International Coatings Company (ICC) opened their new warehouse and sales floor in July this year in Pomona. The Pomona area, around the intersection of Harare Drive and Alpes Road, is currently probably the most rapidly developing commercial and light industrial suburb in Harare (see Structure and Design, Storagemart Issue 3; Halsteds’ new branch Issue 14). The area is less congested than, for example, Msasa or Graniteside, and it offers easy access for residents and businesses from both the northern and western suburbs.
ICC had been situated in a small warehouse in Roberts Drive in Msasa. They soon found that they had outgrown their premises and they took over the next door property as well. When they found the combined space was still not enough for their needs, they began looking around for somewhere bigger and better and they found the Pomona warehouse which was ideal for their needs. The main section of the building measures 21m x 72m making it just over 1,500sq/m of warehouse space. The warehouse was designed by Rob Butler from Grid Transmission, who has designed and built a large number of similarly combined warehouse and retail space structures, most notably Halsteds in Msasa, the sprawling Mbudzi market in Waterfalls and the Steel Brands factory in Ardbennie (see Structure and Design Steel Brands Issue 14).
In addition, Grid Transmission has built a number of retail spaces, factories, churches and service stations making them the leading structural steel fabrication and erection concern in Zimbabwe. The warehouse space for ICC has heavier than usual steel roof beams which could accommodate overhead cranes if needed. In addition, the roof eaves extend out about 6m on either side creating additional covered outdoor workspace. The warehouse is basically a brick structure up to height of around 1.8m with vertical Chromadek cladding above extending up to roof height. The high roof has a series of skylights punched through to allow for natural lighting, although there are also high bay LED industrial lights. The excellent lighting is ideal for correctly colour matching paint samples. There are three large roller shutter doors to make loading easy and, together with the high ceiling, they help provide natural ventilation.
Grid Transmission worked in conjunction with Lues Construction who were involved in the ‘wet’ works side, notably the huge concrete floor slab. The slab is 150mm thick 30 MPa concrete reinforced with weldmesh. It took a total of 12 working days to cast the required 12 slabs each of 24m x 6m. Thereafter it was cured by ‘ponding’ for 7 days and it took 28 days to reach full strength. In addition, Grid Transmission approached Bruce Rowlands from Architexture Spatial Design to create an add-on front office section with two offices and toilets downstairs and two offices and a small kitchen upstairs.
The brief to Rowlands was to design something that would show off the endless versatility of structural steel. Rowlands came up with a twisting, fan-shaped facade for the office section that is both whimsical and eyecatching. Fortuitously, the fan shape is very similar to the fans of paint colour samples that ICC uses! Inside Rowlands designed a wall next to the staircase clad in distressed steel sheeting that will slowly oxidise and rust over time, showing that raw steel can also be a decorative element. There’s also a small balcony off the main office which overlooks the sales floor and warehouse.
a.b.e.® Construction Chemicals is a major supplier of specialised construction chemicals and products to the building, civil engineering and building maintenance industries. The a.b.e.® range of products includes waterproofing, flooring, specialised adhesives, silicone and sealants, concrete curing coatings and concrete additives to achieve special wear characteristics and concrete repair products. Graco offers systems, products and technologies that set the quality standard in a wide range of fluid handling solutions. A segment of their range is equipment for the commercial spraying of all kinds of paints, stains, lacquers, acrylics, enamels, lacquers, primers, road-marking paint, solvent-based paint and water-based paint. The machines are predominantly used by contractors and commercial furniture and steelwork manufacturers – for example by Grid Transmissions to spray apply the coating on the structure in this article. Another example of Graco machinery in action in Zimbabwe is the self-propelled road marking machine used to paint the road lines on the new section of Harare Drive.
ICC has divided up the interior space into retail sales, bulk storage and a consignment storage section. ICC started out in the decorative paint business as the official distributors for ChemSpec Paint, successfully marketing the DeCo brand of products for 3 years. In early 2015 ChemSpec closed its operations and ICC made the strategic move to team up with Prominent Paints, PaintChem Paints, Graco, a.b.e® Construction Materials, and CIN Coatings. Each of these is a specialist coatings supplier in their respective fields. ICC have cherry-picked the world’s leading brands to provide customers with the best quality products at the most competitive prices.
A relatively new addition to their product range is Ennis Flint – the manufacturers of the water-based road marking paints, reflective beads, “cats eyes” etc. You can see these products on the previously mentioned new section of Harare Drive extending from Borrowdale Road to Drew Road. ICC also stocks a wide range of brushes, rollers, sandpaper and all the necessary accessories for any painting project whether for the home enthusiast or for commercial contractors. They even stock a range of industrial HVLP spray guns. With over 30 years of combined experience in the coatings industry ICC is more than capable of taking care any technical requirement, be it new construction, refurbishing of an existing building, specialised coatings for manufactured goods or high tech protective coatings in the mining industry – the ICC Team prides itself on its customer care and will be there every step of the way from paint specification, colour selection, to surface preparation and technical application advice.
text by Michael Nott
photos by Michele Fortmann and S&D
renderings by Architexture Spatial Design