Best in timber awards

The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) recently hosted its highly-anticipated Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards in Cape Town.


The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA), SAQA-accredited professional body for the engineered timber construction industry, recently hosted its highly-anticipated Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards in Cape Town. The event showcased and rewarded excellence in the timber construction trade, honouring builders, architects and engineers of various projects, from decks and boardwalks and loft room additions, to timber frame homes and exposed timber roof trusses.

In a bid to recognize and reward outstanding design and workmanship in the timber construction, decking and roofing sectors, the ITC-SA hosts its Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards, which is open only to Timber Frame Builder, Deck Builder, Roof Fabricator and Roof Erector Members of the Institute. Awards categories include Decks & Boardwalks, Alterations & Additions, Structures Smaller than 120m2, Structures Larger than 120m2, Structures Larger than 220m2, and Roofing: Residential, Commercial & Exposed Trusses.

Entrants in each category must demonstrate in detail how their projects comply with construction regulations, good design practice, consideration for energy efficiency and conservation, aesthetics and overcoming challenges. Submissions into the 2018 awards programme were of a very high standard and produced a number of exceptional award winners.

ITC-SA Timber Engineered Product Awards winners:

Decks & Boardwalks

Silver award: Town & Country Projects for V&A Waterfront Boardwalk Extension project
Architect: The Planning Partners
About: Completed in February 2017, this project represents a fine balance between structural safety, functional design, aesthetics and a propensity for blending into its natural – and sometimes not so natural – environment.

The developers were commissioned to build a walkway of varying levels that would link up to an existing paved walkway and offer wheelchair access. Offering panoramic views of Table Mountain, Granger Bay, Cape Town Stadium and Robben Island, all the way to Table Bay, this project is an elegant answer in locally sourced sugar gum and clad calyx to a brief that required clever solutions to multiple design challenges.

Alterations & Additions

Gold award: THK Construction for House Hansen
Architect: Sadie Jones
Engineer: Meny-Gilbert & Associates
About: Situated in Glencairn on a steep hillside overlooking False Bay and Simonstown, House Hansen’s location made this a very challenging project, which required that all the material had to be carried to site by hand. The brief was to add one bedroom and a jacuzzi room downstairs, a new deck area and staircase to the house. As the project developed, the client added a number of extra updates, including changing all windows and doors to aluminium, recladding the whole house, adding a new store room under the house, and redoing roof shingles and waterproofing, etc.

Silver award: Logo Homes for House Randles
Architect: Jacques Cronje Timber Design
Engineer: Deon Botes, Poise Consulting Engineers
About: The brief for the alteration to House Randles, which butts up to the sand dunes that stretch to the beach in Noordhoek, was to link the main house with the cottage, which is predominantly used as an office, and to have internal access to the garage off the basement, and create a new entrance hall with guest walk-in closet, new kitchen, domestic bathroom, laundry and storeroom.

The final product delivers to the clients’ exceptionally high standard of finish with exposed cupola in the entrance hall, welcoming in natural light, and two floor windows to diffuse this light downwards through to the basement rooms.

Bronze award: Timbercraft for House Bruckner
Architect: Thomas-Gey
Engineer: Anthony Cave, Cave Consulting Engineers
About: German precision and a handful of naysayers were no match for timber frame building when it came to the addition to House Bruckner. The plan consisted only of a ground floor and first floor plan and four side elevations; no detailed drawings, no electrical drawings and no drainage drawings were supplied, and the roof had to be redesigned.

Needless to say, the builders kept good company on site with architects, engineers and interior designers. The ground floor had to be ready in six weeks for the client to move in, so he could sell his current dwelling. The end result, which was completed within estimated time, was to the satisfaction of the client, his wife, his doubting construction expert friends, the new architects and engineers, and the council.

Structures smaller than 120m2

Gold award: Logo Homes for House Riley
Architect: Jacques Cronje Timber Design
Engineers: Gadomski Consulting Engineers
About: House Riley, a bachelor cottage, is the third timber dwelling to be built on a large erf high up in Hout Bay. It was built as domestic and guest accommodation with a high quality of design and finish within a strict budget. Built on an area entirely covered in large rocks on a steep plot, the build necessitated tricky excavations and substantial rock breaking, the product of which was retained on site for later use.

The deck cantilevers out from the house, because there was no suitable ground underneath to support a standard pole construction. The house comes fitted with a gas geyser for all the water heating, a gas hob for cooking, and lighting with low-power fittings.

Silver award: THK Construction for House Bruce
Draughtsman: Greg Selfe, Draftcon Building Plans
About: A retired engineer and yacht builder commissioned the contractor to build him the workshop of his dreams, which was built in his Constantia garden. The client designed the 32m2 workshop alongside the designer, to have exterior timber cladding, OSB board internal cladding, exposed rafters and a Heraklith acoustic ceiling. House Bruce, a dream made real, was delivered in just over two months.

