TSL’s new warehouse built by The Steel Building

On 12th May this year The Steel Building Company handed over a brand new warehouse to TSL Limited. The warehouse is situated on the corner of Barrow Road and Paisley Road in Southerton, just behind TSL’s headquarters on Simon Mazarodze Road. It was a full turn-key project with The Steel Building Company as the main contractor, GPJ Projects as the project managers, BCHOD as lead engineers, and Berrycon Construction as the building sub-contractors.

The prime site has good access to the main road transport routes as well as railway servitude making it very convenient for moving goods to and from the warehouse. The side of the warehouse facing onto Barrow Road is 80% open to the road for easy access for large vehicles. There is a 6m overhanging veranda roof which shelters wide steel sliding doors for loading.

The new warehouse occupies what was originally three stands each with a small separate warehouse on site. The old warehouses had been built in the 60s and 70s and were not in the best condition and furthermore they didn’t make optimal use of the available space. The three old structures combined had a floor area of around 6,000 sq. m while the new warehouse has a floor area of around 10,000 sq. m as well as a much higher roof.

The new warehouse has an under-truss roof clearance of over 8 metres allowing ample space for storage racks.For TSL Limited it made good business sense to demolish the old structures and replace them with a new, state of the art structure which would support their “moving agriculture” business strategy. TSL had been considering the new development for some years but finally put their plan into action in early 2020 conducting their own in-house demolition of the existing buildings before The Steel Building Company stepped in.

When The Steel Building Company started work there were three existing floor slabs left over from the old buildings. These three slabs were incorporated into the new single slab created by Berrycon Construction. The new floor slab has a Grade A strength that can cater for the weight of large, heavy forklifts and fully stacked racks of commodities. The floor slab also has a specialised BASF anti-dust finish to eliminate powder and dirt created by the forklifts and other equipment.

There was an old existing brick built structure of around 20m x 50m which was not demolished and serves as offices and ablutions. The Steel Building Company incorporated the existing building by chopping out a corner of the new structure on the front left hand side facing Barrow Road. The new warehouse cladding is made up of a brick-and-mortar perimeter wall, as well as metal sheeting above the wall that is set on a steel grid frame. At the top of the walls, just below the roof, there’s a band of translucent sheeting of 1,6m high to allow natural lighting inside. There are also translucent sheets incorporated in the roof sheeting and along the centre ridge vent. The roof spans about 50 metres with just a single row of supporting columns in the centre to maximise the usable floor space.

Big warehouses are usually dark and stuffy but the abundance of translucent sheeting provides natural light, the wide sliding doors can be opened to provide natural ventilation, while the high roof, clad with Alububble, helps to keep the interior cool. The natural lighting can be augmented by two lines of high bay LED industrial lights to achieve a high lumen lighting spec. The lighting was installed by electrical sub-contractor Wicked Electrical.

As the warehouse is intended for agriculture commodity storage there is a comprehensive and efficient fire control system incorporated in the roof supplied and installed by local experts Fire Consult – Fire Protection Engineers and Contractors. The fire protection installation is backed up by significantly sized water tanks with both electrical and diesel water pumps for a total safety system.

The project was signed on by The Steel Building Company just before the first Covid lockdown last year. Despite the restrictions brought about by the pandemic – as well a month’s delay on the external work caused by the heavy rains experienced in the 2020/2021 rainy season – the project was completed on time and on budget for the official handover on 12th May this year. The Steel Building Company pre-purchased the majority of the materials needed so they managed to avoid the delays in material shipments caused by the pandemic and also kept the price down despite unforeseen increases related to fluctuating exchange rates.

TSL Limited is a wholly owned Zimbabwean company which was founded in 1957 and is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Through energetically pursuing a policy of diversification the company now has five distinct units – namely Logistics, Paper and Packaging, Tobacco, Agro Inputs and their TSL Properties Limited division. TSL Properties Limited are the real estate arm of the company, developers (and proud owners) of the new warehouse project.

TSL Limited describes their company as “an integral and intelligent handler of all movement and commodities exchange in the Agricultural Value Chain…from seed to shelf, we provide comprehensive solutions…We provide agricultural inputs (chemicals, fertilizers and packaging), a market exchange platform and end-toend logistics solutions to producers and processors of agricultural commodities on our intelligent and integrated business, technology and industrial infrastructure platforms”. The new warehouse designed for agriculture commodity storage perfectly fits the bill.

The Steel Building Company (incorporating Superstructures and Agristructures) are a leading manufacturer, supplier and installer of engineered steel buildings for the agricultural, mining, industrial and commercial sectors with over 30 years’ experience in designing, fabricating and erecting steel-framed buildings in Zimbabwe and the southern African region.

To contact The Steel Building Company:

Visit: The Steel Building Company, East

Wing, Ground Floor, Block 5, Celestial Park,

Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe

Call: +263-712221207 | +263-712833687

Email: sales@thesteelbuildingco.co.zw

text by Michael Nott

photos by Structure and Design

plans and additional photos by The Steel Building Company Company

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