Concrete panels “only solution”

DEVELOPERS of the 24-block Strelitzia apartment s complex in Greenstone, Johannesburg, say using the Echo hollow-core prestressed concrete flooring panel system enabled them to complete the huge project six months earlier than would have been the case had they employed a conventional flooring method.

For Balwin Properties, the panels provided the logical solution to the architectural design and logistical challenges presented by the large site and magnitude of the assignment.

“In fact, Echo Prestress was the only solution,” says Balwin director Ulrich Gschnaidtner.

Strelitzia comprises 376 two-bedroom apartments on four storeys and the extensive residential complex includes a clubhouse and gym.

A total of 22 900m² of 120mm and 150mm slabs were used to construct walkways and balconies and the first, second and third floors. The top floor has a conventional roof. Construction time was slashed – the conventional slab method would have required a forest of back-propping at each level, delaying finishes and slowing the completion. But with the concrete panel system no props were required and finishes could continue unhindered at lower levels.

The method also easily accommodated architectural features such as corner windows by using a nominal size load-bearing steel corner mullion.