Following an undertaking in 2010 to refurbish the Pretoria Towers (formerly known as the Volkskas Building) in the heart of Pretoria, work on the façade of the structure is currently underway.

The building, situated on the corner of Pretorius and Lilian Ngoyi Streets, has a complex history and has secured its place in the heritage annals of the city. The building has always been referred to as an example of early skyscrapers in the capital city, and has served as both a landmark in the centre of the city as well as a visual reference point for the public squares in the central business district.

A heritage restored
At the time of construction in 1978, it explored the contemporary architecture of the time and was considered as a prime example of progressive architecture in South Africa. Today the building is subject to Section 32 of the National Heritage Resources Act as “work with architectural merit from an architect of note”.

The building has also been given an award of merit by the South African Institute of Architects.

Revolutionary “self-washing” cladding
Agrob Buchtal has supplied 31 000 m² of KeraTwin K20 ceramic facade panels together with the necessary accessories. The panels have been treated with the company’s revolutionary HT coating, making the façade “self-washing” where it is exposed to rain and also cleans the surrounding air.

The KeraTwin K20 façade panels are hung in a vertical system rail with holding grooves on the reverse side. No additional tools are required to mount the panels. The compression spring and removal protection integrated in the system rail prevent clattering and constraining forces in the case of alternating wind loads, as well as the easy removal of the panels in the event of replacement being necessary. The position of the panels is secured either by means of a joint profile adjusted to the joint width or by means of spacers.

Anti-bacterial, odour eliminating, air cleaning coating
Specifying wall and floor tiles with the innovative HT coating determines three significant advantages: The tiles have an antibacterial effect, are easy to clean and capable of eliminating odours.

The antibacterial effect of HT is based on the principle of photocatalysis. Light activates the oxygen molecules, which decompose bacteria and germs. The HT effect is reversible, regenerating itself when exposed to light.

HT makes tile surfaces hydrophilic. Water is not repelled, but spreads to form a thin film on the tile surface. In this way, dirt is washed down and can be easily removed. In contrast to conventional hydrophobic solutions (e.g. the Lotus effect), coatings or impregnation, HT is so robust that both wall and floor tiles can be coated with it. The third function is also based on the photo catalytic principle: Disagreeable and harmful odours such as formaldehyde or ammonia are eliminated by the activated oxygen, and thus a lasting improvement of the air quality is achieved. This is also applicable for industrial and car exhaust gases.

Other advantages of the coating include:
• Decomposition of bacteria, fungi, -algae, moss and germs.
• Elimination of odours.
• Improvement of room climate.
• The original characteristics of the tile, such as resistance to abrasion, resistance to chemicals etc. are maintained.
• Requires only minimum care.
• Low cleaning costs.
• Free of irritating substances, non-toxic.
• Environmentally-friendly.
• Long-term guarantee.
• Varied range of products.

For more information on this revolutionary product, contact Agrob Buchtal today.

Agrob Buchtal
South African representative
Roger Skudder
Tel: (083) 700 8903