The Application of Rubble Masonry Concrete (RMC) Construction for African Dams and Small Hydropower Projects

Author: R. Greyling, E. Scherman, S. Mottram
Conference: 87th Annual Meeting of the International Commission on Large Dams
Date: June 9-14, 2019


The use of Rubble Masonry Concrete (RMC) for the construction of small to medium sized dams is becoming increasingly attractive within the African context. Through recent successful developments in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), RMC designs and construction techniques have been advanced. For projects where labour intensive construction approaches are preferred, RMC application provides the necessary skills training and job creation to regions that are desperately underemployed. From water supply projects in rural areas to remote run of river hydropower schemes, RMC offers a cost-effective, low-maintenance, unskilled labour-based, simple dam construction technology, resulting in a very robust lifelong asset that meets international dam safety standards. This paper and presentation will cover the design methods and standards applied to recent projects that have incorporated RMC weirs and the construction techniques that were successfully implemented. Case studies of RMC Dams constructed for water supply reservoirs and a remote (11 MW) hydroelectric power project will be presented and discussed.


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