Blublok Cement Manufacturers
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RDP Housing Project Built With Precast Concrete

Precast concrete masonry blocks and hollow-core slabs are being used for the construction of Lourensa Park, a City of Cape Town RDP housing project situated in Somerset West. Comprising 86 double-storey 40m² units and 62 single storey 40m2 units, Lorensa Park was designed and is being built by housing specialist, ASLA Construction.

Concrete blocks are being supplied by precast concrete manufacturer, BluBlok, in three sizes: 190x190x190mm, 390x190x 140mm and 390x190x 90mm. In addition BluBlok is supplying its 140mm U block which is being used in place of lintels and it supplied the kerbing for Lorensa Park's roads which were built as part of the civil works by ASLA in 2019.

BluBlok's 140mm block is being used for the exterior walls of the double-storey units and the 190mm block for the inner walls. The exterior walls of the single units are being built with the 190mm block and the interior walls with the 90mm block.

ASLA site manager, Wayne Nieuwoudt, says BluBlok blocks were chosen for this project because of their high quality.

"It is vital to use a good quality building materials to ensure there are no comebacks and we know we can rely on BluBlok. We've never had any problems with their output."

Both the single-storey and double-storey units are being built in four-unit structures and prestressed hollow-core slabs, manufactured by CMA member, Cape Concrete, were used for the upper level flooring of the double-storey units.

Nieuwoudt said that using precast slabs make for considerable time savings.

"No propping or shuttering is required and the slabs can be installed in a matter of hours as opposed to the weeks it would take to build the upper flooring with in-situ concrete. Moreover, we are able to start building the upper-level walls as soon as the slab installation has been inspected."

Building began in October last year and the houses will be ready for occupancy in June/July 2020. A delegation for the Eastern Cape Housing Department visited and inspected the site in December. One of the contract conditions was that local labour be used for the construction work and at least 60 local labourers will have been used on the project by the time the project is completed.

Each house comprises a living area, a bathroom and two bedrooms and the ceilings are insulated with 135ml Isotherm. Window frames are in aluminium and roofing is IRB sheeting.

Quality, Price And Delivery - Blublok's Golden Triangle

Concrete block producers tend to fall into two broad groups, those that base their marketing on price and compromise on quality and those which are first and foremost quality focused. One company which falls quite emphatically into the latter grouping is Cape-based BluBlok.

BluBlok sells concrete blocks and bricks of consistently superior quality to builders' supply merchants and property developers. Situated in large premises in Somerset West, it operates with fully automated plants in the Western Cape. This division is spearheaded by Kevin Coetzee who is well known in the industry. The kerb plant turns out kerbing of exceptional quality using wet casting manufacturing and indoor curing chambers.

"We follow a simple but effective business philosophy," says BluBlok General Manager, Frans Benadé. "It is based on what we term our golden triangle of quality, price and delivery. We use it in tandem with a secondary triangle of morale, cost-control and safety. Morale plays an important role. We strive to ensure the people enjoy working here and get job satisfaction. And we aim to keep costs to a minimum by getting things right the first time.

Quality underpins the whole organisation and is based on our own quality systems. Besides using the best possible raw materials, it involves continuous checking and testing by our in-house quality controller. In addition, our scales are calibrated regularly to ensure we get our material mixes consistently right, and besides daily in-house testing, our blocks and kerbs are also tested externally by professional quality auditors.

Our kerb moulds are made in-house and our in-house workshop also ensures that our two plants are kept up to spec. And because our kerb plant is automated it ensures the minimal handling of our moulds, which extends their lifespan.

All our kerbs have excellent strength properties, uniform finishes and exceptionally smooth faces. They come in the standard length of one metre and are available in following types: edging for pavements; barrier kerbs and channels for stormwater drainage; a combination and mountable kerb for the townships; and a channel on-side kerb.

Some of the recent kerbing projects supplied by BluBlok include: roads in Moreesberg, Cerees, Lutzville and Montague Gardens. In addition the company has supplied Burger and Wallace Construction, Cornfield Construction, Shar Civils, Martin & East and Asla Contruction with kerbs for various road projects.

"Our block range is made to SANS 1215:2008 standards and comprises the standard range of masonry products such as all sizes of bricks and blocks as well as retaining wall blocks and decking blocks. As from 2019 we have been making a 140mm U block which builders are using as an alternative to lintels.

Quality and fair pricing count for nothing if you can't deliver and our customers know that when they place an order with us the products will be delivered promptly.

"Some of the housing projects on which our bricks and blocks have been used include: Satari, Croyden Olive Estate and Somerset Lakes in Somerset West as well as some housing projects in Bredasdorp and Hawston," concluded Benadé.