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Boogertman + Partners | Fourways Mall

How to build one of the biggest malls in Africa


How to build one of the biggest malls in Africa

From the birth of the Fourways Mall project Boogertman + Partners championed the professional team’s vision to work fully within the BIM environment. Delivering an extremely complex retail development required all the obvious benefits a BIM workflow would bring to the project. The Fourways Mall project was a mammoth redevelopment, taking the existing Fourways Mall and turning it into one of the largest in South Africa. This redevelopment is the first stage of the Fourways masterplan. The project’s success was the result of bringing in the right people across all the professional teams and using the latest, most relevant, Autodesk technology at each stage of the project.

The beginning of the Fourways Masterplan

Just over 10 years ago, Boogertman + Partners were approached by the new owners of the Fourways Mall in Johannesburg, South Africa, to develop a masterplan for the new precinct which includes over a million square meters of mixed-use developments. The Fourways Mall Extension is phase one of this masterplan.

Development of the new Fourways Mall extension began four years ago, and normal trade would continue throughout construction, adding an extra layer of complexity to an already complex construction process.

Coincidentally Boogertman + Partners were in the process of converting the firm to Autodesk Revit after a long history of using AutoCAD. The timing was fortuitous, and the decision was made to go live with Revit on the Fourways Mall upgrade project.

Although the practice has over 250 employees and offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Kenya, there were never more than 11 people working on this R2.3bn project. This is a testament to the level of efficiency that comes with developing in BIM environment.

Revit model of the Fourways Mall development showing the Existing and New components

A tale of three challenges

One of the first challenges that Boogertman + Partners faced was their insistence that all stakeholders make use of Revit on this project, a decision that is often difficult to implement in an industry where processes are often set in stone.

“Because of the complexity of this project, we knew we needed to work in a BIM environment for design, development and also services coordination” says Hennie Coetzee, Director at Boogertman + Partners.

Getting all twenty-five of the stakeholders involved on this project to use Autodesk BIM 360 and Revit was no easy task. After consultation and some product education, those firms who were not yet onboard quickly saw the benefit of these tools on a project of this scale.

As one of South Africa’s biggest malls today, the extensive Fourways Mall expansion also required significant road network upgrades around the mall. These upgrades included the demolition and reinstating of a neighbouring petrol station which needed to be moved and rotated 90 degrees to accommodate the new ramps.

Both Coetzee and Bodenbender believe that without the Autodesk tools this project would not have been possible within the required time frame or with such a small project team.

Aerial image showing the extensive construction work wedged in amongst the existing buildings; photo courtesy of infrastructure Photos

There were other difficulties around the construction too. “The greatest challenge we faced was managing and phasing the construction of the new mall extension and alterations to the existing buildings; all whilst the existing shops and businesses were trading.”

German Bodenbender, BIM Manager, Boogertman + Partners.

The Project Glue

Advance clash detection processes were used extensively on the Fourways Mall extension project to ensure that the old and new construction fit exactly. Where clashes occurred action could be taken immediately to resolve and fix the issue.

For services coordination Boogertman and Partners worked with WSP Civils, the Civil and Structural Engineers on the project. Both companies made use of BIM360 Glue to ensure that teams worked with the latest data and issues could be prevented with relative ease.

“Shared situational awareness was created, fostered with the use of BIM360 Glue/Team which meant the end of siloed ‘throw it over the wall’ workflows that were complicit with trying to beat the system or do damage control” says Rakesh Rajhkoomar, Project Technologist at Boogertman + Partners.

The benefit of onboarding Revit and BIM360 Glue within the firm was so impressive that Boogertman + Partners has since deployed these Autodesk tools on other projects. Supporting and guiding them throughout this process was Modena, an Autodesk Gold Partner. “As technology partners we are there to support the engineers and architects with the new technologies that help them to do their job better and more efficiently,” says Shaun Modena, Director at Modena.

Coordination view of the Promotions Court taken from BIM 360 Glue

The Fourways Mall BIM Workflow Implementation

“As the project gained momentum, progressing from concept through design development to construction documentation we used Autodesk Recap, AutoCAD, Revit, Navisworks and BIM360 Glue. The ease of using the Autodesk suite of products ensured a simplified and integrated workflow throughout,” says Malcolm Coulson, Architectural Team Leader at Boogertman + Partners.

By getting the full professional team on board, the most reliable method of co-ordination and information sharing was guaranteed. The benefits of working in this manner meant that the workflow processes were common across all teams and ensured consistency with documentation preparation and output.

The benefits of this process far outweighed the time required to upskill the teams with the various software packages available to the teams. Furthermore, the knowledge created, skills gained, and lessons learnt would benefit all the teams going forward and certainly not just during this project but future projects too.

Team members using BIM 360 Coordination by iPad to verify the position of the ceiling elements.

“As technology partners we are there to support the engineers and architects with the new technologies that help them to do their job better and more efficiently,”

Shaun Modena, Director, Modena

Fourways Mall - Project Details

Start date: July 2015
Opening date: August 2019
Contract value: R1.8bn excluding infrastructural upgrades and roads; R2.3bn including
Project Architects: Boogertman + Partners
Client: Azrapart (Pty) Ltd
Location: Fourways, Johannesburg
When the coordination Revit model becomes reality. Screenshot from BIM 360 on the left and a site photograph on the right, photo courtesy of Malcolm Coulson

Fourways Mall Facilities and Highlights

Fourways Mall is a superb new 178 000m2 super-regional mall in the heart of Fourways. It offers the shopper a vast array of fashion stores, entertainment facilities with the full complement of anchor stores, restaurants and fast food eateries for the whole family.

Highlights include:
240,000 GBA
178,000 GLA
49 Revit Files
38 Lifts
67 Escalators
Approximately 400 retail stores
Approximately 3 kilometers of mall walkways
Africa’s biggest Bounce indoor trampoline park
Africa’s first KidZania – a scaled down interactive children-only city complete with airport and a full-sized Boeing 737
An incredible variety of flagship International and Local brands
An eye-catching Food Court with over 20 eateries complimenting the adjacent upgraded
Ster-Kinekor cinemas
Multi-purpose Promotional Court
Parking for 7500 vehicles

The early implementation of BIM 360 Docs allowed the team to communicate more efficiently changes and updates among the models

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