ICON Group successfully preserves century old building in Johannesburg CBD, despite demolitions and excavations ongoing

ICON Group successfully preserves century old building in Johannesburg CBD, despite demolitions and excavations ongoing

20210223 The ICON Group is underway with bulk earthworks and demolition in the Johannesburg CBD for what will eventually become the new Title Deeds Office for the city. The project value for ICON’s scope of work amounts to approximately R20-million. The project began in October 2020 and is centred around a 120-year old heritage building which needs to be kept in-tact, making this a challenging project.

Wayne Neary, ICON Group Managing Director explains: “The site belongs to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and has been standing derelict for many years. It has burnt down twice in its lifetime, yet the building façade remains beautifully in-tact. We are proud to be working on this development for the Department, giving new life to this historic building.”

The wider project was awarded to GVK-Siya Zama Building Contractors, with Icon appointed subcontractor for the demolition of other structures on site, and an excavation of 15 metres. “We overcame stiff competition for this project, and I think it comes down to the fact that we offer both the demolition and excavation,” says Neary. “We are also familiar with this area and are prepared to tackle whatever comes our way while we dig. We have already come across some old foundations and we are expecting many more surprises.” Rising to the challenges on site, Icon is ensuring they provide value for money on this project which will ultimately assist the public sector better serve local property owners.

While conserving the heritage building is a prominent sustainability feature of the project, Icon is ensuring they recycle and reuse other materials where possible. Some bricks will be reclaimed for the new structure, set to be approximately 12 storeys high, while other unusable bricks will be crushed on site and used as aggregate. “Our hydraulic crushers once again put us ahead in the game and lower our environmental footprint, as we don’t need to transport so much rubble offsite, or bring in other aggregate.” Further, with building material manufacture accounting for a vast portion of the planet’s CO2 emissions, the reuse, recycling and repurposing of many building components makes this project that much greener.

“This project is certainly keeping us on our toes, and we are executing the utmost caution as we proceed,” says Neary. “We look forward to seamlessly handing over the site for construction and ultimately seeing how this building is brought back to life once the project is complete,” he concludes.