Civil Designer Showcase


The allure of working on some of the biggest projects in South Africa is what keeps Jean-Paul van der Linde routed at UWP Consulting. His extensive and much envied list of high profile projects includes the Seaton Delaval Equestrian estate offering expansive freehold plots of approximately 10,000mē each as well as the long awaited Woodmead development which is likely to be the largest middle income housing development of its kind.

The office of UWP Consulting's Pietermaritzburg branch is abuzz with activities as teams of civil engineers busily go about their day. One of the team members, who is playing an integral part of the design squad, is civil engineering technologist Jean-Paul van der Linde. "The last five years at UWP Consulting have been amazing as I have been exposed to some of the most remarkable high level projects," he says.

A project which Jean-Paul is referring to is the Seaton Delaval Equestrian estate which started in October 2006 and which is currently in progress. "There are 31 erven available in the Equestrian Estate, strategically built on different levels to ensure maximum privacy as well as approximately 500 high end residential sites with both inland and sea views and 8 cluster home sites allowing for 400 units."

"The estate also boasts world class facilities for equestrian enthusiasts which include Olympic standard dressage and show jumping arenas, two international standard polo fields, polo crosse fields and 12 stable barns providing sufficient accommodation for 120 resident horses."

According to Jean-Paul, the multi-disciplinary project proved to be a challenge from the very beginning as the client, Amber Mountain, had very specific design requirements. "This prominent estate demanded a high standard of quality finishes with unmistakable exclusivity. Everything from roads and sewer design to water infrastructure design had unique features. The project also made provision for a landscaping team to ensure that the grounds were in perfect condition as well as an irrigation specialist to maintain vegetation."

Jean-Paul is an avid Civil Designer user and has used the software with great success on all his projects. "Civil Designer was used to design various dams throughout the estate for recreational and irrigational use and was instrumental in delivering the final design result."

"We were also quite fortunate to have a reciprocal arrangement in place to receive the recycled grey water from the new waste water treatment works being constructed to service the burgeoning population in the area. This recycled water will be pumped from the treatment works into the irrigation storage dams on the estate and will be sufficient to accommodate the entire irrigation needs of the development."
  Another interesting aspect of the project was the roads design which according to Jean-Paul had unique specifications. "The roads within the estate had to conform to the client's requirement for concrete brick paving. We therefore had to design a special curb to complement the look and to add to the estate's overall aesthetic appeal. We also used the software during the earthwork volume calculations which had to be closely monitored. The project resulted in the movement of approximately 250 000 cubes of earthworks for the construction of the polo fields," he explains. Although the Seaton Delaval project posed some challenges, Jean-Paul found the assignment, which is currently in its third phase of construction, to be both stimulating and enjoyable.

A second project which Jean-Paul is equally enthusiastic about is the Woodmead Development. "The development consists of approximately 3 500 residential sites which include cluster developments and individual erven ranging in size from 400 m2 to 600 m2, a commercial centre, business/light industrial zone, education and institutional sites."

According to Jean-Paul, the civil works alone is expected to cost around R140 million and will include the construction of bulk water and sanitation services as well as roads and stormwater reticulation. "The project is made up of the construction of approximately 40km of roads varying from bus routes, collector roads, and access courts. The Provincial road will also be widened to accommodate 4 lanes through the length of the site with various pedestrian walkways provided."

"Approximately 50km of sewer, 40km of water and 30km of stormwater piping of services will be installed once all construction phases have been completed," explains Jean-Paul. The residential development which will commence in November 2008 is aimed at middle income individuals and is expected to enjoy a rapid take up as there is currently an acute shortage of middle income residential land for sale on the north coast.

With projects of this caliber one can understand Jean-Paul's decision to remain at UWP Consulting. "If I ever leave the company it would be to leave the industry entirely and I don't ever see that happening. In fact, I am looking forward to the next five years of challenging high level projects that some engineers only dream of."

Block I, The Terraces, Steenberg Office Park, 1 Silverwood Close, Tokai 7945.
Tel: +27 +21 701-1850 Fax: +27 +21 701-1822
Web: Email: