By Rory Macnamara – technical input by Steve Franklin of Wills Franklin Pretorius, Wet Service Consulting Engineers, and Lino Ferro of Ferro Plumbing.

In the heart of Sandton, a new apartment building stands tall, offering residents a modern and comfortable living space.

Sandton Gate Terrace

Sandton Gate Terrace. Image credit: © Rory Macnamara – Plumbing Africa

Behind the exquisite design and luxurious amenities lies a vital system that ensures the smooth functioning of the building: the plumbing installation. Often overlooked, the plumbing infrastructure is the lifeline that keeps water flowing and waste away.

Each unit has its own duct for hot and cold water.

Each unit has its own duct for hot and cold water. All photos by © Rory Macnamara – Plumbing Africa

Condensate pipe for air cons.

Condensate pipe for air cons.

Condensate pipe for air cons.

The success of the plumbing installation in the apartment building can be attributed to pre-planning sessions involving the main contractor Tiber Construction, wet service engineering Wills Franklin Pretorius, architects Nsika Architecture and plumbing company Ferro Plumbing. These collaborative discussions were critical in ironing out design issues and resolving any potential conflicts before the installation process began. By addressing these concerns beforehand, the project team ensured a smooth and efficient implementation.

Coordination meetings with other subcontractors played a vital role in the successful completion of the plumbing installation. By studying the best-case scenarios and considering the requirements of various trades, the project team ensured that the plumbing installation seamlessly integrated with other building systems. This collaborative approach not only prevented delays but also contributed to the overall efficiency of the construction process.

To achieve precision alignment of pipes and streamline the installation process, innovative techniques were employed in the apartment building project. Templates were created for all vertical ducts and cast-in showers, enabling the accurate placement of pipes. The use of advanced technology, such as the Trimble Navigation GPS mapping system, played a pivotal role in pinpointing the exact positions for pipe installations. This innovative approach ensured a high level of accuracy, reducing the likelihood of errors and subsequent rework.

Two hot water heat pumps.

Two hot water heat pumps.

Benefiting from these innovations, the plumbing installation team was able to save time, increase productivity and maintain strict adherence to the project timeline. The precise alignment of pipes not only optimised the functionality of the plumbing system but also contributed to the aesthetic appeal of the finished apartments.
In addition to the meticulous pre-planning sessions, the success of the plumbing installation can be attributed to effective coordination with other subcontractors and the integration of innovative techniques. By addressing design issues in advance, the project team ensured a seamless implementation process. The utilisation of templates and advanced technologies further enhanced precision, efficiency and adherence to the project timeline.
Pressure Release Valve for water into building.

Pressure Release Valve for water into building.

The plumbing installation is thus able to provide residents with essential amenities and ensure their comfort and convenience. It is through careful planning, collaboration and innovative approaches that this vital infrastructure contributes to the smooth functioning and longevity of modern living spaces.
On this occasion Plumbing Africa had sight of the Conditions of the Tender which we here reproduce to reinforce the requirements for projects of this nature and to do the plumbing correctly:
  • All work to be carried out by accredited and registered plumbers.
  • A plumbing certificate of compliance to be issued for the plumbing works.
  • All water piping to be pressure tested as set out in the document.
  • All materials used to be SANS approved.
  • All materials installed to be from the same manufacturer throughout the project. If not possible the Wet Services Engineers to be notified in writing.
  • All materials used in the project to be submitted for approval by the Wet Services Engineers prior to installation.
  • Installation to comply with SANS 10400 P, SANS 10252 parts 1 & 2.
The Consulting Engineer, Wills, Franklin Pretorius, had a very tight budget requiring many design/ material/specification changes before and after the plumbing tender. Included was the tight coordination of the ducts and bathroom layouts to minimise pipework.
Furthermore, hot, and cold-water meters to each apartment. Hot water meters especially positioned to minimise dead legs.
Typical pipe configuration for water, waste and fire.

Typical pipe configuration for water, waste and fire.

High detail 3D drawings provided to site which assisted in coordination and the teamwork minimising potential time wastage.
Hot water reticulation with thermostatic balancing valves and Insulation to R1 specification
Regular and very detailed coordination sessions especially penetrations through the slabs, these were highly coordinated and documented reinforced in the earlier part of the story.

List of professionals

Owner: Game Camp Investments
Development managers: Craft Homes and Tiber Investments
Architect: Architecture
Professional Team: Wills Franklin Pretorius, Wet Service Consulting Engineers, Steve Franklin
Main Contractor: Tiber/Craft (JV)
Contractors: Ferro Plumbing – Plumbing, Lino Ferro
SIRAC – Heat pumps
Seaqual – Wet floor drains