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Doing good while doing business

Bigen Africa appointed civil engineer for prestigious Steyn City

Steyn City 2Bigen Africa, a leading infrastructure development company, has been appointed by Steyn City Properties (Pty) Ltd to provide the complete scope of professional civil services for the construction of Steyn City, a massive, one-of-a-kind residential estate north of Fourways, Gauteng, which has been nominated for a prestigious CESA AON award.

“Bigen Africa has been contracted for the design, documentation, procurement and construction monitoring specifically related to the internal and external civil services in the first phase of the development,” says Daniel Smit, Bigen Africa Engineer on the project.

With a strong presence throughout southern Africa and a growing African footprint, the company provides engineering, management consulting, development financing and advisory services on cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects in several countries across the continent.

Steyn City, an attractive estate lifestyle concept unlike any other in south Africa, caters to the preferences of home owners in all life stages – from young professionals and families to empty nesters and retirees, and comprises 8 341 apartments, including 5 155 townhouses and 3 186 city centre style apartments; 731 cluster homes; 818 freehold houses situated on 695-4 000m2 stands; 120 retirement village units and a golf course with clubhouse.

In addition, Steyn City is the first golf estate offering, besides the expected amenities of a golf course, gym and swimming pools, attractive extras such as an on-site fuel station, soccer pitches, fishing lakes, a skate park and an equestrian centre, to name only a few. All of this is set amidst beautiful parks, green belts and water features where long walks and the many recreational activities can be safely enjoyed by young and old.

“Bigen Africa is thrilled to have been a part of this project,” says Daniel, “and immensely proud that its nomination for the CESA AON excellence awards for projects larger than R50 million has been accepted.”


Steyn City 5In the first phase, Bigen Africa’s team of top engineering professionals focused on internal civil services such as roads, storm water, sewer and water supply infrastructure, incorporating various attenuation ponds and irrigation storage. Four-lane internal roads link William Nicol Drive with Cedar Road, and feature a bridge over the Jukskei River as well as turning circles paved with specially moulded blocks with a high concrete strength of 35 MPa.

Upon completion, the bulk sewer upgrade will enable the decommissioning of the existing Beverley and Dainfern pump stations. The pump station, which includes an emergency storage dam, is the largest in the City of Joburg, along with that of Zandspruit.

The new outfall sewer from the existing Dainfern pump station, eight to nine metres deep in certain locations, had to be laid through the Dainfern golf course at a working width of 10 metres.

Treated water from the Johannesburg Northern outfall works was conveyed to aesthetically designed irrigation ponds within the development, which supply irrigation and creek water to the entire estate.

A 30-megalitre rectangular bulk water reservoir on the north-eastern portion of the estate is fed from the new Diepsloot reservoir and supplies Steyn City as well as Dainfern, Dainfern Valley, Dainfern Ridge and parts of Diepsloot.

Based on Bigen Africa’s management principles, the effectively managed team of 30 full-time civil engineering staff delivered timeously on the requirements of the developer as well as the needs of the community. The land development team comprised five employees.

Risk on the project, which was on a fast track after commencing in 2009, was mitigated through frequent meetings with the client, the appointment of a second, dedicated review team and the use of Bigen Africa’s ISO model at all stages of the implementation of the project. Cost and quality control were in constant operation. The total construction cost of first-phase civil engineering services provided, excluding professional fees, amounts to R540 million.

“Bigen Africa has not only ensured, at design stage, that the entire development is supported by a solid hierarchy of infrastructure, but has also focused on aesthetics to meet the client’s visual expectations,” says Daniel. “Bigen Africa’s professional business approach has ensured that our team was flexible enough to respond effectively to a sometimes changing flow of creative ideas and deliver cutting-edge designs.”

The team also excelled at blending best practice engineering design with “on-the-job” technology solutions, incorporating the area’s natural resources optimally in the construction process. One such example is the use of natural site material in the road layers wherever possible.

“I am proud to say that innovation in planning, design and construction is obvious throughout the estate,” says Daniel, “and the result is a unique, visually pleasing and sought-after residential development which sold out 65% of its available properties within the first week of its launch.”