L2B Blog: Visions of the future from the architectural past

Visions of the future from the architectural past

When you look at a building, what do you see? I see bricks, some windows, a door or two, oh, and we can’t forget the roof. I am sure that is pretty much what everyone else sees. But when I was given the task of writing this blog, I couldn’t find anything on visions of the future from Architectures past besides the thoughts and visions of what the future might look like with flying cars and buildings in the air floating around (Ok, maybe not to that extent, but you get the idea). With a pounding headache and the confusion lingering, I was forced to take a deeper look into what was handed to me.

A light bulb appeared and low and behold, bam! The idea popped into my mind. I started to think a little out of the box. As the searching started I was amazed at what I discovered, who knew that there is more to a building than just bricks, windows, doors and a roof. Confused? Let me shed some light…

When you look at a building there is more than what the eye can see. There is a past, a story to be told. If I had to write about each and every building, we might be dealing with the longest blog known. Instead I have isolated 3 buildings to tell their story…


1. The Dresden Fraunkirche ( Church of the Lady)

The Dresden Fraunkirche is a Lutheran church in Dresden, capital state of Saxony, Germany, first built in the 11th century in a Romanesque style. The first Frauenkirche was torn down in 1727 and replaced by a new and larger church. The church’s most distinctive feature was its unconventional 96m high dome, called ‘die Steinerne Glocke’ or “Stone Bell”











(Frauenkirche, between 1860 and 1890)


The destruction of the Frauenkirche took place on 13 February 1945, when Anglo-American allied forces began the bombing of Dresden. The church withstood these attacks for two days and nights and held long enough for the evacuation of 300 people who had sought shelter in the church. The dome finally collapsed on 15 February. The pillars exploded and the outer walls shattered and nearly 6 000 tons of stone plunged to earth.


During the last months of World War II, residents expressed the desire to rebuild the church, however reconstruction came to a halt due to political circumstances in East Germany. Due to the continuing decay of the ruins, Dresden leaders decided in 1985 to rebuild the Church of Our Lady. The project gathered momentum as hundreds of architects, art historians and engineers sorted through the thousands of stones, identifying and labelling each for reuse in the new structure.


Reconstruction proceeded in February 1992 and a rubble-sorting ceremony started the event in January 1993 under the direction of architect and engineer Eberhard Burger. The foundation stone was laid in 1995 and stabilised in 1995. In 1996 the crypt was completed followed by the inner cupola in 2000. The exterior was completed by 2004 and the exterior painted in 2005. The intensive efforts to rebuild this landmark were completed in 2005, one year earlier as planned and in time for the 800-year anniversary in 2006.

(Frauenkirche at night)


2. The Reichstag Building

The Reichstag building is a historic edifice in Berlin, Germany which was constructed in 1871 to house the Imperial Diet of the General Empire.

(Reichstag Building, August 1932)


The building was opened in 1894 and housed the Diet until 1933, when it was severely damaged after it was set on fire. The building fell into disuse after the World War II.

(Reichstag, postwar. June 1945)


The ruined building was made safe against the elements and partially refurbished in the 1960s. Only after the German reunification on 3 October 1990, did the Reichstag undergo reconstruction led by Architect Norman Foster

During reconstruction, the building was almost completely stripped, taking out everything except the outer walls. Respect to the historic aspects was one of the conditions stipulated to the architects so that traces of historical events were to be retained in visible state.

Reconstruction was completed in 1999 and is the second most visited attraction in Germany. The building houses a huge glass dome that was erected on the roof as a gesture to the original 1894 cupola.

3. Last but not least, the demise of the next buildings, shattered America and brought the world to a standstill… the World Trade Centre (The Twin Towers)

At the time of their completion the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world. On 20 September 1962, the Port Authority announced the selection of Minoru Yamasaki as lead architect and Emery Roth & Sons as associate architects. The original plan was for the towers to only be 80 stories tall, however, to meet the requirements of the Port Authority to have 10 000 000 square feet of office space, towers were eventually 110 stories tall. Demolition work began on 21 March 1966 to clear thirteen square blocks of low rise buildings. Groundbreaking took place on 5 August 1966. On 4 April 1973 the Twin Towers opened.


