SA Affordable Housing January - February 2019 // Issue: 74 - Page 13

ADVERTORIAL - COVER STORY 60% of the workforce came from the local community. RIVERSIDE This is a greenfields residential development undertaken by developers Valumax and situated between Steyn City and Diepsloot in Fourways. Tri-Star has successfully completed the first phase which comprised the construction of 562 GAP and bonded free-standing houses, 457 multi-storey walk-ups for rentals and 344 multi-storey RDP walk-ups for government. The market is divided into three segments comprising bonded houses, rentals and RDP walk-ups. During construction of the units Tri-Star made use of raft foundations, pre-stressed slabs and specialised teams that were established to achieve ‘line of balance’ programmed milestones, which in turn helped the project to meet the ‘fast track' programme; they completed the entire project in just 18 months. Ready mixed mortar and plaster was used to give consistency in terms of quality. These interventions lead to reduced wastage, convenient supply and easier site distribution. “Having entered the affordable housing market, we were met with various challenges especially when dealing with local communities and assisting in the creation of jobs. Our commitment to our clients includes employing at least 30 to 50% of the workforce from the local community and we were able to achieve 60%,” says director Maurice Williams. “In the process we mentored and transferred skills to local staff and contractors, which saw unskilled labourers transforming into semi-skilled workers, teaching these small contractors how to plan, execute and manage their small businesses,” Williams adds. During the project Tri-Star trained more than 1 000 people in various fields. “Understanding the local environment assists greatly in solving problems but once the subcontractor has bought into your modules, it becomes very easy to manage and assist them. We ensured that we placed a local contractor next to one of our own contractors which helped to assist the local contractor in becoming more efficient in his work,” Williams explains, adding, “The local contractor saw our contractor as his mentor. This arrangement also showed him that our business model was working, and, that by sticking strictly to our terms of quality, material usage and correct production targets each day, the subcontractor could make good money. “Supervision by local subcontractors was often lacking but the continuous enforcement of discipline made them The ‘H’ block design enables Tri-Star to deliver high density housing while maintaining enough open space on site for communal areas. realise that Tri-Star was there to assist,” says Williams. “By showing commitment to the use of local contractors, training and mentoring them, you find that disruptions on site are kept to a minimum because people are informed of what and where you are using them and if they perform, then they know that there is continued future work for them,” he says. THE VILLAGE The Village is a greenfields development which Tri-Star developed and constructed for International Housing Solutions (IHS). The project comprised of a mix of 284 units (two bed and two bath, two bed and one bath, one bed and one bath) targeting the upper end of the affordable housing market. The project was Edge Certified (Green Building Council) and was a resounding success that achieved up to a 100% rental rate within five months of completion. The ‘H’ block design enables Tri-Star to deliver high density housing while maintaining enough open space on site for communal playgrounds and braai areas. “The project was constructed in dolomite compromised soil conditions which meant that each building’s footprint had to be drilled to ensure that it complied with the Department of Geosciences requirements. Structural rafts with encased pipes were designed for each block,” says Francois Ellis the structural engineer. Units were finished to a high standard and included designer kitchens, Wi-Fi access and nano meters to control and monitor electricity and water consumption. “Building and developing affordable housing is an essential part of the future of our country, as well as the world. It is here to stay and we are pleased to have added this ‘string to our bow’. It has been a rewarding experience to see the development of local people and the upliftment of communities,” says CEO Derek Wheals. For more information, visit: JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2019 11