New Warehouse for Cuttlefish Investments by Kalamain Construction


The warehouse is 1,200 sq. m with an internal roof span of 30m. The roof has a fairly complex steel lattice truss system, supplied and installed by Brown Engineering, so there are no internal supporting columns, creating a single uninterrupted space below. The roof is Chromadek punctuated by translucent skylights for natural light and whirly birds to allow for natural ventilation. Between the Chromadek sheeting and the steel trusses Alububble sheeting has been used to provide heat and sound insulation.

There are high bay LED lights throughout the warehouse should it be necessary to work at night for loading, unloading or stock taking. The floor of the warehouse is polished concrete, which is durable and easy to maintain, and strong enough to withstand the considerable weight of shelving packed with stock.

The floor is set on a floating concrete slab designed to be independent of the walls and foundations, allowing it to move slightly. The soil on the site is heavy clay which tends to expand during the rainy season and contract in the dry season. The foundations were constructed using a pile and ground beam system to accommodate the soil. The warehouse is not connected to the municipal sewer system so because of the clay the soakaway had to be extra large.

The walls of the warehouse are constructed from a natural yellow face-brick up to a height of 2.5m – except for the front reception area where the brick walls extend up to around 5m to accommodate the large window frames and double storey structure within. Above the brickwork Chromadek sheeting in sandstone beige, set on to a steel skeleton, extends up to the roof. The roof is about six metres high on the sides and about 10 metres high at the apex. The colours of the bricks and the Chromadek blend well together to create a simple, modern exterior.

Within the main body of the warehouse there’s accommodation for the caretaker set in the back corner as well as staff ablutions. The caretaker’s accommodation has access from inside the warehouse as well as its own exterior door and the roof of the structure is a concrete slab for extra security. There’s a single roller shutter door at the front – just to the side of the main reception. The door is 5,8m wide by 6m tall so it can easily accommodate large vehicles for loading and deliveries. There’s an exterior, steel, spiral staircase next to the roller shutter door which acts as a fire escape and provides access to the mezzanine office floor inside.

Set on to the front face of the roughly rectangular warehouse, but still encompassed under the same roof structure, is the front reception and office section. Most of the façade is made up of doors and windows with big glass panes set in aluminium frames, supplied by Inso Aluminium. As you face the building from the street there’s an interesting frameless corner window plain exterior. The windows extend a little way along the south side so there’s loads of natural light inside. There’s a concrete overhang above the windows and the main entrance which holds small LED spotlights to light up the building at night. The windows also provide a clear view of the internal staircase leading up to the mezzanine office space. The staircase has solid teak treads with brushed stainless steel bannisters so it’s simple and functional but also quite elegant.

The ground floor is intended to act as a reception and a mini showroom. It has the same polished concrete floors and a suspended aluminium ceiling below the mezzanine. The suspended ceiling below the mezzanine floor, and the one above over the office space, was supplied and fitted by Architectural Aluminium. The mezzanine is approximately 260 sq. m most of which is a single open plan office. There are loads of windows looking out to the front as well as a window section on the opposite side with a view over the warehouse. The mezzanine floor is made up of wooden joists set onto a steel frame and then clad with tongue and groove floor boards.

There’s a small private office, ladies and gents rest rooms and a kitchenette for the staff. The kitchen was supplied and fitted by Kitchen Krazy. The bathrooms and the kitchen have vinyl wood look floors while the office space a dark char charcoal grey Berber point fitted carpet for a little touch of luxury Outside, in front of the building, Gary Cable Construction has paved the forecourt from the street edge right up to the building – and around the sides and the back as well – with pavers from Homestyle Bricks. A palisade fence – supplied by Tesa Fencing – stretches across the whole front of the property, with ample off-street parking in front for customers.

Work on the project started in January 2020 and was completed in July this year. There was a 12 month break in construction because of the restrictions of the pandemic so the overall construction period – excluding the shutdown – was just 7 months, well within Kalamain’s projected time scale. They did however increase the amount of staff working on the project, after the pandemic, to ensure that they finished on time. Despite the delays and the increase in the number of workers the project was still completed within budget!

Kalamain provided nearly all the skills and services required in-house, except for plumbing and painting, so they were able to keep tight control over the progress of the project and eliminate time and money overruns. They also provide a full design, construction and project management turnkey service to keep everything under one roof, improve efficiency and eliminate wasted resources.

There are two 5,000 litre water tanks at the back of the warehouse complete with a booster pump. While ZESA in the area is generally quite reliable Kalamain has made provisions for both solar power and for a generator with a change over switch already installed.

Kalamain Construction has recently relocated to new premises in Sunway City near Ruwa to new offices and warehouse space which they constructed for themselves.

To contact Kalamain Construction:-

Call: 008677009181



text by Michael Nott

photos by Structure and Design

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