Thursday, October 28, 2021

Defective BIH icon gets P126 million lifeline

The Botswana Innovation Hub ((BIH)’s P853 million Science and Technology Park has been allocated an extra P120 million for the ratification of a crack on its iconic building in the revised budget, according to a document compiled by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology,

The document dated April 2018, shows that the extra budget awarded to BIH to rectify the crack was P36 million in the 2017/18 budget. But the amount was insufficient as the BIH ended up spending more than P76 million on the ratification of the crack.

It emerges in the document that in its revised budget for 2018/19, the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, allocated an extra P126 million for the ratification of the crack.

The document states that there is “delayed completion of the BIH Icon Building arising from some design defects that affected the unique suspended (cantilever) part of the building. The project is likely to attract prolongation fees for main contractor and consultants.”  

The document states that potential clients (tenants) may seek other alternatives. It states that construction of the BIH Icon building was started in August 2014, initially planned to complete in July 2016.

“The project is currently 90 percent complete as it was delayed, mainly due to structural defect in one section of the building.”

Three main anchor tenants (Dimension Data, Alpha Direct and Moro Group of companies) have started preparing their space for occupation.

“Other tenants will progressively take occupation in the first half of 2018. BIH is working on getting the proper mix tenants to reflect the diversity in innovation and the BIH strategy,” reads the document.

The main contractor for the project is Zhengtai and Caitec (China joint venture) while the main subcontractor is Sharps Electrical (citizen-owned).

The project team is made up of Shop Architects (lead architects) and Nutall Smith Architects (local architects partner), while citizen-owned company Mmile Mhutsiwa and Associates are the quantity surveyors. The structural and civil engineering is done by a joint venture between Pula Consultants (citizen-owned) and WSP Consultants (SA). Innovation Hub chief executive officer, Allan Boshwaen, was quoted as saying that Burohappolb Engineering Company, an independent international structural engineering group has been engaged to determine the cause of the structural defect.

“We are expecting to commence the completion of the Iconic Building during this financial year, subject to a sign-off by an independent review, which has been audited.  We are waiting for the tests, which are currently going on,” he said.

Burohappolb Engineering was engaged by the government to determine the cause of the structural defect, review and assess the proposed solution designs and remedial works.

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