increasing the amount of waste material utilised at Portside and 102 Rivonia to reduce the carbon dioxide footprint of these structures.”