Structures larger than 120m2

Gold award: Henton Homes for House Verster
Architect: Jacques Cronje Timber Design
Engineer: Deon Botes, Poise Consulting Engineers
About: Built in Lakeside against the mountain side on a property with a 60 degree slope, this is a ‘hybrid’ house consisting of 90% timber frame with the use of a steel portal frame as the main structural element.

This allowed for building on a very steep site without excessive foundation costs, as most of the building is suspended. A large rammed earth wall provides mass and is an architectural feature. Only the bathroom is on a conventional brickwork and concrete surface bed; the garage is on a suspended rib-and-block slab. An excellent example of a ‘hybrid’ house made up of materials that are best used for their purpose.

Structures larger than 220m2

Silver award: Logo Homes for House McPherson
Architect: Alan Paine Designs & Johann Marais
Engineers: Gadomski Consulting Engineers
About: Another project built on a steep plot in Simonstown, the house was to be built as a guest house with off-street parking for a new business venture. The site drops away swiftly from the road and the design and construction had to accommodate for this with extensive excavations and retaining walls.

The project, which took 8 months to complete, consists of a two-bedroom, two-bathroom flat on the first-floor level as well as guest house dining room and kitchen. Four large bedrooms, each with a luxury en-suite bathroom, and two of the bedrooms with small kitchenette are downstairs.


Gold award: Bosazza Roofing for House Rumble
Architect: Lara Wilson McDade
Fabricator: Inyathi Truss
Engineer: Richard Bailey
About: House Rumble’s brief was to erect and install 1079m2 of roofing on the main house and summer kitchen of this residential property, including three feature areas with exposed trusses, installation of internal ceilings, veranda and eave ceilings, custom steel and timber balustrades and posts as well as the construction of two pergolas.

The brief required marrying the three contrasting aesthetic elements of the home design, being mortar, timber and steel, with a strong focus on elegance, symmetry and fine quality finishes.

Silver award: Elegant Roofing for Chere Botha School
Architect: Heinrich Wolff, Wolff Architects
Engineer: Mattie Oosthuizen
About: The unique design of the exposed timber roof trusses for the Chere Botha School adds a richness to the overall aesthetic and plenty of room for natural light to enter this educational building.

Bronze award: LCP Roofing for House Niewoudt
Timber roof truss designer: Andri Pretorius
Engineer: Errol Hobden
About: The brief was to build trusses with very large, heavy, rough sawn timber beams, design a raised tie-beam and install a timber slatted ceiling on top of the trusses. It took 14 men to carry the handcrafted trusses, which had to be handled with special care, and the pine slatted ceiling was carefully nailed from top to bottom as the tiling was completed. The room is now a magical space with the décor and roofing in complementary interplay.

The make-up of a winning project

Each project submission had to include a technical written submission accompanied by high quality images clearly showing both the aesthetic and technical features of the project from commencement to completion. The project description had to include details about the site location, accessibility, the surrounding environment and soil conditions, project timeline, complexity, budget adherence and any unique challenges proffered by the build.

Projects submitted in the timber frame building categories had to address the entire structure with specific reference to elements like the foundations, slabs, footings, post beams and bracing, tie downs to the frames and roof structure, bracing or sheathing, noggins (fire stops), placement of service wire and pipes, types of service pipes and conduits as well as the braced roof structure prior to covering.

“As an essential aspect of creating and maintaining standards in the engineered timber construction sector, the ITC-SA’s Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards endeavour not only to recognise and reward excellent workmanship in the industry, but to inspire the same commitment to excellence among our membership and the industry at large,” remarks Jenni de Waal, ITC-SA Senior Office Manager. “This year’s awards event produced yet more exceptional timber construction projects of which we can all be proud and highlighted just how workable timber can be in the decking, roofing and building trades,” she notes.

“We wish to thank everyone who entered the awards this year and extend our congratulations to the worthy winners and all who made their projects successful. We also wish to extend our hearty thanks to Katlego Maboe, SABC 3 Expresso Breakfast Show host, who was the master of ceremonies – and master entertainer – for the event, and our generous sponsors who helped make this year’s awards event possible,” de Waal concludes.

ITC-SA Annual Timber Engineered Product Awards Sponsors: Airton Timbers, Biligom International, Coverland, International Truss Systems (ITS), Manny’s Timber & Hardware, MiTek Industries SA, Multinail, SA Roofing, Sawmilling South Africa, South African Forestry Company SOC Limited (SAFCOL), South African Technical Auditing Services (SATAS), South African Wood Preservers Association (SAWPA), Timber iQ, Unilam Pressings, United Fibre Cement Company (UFCC).



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