AllyCAD Showcase

Urban Development Infrastructure

JDS Planning and Design, East London

The engineering of low-cost housing

The Bardale site near Mfuleni in the Western Cape was a low cost housing project spearheaded in 2005 as an urgent assignment for JDS Planning and Design, and one successfully completed despite the many hurdles associated with a project of this magnitude.

Engineer John de Smidt of JDS was only happy to take on the project, despite the frustration of early delays, because he singles out township design as one of his key strengths as an engineer with a track record in urban infrastructure developments.

"I am considered to be a township fundi and embark on integrating designs encompassing everything from roads design and planning to sewer, stormwater and water designs."

The Mfuleni Project

The phased design and construction of the Mfuleni site comprised 4000 erven in total, a vast scale by any standards. Much of the design work was hampered by the existence of informal dwellings on large parts of the land and town planning issues also brought to bear some challenges that were successfully negotiated by de Smidt at the time.

With a long track record of infrastructure design dating back to the 1970s, de Smidt was able to offer valuable input into the layout from an engineering perspective. This was also aided by AllyCAD and Civil Designer software, of which de Smidt is a passionate proponent.

  From Stardust to Civil Designer

"My introduction to infrastructure design software occurred while I was employed at Saunders & Wium.

We were working on the design of a huge roads project in 1978 and there were not many reliable software programmes at the time. The launch of Stardust gave us the ideal opportunity to cut our teeth in the use of infrastructure design."

Reflecting on the trajectory of the software in parallel with his career since then, de Smidt explains: "AllyCAD has advanced from DOS to Windows, and Stardust has evolved to become Civil Designer which offers all the major civil disciplines in one programme.

I am also in constant contact with the Support Centre when I get stuck on a function and find the service to be of great value. It is nice to know that there are ongoing developments and that the software will continue to evolve in line with industry requirements."

When de Smidt opened his own planning and design company in East London in 1990, AllyCAD and Stardust were the first of his investments.

Since then the company has gone from strength to strength and specialise in roads and traffic engineering, stormwater design and modelling, township and housing development, master planning and infrastructure development. They also operate as external consultants to Lukhozi Consulting Engineers with their strong footprint in the Eastern and Western Cape.

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