About 50 000 people worked in the towers with approximately 200 000 additional visitors passing through on a typical weekday. On 11 September 2001, the world came to a standstill when terrorists hijacked American Airlines and deliberately crashed into both the towers. It was estimated that approximately 17 400 occupants were in the towers at the time of the attacks and 2 977 people died as a result.


During the following years, plans were created for the reconstruction of the World Trade Centre which is now known as the World Trade Centre Memorial and Museum. They commemorate all the victims that were killed on 11 September 2011, including the names of 6 people who were killed in the World Trade Centre bombings in 1993. Construction began in August 2006 and despite many delays, the opening of the memorial took place on 12 September 2011, one day after the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The names of the victims are inscribed on 76 bronze plates attached to the walls of the memorial pools. Below is the transcript of ‘The Memorial Mission’:


‘The Memorial Mission’

‘Remember and honour the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.

Respect this place made sacred through tragic loss.

Recognise the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours.

May the lives remembered, the deeds recognised, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.’



With a new outlook on buildings, always remember that just like each and every one of us, we all have a story to tell. A past, a present and a future.






Did you Know #DYK: Project Life Cycle Explained

About Nadine Vermeulen

I started working at Leads 2 Business in October 2014 in the Leads 2 Quotes Department. I managed all the Daily Tender Bill Requests and followed up on BoQ's for our Daily Tender Subscribers. In 2017, I was promoted to L2Q Assistant and now work with Bill of Quantities for Contractors. 🙂

L2B Blog: Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

If you are involved in the construction industry you have most likely come into contact with a Project Manager (hereafter referred to as a PM) or heard of one mentioned in the process of developments and particularly larger developments.

Certainly in Leads 2 Business’ Projects Department PM’s are one of the most common professionals we deal with. The reason for this, is their role within construction projects.

So, what does a PM actually do? It would seem rather obvious right, they manage the project? But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. PM’s actually do a whole host of duties.

Some of which include: planning, organising, controlling, communicating, executing, reports, programs, advice, analysis, resource control, health and safety, budgets, administration and handover.

All of these duties are done ensure that the project runs successfully thus lowering the risks while meeting all of the objectives timeously to ensure completion which effects the profitability of the project.

So, when do new ideas come into the picture? What new ideas would PM’s have to explore in todays construction industry?

To be honest, I was at a loss when pondering this question, after all I’m not a PM and it’s not a role one easily assumes to answer. So I emailed a few PM’s to get some feedback on ideas that they might want to put out there… but still no luck, probably snowed under with work given our economic environment. I scoured the Internet and there didn’t seem to be any publications or news out there for new ideas when it comes to PM’s until I happened on some LinkedIn Posts. Phew!

This may not be a new idea but how about technology, either using existing tech and / or molding it to PM’s requirements, partnering with IT and creating PM specific tech or even sharing your tech tricks with other PM’s? For example: Ahmed H. Emam, PMP writes “Detect and Fix Dangling Activities in Time Schedule using Excel Macro.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp

Using tech could make PM’s jobs easier but some seem to think that PM’s might be replaced in the future by Tech/Bots. As Oliver Yarbrough, M.S., PMP illustrates in “Can a Robot Do Your Job? Here’s “How Project Managers Can Survive a Takeover.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver

There are some things that tech, no matter how advanced it gets, cannot replace. Oliver suggests to focus on the following skills in order to stand out: “Leadership, Diplomacy, Negotiating, Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, Communication (verbal and nonverbal)” and instead of fighting tech, work with it to enhance your service delivery.

Another thought also came to mind: what is one of the key aspects that I think of when I think of a PM? It would have to be communication. So, what new idea would make communication more effective? What about a platform where all the schedules, notes, admin, planning and analysis can be seen by all the professionals involved in a specific project? Where each person can make notes or get alerts thus avoiding confusion, emails back and forth, potential loss of material, and saving time, something like Google Sheets for PM’s? Does this already exist? It’s possible… calling all PM’s out there, let us know! Perhaps I need to patent this idea.

After all, we all know that communication is key whether you are a PM or not. Another useful tool to facilitate communication and interaction between professionals and all other contacts which fall within the scope of projects is to use L2B (Leads 2 Business). If you are looking to get involved in the different aspects of construction, information is our business. We encourage communication, new ideas and growth in order to build and establish business.

