31 August 2022

By David Beer, on behalf of the Concrete Manufacturers Association

Mountain View, a Department of Human Settlements housing project in Mossel Bay has been completed. Built almost exclusively with precast concrete products supplied by Concrete Manufactures Association member, Mobicast, the 1 003 housing unit development was scheduled for completion in June this year.

Ruwacon is the project’s main contractor and Royal Haskoning DHV its consulting engineers. Mobicast has supplied concrete masonry blocks, suspended rib & block flooring, concrete staircases, paving blocks, kerbing, parapet coping, stock bricks, manhole covers and concrete tree rings for the project.

Two housing models have been constructed at Mountain View, Breaking New Ground units and Finance Link Individual Subsidy Programme units. Both are built to the same 45m² structural design, however, the FLISP units come with additional finishes and a pitched roof.

Mobicast’s 140mm cement blocks have been used for the outer walls and its 90mm blocks for the internal walls. The fire walls between units were constructed with 190mm blocks.

Ruwacon Southern Cape area manager, Theo Wessels, notes that building the floors with Mobicast’s suspended rib and block system worked well.

“Besides being cost-effective it required on-site labour in teams of six and created jobs for the local community.

“We have used Mobicast’s precast staircases inside all the units. In addition, special taylor-made precast concrete staircases were produced for external attachment to give disabled occupants access to the upper floors,” says Wessels.

Mobicast has also supplied 60mm coloured and textured interlocking pavers for some of Mountain View’s internal roads, and the spaces between buildings were paved with Mobicast’s cobble and stretcher bond pavers.

Operating out of four factories located in George, Groot Brak Rivier, Mossel Bay and Wellington, Mobicast manufactures a wide range of precast concrete products in both dry and wet cast formats. Its Garden Route plants deliver as far-a-field as Beaufort West, as well as to Swellendam and Plettenberg Bay. The Wellington factory supplies the greater Cape Peninsula area.

The company produces almost every type of precast concrete paver, and in addition to the products itemised above it, it also produces the Smartstone range of simulated stone cobbles and pavers under license for the Western and Southern Cape.  Other products made under license include Terraforce and Loffelstein retaining wall blocks.

Founded in 1981, the company’s three Southern Cape plants and extensive product range make it the Southern Cape’s precast concrete building products market leader.

“We are an extremely versatile and solution driven company,” says CEO Chris van Zyl. “We operate to a philosophy of always ensuring that customers don’t leave without being helped even if it means referring them to another company.

“Mountain View is an excellent example of this policy. We made bespoke tree rings and staircases based on the client’s size and spec requirements.

“Moreover, our staircases highlight the advantages of precast construction. They are delivered in kit form and don’t require cranes for off-loading and installation. Manual labour suffices and subbies are easily trained to do the assembly and installation work. Precast staircases also save time and unlike in-situ staircases, don’t require skilled carpenters to construct timber frames,” concludes van Zyl.

An aerial perspective of Mountain View.
Mobicast’s rib & block flooring and concrete building blocks.
A Mobicast precast staircase assembled with manual labour.
A fully completed precast concrete staircase.
Apart from its precast staircases, this picture shows the entire range of products delivered by Mobicast to Mountain View.
Mobicast’s Oubaai Cobble adds a touch of class to this Mountain View courtyard.

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