Based on a thorough costing analysis of the Eiffel Tower, Sassda’s 2017 Lifecycle Costing Competition winner, Amrish Punwasi proved that stainless steel can often deliver lower long-term costs across the complete lifecycle of a construction.

Amrish Punwasi Sassda LCC App Eiffel competitionAmrish Punwasi was announced as the winner of Sassda’s R125 000 Lifecycle Costing competition in October this year. The competition required that entrants download Sassda’s Lifecycle Costing (LCC) app to calculate the cost savings that could have been achieved if the Eiffel Tower had been constructed out of stainless steel, using either the South Africa-invented ferritic 3CR12 stainless grade or lean duplex LDX 2101, rather than mild steel.

The calculation needed to take the current inflation rate, the cost of capital and the real interest rate into account, together with all ongoing maintenance and painting or cleaning expenditure required to protect the respective materials.

Speaking about his R125 000 trip to Paris win, Punwasi, who works for the Western Cape Provincial Government’s Department of Health in security management says: “I am not an engineer, my wife is the engineer and she gets monthly magazines that I often read. I saw the competition announced in the Civil Engineering SAICE magazine and decided to enter myself for the fun of it and to see how easy the app was to use – which it was!” Amrish and his wife have been to Paris before on short trips but are both really looking forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower again with their newly gained insight into its true structural costs.

Runner up Marichen van der Westhuizen was really surprised to win a premium Chad-o-Chef stainless steel gas braai in the LCC competition. Marichen is a senior faculty member at the Huguenot College in Wellington and has a PhD is in social study research. She is married to Wynand van der Westhuizen, an engineer at a Sassda member company, HG Molenaar, in Paarl. Marichen learned about the app from her nephew and completed it with Wynand’s assistance. She says she really enjoyed the prize-giving event without any thought of winning, until her name was called out. As she likes cooking and experimenting with food, but not making fires, this prize comes as an exciting new addition to her kitchen.

Net benefits of sustainable construction

Congratulating all the competition entrants, Sassda executive director, John Tarboton says; “We developed the app specifically because the calculation of the long-term cost benefits is a complicated process – influenced by several complex factors such as the cost of capital, net present value and discounted cash flows.

“While engineers do consider these costs, they are not accountants and it became clear that a tool was needed to simplify the process and allow for accurate material cost comparisons over the entire lifecycle of a project. We are delighted that our app is accessible and can be used by ‘non-engineers’, such as our winner Amrish Punwasi!”

The freely available app, says Tarboton, “can be used to compare the life-cycle costs of a variety of construction materials, making it applicable across the consulting engineering and quantity surveying industries, as well as potentially in other sectors such as aluminium.” ...

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