CMA Awards for Excellence 2010
On 6 November, the Premier, National and Regional Inland awards were presented once again at a gala dinner at the Theatre on the Track in Kyalami, Midrand. The awards were made in the following categories: Concrete Block Paving; Concrete Roof Tiles; Concrete Masonry; Concrete Retaining Block (CRB) Walls; Suspended Concrete Floor Slabs; and Innovative Concrete Products.
This year’s competition is notable in that a fifth premier award has been introduced. The award has been created for the Concrete Retaining Block category and is being sponsored by CMA member, Terraforce. In the past this category shared a trophy with Floor Slabs and the Innovative Concrete Products categories. As the number of CRB entrants has increased substantially over the past 10 years it was decided that this division now warranted a trophy of its own.
In the category Concrete Retaining Block Walls the Premier Award was awarded to Remacon, Gauteng–based Terraforce licensee, for a retaining wall using its own block, Remblock, at The Islands Estate at Hartebeespoort Dam, North West Province.
Klapmuts Concrete, Terraforce’s Cape-based licensee, walked away with no less than four awards: a National and a Regional Award for the Public Transport Shared Service Centre in Athlone (installed by Dassenberg Retaining), a Regional Award for a domestic wall in Gordon’s Bay and a Regional Award for a vintage wall in Stellenbosch.
The competition is held biannually, this being the 13th event since its inception in 1986. CMA director Hamish Laing says the aim of the competition is to promote excellence and innovation in the use of precast concrete: “It also serves to highlight the significant role that CMA member companies are playing in the provision of community housing, educational buildings, access to fresh water, improved sanitation, roads, innovative infrastructural products and eco-friendly construction practice.”
Holger Rust, founder of Terraforce, agrees that the award winners demonstrated excellent awareness of aesthetic values and environmental concerns that are imperative to the concrete retaining wall industry:
“Appreciation for aesthetic values has only started to grow in the last few years. Consequently, while many new commercial and public buildings can easily compete with developed-world standards, the aesthetic values and standards displayed in the landscape measures around these buildings, often do not.
“This is possibly due to the fact that the value of landscaped grounds is not appreciated enough, consequently the cheapest retaining solutions are often specified and sometimes with disastrous results.”
He adds that in South Africa past trends have been to specify the more cost-effective open-face, loosely-landscaped method of CRB wall construction, whereas currently it is becoming more popular to build steeper split-face (or rock-face), composite walls without water-guzzling landscaping: “This requires more sophisticated design input, which Terraforce has been well equipped to provide for the past 30 years.
“Terraforce also combines more advantages than any of the other systems: relatively light weight for transport, interlocking on both planes – horizontally and vertically, reversible to display smooth round-face or split straight-face, fully plant supportive, has a closed vertical surface structure for proper compaction of backfill and prevention of backfill erosion, the wall angle can vary to suit site conditions, and it can be filled with soil, gravel or concrete as designed by the engineer.”