Well engineered spaces inspire academic excellence


The Durban University of Technology (DUT) has identified their Indumiso Campus situated in Imbali, Pietermaritzburg, as a key investment point for the training of built environment graduates. At the end of training, these graduates will be equipped to enter employment with specialist skills, advanced knowledge and a strong work ethic.

DUT appointed SMEC South Africa as the consulting structural and civil engineers to design and supervise their Phase 2 expansion project. SMEC’s Urban and Social Development sector is well positioned to provide specialist management and engineering consulting services to various academic institutions and organs of state.

The project included three new buildings, a storm water attenuation facility and associated external infrastructure services. The storm water attenuation structure is disguised as an amphitheatre and student recreational area.

The buildings comprised of a new triple storey engineering block, double storey lecture block and a triple storey library, each boasting a unique and separate engineering design technique.   

Design of the façades and curtain walls ensured that the library block becomes the focal point of the campus. The Engineering Faculty block compromised a 10m x 7.5m support grid with the use of un-bonded post tensioned flat slabs. Stacked lecture venues were achieved with the use of bridge beam design techniques to form a suspended slab over a 15m x 20m room with no internal supports.

A staircase inside the new library had to be designed with no intermediate supports. The 15m structure is supported off ‘sky-hooks’.

Foundation challenges were overcome with engineered fill in lieu of expensive piling techniques.

SMEC South Africa applied engineering technology and good practice to ensure project success within the client’s budget, timeframe and quality requirements

Officially opened in June 2018, the DUT Indumiso Campus is poised to inspire all who study there, especially our future built environment graduates.