If any of the above sparks your interest leave a Comment below or or Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za







About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

L2B Blog: The longest Civil Engineering job Underway in SA

The longest Civil Engineering job Underway in SA

“N2 Wild Coast Toll Highway”

The longest Civil Engineering job Underway in SA

PPA 6181 on L2b Website: http://www.l2b.co.za/Project/N2-Wild-Coast-Toll-Highway/6181

Is it the One / Is dit die Een / Ingabe iwo na?

Image Source: click here


Talks about this project have been going on since 2008, when the project was first captured on the L2B Website.

It has created thousands of jobs as the work included nine major bridges and three interchange bridges. The project also includes two mega-bridges across the Msikaba and Mtentu river gorges at a cost of R1.2-billion and R1.3 billion respectively.


What this all looked like before the works:

Image Source: click here

Which justifies why this was the most controversial subjects and most popular as it was famous for its unspoilt and untouched natural surroundings


As we all know Construction works are carried out in the form of projects. Projects are becoming progressively larger and more complex in terms of physical size and cost. In the modern world, the execution of a project requires the management of scarce resources; manpower, material, money, and machines to be managed throughout the life of the project – from conception to completion – as per pictures below:


Construction Process (From Start to Finish):

Image Source: click here


Image Source: click here


Image Source: click here


Image Source: click here


Facts and Benefits:

  • The creation of this new road increased accessibility to the area and thus increased job creation and improved livelihoods
  • It has also served to increase connectivity and logistics between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal regions.
  • Moreover, the many coastal reserves, whose aims are to educate people and to conserve the natural environment, and serve as tourist attractions, will become more accessible.
  • Overall, on the positive side, it is anticipated that the new N2 road has greatly benefitted the surrounding communities in terms of job creation, infrastructure development and accessibility, which facilitates tourism and related economic opportunities.

Despite the works that have taken place over the years, it is still amazing how the Wild Coast has preserved its originality by keeping and maintaining its tourist attractions:

Image Source: click here

No wonder Everybody likes taking a walk on the Wild Side…..Thanks to the N2 wild coast Highway, it has made this much much easier

For reference purposes, please refer to the following link: http://www.wildcoast.co.za/wild-coast-toll-road-eia-public-participation-flawed

About Michelle Ngubo

I have been working at L2B since March 2014 and my current position is Content Researcher - Africa Department and Classy is the best word that describes me.

Potholes and Pitfalls in civil engineering contracts

Potholes and Pitfalls in civil engineering contracts

Potholes… an infrastructure issue that deserves a whole blog to itself! How often during your travels (be it your annual drive down to your favourite holiday spot, or your daily route to work) do you face the inconvenience of roadworks? I think all of us experience this from time to time. It goes on for months, sometimes even years. Finally, the works are completed and we breathe a sigh of relief. No more queues of traffic or uneven road surfaces, no more narrowing down to one lane. Phew! At last. A few weeks down the line…. a POTHOLE!!?? The blame gets shifted around quite a bit between all the parties involved in the contract, but where does the problem really lie?


I must admit. This blog title planted a new “anxiety seed” in my brain, and I found myself trying to put on a civil engineer’s shoes (figuratively, not literally).
I follow the progress of numerous infrastructure projects (but not pothole repairs!) in the department that I work in – the Projects Department. Or more affectionately known as the PP office. A few months (usually about 3 months) after a Tender is advertised for a civil engineering contract, we follow up with the relevant contacts in order to obtain the awarded civil engineering company’s details. We then contact the civil engineer and follow the design process, then the tender and construction progress, until the Project is complete. We do not delve too deep into the issues that may be presented during or after the life-cycle of the project, however, we do try to ascertain if or how those problems will affect the time frame of the development.


During my research for this topic, and on more than one occasion, education and training seemed to be a major area of concern when looking at civil engineers in the public sector. South Africa’s public sector appears to have very few professionally registered civil engineers and some of the engineers are placed in positions without possessing the required skills and experience. This could lead to errors in proposals when tendering for contracts and can have serious consequences.


