Many private and commercial clients are increasingly focused on eco-friendly and sustainable building solutions. Buildings and the construction sector contribute to a large portion of global CO2 production, so finding products and materials that don’t negatively impact the environment should be a priority for everyone in the design and construction industry.

When considering outdoor flooring such as building a deck, there are a number of popular timber options in South Africa including Saligna, Rhodesian Teak, African Rosewood, Balau, Ipe, Red Iron Bark, Massaranduba, Garapa, Meranti and Sugar Gum. Clients and contractors who are eco-minded have started to invest in timber that has been certified as sustainable with the hope of lowering their environmental impact. Despite good intentions, there are often still challenges when trying to ensure that forest logging is sustainable and performed in accordance with the best environmental practices.

Many consumers or end-users of these materials are generally unaware of the procedures involved as they are just too far removed from the entire process. While requesting and installing responsibly sourced wood is a step in the right direction, there are other environmentally sustainable alternatives that should also be considered. Instead of using timber that is sourced from nature, many professionals in the built environment are starting to reuse material, especially if the materials are both abundant and sustainable, such as bamboo and plastic. The mixture of two or more materials makes a product known as composite. Composite decking transforms materials like plastic and bamboo that would otherwise be headed for landfills or oceans.

Plastic is environmentally harmful as all plastic ever manufactured is still in existence today. Plastic doesn’t break down over time, instead it breaks up into tiny particles that enter our oceans and water systems. These micro-plastics then enter the gut of birds, animals and marine life. Keeping plastic out of landfills and the world’s oceans needs to become a priority for the survival and health of our ecosystems and planet. Thankfully, this plastic can be used to make it more sustainable.

Eva-Last* composite decking is comprised of 40% recycled plastic & 60% bamboo fibres. By using plastic in their products, Eva-Last keeps over ten million kilograms of waste material out of the earth’s landfills every year. Not only does the use of recycled materials lower the overall lifecycle cost of Eva-Last, it also reduces harmful greenhouse gases, factory waste and most importantly, helps conserve our precious natural resources.

The unique performance properties of the product can be attributed to the bamboo fibres. This highly renewable material means the composite decking is extremely eco-friendly, durable as well as sustainable – not a single tree has ever been cut down for the purpose of producing Eva-Last products. Other benefits of this flooring solution include:
Ultra-low maintenance – no need to sand or treat the composite with harsh, toxic chemicals and varnish. It can be left completely untreated for its entire life.
Surface hardness and real-feel wood texture – offers the latest in genuine wood-grain look and feel. ‘Real wood’ without any deforestation.
Durability against fungal decay – antimicrobial – The composite boards will not rot, warp or crack.
No woodborer or termite damage – the material fibres are impermeable to outdoor pests.
Water resistant – water and rain will not be absorbed by the boards.
UV resistant – its inherent colour will last its entire lifetime.
Extended warranties – 10-year/15-year/25-year warranties guarantee product quality, hardness and durability.

This pioneering composite decking brand is now also extending their experience and expertise to include a revolutionary new indoor flooring range called tier™. tier™ flooring offers breakthrough benefits such as ultra-rigidity, waterproofing features, heat resistance, robust joints, easy click-in installation and floor and wall installations, to name a few. It is also an adhesive-free product and contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Although indoor as well as outdoor flooring choices may seem like a drop in the ocean when it comes to making a difference with eco-friendly practices, every step in the right direction creates a ripple effect, which we hope will create a wave of change for the future. Advise your clients wisely.

For more information, contact Eva-Last on +27 (10) 593 9220 or via www.eva-last.com.

*Eva-Last is a registered trademark