Zimbali Walkways, Zimbali Estate, Dolphin Coast, KwaZulu-Natal
PROJECT OVERVIEWWhat makes Zimbali Estate so special is that a good portion of its 925 acreage is populated by lush indigenous Coastal Forest. The 50-hectare reserve within the estate, including all dunes within this area, have been proclaimed a natural conservation site, and are home to a rich heritage of local fauna and flora. No less than 85 bird species have been identified in the area, and animal species include a variety of buck, banded mongoose and wild pig. Located less than half an hour’s drive north of Durban, Zimbali combines upmarket residential areas with unspoiled ocean-front holiday and conference accommodation. Limited pathways and wooden viewing decks meandering through these areas allow residents and visitors to immerse themselves in the untamed natural surrounds.
- Project Name: Zimbali Walkways (north and south).
- Project Type: Decking for walkways, viewing decks, stairs and railing.
- Description: Eva-Last selected to upgrade and replace wooden walkways (north and south), stairs and railing at Zimbali Estate.
- Size: Decking: 838 m2 total | Railing: 986.4 m total.
- Product used: Decking: Infinity I-Series in Tiger Cove colour. Stairs: Stair tread boards in Tiger Cove colour. Railing: Eva-tech Rusteak railing posts, 100 mm x 30 mm, Rusteak Lifespan beams and stainless steel cable.
- Date of Installation: September 2021.
- Project Location: Zimbali Estate, Dolphin Coast, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
- Architect: Walkway replacement commissioned by ZEMA (Zimbali Estate Management Association)
- General Contractor: Pieter Fritz of Ballito Eco Decking.
PROJECT MATERIAL SELECTIONZimbali Estate chooses Eva-Last decking and railing to replace existing walkways and viewing deck.
Linking the indigenous forest with a 3 km stretch of unspoiled beach is an impressive walkway that stretches close to a kilometre in length. When it came time to replacing the timber previously used for the walkways and viewing decks, the Zimbali management was emphatic in its choice of Eva-Last composite decking and railing, as the most appropriate substitute for the ailing wood used before.
“One of our primary objectives at Zimbali is conservation, and particularly forest conservation,” says Zimbali Estate Operations Officer Ravesh Bhugwantdeen. “Our walkways link the Milkwood and Camwood residential areas with the beach, and meander through our beautiful forest areas, and we couldn’t justify using timber, which involves cutting down more trees.”
“Using composite bamboo decking was the ideal solution, and we particularly liked the natural look of the Eva-Last product, which blends in so well with the environment. Of course, the fact that Infinity comes with a 25-year guarantee played a big part in our decision as well. And compared to timber decking, maintenance on the capped composite alternative is absolutely negligible, which is important in an environment so close to the ocean.”
Finding the right material to blend with the environment.
Eva-Last consultants worked with Zimbali management to select the perfect blend of aesthetic values, ease of construction and safety when it came to deciding on the perfect range of decking and railings for the walkways. Eva-Last’s Infinity I-series decking was selected, coupled with Infinity stair tread boards given their extra width for added safety.
The Infinity I-Series decking also offers good anti-slip properties, which is a safety must. The unique hidden fastener system used to secure the boards, has eliminated visible screws, creating a secure and seamless look.
The railing along the walkways comprises of Eva-tech Rusteak posts, with a top rail of extruded aluminium Lifespan beams also in a Rusteak colour, both which boast a 10-year warranty, and the railing system is completed with horizontal lengths of stainless steel cabling between the posts.
KEY INFLUENCER QUOTE
“The main goal of the Zimbali project was to improve on the existing timber walkway, which had reached the end of its useable lifespan”, says Pieter Fritz, of Ballito Eco Decking, who was the contractor on the Zimbali Walkway project.
“By opting for Eva-Last decking, the improvement to the walkways from an appearance and safety point of view was instantaneous. And in reconstituting the walkway we also improved on the design by including sections of decking to form new landings to eliminate long, intimidating flights of steps.”
“The Eva-Last Infinity I-series boards are secured using a Hulk hidden fasteners that are not visible from the top of the board, and this is an elegant way of securing decking and walkways. It is also safer for pedestrians, since traditional screw or nail fixings do run the risk of coming loose and snagging someone’s foot as they walk back from the beach!”
“Another motivating aspect for using Eva-Last product is that, with a manufactured bamboo composite construction, all the boards are uniform, which makes installation so much easier, and the finished product so much stronger! You don’t get any warping with composite boards as you inevitably do when using traditional timber. There is no doubt that Eva-Last offers the best product in the field of decking, and their aluminium railing construction is also excellent”, says Fritz.