South Africa’s Mall of Africa scoops engineering award

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South Africa's Mall of Africa scoops engineering award
The Mall of Africa was announced as the winner of the Engineering Excellence Award for projects with a value greater than R250 million

South Africa’s Mall of Africa, has bagged a major engineering award at the Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Awards.

The Mall of Africa was announced as the winner of the Engineering Excellence Award for projects with a value greater than R250 million.

Seen as the largest retail development to be built in a single phase in Southern Africa, the Mall of Africa has become a key retail, hospitality and entertainment hub of choice for locals and tourists.

James Ehlers, director of Atterbury the developer of the Mall of Africa welcomed the award saying it was a team work effort .

“We combined excellent architecture and leasing expertise on the project, which would lead to a new urban framework, one that would be a catalyst for a new CBD in Midrand. We are proud of what has been achieved and want to thank everyone who contributed to the project’s success,” said Mr Ehlers.

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Construction of the project kicked off in September 2013 and completed in April 2016. With  131 000 m2 of retail space and a gross building area of 485 000 m2 The Mall of Africa is one of the largest shopping mall in Africa.

The 16.5-hectare footprint of the Mall presented unique geotechnical challenges that did not allow for the application of any single founding solution. One of these challenges included the varying depth of bedrock and an abundance of subsoil groundwater in places.

“3D modelling of underlying rock profiles was done to ensure the most economical bulk earthworks design, and enabled the team to develop different founding solutions and retaining structures for different areas on the site. Instead of having a generic design approach to the structural elements, the design team reviewed different structural concepts for different areas in the building to ensure the most economical design was introduced for each of the different areas,” says Gerhard Saayman, Aurecon Professional Engineer.

Unique elements

A variety of unique elements such as wide passages, a ‘column-free’ mall design, high shopfronts, an undulating roof feature in the middle with specialist animated LED lighting, and a large public space with restaurants known as the Town Square, makes the Mall of Africa a unique addition to the 1.73 million square metre Waterfall City development in Midrand.

On his part Ferdi Nell, Aurecon’s Managing Director, Africa  said:“Ingenuity, originality and innovation was needed to overcome many of the structural and geotechnical challenges that arose during the construction of the Mall of Africa. Bringing clients’ ideas to life is gratifying, and being honoured at the highest level with the achievement of this award, together with a variety of commendations, shows how our innovations continue to inspire.”