Construction products and solutions specialist Peikko South Africa’s bolted column connections are helping to fast-track the development of a large residential project in Ferndale, Gauteng.
The development involves the construction of a seven-storey building consisting of 204 apartments, says Peikko South Africa MD Daniel Petrov.
“Our product was chosen because it is fast and effective, and will reduce the overall cost of the project,” he advances, adding that Peikko started work on the Ferndale-based project in February, and intends to complete its scope of work by the end of next month.
The company’s bolted column connections, comprising anchor bolts and column shoes, are most in demand and are well used locally in precast concrete applications for residential, industrial and mining projects, owing to the product’s versatility, says Petrov.
“The applications are endless. The anchor bolts and column shoes have been used to connect precast columns to foundations, columns to columns and columns to beams.”
Peikko is also supplying anchor bolts and column shoes to a residential project in Cape Town, in the Western Cape.
The project has been registered by its architects with the International Living Future Institute, a non-profit organisation in the US, and requires Peikko to prove that its anchor bolts and column shoes add value by helping to reduce the building’s carbon emissions to meet the green rating and sustainability criteria.
This order is in the manufacturing stage, with precast elements expected to be on site in the beginning of July for the start of their erection.
A key feature of the company’s bolted column connections is the ability to dismantle a building in the same manner it was erected, ensuring reusability of land and structural components such as columns, beams and slabs.
“Our bolted connections are also being used for mining applications, where anchor bolts and column shoes are used to connect vertical elements, namely precast walls, to a plenum – a separate space provided for heating, ventilation and air conditioning – among other applications,” Petrov highlights.
Peikko’s bolted column connections are further being used to construct a pedestrian bridge in Mbombela, the capital of Mpumalanga.
“This unique system was officially introduced to the South African market three-and-a-half years ago, and was used on the Fourways Mall extension in 2016, and offers a safer, faster and more cost-effective construction method.”
For example, traditionally, when pouring concrete for a 15-m-high column on site, 15 m of staging and formwork are needed, as well as more personnel to pour the concrete in stages while working at height. Many features are needed to ensure that this column is erected safely, states Petrov.
Conversely, when using the company’s anchor bolts and shoes to erect a precast column, it comes standard with integrated column shoes ready to be positioned using a crane and Peikko’s COLIFT mounting system before being fastened in place.
The system consists of a mounting shaft with a slip guard and a rope strut, and serves as a mounting device for lifting, tilting and moving precast concrete elements. After securing the element in place, the system can be remotely released from the ground level by pulling the releasing cord attached to the slip frog.
Thereby, the COLIFT mounting system eliminates the need for people to work at height, improving safety on site, says Petrov.
“This is an unknown installation method that has drawn much attention from contractors and precasters on site, who consider it very safe.”
This year, the company is focusing on promoting its product range for traditional on-site cast-in-situ concrete using Peikko connections. These products help to ensure that the connection of structural elements is “quick, precise and will stand the test of time”.
“We believe that this segment of the market has momentum. So, now we must engage with the traditional cast-in-situ market, which comprises 90% of what we do in South Africa, to educate traditional contactors who may not know about our TERAJOINT, for example,” notes Petrov.
The TERAJOINT is designed to build free-movement joints, and is a good industrial flooring product, he adds.
Peikko recently completed a project for automotive manufacturer Ford, in Silverton, Pretoria, involving 150 m of TERAJOINT, which are also being successfully applied on a warehouse flooring project in Kenya.
Additionally, Peikko recommends its PSB punching reinforcement system for traditional cast-concrete flooring on site, where there may be concerns about punching around the columns, and the interphase between columns and a reinforced concrete slab.
The PSB is designed to prevent punching shear failure and shear failure of slabs, foundations, walls and beams by increasing their resistance.
“The engineering community has been generally open to these products, which require greater visibility in the South African market, after we have demonstrated how they function. Everyone is looking to optimise their designs and find new methods that can reduce costs and add value, considering the globally depressed construction market,” concludes Petrov.