Numerous failed infrastructure projects throughout South African history must surely be making things a bit more difficult for companies to win civil contracts. I would imagine that quality standards have been raised in order to improve public health and safety. These standards would hopefully be imposed on both engineering and construction firms, as both (among other professionals) are just as important in the quality of the completed project.


One example of a failed project is the collapse of the P166 bridge over the N4 in Mpumalanga in 2009. The beams collapsed and blame was shifted between a speeding truck which caused vibrations while travelling under the bridge, to vibrations caused by jackhammers and manufacturing errors. Another concern was the amount paid for the beams – it was substantially lower in comparison to what other engineers said the beams would usually cost. Sub-standard materials constitute a huge issue and can end in disaster.


The Foreshore Freeway Bridge in Cape Town is a well-known incomplete road structure. The bridge was designed in the 60s, and in the early 70s construction commenced. Construction was halted in 1977, apparently due to a lack of funding. However, rumour has it that there was an error in calculations during the design phase and that the two ends of the bridge would fail to meet!

By Flickr user Paul Mannix – https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulmannix/552103944, CC by 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46305687


Perhaps one of the most spectacular bridge collapses in the world was that of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (also nicknamed Galloping Gertie) in the USA, over 76 years ago due to strong winds. The design of the suspension bridge did not allow wind to pass through the sides, causing the bridge to sway and eventually collapse. It only stood for about 4 months after completion before disaster struck. Lessons have been learned and the way in which future suspension bridges are designed, have changed. The parts of the bridge that plunged into Puget Sound have formed a man-made reef, which is protected by the National Register of Historic Places. Click here to see the video, and to see where the bridge got its nickname.

By Barney Elliott; The Camera Shop – Screenshot taken from 16MM Kodachrome motion picture film by Barney Elliott, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23093518


Project failures, such as the ones I have mentioned above, can cast a dark shadow over the industry – an industry which is partly responsible for ensuring that our country’s infrastructure withstands time, utilising taxpayer’s money in a responsible manner. It is critical that we recognise the importance of skilled civil engineers and that employees of the profession look to improve their skills if given the opportunity.


Don’t get me wrong, we have some excellent civil engineering structures on our continent. The Maputo / Catembe Bridge, a 680m suspension bridge standing 60m over the water between Maputo and Catembe, is just one example to prove that:







About Bianca Warwick

I had the privilege of joining the Leads 2 Business content team in January 2012. I work in the exciting Projects department, following the progress of construction developments in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.

Did you know #DYK – Cost to build Roads

Cost to build Roads

Cost to build Roads

What is a road?


A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places that has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by foot or some form of conveyance, including a motor vehicle, cart, bicycle, or horse) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road which costs a vast amount of money to build


The question “Cost to build Roads” was ignited from Trevor Manual’s speech to CESA (Consulting Engineers South Africa) dated 08 October 2009 (#throwback) where he had mentioned the high cost of building of roads in South Africa.


Please Click on link to view the speech: http://www.cesa.co.za/cesaway_presentations/Trevor_Manuel_%20Speech.pdf

Flanders Drive Intersection – Mt Edgecombe:

This is a very difficult question to answer as road construction costs may vary as there are many factors to consider when building a road, please view the list below:

  • Design
  • Amount of environmental mitigation required
  • Terrain
  • Soil Conditions
  • Type of Roads
  • Width of Roads
  • Road Standards
  • Machine and Labour Costs
  • Skill of operators and labours
  • Accommodation
  • Contractors operating cost (such as fuel, labour, interest rates, insurance)
  • Traffic Management
  • Safety Aspects of pedestrians, detours
  • Time available to complete the task
  • Time of the year
  • Construction materials used
  • Availability of materials (shipping material outside the province vs using local materials)

“Road construction techniques are similar throughout the world, you can possibly achieve cost estimates once the main conditioning factors have been identified, by applying figures from similar Road construction projects. For reasons of comparing costs, it is advisable to break down labour and machine costs into different elements. The following breakdown is suggested: Surveying, staking the alignment and clearing right of way; formation of the road; rock blasting; Draining facilities (ditching, culverts); Crushing gravel; Gravelling, grading and compacting; Construction and environment protection works (bridges, retaining structures and soil stabilisation works). The cost of construction; Miscellaneous works (such as transport, delivery and minor earthworks; Projects servicing costs). Once the costs have been calculated for the different elements, unit costs (costs per m, per square m, per piece of construction work) should be developed to facilitate in estimating costs in future road projects and for comparative purposes. http://onlinecivilforum.com/site/index.php/2016/10/27/road-estimate-excel-sheet/


What does 1 km of road cost to build in South Africa? Up to R25 million per km according to CSIR (this information is sourced from the link below if you beg to differ please let us know): http://www.answers.com/Q/What_does_1km_of_road_to_build_cost_in_south_africa


The question still remains to be answered why are the construction cost of roads still so high and are they paved with “gold”?


For your information from OUTA (Organisation undoing Tax abuse): Please see Paper on High Pricing, Collusion and Capture of National Road Construction.


Please click to view active (Road) Projects currently on our system:

About Pauline Rainbird

I have been working at L2B since March 2011 and my current position is Deputy Head of Department - Africa. When I am not working I am either riding my bicycle or spending time with my dogs.

L2B Blog: 5 Ingredients in the Constructions of a Road

5 Ingredients in the Constructions of a Road

5 ingredients in the Construction of a Road

Have you ever baked a cake and realised you forgot to add the flour or the baking powder? What tends to happen? Your cake flops or does not rise. Building a road is similar, but a lot more complex. There are so many ‘ingredients’ and important aspects that need to be considered before and during the construction of a road.

The first step to constructing a road would be planning. Your engineer/consultant would come on site and decide what type of road will be built and what materials would be used to construct the road. This will all depend on how much traffic will occupy this road. Even the simplest of roads can take up to months or possibly even years for the planning of the road. The engineer will need to evaluate many factors such as the environmental impact of the road, the availability of materials needed to construct the road, will the road be safe and, the most important factor, the cost of the road. These plans will be written into a final proposal where the consultants will need to evaluate these plans. Meetings will take place with all parties concerned and all the pros and cons will be discussed in vast detail. Without proper planning and careful consideration of all these factors, there is a chance that the foundation will collapse.

Shortly after careful planning and long and tedious meeting’s the plan will either be approved or rejected. We are going to assume that the planning was approved. The next step would be the construction of the actual road.

Ingredients used to construct a road:


1. The standard Foundation:

Bulldozers and graders, which are two types of machinery, will be used to flatten the ground surface. This ground layer will make up the bottom layer of our road



2. Gravel:

The gravel will be added in layers where a roller machine will be used to roll over this surface to ensure that the surface is compact and flattened



3. Drainage facilities:

Drainage facilitates play a huge role in ensuring that the road is safe at all times from water backlogs. We are not able to control the weather and for this reason, we need to ensure that the road never gets saturated and water-logged. Firstly it is not safe for drivers on the road and secondly, the road will soon disintegrate and start deteriorating over time. Examples of drainage facilities would be drain and storm water sewers.


Once the foundation is complete and compact and has been inspected by the consultant, it is time to pave the road!

4. Asphalt / Bitumen

Asphalt uses an oil based substance called bitumen to make sand and crushed rock stick together like a glue-like substance. The asphalt is heated to +- 300 Degrees Fahrenheit (148,88 Degrees Celsius), where it

will be transported to the site where the construction team will spread the mixture evenly across the smooth gravel service. The mixture is rolled over the gravel surface where it will form a solid layer on the top.



5. Concrete Slabs

The finishing touches will be the concrete slabs that are laid on the side of the roads. Workers will pour liquid concrete into a steel mould called forms. A finishing machine is used to shake these moulds to ensure the mixture is distributed evenly for an even finish. The concrete slabs are laid alongside the road where incisions in the road are made to allow the concrete to expand and contract depending on the temperature, this will ensure that the road does not crack



Every day we take our course of life, may it be a trip to the shop or work and take for granted these roads that we drive on. Most people think they just appeared or are set up overnight by machinery. The planning and work that goes into these roads are far more complex than most can imagine.


Sources used:




About Roxanne Mustard

My Name is Roxanne Mustard and I started working at Leads 2 Business in September 2016. My role in the Leads 2 Business team is as a Regional Content researcher in the Projects Department.

L2B Blog: What is the importance of appointing an architect?

What is the importance of appointing an architect?

What is the importance of appointing an architect?

What is the importance of appointing an architect?

