The winners of the CMA Awards for Excellence, announced on 23 April 2016, were honoured for the advances in precast concrete technology that were prevalent.

The advances in precast concrete technology are what set the winners in this year’s CMA Awards for Excellence competition apart. The judges’ top project choices were announced at a gala function on 23 April 2016.

Compared to the last competition in 2012, entries grew from 77 then to 117 this time round. CMA executive director, Frans Minnaar, comments that although this year’s entry crop was generally of a very high standard, the judges felt that none of the entries in the aesthetic residential category merited a trophy award and only chose one commendation.

“The CMA has always advocated the maintenance of high standards in the manufacture and application of precast concrete products, and this year’s Awards for Excellence competition once again reflects this. Although we would have been happier had all six trophies been awarded, the absence of a trophy winner in the aesthetics residential category does have a positive spinoff in the sense that it emphasises that CMA awards are only made when they are merited. As always, the judges were briefed to apply strict appraisal criteria and not to allocate awards where they felt they were not fully justified,” he explains.

“However, I am pleased to note that many other projects, especially those in the aesthetics commercial, technical excellence and innovation categories, were certainly good enough to have taken an award, but did not do so due to the stiff competition,” he adds.

The trophy winners are:

Aesthetics commercial: Concrete Units
Project: No. 1 Silo, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Over 1 000m² of precast concrete panelling manufactured by Concrete Units was specified to dress masonry cavity walls on the building’s two service cores and distinguish them from the glazed facades. Both textured and flat panels give different functions distinct identities. Besides its striking visual appeal, which showcases the beauty of precast concrete construction, the project also involved high levels of skilled precast concrete engineering.

Community upliftment: Shukuma Bricks
Project: Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth
Shukuma Bricks provided 80mm interlock concrete pavers for the upgrade of gravel roads. During the project, 25 people from the community were hired and given the opportunity to learn valuable new skills.

Technical excellence: Concrete Units
Project: Gouda Wind Farm, Western Cape
Concrete Units manufactured 782 precast concrete wind tower segments for the construction of 46 100m towers – the first time that concrete was chosen over steel for a South African wind farm. With each tower supporting a 170 ton turbine, the project involved substantial levels of technical engineering input.

Innovation: Bosun
Project: Castle Bottom Kerb
Bosun’s patented solution involves cavities that make for easier handling and quicker installation than conventional kerbs. It also provides better adhesion in all directions and eliminates air pockets in the screed. The judges praised the introduction of this effective and cost-effective alternative to satisfy extreme technical demands.

Precast for life: SmartStone
Project: The Waterfront, Knysna Quays
Supplied 17 years ago by SmartStone, the charcoal fan cobble paving blocks that line the marina still look pristine. The judges commented that the installation has withstood the harsh climatic conditions and heavy pedestrian traffic.

Commendations
Receiving commendations in the aesthetics commercial category were SmartStone Midrand for supplying pavers and coping for the Thaba Moshate Hotel Casino and Convention resort in Limpopo, and Bosun for providing dry-cast paving blocks for the courtyard of BMW’s head office refurbishment project in Midrand.

In the aesthetics residential category, Bosun’s grass blocks, a combination of vegetation and paving, received a commendation for softening and complementing the strong forms of the architecture of a Pretoria home.

C.E.L. Paving Products and Hydraform each won a community upliftment commendation. C.E.L. produced 6 400m² of paving for surfacing gravel roads in Kassiesbaai/Arniston in the Western Cape, and Hydraform supplied concrete block making machines for the Radway Green Housing project in the same province.

The two technical excellence commendation winners were Concrete Units and Aveng Infraset – Concrete Units for manufacturing precast concrete rock print panels for the Mouille Point Sea Wall Project in Cape Town and Aveng Infraset for providing non-standard portal culverts for the Tweefontein Optimisation Project in Mpumalanga.

Concrete Units received yet another commendation, this time in the innovation category, for the Gouda Wind Farm towers. The other commendation was awarded to Rocla for casting 128 precast concrete cabins to house photovoltaic equipment in the Free State and Northern Cape.

Concrete Manufacturers Association
Tel: 011 805 6742
Website: www.cma.org.za