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Site Visit Report

Date: 22nd August 2014
Student: Maurice Kagwi

Supervisors: Mr.Paul Ekileng & Mr Kenneth Mugambi

Two rivers Development Project is an ongoing project now in construction phase, encompassing a mega mall,
hotels, residential units, water and road works in an area of approximately 100 acres.
The development is set to become the preferred destination in East Africa in which to invest, do business, live,
shop and experience a unique urban lifestyle.
The project is located off the Northern Bypass on one side and off Limuru Road on the other,near Ruaka
Township, Nairobi.
Howard Humphreys Engineers (EA) is the consultant in charge of the structural designs of this development.
The objective of this site visit was to expose myself to the practical structural engineering aspects of design
(Reinforced Concrete Works), supervision and quality control.
Inspection of steel reinforcement detailing in ongoing works as per the drawings
Inspection of bar curtailing and lapping on top of columns, in beams and slabs
Inspection of lap lengths and their positions in beams and slabs
Inspection of the laying of formwork
Inspection of the column footings being casted
General assessment on the progress of the works.
Two Way Slabs
I was able to identify individual panels and their reinforcement.

Where slabs are continuous over beam edges, top rebar which stretches into both panels meeting on that
beam was noted to counter the negative moments normally over the whole length of that support.
At mid spans on both directions, main rebar is placed at bottom where high bending moments dominate.
Particular note was made on the reinforcement at discontinuous edges of slabs where a double layer was
noted, achieved by u-bending of bottom rebar for a distance into the span (as top rebar). This is done to
prevent cracking due to some torsional action on the edges (as stipulated on the BS8110-pt1 clause
Flat Slabs
These are slabs bearing on columns or column heads with drops, unlike in the conventional practice where
slabs bear on beams
These slabs are reinforced in strips- in theory idealized as column strips and middle strips running in the long
span and short span (two way) of the panels.
Each strip is reinforced like a beam.
The middle and column strips were distinct, their reinforcement being done individually.
The main rebar for each strip (middle and column strips both directions) was placed on top at the support
zones and at the bottom on the mid spans. This is due to the fact that negative moments dominate over the
supports and positive sagging moments dominate over mid-spans.
At points where these rebar groups meet, tension and compression laps are provided.
Main reinforcement bars are carried through the column drop and nominal rebar provided at the bottom of
the drop.
At the column-slab interfaces, shear links in single legs were also noted, bent around the bottom rebar in the
drop and top main reinforcement of the slab. These links are put around the critical shear perimeters to
counter the high shear around these supports.
Beams are members designed primarily for flexure.
In the field reinforcement is checked in mid spans and at supports.
For a beam, main reinforcement is placed at the bottom around the mid span and at top of beam over
internal supports. Tension laps are provided at regions where the rebar is no longer needed.
Links are tied across the whole span of beam being closely spaced near supports where high shear
Where high shear is expected, as in the regions near the supports in highly loaded beams there are bent up
bars from the beam sloping into the columns around the support.

During inspection, it should be ensured that the spacing allowed for between bars and links will not deter
concrete pouring and compaction using the poker vibrator.
Circular and rectangular columns have been adopted in the project. Main reinforcement is put vertically to
take the axial load and links tied around them to ensure shear resistance and confinement.
Where columns continue over story, bars should be left projecting into that level with adequate compression
lap lengths. The bonding surface is roughened to ensure proper jointing of concrete.
Project progress
The project is fast progressing with the contractor working in more than two structures simultaneously.
Road works are also ongoing.
Current methods of construction including cranes, bob-cats, trucks, earth moving and hauling machines,
concrete pumps and several concrete mixing plants have been incorporated making the work efficient.

In the site visit, we did not see any Resident engineer or his deputy (unlike at Britam where they really
explained to us what was on going and joined us to the site.)
No steel reinforcement foremen were seen on the sites to help the gang.
The gang was using no drawings when laying the rebar, or tapes when measuring bar spaces. May be bar
spacing can be inherently determined by experience?
As a result, we noted many omissions.
1. In the hotel area, 1st floor slab, the beams have been reinforced and form work fixed without any
provision for cover. It is clear some links will be gaping out of concrete after curing should it be poured
in their current condition. This was done for all beams on that floor.
2. In the hotel area, the columns lap lengths provided are inadequate for the top level column. This will
require hacking of the columns.
In columns terminating on that level, some bars in some columns have been cut wrongly instead of
being bent as is required.
3. In the hotel area, first floor, where a stepped slab is planned to be, the gang has terminated rebar at
wrong positions and cranked them wrongly
4. In heavily reinforced beams, especially near supports the links have been shoddily tied leading to very
small spaces between bars which could lead to problems in concrete pouring, compaction and




bonding. Also, at some instances, the bent up bars near columns are so dense no concrete can pass
The slabs reinforcement bars are meandering losing the linearity between straight sections
Too many openings in beams most of which are in critical regions near supports and at mid-spans.
Some beams had as many as 18 pipe openings each approx. 200mm dia( 6 at each support and six at
mid support).
What could be the impact of these openings on the capacity of concrete in such regions?
The flat slabs on the mall, first floor, had the steel bars terminated at critical regions (at mid spans and
on top of supports for strips). Rebar has been continuously lapped on top of supports without
staggering which could lead to weak moment links.
The formwork of the 1200mm deep column pads was not well tied leading to wedge-like faces due to
bulging under the loading of the large pour of concrete.
Some beams had been reinforced (beam 1) before full issuance of drawings

Supervision should be provided on site to ensure quality of work is as per the design. Such will prevent such
unexpected omissions and their repetition.
It should be ensured that all works on going are as per drawings issued and no work progresses without
Foremen should accompany their gangs for direction and guidance
Frequent site visits will be good to follow the progress.
I was able to appreciate design and the need for supervision in any engineering work. It was clear that while
designs may be well done, without supervision there is a risk of not achieving what the designs stipulate.
I was also happy to see workmanship in the field where practical knowledge coupled with theory is needed.
Am so thankful for that opportunity.