World first for BankCity precinct in JHB

by Ofentse Sefolo
World first for BankCity precinct in JHB

Seamless Flooring Systems was recently involved with the BankCity refurbishment in Johannesburg. From an aerial viewpoint, the BankCity precinct’s main entrance is located in Fraser Street at the heart of central Johannesburg. The brief from the client was to upgrade the street to draw in more people, create an energy of activity, breathe new life into the precinct as well as boost retail activity in the city centre.

Overcoming challenges to create a floor for a future-focused bank
“Besides dealing with very little available depth to add a new layer over the existing surface, we had to avoid damaging existing services and waterproofing under the paving. From an aesthetic perspective, the street was previously very grey and sombre, making it look like the old classical buildings of yesteryear, which is very different to the bank’s modern, technology- and future-focused brand. We wanted a flooring or paving solution that was colourful, high-tech and spoke to the client’s corporate brand,” says Danie Markgraaff from Boogertman + Partners Architects.

Jayson van Tonder from Metrum Project Management says that plenty of research and testing went into determining which flooring product to use. Flooring manufacturers were invited to submit samples, which were laid and tested rigorously.

How the high traffic flooring was tested
“This is an extremely high-traffic area and we needed a floor that not only looked great but would be forgiving, offer good grip and age well. To test the various products, we drove forklifts over and into the samples, put blowtorches to them, killed cigarettes on them and left mayonnaise and tomato sauce on them for a week to see how easy they would be to clean,” says Jayson.

The floorcovering chosen was MELOS Stone, which consists of 2 – 6mm EPDM rubber granules that are pre-coloured with UV-resistant colour pigments. The EPDM was mixed with Seamless Flooring Systems UV stable solvent free Polyurethane Binder that not only provided the adhesive strength to the substrate but also formed the binding layer for the granules and has an incredibly high shear strength.

The Seamless Flooring Systems EPDM system provided the design team with an array of colour blend options that were required for the 3000m2 installation as well as an application floor thickness of 15mm that dealt with the depth issues that would be faced at the thresholds of the shops. The product is 100% porous which means that rainwater flows between the EPDM granules and not over it which not only makes it non-slip but water does not puddle when it rains!

Combining the floor with vertical installations
Jeremy Stewart from Seamless Flooring says the project is a world first on several fronts. The company took their Quartz Carpet manufacturing technology and spent months tweaking it in their laboratory for the EPDM vertical installations that were required for the planters and planter seating.

“The way plants were incorporated into the vertical planter installations and how this all flows with the design of the floor is truly unique to BankCity,” says Jeremy.

The project team were given nine weeks to complete the installation but the entire job was completed in just five weeks, a month ahead of schedule. There were six to eight screeders at any given moment and 23 contractors from Seamless Flooring on the job. Jeremy says the imported product from Melos of Germany, combined with the excellent workmanship, enabled the team to deliver a world-class installation in a record amount of time. Seamless Flooring Systems is the licenced sole distributor for Melos in Sub Saharan Africa.

“Our team put in many late nights and worked weekends to get our part of the project done in record time. The product is spectacular and it was a very rewarding job for our team,” says Jeremy who is also the Chairman of SASPI (South African Sports and Play Industry).

Jeremy adds, “we received the ultimate compliment from Jurgen Becker, Head of Technical Services for Melos, who was on site from Germany that he had never seen this standard of workmanship anywhere in the world in his 50 years in the industry”.

“The colourful product adds a homogeneous feel to the street, binding it together with colour aesthetics while giving us high functionality with a fairly low maintenance requirement,” comments Pierre Witthuhn, General Manager of Eris Capital Projects, the property owners.

Click here to see the interview with Jeremy on this world-first project.

For more information, contact Seamless Flooring Systems on Tel: +27 (86) 178 2789, Email: info@seamlessflooring.co.za or visit www.seamlessflooring.co.za.

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