JULIUS KLEIN DIAMOND CUTTING FACTORY

Renovation and Refurbishment

 

JULIUS KLEIN DIAMOND CUTTING FACTORY

Renovation and Refurbishment

 

JULIUS KLEIN DIAMOND CUTTING FACTORY

Renovation and Refurbishment

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Commercial Renovations and Refurbishment

The project comprised of the renovation and large scale alteration of existing storage warehouses into a lettable storage component and a diamond cutting factory. The client, Julius Klein Diamonds Namibia, have existing operations in New York, Tel Aviv, and Johannesburg. The facility had to compare favourably to similar world class facilities internationally.

JKD Namibia won a bid for a license for the operation of a diamond cutting facility in Namibia. The license was granted on a provisional basis with the requirement that the facility be operational by March 2008. The professional team for the project was only appointed at the beginning of July 2007. As the completion of the facility within the required time was critical to the success of the project, work had to be done on an extremely tight time frame. Site handover was on 28 August, based on a Tender on a Provisional Bill of Quantities. Practical Completion was certified on 4 February 2008, a five-month construction period – four if the Builders Holiday was taken into consideration.

The aim of the client was to provide a stimulating and pleasant working environment for all its workers. The company is very focused on social upliftment through the provision of excellent training to all its employees, and insisted that the quality of the working environment be of a very high standard. A happy balance was sought between the stringent security requirements necessary for the facility, and still providing natural and humane surroundings within a manufacturing context. To this end, it was decided to create an inner courtyard sanctum, which though very secure, provided an opportunity for all the workers to have a space to relax and relate to nature. Although physical access from all the components of the facility had to be regulated via secure entrances and exits to the courtyard, visual access was prioritised. Consideration was given to maximising the influx of natural light into the workspaces to reduce the lighting load and at the same time to enhance worker satisfaction.

The success of this project can be ascribed to two main factors:

Firstly to the momentous effort that came from the professional team in working together with the contractor to complete the project. The contractor proved to be extremely competent and very accommodating of the many changes that are inherent in a fast track project of this nature. Secondly the clients’ quick decision-making and hands-on approach to the project, along with prompt payment of all accounts that ensured a steady and reliable cash flow for the project.

Interesting Details

In order to enhance the influx of natural light into a very deep existing warehouse space, the architect made use of the idea of a “light shelf” in the office component of the factory. Light from high level windows is reflected onto a suspended light construction ceiling board with a reflective foil finish. This panel reflects the light back onto the white ceiling boards above, which causes the light to be reflected deeper into the office spaces. This reflected light is also a more pleasant light for working with than direct sunlight from outside.

Project Details

Client

Julius Klein Diamonds, Namibia

Location

Prosperita, Windhoek, Namibia

Quantity surveyor

Buhr & Fouche QS

Structural Engineer

Burmeister & Partners

Mechanical and Electrical

EMCON Consulting Engineers

Landscapist

Namibia Landscaping

Project value:

N$ 12 million

Status:

Complete

Photographer

Markus Weiss