02 August 2022

Supplied by Gauteng Piling

Gauteng Piling has secured a major contract to provide extensive foundation piling for Grand Central Towers apartment block which, with ground floor and nine storeys, will become a lofty landmark in Midrand.

Keoatlaretse Tema, contracts manager for Gauteng Piling, who is in charge of the project, says 302 piles will be required for the new high-rise structure which will incorporate 990 social housing walk-up units. The apartment block, near Grand Central Airport, is being developed by Bridgeport with Tri-Star Construction as the main contractor.

“The site is roughly triangular and covers 1 259 hectares. The property is bounded to the east by Diagonal Street, to the south by Exchange Street, and on the north and west, by Market Street,” Tema states.

In providing the piles with average depth of 5m, Gauteng Piling encountered shallow rock at 200mm to 900mm below ground surface which will require specialist drilling. “However, Gauteng Piling provided a piling rig to conduct a pre-piling geotechnical investigation so was aware and prepared for the shallow rock on a portion of the site,” she adds.

The diameter of the 302 piles being installed for the apartment block by Gauteng Piling varies between 650mm to 1150mm. Steel reinforcement cages between 500mm and 1m in diameter are being installed to support the piles. Gauteng Piling also has to install four additional piles per crane to secure the three tower cranes being used by Tri-Star for the construction.

Tema says, apart from the shallow rock, the main challenge for the Grand Central Towers project is the casting of column starter bars into the piles. “No pile caps will be installed so we are working closely with the steel-fixing crew from Tri-Star Construction to ensure the starter bars are in place before the piling concrete is poured,” she adds.

Gauteng Piling, which is using three rigs for this contract, was founded in 1996 by building industry veteran, Nico Maas, who is still heading the company which has over the past 26 years completed over 1 800 piling contracts. Among the high-profile projects handled were the massive Mall of Africa in Midrand, Greenstone Mall in Edenvale, Clearwater Mall in Roodepoort, and Alex Junction in Alexandra, to name just a few.

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