The solar shading screens and supporting structure specified by Empowered Spaces Architects for the new head office of Bateman in Edenvale were supplied and installed by Robertson Ventilation Industries (RVI), who is working as a subcontractor under the direction of the main contractor, Murray & Roberts Buildings, involving the provision of colt solar-shading louvred screens and the powder-coated steel support.

This project posed many interesting challenges for RVI – it was not the biggest project challenge RVI has faced to date, but certainly one of the most interesting and, perhaps because of the location, a very prominent one.

As always, time was of essence. Site access was awkward to say the least and RVI knew from the onset that installing the solar shading screens, complete with the tubular steel support structures on time, and would require concentrated effort.

RVI contracts manager Pierre van der Merwe instigated and charged the steel support design work to Keith Trowbridge of Trowbridge Higson-Smith & Associates.

Pierre anticipated this as a critical element and gave it top priority. If the installation of the steelwork became problematic, the louvre blade installation would suffer and the client would not be impressed.

The support steelwork alone, which was made from 200mm square and 200 x 100mm rectangular mild steel rectangular sections, constituted some 18 tonnes in total.

Splicing of the support frames took place on site and once the support brackets had been installed, anchored and aligned, and the steel support frames installed, the COLT CEL 250/40 CHL extruded profile louvre blade installation followed fairly quickly and smoothly.

The project architect, Claudio de Jesus of Empowered Spaces Architects, was very particular and specific regarding the louvre blade selection, the fixing angle of the blades and the finishing (powder-coated) colours.

From the photographs included in this article, it is easy to see that the eventual effect of the solar shading screens is not only stunning and aesthetically pleasing, but an essential element in the overall facade engineering.

“Working and liaising with the main contractor, Murray & Roberts Buildings (Pty) Ltd, was a most pleasurable experience, with full and continuous support from the project management team led by Fanie Stadler,” said Pierre. “Their assistance, planning and delivery of our portion of the work were a great success for all concerned.”

Robertson Ventilation Industries (RVI)
Tel: 011 608 4640
Fax: 011 608 4643