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Citi-Con helps upgrade iconic building in university campus

Citi-Con, a leading concrete specialist, continues to build on a longstanding working relationship with the University of Pretoria.

The specialist contractor has helped the university maintain and repair many buildings on campus. Among the company’s many projects for the University of Pretoria was its appointment to repair the roof of the Department of Architecture’s iconic Boukunde building. This structure was built in 1961 and has undergone four large upgrades over the years to accommodate the growing number of architectural students who are studying building sciences at the university. The more recent upgrade has provided an environment that is ideally suited to current learning methods that have changed since the building was initially constructed. A living laboratory, it was designed in a manner that enables the students to study what architecture and design entail by observing aspects of the structure.

The university is very meticulous about maintaining its infrastructure assets. It, therefore, chooses to partner with an expert in the field with a strong track-record providing quality building and infrastructure repair services.

Andre Vermeulen, Managing Director of Citi-Con, says, “The repairs were completed to a very high specification to ensure that the roof was also ready to receive photovoltaic solar panels. The very successful outcome bears testament to our extensive skills and capabilities in the field. Certainly, credit also needs to be given to the university’s own technical team. Our client is always extremely proactive and hands-on, which is every important on any building project.”

Working to a very tight deadline to minimise disruption on campus, the project was completed in only six weeks. However, undertaking these extensive repairs in an operational site posed its own unique challenges. Citi-Con had to ensure that it maintained the highest possible health safety standards throughout the entire duration of the project.

The project entailed overhauling 3 900m2 of roofing that had deteriorated over time. Citi-Con first removed the Masonite board and insulation that covered the concrete roof structure and then hoisted it down one side of the building for removal.

Rope access systems provided Citi-Con’s team of skilled and experienced workers with quick, efficient, safe and cost-effective entry to the working area. It also a significantly less intrusive means of undertaking repairs in an operational area. These systems were also used by the company’s team when re-insulating and then covering the concrete roof with new Masonite boards. They were then waterproofed and sealed, and all roof expansion joints repaired.

Citi-Con also hoisted a large water tank to the top of the three-storey building for installation by another contractor. This was one of the more complex undertakings on what can be described as fairly straightforward project for a specialist contractor.

The work scope also included coating one side of the building to protect it against the elements. A total of 800m2 was covered on this aspect of the project.

“Certainly, we are very proud to be associated with this emblematic building that also highlights South Africa’s expertise in architecture, and where young and talented built environment professionals are being trained to take the industry forward. We look forward to working with them in the foreseeable future,” Vermeulen says.


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