Facebrick protects Noordgesig Primary
The start of the 2020 school year was particularly exciting for some 1 800 pupils as they entered the doors of the newly-constructed Noordgesig Primary School, located in Soweto. Part of the school structure, which caters for Grades R to 7, was built using a superior face brick range, once again highlighting government’s commitment to quality facilities for the nation’s youth.
The deployment of face brick for the schools’ administration block and hall was the architect’s choice by Kenneth Masvikeni, principal architect of Tribe Architects’, the organisation tasked with designing the new structure, with approval granted by the School Governing Body. The brick is incredibly low maintenance, which is beneficial for long-term government investments.”
Commenting on the face brick choice, Musa Shangase, Commercial Director at Corobrik, said: “Face brick has proven to be the ideal material for government infrastructure projects over the years. When it comes to school buildings such as the impressive Noordgesig Primary School, government departments are able to deliver a high-quality project, boasting world-class structural and aesthetic integrity, while promoting comfort and a low life-cycle cost.”
Because face brick doesn’t require plastering or painting, there are long-term cost savings related to maintenance. In addition, the clay brick offers enhanced thermal comfort by retaining warmth in winter and creating a cool interior in summer, minimising the need for artificial temperature regulation and keeping South African pupils comfortable.
“Schools – particularly large primary schools such as this – are busy places with lots of noise,” continued Shangase. “This is another area where clay brick is so beneficial – the advanced acoustic properties mean that children are not being disturbed by noise when studying.”
For Noordgesig Primary School, 84 000 Firelight Travertine and 48 000 Golden Wheat Travertine face bricks were used in the construction of the administrative building and school hall. The total project cost around R110 million to complete, funded by the Department of Education as an end user and implemented by the Department of Infrastructure Development. Other stakeholders involved in the project included the TPM Consortium, Lethola Cost Assoc. & Qs, Masa Consulting, Tribe Architects, the City of Johannesburg, Ralph Engineering and Yikusasa Building Contractors (Pty) Ltd.
The school replaced the previous asbestos building and is now a modern, information technology-based facility. The nine blocks which make up the school include, among others, an administration building, dedicated Grade R block, dedicated Grade 7 block, toilet facilities, a guard house and school hall. There are six classrooms per grade – 42 in total – including four classrooms in the Grade R block; two smart science laboratories; two smart multi-purpose rooms; and a dining room; among other facilities. During construction, classes were held in mobile classrooms on the adjacent sports’ ground opposite the road, with the project running from March 2018 until late last year.
In line with government’s focus on sustainable infrastructure, Noordgesig Primary School was also constructed with a number of green design features. These include fenestration, which maximises natural light and air circulation while reducing energy loss from the building; energy-saving lighting; as well as solar water heating throughout. Alongside the indigenous trees used in landscaping, there is an attenuation pond housing grey and stormwater, which will be used for filling toilets if needed, washing cars and watering grass.
The school was officially opened at the start of the 2020 school year by the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, alongside the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, and the MEC for Infrastructure Development and Property Management, Tasneem Motara.