Cape Reed completes Abu Dhabi villa project
Abu Dhabi, September 11, 2013
The Cape Reed Group of Companies, a leader in the construction and installation of exclusive tailor-made sustainable timber and thatch structures, has completed an Dh6 million ($1.63 million) project for the new Sir Bani Yas Island project in Abu Dhabi.
The project saw Cape Reed install thatched roofing, timber support structures and pergolas on 60 luxury Anantara Al Sahel and Al Yamm Villas as well as the water sports centre and public areas on the development, located on the plains of the 4,100 hectare Arabian Wildlife Park, said a senior oficial.
“The entire project has been built with sustainable design features, perfectly complementing the island’s delicate ecosystem and the island’s rugged environment,” explained André van Heerden, the managing partner for Cape Reed’s Middle East operations.
“The design of the villas was inspired by the traditional Arabic fishing and pearl diving villages and their barasti lodging, hence the use of traditional thatch roofing, meaning guests can experience five-star luxury with an authentic touch,” he stated.
Cape Reed’s methods were the perfect fit for the project, combining sustainability and traditional techniques to create structures that blend in to the local environment.
Cape Reed started work on the project in April 2011 and has installed a total of 2,052 sq m of roofing using the company’s unique cape reed thatching, and 4,124 sq m of support structures using special pressure-treated timber columns, said the official.
The company’s primary roofing material, which also gives the company its name, is cape reed, a unique kind of thatch that only grows on a small strip of land, approximately 78 x 23km, in the Southern Cape region of South Africa.
Because of its scarcity very strict farming practices are adhered to in order to ensure its sustainability, explained André van Heerden.
The cape reed plant grows for an average of six years before it is harvested, and provides one of the most durable natural fibres on earth, making it ideal for thatching.
Cape Reed thatching structures have a life expectancy of anything from 20 to 50 years. It allows trapped water and heat to escape, making it waterproof and UV-proof, while its insulating properties mean it can be as much as 10˚C cooler in summer, and warmer in winter than a standard roof cover, making it ideal for the local climate.
“The most challenging part of the project was transporting all the material and our team of thatchers by passenger and vehicle ferries to the island which takes about an hour,” added van Heerden.
Commenting on the quality of work, Eric Rymarz, the client representative for developer TDIC said, "Cape Reed was originally nominated by TDIC's concept designer Northpoint to achieve the design intent. Their on-site team was one of the site's top performers with excellent quality."-TradeArabia News Service
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