Daniel Petrov, Managing Director, Peikko Group
Businesses impacted by the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) during July are faced with the urgent need to rebuild quickly and cost effectively in order to return to business as usual. While the riots were devastating, there is now an opportunity for businesses to come back stronger. However, this requires private sector collaboration, says Daniel Petrov, MD of Peikko Southern Africa.
“The private sector was effected by July’s events, but they are also the key to recovery. Businesses need to step forward with solutions to each other’s challenges and foster an ecosystem of problem solving,” says Petrov. Structural damage to shops and warehouses is one such challenge which can be addressed quickly and cost effectively by modern construction methods such as the use of pre-cast concrete solutions. However, the local construction industry has historically shied away from this method in favour of the more familiar cast in-situ solutions.
Rowan Shuttleworth, civil and structural designer from Mono Block – reports that most reinforced concrete structures in Europe are precast structures in comparison to cast in-situ. “In South Africa, the inverse is true. While there has been some adoption of pre-cast solutions in Gauteng, businesses in KZN could possibly ‘leap-frog’ to the latest cutting edge precast concrete technology and know-how that is provided by Piekko, thereby providing competitive edge advantages in quality, speed, and environmental sustainability, amongst others.” Mono Block works closely with the Peikko South Africa team for structural designs with Peikko products and systems for some projects in KZN.
Kevin Quayle, GM of Aveng Duraset, has previously worked with Peikko products on the Fourways Mall Expansion project. He is investigating the feasibility of undertaking further work with the Peikko products and system in KZN. “Because of the extent of damage caused, and the slowdown of the construction sector over recent years, available construction resources will be stretched when tackling the rebuilding of the province. With capacity issues in mind, and considering that there will be ongoing losses for property owners and retailers who cannot trade until damaged facilities are repaired, it is crucial that careful thought is given to finding the most effective ways of managing the rebuilding process.”
He posits that Peikko systems offer a number of benefits in this regard. Firstly, the system allows for the off-site manufacture of structural elements, which means that the casting of structural elements can be done in advance of their requirement on site. Secondly, construction can advance rapidly once the precast elements are required on site as the mechanical connections allow rapid and accurate erection, and no curing time is required for the grouting in of installed elements. “With this in mind, it is clear that the use of Peikko systems could assist by facilitating an early start to the rebuilding process; minimising the relevant construction programmes; and also by optimising the available capacity of construction teams on site.”
Petrov adds that lobbying to businesses in the province has been met with positivity. “Peikko is ready to assist businesses with rejuvenation. However, the private sector must raise their voices and state what they need. Whether there are financial challenges, competency issues, or concerns with new technology adoption, Peikko is ready to play our part in a positive reconstruction process. We also encourage other businesses to come to the party – we need to help each other out and foster a private sector community of prosperity,” he concludes.
About Peikko Group:
Peikko Group Corporation is a leading global supplier of slim floor structures, wind energy applications and connection technology for precast and cast-in-situ. Peikko’s innovative solutions offer a faster, safer, and more efficient way to design and build. Peikko has sales offices in over 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and North America, with manufacturing operations in eleven countries. Peikko generated a turnover of EUR 230 million in 2019. Peikko is a family-owned and managed company that employs over 1,800 professionals. Peikko was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Lahti, Finland. Further information: www.peikko.com
Daniel Petrov, Managing Director
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