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CMA Awards 2016 press release

23 April 2016


The results of the CMA Awards for Excellence competition, announced at a gala dinner function in Johannesburg on April 23rd, suggest that advances in precast concrete technology were significant influencers in this year’s judging process.

The judges had no hesitation in awarding the concrete cladding of No. 1 Silo at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront the Aesthetics Commercial Trophy. Besides its striking visual appeal, which showcases the beauty of precast concrete construction at its best, the project also involved high levels of skilled precast concrete engineering.

Similarly, the judges were unequivocal in nominating the Gouda Wind Farm concrete tower project for the Technical Excellence Trophy, which again reflects substantial levels of technical engineering input. It is a project with a pronounced innovative bias, being the first time that a South African wind farm used precast concrete segments in the construction of its towers, which in this instance were 100m high. Not surprisingly, the project was also entered into the Innovation category where it prevailed as a Commendation Winner.

Entries closed on October 16th  last year and the judging took place on November 23rd  at the Johannesburg offices of PPC Cement, the main sponsor of this year’s event. The five judges, all leading professionals in the field of construction, comprised:

 ·        Landscape architect and director of Arla Consulting, Antoinette de Beer

·         Architect and media manager of Paragon Architects, Hugh Fraser

·         Civil engineer and president of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), Malcolm Pautz

·         Civil engineer and a director of Nyeleti Consulting, Abe Thela

·         Quantity surveyor and managing director of Bert van der Heever Bourekenaars Ingelyf, Bert van der Heever.

Interest in this year’s completion was far greater than in 2012 when the CMA was celebrating its 40th  anniversary. This was borne out by the number of entries which spiked from 77 in 2012 to 117. As anticipated, Aesthetics Commercial was the dominant category, attracting an impressive 47 projects.  Submission numbers in the other categories were as follows: Aesthetics Residential 12; Community Upliftment nine; Technical Excellence 26; Innovation 15; and there were eight entries in the Precast for Life category. Some projects were entered in two or more categories, the Gouda Wind Farm being one example.  

CMA executive director, Frans Minnaar, said 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 stood out sufficiently to merit a trophy award; a single commendation winner was all it could muster.

“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 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 the felt they were not fully justified.

“However, I am pleased to note the many other projects, especially those in the Aesthetics Commercial, Technical Excellence and Innovation categories, which were certainly good enough to have taken an award, but did not do so due to the stiff competition.

This year’s five trophy winners were as follows:

Concrete Units - the Aesthetics Commercial trophy for casting the precast concrete panelling for No. 1 Silo at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront

Shukuma Bricks – the Community Upliftment trophy for providing concrete pavers for the paving of gravel roads in Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth.

Concrete Units – the Technical Excellence trophy for manufacturing 782 precast concrete wind tower segments for the Gouda Wind Farm project in the Western Cape.

Bosun – the Innovation trophy for introducing the Castle Bottom Kerb.

SmartStone – the Precast for Life trophy for supplying Fan Cobble paving blocks for the Waterfront at Knysna Quays project in Knysna.

Apart from the Aesthetic Residential category all other categories posted two commendation winners each.

The Aesthetic Commercial commendation winners were: SmartStone Midrand and Bosun, the former for supplying pavers and coping for the Thaba Moshate Hotel Casino and Convention resort in Limpopo, and the latter for providing drycast paving blocks for the courtyard of BMW’s head office refurbishment project in Midrand.

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 won the award 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 Mphumalanga.

 Concrete Units’ precast concrete expertise was rewarded a fourth time, in this instance an Innovation commendation award for the Gouda Wind farm towers for which it also won the Technical Excellence trophy. The other Innovation commendation award was won by Rocla for casting 128 precast concrete cabins for housing photovoltaic equipment in the Free State and Northern Cape. 

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