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GSA helps South Africa gear up for 2010: Stadiums, stations and innovation.
The FIFA World Cup is fast approaching and South Africans watch with open anticipation as construction booms across the country. Huge infrastructural development and international collaboration have been cornerstones in the preparation for an event watched by over 800 million people worldwide.
The role of glass in the construction leading up to the event has certainly been significant. As a material, glass allows for environmentally conscious, energy saving construction whilst providing aesthetic and structural advantages. GSA, being the leading distributor of world-class building and automotive glass products played a central part in providing the material and in project management. From the stadiums to Gautrain stations, hotels to monuments- we have brought innovation and collaboration to the forefront in ensuring that South Africa is ready for the massive influx of tourism and publicity.
The Ellis Park Stadium, in the heart of Johannesburg is one of the best-known sports facilities in the country and has been an exciting, fast-moving 2010 project. Ellis Park will seat 62 000 football fans, increasing its capacity by almost nine percent from the previous 57 000. "We are very happy with the progress on Ellis Park... It's really exciting to see how fast things are moving. Every time I visit, the stadium’s progress is visible," confirmed Sibongile Mazibuko, the City's executive director for 2010. Such large infrastructural development requires a distributor that not only offers large quantities of superior quality- but also delivers on time, ensuring punctual completion of integral projects.
The main contractors involved in GSA's role in the Ellis Park project, completed in 2008, were Trencon & Rainbow, Dome Glass on the internal shopfronts and East Pavilion facade and Insite Aluminium on the North Pavilion and East Parkade. Their goal was to provide energy efficiency to best suit the budget. 1850m²
of Solarvue Neutral HL Low Single & Double Glazing was used in the Stadium. SolarVue has a thin deposit of nickel and chromium which eliminates more than 55% of solar heat, while transmitting more than 45% of visible light. SolarVue also eliminates more than 99% of damaging UV radiation.
DBM architects, who collaborated with Shabangu architects on the project, state: “It is our goal to achieve the optimum level of energy efficiency in all current and future projects and to become leaders in the field of 'green design'.” Glass, a material that provides insulation benefits and is completely recyclable was an environmentally conscious element to the construction.
Soccer City (also know as the FNB Stadium) is earmarked to host both the opening and final matches of the 2010 World Cup. Built in 1987, Soccer City has played host to some of the most memorable matches in South Africa’s soccer history. ?
The stadium's website explains: “The design of the stadium was selected from a series of concept designs ranging from acknowledgement of Jo’burg’s disappearing mine dumps; the kgotla (defined by the tree) of the African city state; the African map as a horizontal representation, which included the roof as a desert plane supported on tropical trees set within the mineral wealth of Southern Africa; to a representation of the protea, our national flower. The calabash, or African pot, was selected as being the most recognizable object to represent what would automatically be associated with the African continent and not any other.
Considering the magnitude of this fast-track project, it is not surprising that a variety of innovative means are being used to construct some of the elements involved. 4800m² of Solarvue Neutral SHL 6.38mm and 3000m2 Intruderprufe Clear 6.38mm were used in the massive construction. These products were selected for their energy efficiency, providing solar control and for structural integrity. The Rev Group were the leading glaziers on the project.
Transport has been a serious consideration in planning for the event. The Gautrain project, one of South Africa's biggest public transport initiatives to date, required specific glass innovation and design to complete the new stations. The Gautrain site explains that the “materials have been chosen to celebrate the wealth of natural materials available in South Africa through colour and texture in visible but inaccessible areas, and to provide a maintenance-friendly, durable, neutral backdrop so that signage is clearly legible.”
The magnitude and importance of this construction for South Africa is undeniable. Not only are we taking vital strides in infrastructure, we have also seen international collaboration and idea-sharing around design and innovation. For the glass industry, the significance of these projects lies in market growth, new glass concepts and the acknowledgement of the material's advantages. The environmental benefits, the solar-control and insulation, the aesthetics, the customisable composition and the structural integrity have been major selling points. Such massive demand for glass in what might be considered the country's most influential construction is certainly a milestone for the industry.
|KNOW OUR PRODUCTS: SOLARVUE
As one of the cornerstone products in the latest construction, we look at SolarVue from SmartGlass.
SolarVue provides medium solar control and a neutral, low-reflective appearance in a range of colours.
STANDARDS AND OPTIONS
SolarVue is a PVB laminated safety glass marked to SABS 1263-1. SolarVue can be custom-manufactured to meet various safety, security and noise reduction standards.
The visual appearance of coated glasses is determined not only by the colour of the glass and the coating. It is also influenced by environmental factors such as solar angle, ambient light level and quality, reflections in the glass, and the viewing angle. The nature of coated glass makes it imperative to assess the true colour and reflectance of the proposed product in the context of an existing building, failing which in a full-scale mock-up, before a final selection is made. SmartGlass architectural solutions specialists are available to assist with project management and technical advice.
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