The Concrete Society of Southern Africa’s Fulton Awards 2017, sponsored by PPC, recognises excellence and innovation in the design and use of concrete.
In presenting this year’s awards, Concrete Society president, Hanlie Turner, noted that the Fulton entries this year once again showcased a fine regard for form, function and finish as expressed in concrete. “Inspired architectural and engineering design is supported by innovative construction practices, advances in material properties and an emphasis on meticulous finishing,” she stated.

The 2017 Awards comprised five categories which were judged by Bryan Perrie, managing director of The Concrete Institute and non-executive director of the Concrete Society, Stephen Humphries, executive director at Nyeleti Consulting and professional architect, Daniel van der Merwe from PPC.

The winners of the five categories are:

Category: Buildings up to three storeys
Winner: Glen Crescent House
Not only is concrete the principal structural element in this project, but it is the primary finish for walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, columns and elements such as staircases, fireplaces and water features.

The wide range of architectural concrete finishes and formwork-induced textures demonstrates the versatility of concrete as construction material and finish. Textures imprinted with lime residue from formwork contrast with highly polished and pigmented concrete surfaces and precast staircase elements to create a sophisticated concrete palette.

Category: Buildings more than three storeys
Winner: Sol Plaatje University Library
This bold landmark project pushes the boundaries of architectural and engineering design, requiring concrete to perform not only as a structural element but also as an aesthetic material.

The spectacular three-dimensional envelope allows a 2,7m wide perimeter void between the external envelope and the floor plates, resulting in an integrated wall-and-roof shell that is functionally, structurally and technically independent of the building within it.

The contractor managed the unusually demanding staging and shuttering of the free-standing external envelope walling at the highest possible standards and delivered a highly refined, consistently silky off-steel surface finish.

Category: Architectural concrete
Winner: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Concrete is the main finish in the retrofit of one of Cape Town’s most iconic industrial relics, the Grain Silo at the V&A Waterfront. The redesign of the interior involved new functional spaces for the museum, supplemented with a new sculptural atrium carved out from the heart of the silo’s existing cylindrical concrete structures.

Maintaining the integrity of the old concrete structures and blending it sympathetically with new stabilising concrete work and finishes, this project managed to uniquely reinvent a historical Cape Town landmark.

Category: Innovation in concrete
Joint winner: Integral Van Zyl Spruit Bridge
It is the first long integral bridge in South Africa and, at 90m, one of the longest integral bridges in the world. What’s more, the installation of over 500 sensors in the bridge structure, which detect and quantify trends in strain, temperature, tilt and earth pressure, makes it one of the first “smart” bridges in the country.

The data obtained from these sensors are logged automatically every 15 minutes and will contribute to a better understanding of environmental loading on and performance of integral bridges in South Africa.

Joint winner: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa
Through selective demolition work and recycling, existing structures were maintained and combined with innovatively placed new concrete substructures. The original concrete, both externally and internally, was cleaned and has been retained as its most visible finish.

Innovative and complex concrete placement and formwork techniques together with a variety of the latest laser-guided concrete-cutting and removal techniques were used. Newly cut and angled edges were polished to expose the original aggregate and steel reinforcement to great effect and this enabled open spaces in which the old and the new stabilising concrete work remain in contrast, yet harmoniously fit together.

Category: Infrastructure
Winner: Mt Edgecombe Interchange Upgrade
Showcasing the use of concrete in civil engineering infrastructure, this interchange upgrade encompasses nine new road bridges, one new pedestrian bridge, nine mechanically stabilised earth walls and three soil-nail retaining walls, which were constructed while managing existing traffic on a congested site.

A South African first, the project featured three simultaneous incremental launches with a combined deck length that exceeds 1,5km, the longest incrementally launched viaduct in the Southern Hemisphere.

Due to the vast scope, the wide variety of engineering disciplines and different construction elements, a total of 41 concrete mixes were designed for this project as well as three different grout mixes and two different sprayed concrete (shotcrete) mixes.

<Photo:> Mt. Edgecombe IC
<Caption> Mt Edgecombe Interchange

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to the Concrete Society of Southern Africa for the information and photos provided.