Burst pipe de­lays open­ing of build­ing cen­tre’s new home

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

T HE GRAND o p e n i n g o f Africa’s big­gest and best per­ma­nent build­ing ex­hi­bi­tion – the new 860m² Build­ing Cen­tre, at North­gate Es­tate just off the N1, has had to be post­poned un­til early in the new year.

A burst pipe flooded the en­tire com­plex with 50mm of water last Sun­day, when no one was there.

Ch­eryl Neave, pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager for the cen­tre, said all the solid and lam­i­nated wood and much other floor­ing (ex­hibits in their own right) had to be taken out and re­placed, which would take time, with pres­sure on them for out­side work to be com­pleted be­fore the builders’ hol­i­days.

“For­tu­nately, rel­a­tively few of the 120 or so ex­hibitors’ stands have suf­fered badly. The tragedy of the sit­u­a­tion is that af­ter round-the-clock ef­forts by the Build­ing Cen­tre staff and the ex­hibitors we had the whole place in won­der­ful shape for the De­cem­ber 6 open­ing, which now has to be post­poned,” said Neave.

This was t o have b e e n at­tended by more than 200 of the 900 ar­chi­tects on the Western Cape In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects mem­ber­ship list. Many had al­ready made plans to fly in from other cities or to drive in from out­ly­ing ar­eas.

Jamie Heath­cote- Marks, man­ager of the Build­ing Cen­tre, has from the out­set said that his goal is to put this cen­tre on par with the best in the world.

“The dou­ble-vol­ume build­ing in which it is sited is ideal for such an ex­hi­bi­tion: it is fully glazed on three sides, al­ways cool and light-filled and aes­thet­i­cally avant garde. It has been grat­i­fy­ing to see that most of our ex­hibitors have stayed with us and that they have al­most all mod­ernised and up­graded their stands. In the 58-year his­tory of the Build­ing Cen­tre we have never be­fore had such an at­trac­tive and im­pres­sive a range of ex­hibits.”

A fo­cal point of the new build­ing is the Eco House on the mez­za­nine floor. This is built with – and dis­plays – a wide va­ri­ety of green build­ing prod­ucts and tech­niques.

“With the swing to green build­ings now gain­ing rapid mo­men­tum, we ex­pect this sec­tion to at­tract great in­ter­est,” said Neave, “and this has been con­firmed by the vis­i­tors we have had so far.”

The full range of prod­ucts dis­played in­cludes every­thing from roof­ing to floor­ing.

“The big ad­van­tage of the new Build­ing Cen­tre is that it is at last in a con­ve­nient po­si­tion, al­ready used by most sup­pli­ers to the de­sign/build­ing sec­tor. It has am­ple free park­ing, is eas­ily nav­i­gated and gives de­sign­ers, de­vel­op­ers and house­hold­ers the op­por­tu­nity to see, touch and thor­oughly ex­am­ine prod­ucts rather than to sim­ply read about them in a brochure be­fore de­cid­ing on what to buy.

“Ar­chi­tects, builders and home­own­ers have tes­ti­fied that one or two vis­its to the cen­tre have en­abled them to break away from too- con­ven­tional, pos­si­bly out­worn con­cepts and in­tro­duce in­no­va­tive new prod­ucts that add value to their projects.”

Although floor­ing re­pair work is in full swing, the cen­tre is open to vis­i­tors. It can be reached from the M5. At the Koe­berg In­ter­change, mo­torists pass the N1 to Paarl and turn first right at the traf­fic lights into Sec­tion Street, then first left into North­gate Es­tate.

For di­rec­tions or in­for­ma­tion, call the Build­ing Cen­tre 021 510 4000 or e-mail bc@new.co.za.

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