Written By Clever Chingono

Rebar is a small component of a structure but is one of the critical elements in the successful completion of a project. Rebar supply and installation is a deceptively simple exercise and as such, I feel is sometimes not given the attention it deserves by the principal contractor.

I will focus on the tips to avoid delays on a project from a rebar perspective. Will look at the below areas although other areas can be added.

  1. Wrong detailing from engineer
  2. Revisions that occur close to the pouring of structure.
  3. Using rebar fixing as a buffer or backstop to delays from upstream activities eg issue of drawing, formwork behind
  4. Incorrect fixing/ supply from a company tasked with the rebar responsibility
  5. Inexperienced or rigid Engineers focusing too much on paper representation and not being flexible to the practical aspect of the design.

Critical to a successful project is choosing a team with the right expertise. A civil project like building a power station is different from building an office block. The ideal is to get a team with all-round experience in both civil and building experience for big projects or intricate projects.

  1. When a wrong detail is picked up during fixing then the project benefits from a flexible supplier. This occurs quite often for new projects. A supplier can act quickly and work around the agreed lead times. Normally the lead time is 3-5 days but if a mistake is picked up one day from the scheduled pour of concrete then a delivery after 3 days will not suffice. There must be a direct line of communication from the site to the rebar supplier for critical projects. There must be mutual trust between the contractor and the supplier but since business is cutthroat these days both parties must get instructions in writing by a pre-agreed method.
  2. Sometimes related to 1 above, there are other reasons why revisions are done late. Sometimes the client decides what they need late but whatever the reason a flexible supplier will assist and avoid loss of time.
  3. Each contractor must focus on the formwork as this is the preceding activity to rebar installation. Some contractors appoint the formwork to do fixing as well to avoid finger-pointing.
  4. The people with the right experience must run the project. Critical projects will have an experienced Contracts Manager to assist the team on-site and liaise with a yard.
  5. Rigid Engineers are a pain that we suffer from time to time. As an Engineer, I would advise other Engineers that there is no process without a Factor of Safety. Every design has various Safety factors incorporated. A lift designed to carry 6 people will never be designed in a way that when there is a child as the 7th person then the lift malfunctions. We know people break limits hence the factor of safety.

At RMS we tick all the above boxes. We have people with various levels of expertise and are deployed according to the project complexity and size.

Clever Chingono

Bloemfontien RMS Branch Manager

M.Eng -Witwatersrand University

B.Eng Hons – N.U.S.T