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23 September 2003
echnicrete is delivering 500 000 cement bricks a month to keep building operations at the huge Euro-Am housing complex at Witbank on stream. By the completion of the project in 2005, more than 15-million of Concor's special-design Diamond maxi bricks will have been delivered to site.
Construction of 5 000 medium-cost homes is under way for the Witbank Municipality, which will rent them out to householders.
"The Diamond maxi brick is a break from the traditional, and the Euro-Am project is a good example of how the appearance of lower-cost housing can be enhanced by its use," says a spokesman for main contractors Seakay Engineering. "We needed a quality brick that was also aesthetically pleasing, and the Diamond maxi brick was the answer."
The final cost of the Euro-Am project - about R400-million - is being directly financed by Mpumalanga Province and the National Housing Finance Corporation from funds provided by a number of European countries.
"The quality of low-cost homes is often questioned, but construction quality at Euro-Am has not been compromised," a Technicrete spokesman said. "The maxi brick is of unique design, durable, and its strength of 14 MPa exceeds by far the minimum requirements of the National Home Building Registration Council."
Mr John Lane, one of South Africa's best known professional authorities on structural concrete masonry, says about the Diamond maxi brick: "It produces a house that is not only of different visual appearance, but one that is structurally sound, with good fire resistance and, thermal and acoustic properties."
Euro-Am is seen as a prime example of the growing success of cement bricks - not only in social housing projects but also in big-ticket housing developments. Not far from Euro-Am, Concor Technicrete cement bricks are being used in the construction of R1-million-plus homes at a private Witbank residential estate.