9 April 2013



China Mall

he construction of the China Cash and Carry sales outlet at Crown Mines, Johannesburg presented architects Rescon Properties with an interesting challenge – to develop a centre that is functional to both retail and wholesale shoppers.


Stephen Wood, CEO at Rescon Properties said “We had to understand the way Chinese importers operate. The new China Cash and Carry has a dual functionality in that it is to service both the general public as well as the wholesale supply chain. This meant that one would have 40 foot containers being offloaded at the same time that retail shopping was being conducted. We also had to accommodate the movement of goods from the delivery bays to different floors. We kept the movement axis as simple as possible. Also, the movement of large trucks and retailer vehicles needed to be efficiently planned for as well as their respective parking offloading/on-loading facilities”.


“The design of the project had to also incorporate living quarters and we had to redevelop a listed mining structure into a communal food court and office building. The parking element of the project alone required some 1344 parking bays – 820 open bays and 524 basement bays making the total paved area some 24000 square meters. The China Cash and Carry parking requirements, as a wholesale centre, differed from traditional shopping centres in terms of peak demands and Rescon undertook traffic studies in order to ensure that the final design of the required parking facilities met functionality needs and complied with the parameters within which we were working”.

“Another key element to the project was that the building had to be well designed for ease of use for both sectors of trading and feature a high level of finishes – with budget constraints as they are this was quite a challenge but I believe we succeeded as Rescon has a reputation for being able to cater to extensive and complex developer requirements”.


Wood added “The choice of the Technicrete paving product for the parking element of the project was specified due to its ability to handle traffic of large container trucks and also because the pavers have a hard-wearing surface”.


Parking Lot Demands

Parking lot construction demands that paving, drainage systems and other decorative materials can accommodate weather conditions and the weight of the anticipated vehicle and foot traffic. At the China Cash and Carry project, the parking area is one of the largest parking lots recently constructed and paved. With water drainage a critical issue, due to Highveld thunder storms, some 12 sloped drainage lines were installed across the above ground parking area to ensure surface water dissemination to storm water drains constructed below. A critical element of the construction is that earthworks level tolerances are closer to the design so that surface run-off is uninterrupted and ponding is avoided.


HD Projects, were brought on board to ensure that a quality, safe and aesthetically pleasing finish would be the outcome in the paving of the parking areas at China Cash and Carry.


HD Projects, who were the Project Management team, used Technicrete JZZ interlocking pavers for the China Cash and Carry project as they are a visually-pleasing and provide a hard-wearing surface. Jaco Koekemoer, Project Manager at HD Projects, explains that Technicrete was chosen as the paving supplier because the JZZ brick is a versatile product which has a successful track record when applied in commercial applications, such as roadways and industrial areas that see heavy-duty traffic – which in the case of the China Cash and Carry outlet - was essential to ensuring longevity at the new complex”.

Koekemoer commented that three Technicrete products were used for China Cash and Carry: the 60mm JZZ paver, which was used for the undercover basement parking that will only be used by cars and not heavy vehicles; the 80mm JZZ paver, which was used for the external areas that will need to carry the heavier commercial loads, and precast concrete kerb stones were used to edge the paving.


HD Projects has worked with Technicrete on previous projects and attributes their successful collaborations to good service and quick delivery times. “Technicrete’s pricing is very competitive and the finish and sturdiness of their products is exceptionally good. The end result is a good looking and safe parking lot at Crown Mines” he says.


JZZ Technical Specifications

China Mall

The sub-base should be prepared in accordance with SANS 1200ME and the bedding layer should comply to SANSMJ before the JZZ pavers are laid. The bricks are 220 X 97mm in size (48 per square metre), and the thickness chosen should depend on the application. For domestic driveways, municipal parking areas and pedestrian pavements, the 50 or 55mm JZZ paver may be adequate.


For petrol station forecourts, industrial and factory road and suburban streets, the 60mm or 80mm JZZ pavers are recommended, while the 100mm JZZ paver is available for use in very heavy duty loading bays, platforms and industrial areas, container terminals and other industrial applications.

The JZZ pavers are laid in a herringbone formation giving an elegant finish, and are available in a variety of colours and thicknesses, depending on the application. Colours include autumn, terracotta, grey, plum, slate and tan.


Work Continues


The overall size of the China Cash and Carry project is some 57,200 square meters divided into three phases. The project commenced in 2008, with phase 2a being completed in 2010-2012. The last phase is currently underway this year with a warehousing element set to follow thereafter.