What is Architecture?

Architecture is the art of building. It satisfies a basic, universal human need for shelter.

An architect is an artist who designs structures to enclose residential, commercial, or public space. Architects work with construction technologies, building materials, topography, contractors, and governmental regulations within a project budget to satisfy their clients’ wants and needs.

To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use.

Professionally, an architect’s decisions affect public safety, and thus an architect must undergo specialised training consisting of advanced education and a practicum (or internship) for practical experience to earn a license to practice architecture. Practical, technical, and academic requirements for becoming an architect vary.

In the architectural profession, technical and environmental knowledge, design and construction management, and an understanding of business are as important as design. However, design is the driving force throughout the project and beyond. An architect accepts a commission from a client. The commission might involve preparing feasibility reports, building audits, the design of a building or of several buildings, structures, and the spaces among them. The architect participates in developing the requirements the client wants in the building. Throughout the project (planning to occupancy), the architect co-ordinates a design team. Structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers and other specialists, are hired by the client or the architect, who must ensure that the work is co-ordinated to construct the design

General Points

  • Architects are trained to take your brief and can see the big picture.
  • Architects look beyond your immediate requirements to design flexible buildings that will adapt to the changing needs of your business.
  • Architects solve problems creatively
  • When they are involved at the earliest planning stage, they gain more opportunities to understand your business, develop creative solutions, and propose ways to reduce costs.
  • Architects can save you money by maximising your investment.
  • A well-designed building can reduce your bills now and increase its long-term value.
  • Architects can manage your project from site selection to completion.
  • In many building projects, the role of the architect includes co-ordinating a team of specialist consultants such as landscape architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, interior designers, builders and subcontractors.
  • Architects can save you time.
  • By managing and co-ordinating key project elements they allow you to focus on your organisation’s activities.
  • Architects can help your business.
  • They create total environments, interior and exterior, which are pleasing and functional for the people who work and do business within them.

And hopefully, you end up with a building that is considered both beautiful and functional. Some Architects are hired for their creativity and bold designs, which result in buildings and structures that dominate the skyline. See 30 St Marys Street or more commonly known as The Gherkin. These buildings can often become tourist attractions and works of art in themselves. See Park Güell in Barcelona, which was designed by architect Antoni Gaudi.

Unfortunately, like all art; the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In some cases, buildings can be judged by “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. Some buildings with the striking designs are considered eyesores or worse. Worse being “badly” designed. There are stories of highly polished exteriors of buildings setting fire to people and things when the sun hits them at the wrong angle. See Vdara Hotel, Las Vegas:

Or huge skyscrapers, that apparently were designed and subsequently built with no space left for the elevators shafts and the machinery required for them. See the Intempo Skyscraper in Benidorm, Spain with its 47 storeys:

Hiring an architect can save time and money, and allow you access to expertise and creativity, and results in the art that we live in and experience daily. But ensure you hire the good.

“The space within becomes the reality of the building” – Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect





About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

L2B Blog: Ways that technology is helping to build the Construction Industry

Ways that technology is helping to build the Construction Industry

Ways that Technology is helping to build the Construction Industry:

As technology continues to progress, it is not hard to see how it spills over into the construction industry. From machinery to apps on your phone and the advances in materials, each has an integral role:

To name a few groundbreaking Construction Projects from all over the world: In 2015, a Chinese company built a 57 story building in 19 days. The Burj Khalifa, the current world’s tallest building at 828m, completed in 2010. In my opinion, one of the most awesome feats of technology: the underwater dining room of the Kihavah Maldives. A house being built by a 3D printer in a record breaking 24 hours. If it was not for technology evolving, these Projects would not be done quickly, or even be possible.

As people, it is in our DNA to be creative, which leads to people continuously developing technology to be bigger, better, smarter and faster. The same applies to the construction industry.

Pre-1904, if you were building a house you would be mixing your concrete by hand. In 1904 Richard Bodlaender patented what we know today as the portable cement mixer, which has since been modified with an engine attachment. 1917 saw the birth of the cement mixing truck, which only reached its full potential in 1957 with the invention of the cement pump, allowing us the capabilities to pour concrete at an incredible rate: this cement pump has micro-evolved since the 50’s. I suppose all methods of mixing concrete are still used today depending on the budget of the project, however, the most effective method would be the use of the truck with a cement pump.

In our lifetime, we have seen “new technology” turned into dinosaurs, like dial-up internet (thank goodness that is gone). We’ve got smartphones, that have come a long way since its brick size predecessor and at the rate we are going, tablets will completely eradicate the entire species of the laptop computer. We have access to apps and websites on our phone, as long as we have a positive credit in our data bundles. Thanks to apps we are able to carry around a set of building plans and specs in the palms of our hands. By adding in a few figures, apps can work out the costs of the project for us. The diary industry (classic quoting system) is slowly eroding as we have our whole world on our phones. Advertising has progressed from newspaper classifieds to flyers/banners to social media (The newspaper is online these days as the world calls for a more paperless society). If you are avoiding social media, you will be left in the dark ages as your online presence is vital to your survival. Which is easier? To Google a phone number from your device or to look for a number in your phone book when you get home later, real world people want real-time answers.

Where does that leave us as South Africans?

We need to move forward, to adapt: Which has more life in it, the river or a pond with no inlet or outlet? To change our marketing strategies, to buy or develop new technology, to be more effective with the little time we have in the day. If we are not developing or inventing our own technology we will always be behind those who do. I think there is plenty of money to be made for those who can think ahead, keep up with technology, invest in development or purchase machinery so we can keep it local and sow into our own economy. Let us not be stuck in our ways, but keep adapting. I’m not saying throw the baby out with the bathwater, but be willing to embrace technology. Most importantly build your online presence.

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.

To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.

To view more articles, please visit our blog.

About Eldary Carpenter

I have been with Leads 2 Business for 5 years and absolutely love working for such a dynamic company. I started off as a Content Researcher in the Tenders Department before being promoted to Customer Relations.

L2B Blog: Commercial Construction & Renovation

Commercial Construction & Renovation

According to itsallaboutbusiness.com, “Commercial construction is the business of building and selling or leasing manufacturing or assembly plants, medical centers, retail shopping centers and standard space for offices. The business varies primarily in the size and scale of the operations. Typically, the commercial builder either contracts with a company or organisation to build the facility or builds the facility on speculation that it can be leased or sold at a later time.”

Taking the above into account lets look at some of the commercial properties making headlines in South Africa.

In 2011 Aurecon’s Offices in Century City, now known as Aurecon East, was the first building in South Africa to be awarded a 5-Star Green Star SA Office Design v1 rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) but they didn’t stop there. In 2016 Aurecon West was completed, the second phase of Offices which also went on to receive a 5-Star Green Star SA Office Design v1 rating. Aurecon’s investment in Century City has inspired a number of other large corporates to relocate to the area.

In 2011 there were only 5 buildings in SA with Green Star accreditation from the GBCSA, to date there are 113 buildings with a Office Design v1 rating and 202 buildings in total with a Green Star Rating.

When you mention Kyalami most will think of the Race Track that was purchased by Porsche South Africa in 2014. Indeed, it is an historic track and recent construction and renovation at the Race Track was completed May 2016 after which it was awarded a Grade 2 racetrack certification by the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA) and is the only current motor racing facility on the African continent to have the prestigious accreditation. But the Race Track is not the only property making headlines, Kyalami Corner, a 28 000m² retail development is due for completion in March and anticipated to open in April this year and forms part of the larger Kyalami Main on Main development in the area which includes retail, motor showrooms, offices and residential.

Another commercial development close to home is the Liberty Midlands Mall Phase 3 Expansion which will include offices and a value retail centre which was initially announced December 2013, construction was planned to commence in early 2014 and completed by mid-2015. However it seems that there were various delays and Phase 3 looks like it will be going ahead during 2017. Residents in the area have been waiting a while for the expansion and I’m sure many look forward to witnessing the progressing going forward. Watch this space.

The list of commercial construction and renovation could go on…

It’s evident that there is a significant amount of commercial construction & renovation happening in SA and what’s more all the developments I mentioned above can be found on Leads 2 Business. Want to know more? Comment below or contact us.




