NMMU opens bitumen laboratory

Nelson Mandela Metro University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth has opened a new Bitumen Laboratory, with a new Science Building under construction.

NMMU also has a Building and Human Settlement Development building.

The Bitumen Laboratory was designed by Ngonyama Okpanum Architects and contracted to Dekon Projects, of 2012 square metres, at a project value of R3.9-m.

The scope of the project and client requirements requested eco-friendly construction, on NMMU’s North campus.

The building uses concrete columns that distribute the main loads towards the foundations.

The structure is enclosed with wrap-around metal sheet cladding as the external façade to give it an industrial finish.

It includes an extraction room, office, binder area, asphalt area, compaction room, specialised area, and store room.

Nineteen workers, on average, are tasked with the daily erection of the bitumen laboratory, which commenced construction in September last year.

The function of this building or the main activity to be performed is the testing of bitumen (also referred to as asphalt), relevant to construction safety, road safety, enviornmental impacts, quality, maintenance, and sustainability.

The product has a range of industrial applications. Bitumen is used in many construction projects such as roads, paving, and waterproofing in sealing roofs.

Tests include bitumen content test, ductility test, and penetration test.

The NMMU Science Building is still under construction.
The NMMU Science Building texture (artist’s view).

NMMU Science Building under constgruction

The New Science Building is valued at R45-m, designed by Mac McDonald Architects and structurally designed by SJW Civils.

Grinaker-LTA is the main contracting firm that has outsourced a percentage of the project to other subcontracting firms.

The site was handed over to Grinaker-LTA by NMMU in January 2015. The two storeys are to include lecture halls, labs and an auditorium.

An underground basement that will house equipment specific to the science labs is to also form part of the project scope.

The completion date is expected to be 28 November 2015.

The contracting company is a subsidiary of Aveng Group. The NMMU aims to carry on its development. A Medical department is planned.

SACPCMP and CIOB student chapters

NMMU Construction Management department has opened an SACPCMP Student Chapter, and promotes CIOB membership. The CIOB is the world’s largest professional body for Construction Management and leadership.

CIOB accredits university degrees, educational courses, and training. The professional and vocational qualifications offered, are a mark of the highest levels of competence and professionalism, providing assurance to clients and other professionals procuring built assets.

A person can join the CIOB regardless of career status. A student, studying full time, may apply for free membership and become a student member, after which the CIOB will be available to advise and support the student throughout his/her working life.

Student membership gives access to scholarships, network groups, challenges of virtually managing a construction company in competition format (Visit http://www.ciob.org/routes/im-studying)

Students from both the Department of Construction Management and Department of Building and Human Settlement Development, received a guest presentation by SACPCMP Registrar, Nomvula Rakolote.

* Sources; NMMU. Viewgram.

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One thought on “NMMU opens bitumen laboratory

  1. I hope some research will be done to improve on the binding properties of bitumen to prevent degradation of asphalted roads due to spills of oils (especially diesel).

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