The versatility of Ultra-Span was brought to bear when it was used to deliver a visually stunning roof design in Pretoria. We talk to Paul Gadzikwa, MiTek Software & Product Research Manager, who was tasked with the design and now ranks it as one of his all-time favourites….

I’m lucky in that I always find things to enjoy about all the projects I work on – but I’ve got to admit that the roof of the community sports centre in the grounds of Affies school for girls in Pretoria is one of my favourites.

Overlooking the school’s extensive sports fields, the client wanted an ‘extravagant’ roof design. This isn’t our usual brief so it was both exciting and a challenge to come up with something that would be sufficiently eye-catching and practical.

I knew that Ultra Span would be perfect for the approach the architects had in mind. It’s such a flexible solution for all kinds of roofing, from warehouses and factories, to student accommodation and of course, sports centres, and the great software we use in the design process means we can try all sorts of ideas, and iron out any issues, without leaving the office!

Our design allowed for the unusual angles and shapes; all attributes Ultra Span could safely accommodate. We needed to factor in wind impact causing huge stresses and load requirements and again, for Ultra Span this posed no problem.

The design simply wouldn’t have worked with other materials. Wood wouldn’t be up to handling the stresses and steel would have been way too heavy.

Ultra-Span, on the other hand, is really lightweight and extremely strong. Add to this its other attributes, including being waterproof, fire resistant and vermin-proof, and you can see why it was best for the job.

We manufactured all the roof material off-site at our factory and delivered them to site ready for on-the-ground assembly.

With the minimum of training, the crew were able to assemble all the parts ready for hoisting as a finished unit into position. As the build took place on the ground, it meant inspection and checks to make sure everything was as it should be, was simple and straightforward.

I think the finished result looks pretty impressive and is a real head turner. It’s certainly striking, and I like to think the client got exactly the right level of extravagance they were seeking!

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