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Fault-finding mission kicks off on Hub's P60m crack

PAULINE DIKUELO
The Innovation Hub's Iconic Building is 20months behind schedule
A British firm has been engaged to find who to blame in a structural defect at the Innovation Hub's P853 million Science and Technology Park, that is behind a 20-month delay on the project.

The defect, described as a ‘crack’ in an internal Finance Ministry note this year, is expected to cost up to P60 million to rectify.

It occurred in the flagship Iconic Building, one of the continent’s most expensive and most advanced buildings. The building is part of the Park.

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).

This week, Innovation Hub chief executive officer, Allan Boshwaen, said Burohappolb Engineering Company, an independent international structural engineering group would 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

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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.

 The British firm will also provide oversight during the implementation of the solution and make recommendations where appropriate.

“The work of the independent peer review structural engineering firm is ongoing and will assist in ensuring a strong accountability framework,” he said.

Government invested P853 million to build the Science and Technology Park and the project was supposed to have been fully completed by August 2016.  From the P853 million invested by government, P137 million was for extensive civil infrastructure while about P717 million was used for the construction of the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) Iconic Building.

The civil infrastructure included internal roads, streetlights, storm-water drainage, water and electricity reticulation including establishment of a dedicated electricity substation.



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