Aquelle Bottling Plant, KZN

July 17, 2022
aquelle emseni factory cladding

For the new Aquelle (trademark aQuellé) bottling plant completed late in 2020, the client required a modern aesthetic so that the building did not look like a factory, says the project architect, Philip Thornhill, professional architect and a director of TCRPV Architects, based in the Durban office. The project was highly successful, taking place at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic and only taking 6.5 months to practical completion,

“We used steel cladding predominantly to the elevations, which also included the offices in order to achieve a modern look and to reduce the maintenance on the building” says Thornhill.

Consequently, the architects specified Safal Steel’s Colorplus® products and also Zincal® for an independent section of the roof where the lockdowns associated with the pandemic limited the overall availability of certain steel products.

“Whilst the combination of Colorplus® and Zincal® on the roof was not ideal, we nonetheless  achieved an aesthetically pleasing look. Due to the roof form the distinction between the two sections is not that evident. Colorplus® AZ150  in colour Seaspray from the Safal Steel palette, together with the  Zincal® AZ150 were both formed into a concealed fix profile for the roof” says Thornhill.

Called Novotexi 440, this profile was expertly manufactured by Macsteel in Boksburg, its name being derived from the Latin for “new cover” and in 440mm effective cover width. Novotexi 440 was developed to accommodate high winds as a result of greenhouse gases and global warming, according to the Macsteel website.

“For the cladding, we used a combination of Safal Steel’s Colorplus® range colors, Rainstorm and Thunderstorm in an IBR profile, which created a dramatic colour contrast with the lush green environment of the  KwaSizabantu mission/Emseni farming region” explains Thornhill. The specification of the roofing material was AZ150 TCT 0.53, and the site was 50km from the KZN coastline. Such conditions indicate that AZ150 is well-suited to the purpose.

The Aquelle plant’s overall roof size is 23 860 m2, which also covers office/administration space having a floor area of 1 336 m2

Inside, the roof is suspended via conventional steel trusses with castellated beams and insulation is provided by 75 mm Factorylite. The roofing assembly is supported by conventional concrete/steel columns.

Mentioning the service and product from Safal Steel and its supply partners, Thornhill adds that the Safal Steel products have been used on other projects he has been involved in, to great success, and was “competitively priced”.

The Aquelle facility contains a bottling plant for its well-known mineral water products, drawn from a nearby spring. The facility has three filling lines and also power can be supplied from a generator room of 200m2, says Thornhill.

On sections of the roof a PV array helps offset dependence on the national power grid and is well positioned over the Zincal® and Colorplus® sections of the roof, facing the optimal position for the sun.

aquelle emseni factory main entrance

About the environment, corrosion and fitting of solar arrays

This being a hot and humid climate, the correct choice and installation of roofing material is of critical importance to PV arrays.

Engineering studies show that a high roof temperature for PV panels is undesirable, leading to a drop in their efficiency, as does too low a temperature. So professionals should specify a roofing material that offers a high solar reflectance in order to reflect away the inbound infrared radiation before it gets absorbed. The solar array should be elevated at least 10 cm off the surface of the roof .

Safal Steel advises that corrosion of the steel roofing material can begin with pitting and gradually progress to the appearance of holes, through which water can leak, damaging your assets inside. This is particularly true of ordinary galvanised steel roofing. Therefore, the fitting of PV panels must be done with due regard for the roof.

Swarf is the product of cutting or grinding in situ when either the roof or the PV array is being installed. This causes metal filings from the material being cut to be deposited onto the surface of the roof. Here, they can embed in the paint surface causing rust marks and ultimately corrosion of the alloy substrate followed by the steel core. So at the end of each day ensure that fasteners, rivets, debris, swarf and all offcuts are removed from the roof surface including checking in the troughs, valleys, etc.

Whilst  installing and/or servicing roof PV panels, care must be taken not to damage the coated steel roofing material substrate. Safal Steel advises that adequate gangplanking be fitted to allow access to the PV array, so operators do not have to walk directly on the metal surface of the roof, avoiding scratching or deforming its surface.

Bear in mind that failure of fastening systems due to corrosion  can lead to separation of roof sheets during high wind with similarly undesirable consequences.

However, architects and building owners can rest easy. With Colorplus® or Zincal® installed in an approved way with the specified Class 3 or Class 4 fasteners, one of the most corrosion and dirt resistant roofing material has been deployed.

Safal products are made using a unique  55% aluminium/zinc coating technology under licence from BIEC International Inc., one of the significant global players in coated steel technology. Using this substrate, Safal Steel product ranges, including Zincal®, Colorplus® and Optima® possess unique properties that limit the effects of corrosion and subsequent degradation.

aquelle emseni factory

About  Colorplus® and  Zincal® – our warranty

Safal Steel warrants its Zincal® and Colorplus® (colour coated steel) to have a service life (prior to perforation by weathering in the natural elements) from date of installation. Warranty periods are determined by Safal Steel and may vary according to project design and location. A Provisional Warranty may be applied for at project design stage; this warranty serves as a guideline as to the final warranty Safal Steel may issue on project completion. A Final Warranty application form may be submitted to Safal Steel by the roll former on project completion, requesting Safal Steel to issue a warranty for the specific material used on a specific project.

Look for the trademark. All Safal Steel prime material is branded on the backing coat – insist on Safal Steel material.

For any technical queries please contact Safal Steel and ask for the representative in your area.

aquelle emseni factory entrance

Professional Team

Commissioning company: Ekhamanzi Springs Proprietary Limited  (aQuellé)

Architect: TCRPV Architects, KZN

Consulting engineers: RPP KZN

Quantity surveyors: MHS Consulting

Roofing/cladding contactor:  Browndeck Roofing, Durban

Roofing profile former: Macsteel

Steel roofing: Safal Steel

Site photography: Grant Pitcher