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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

L2B Blog: Building Design & Construction: Interesting Buildings & Structures

Building Design & Construction: Interesting Buildings & Structures

Building Design & Construction: Interesting Buildings & Structures

Over the ages, there have been many buildings and structures built that have an absolutely amazing design. Some of these buildings and structures have withstood the test of time in ways that newer buildings / structures have yet to experience and only time will tell if they will be able to withstand the forces of nature. Today, I am having a look at some of these brilliant buildings and structures that have captured my imagination.


  1. Bridge of Eggs, Lima, Peru

Puente de Piedra (the Bridge of Stone), was built around 1610 by the architect. Juan del Corral, and is referred to as the Bridge of Eggs, due to the belief that the mortar was mixed with egg whites as opposed to water. The bridge is still standing today.

 Photo Credit: Mangal Home Builders

References: WikipediaDid You Know?


  1. Cathedral of Brasília(Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida), Brazil

The Cathedral of Brasília (Portuguese: Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida, “Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Aparecida”) is the Roman Catholic cathedral in Brasília, Brazil, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Construction started in 1958 and was completed in 1970.

Photo Credit: Author – Victor Soares – ABr

References: WikipediaMost Amazing Facts.

  1. Yunak Evleri Cave Hotel, Urgup, Cappadocia, Turkey

Yunak Evleri is a 5-star hotel built into ancient Turkish caves that were carved out of the rocky hills. The combination of the renovated caves (7) with the private cave rooms (40 in total), dating back to the 5th and 6th century, capped by a 19th century Greek Mansion, would entice anyone to go exploring.

Photo Credit: Yunak

References: YunakMost Amazing Facts

  1. Air Force Academy Chapel, Colorado, United States

Construction on this amazing building started in 1957 and it was completed in 1962. Designed by Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and constructed by Robert E. McKee, Inc., it provides the following worship areas: Protestant chapel (Protestants), Catholic chapel (Catholics), Jewish chapel (Jews), Buddhist chapel (Buddhists), Falcon Circle (Followers of Earth-Centered Spiruality, which includes Wicca, Paganism and Druidism) and All-Faiths rooms (these are for smaller religious groups and faith specific accoutrements are available for use).

Photo Credit: Author – Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

References: WikipediaDocomomo-USMost Amazing Facts

  1. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Of course, one of the most famous buildings in all of time, is the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower, also became the namesake. Construction started in 1887 and was completed in 1889.

Photo Credit: Benh LIEU SONG (License)

References: Wikipedia

  1. Fallingwater House, Pennsylvania, United States

Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designed this astounding house for Liliane and Edgar J. Kaufmann in 1935. Construction started in 1936 and the main house was completed in 1937. In 1966 it was designated a National Historic Landmark. The Lego product range, Lego Architecture, features Fallingwater as a landmark set.

Photo Credit: Author – Daderot

References: Wikipedia

  1. La Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

This minor basilica was designed by Antoni Gaudi and construction commenced in 1882. Due to reliance on private donations and being interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, it has an anticipated completion date of 2026.

Photo Credit: Author – Bernard Gagnon

References: WikipediaMost Amazing Facts

  1. The Big Pineapple, Bathurst, South Africa

Built between 1990 – 1992, the Big Pineapple is a tribute to the agricultural success of the fruit in the region. It is almost 20m high and has three floors.

Photo Credit: NJR ZA

References: Buzz South AfricaAGU Blogosphere

  1. The Shoe House, Abel Erasmus Pass, Mpumalanga

Ron van Zyl designed and built this house for his wife, Yvonne, in 1990. Today the house is a Museum and also includes a chalet guest house, restaurant, bar, a camp site, curio shop and pool.

Photo Credit: FunPic

References: Buzz South AfricaTraveler’s Log.

  1. Alice Lane Towers, Sandton, South Africa

Designed by Paragon Architects and completed in 2010, this is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen. This is the first high rise building with a curved façade, being completely glazed and made from low energy glass and utilising glass printing technology.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

References: Wikipedia

These are some of the structures and buildings which have caught my interest, but there are still so many other amazing, popular, strange and fantastic buildings and structures in the world.

Do you have any that have caught your interest?

Feel free to leave a comment.

If you are interested in becoming one of our subscribers, please visit our website.

To view notes with screenshots on how to use our website, please visit our Wiki site.

To view more articles, please visit our blog.

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

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