The increase in pace in green building has been phenomenal. In this article, we look at trends, forecasts and noteworthy sustainable products.

The global construction market over the past year or two has continued to grow at a steady but modest pace. Many construction industries in the United States have a ripple effect on other emerging market dynamics, which is why FLOORS in Africa has taken a look at some of the latest statistics regarding growth and trends in the American construction industry:

According to Statista.com, the green and sustainable building construction industry generated 156.12 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2014 and this sector is projected to grow well into the future.

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Freedoniagroup.com’s green building materials market research shows that permeable pavement and structural products such as recycled concrete will grow the fastest in 2017, while exterior products such as green roofing and windows will remain the largest segment. These findings were based on a study that analyses the USD$51.8-billion US green building material industry.

Internationally acclaimed products
In many ways, South Africa continues to lead the way in terms of sustainability and product innovations. As we regularly publish local industry awards, we have rounded up a list of products that have won international acclaim at green design events such as the AHR Innovation Award, IIDA/HD (Interior Design Association and Hospitality Design) Product Design Competition, Architizer’s A+ Awards and Best of Year Awards.

Bio-Microbics d-Rain Joint Rainwater Filter Drain
Being able to control storm water runoff is vital as it minimises the contamination of waterways and property damage. These systems, however, often don’t match a project’s exterior design and aesthetics. What makes Bio-Microbics d-Rain Joint Rainwater Filter Drain an innovative product is that it looks exactly like a standard expansion joint in a concrete slab, but creates a channel to subsurface water. The drainage channel is composed of prefabricated devices that collect and convey the runoff along the total length of the impervious surfaces. The joint devices enable the contractor to use traditional asphalt, concrete or paving materials to create this high-performing permeable surface. This increases the usable surface area and eliminates expensive storm water infrastructure. The Bio-Microbics d-Rain Joint Rainwater Filter Drain was announced as one of the Top 10 Green Building Products for 2017 by ConstructionDIVE.

Mannington Commercial’s Connected Collection LVT
Mannington Commercial’s Connected Collection LVT’s (luxury vinyl tiles) were designed in collaboration with global design firm Corban. The Connected Collection brings together a system of formats, texture, gradation and colour in a single collection of LVT that creates sophisticated and unique visuals. The integrated accents, texturally dimensional and interchangeable colours enable custom designs for each project.

“The design inspiration for the collection came from a series of ‘what if’ questions from Corban – what if we created a modular system of LVT with various sizes and shapes? What if the patterns build off one another so they could be used together creatively in a space? What if we found a meaningful way to incorporate bold colours into the line? These questions brought wonderful opportunities to rethink LVT and execute it in a way that only Mannington could,” says Al Boulogne, Mannington’s Senior Director of Commercial LVT.

The company has ISO-14001 and environmentally preferable product certifications including NSF/ANSI-140 and NSF/ANSI-332. All of their products contribute to multiple LEED and Green Globe credits. The 19th Annual IIDA/HD Product Design Competition awarded the Connected Collection LVTrange with an Award of Excellence.

Induction Tube Light by Castor Design
The energy efficient induction tube light uses a magnetic field to transfer electrical current from the cube-shaped base to a regular 6 inch fluorescent bulb. When the bulb is inserted into the base, it presses a switch that activates a circuit inside. The current is transferred to the bulb, exciting the gases inside. The bulb continues to emit light even when lifted several inches away. Caster Design has won awards from the A+ Awards, A’ Design and AZ Awards for the Induction Tube Light.

Moving Floors by Mohawk Group
These carpet tiles are designed to dynamically move based on the user’s point of view. Moving Floors was inspired by the multi-layered beauty of our cultural landscape and the collection empowers designers to create kinetic floor scapes through limitless combinations of geometric patterning and textured solids. The company is focused on sustainability and is one of the largest recyclers in the flooring industry. They use recycled content in more than 500 of their products and offer customers accessible ways to recycle their carpet through their ReCover carpet recycling programme. Some of their products are also made from renewable sourced polymer that generates approximately 60% fewer greenhouse gases during manufacturing. Mohawk Group won Interior Design’s Best of Year Award for the Moving Floors range.

200 buildings rated with Green Star SA certifications
The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) will enter its tenth year of operation in 2017. This significant milestone was celebrated with 200 buildings rated to date in September and announced at World Green Building Week 2016. The organisation, which is one of over 100 members of the World Green Building Council, was established in 2007 and it awarded South Africa’s first green certification in 2009.

“Green building is part of the solution to global warming and the real hero in the fight against climate change,” said Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA.

“The increase in pace in green building in SA has been phenomenal. Support and innovation from across the industry has accelerated our green building movement and more green buildings have meaningful and significant positive impacts on our environment. We would like to congratulate SA’s property sector on this landmark achievement and encourage them to continue to create more sustainable, green buildings,” said Brian.

The 200 Green Star certified projects cover 2.8 million square metres. Combined, these greener buildings achieve an annual savings of 280 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

“SA’s cities are changing; we are building better. The exponential growth of Green Star SA certifications, now numbering over 200 projects, is proof of this. They underscore the tremendous sustainability leadership and commitment of our property sector,” says Brian.

Sans green building codes in South Africa
While the South African National Building Regulations are only available from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), sans10400.co.za has a mission to make it easier for the general public to understand what these regulations are and how they affect us all.

The website http://sans10400.co.za/ has a free downloads page where you can access various documents, including a variety of Department Works Guidelines such as The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, Guide for Architects Concerning Drainage Water and Storm-Water and a “norms calculator” for quantity surveyors, among other documents. The website also regularly publishes blog posts related to issues such as energy usage, refuse disposal and floors, for example. Download the free documents here: http://sans10400.co.za/free-downloads/

Full credit and acknowledgement are given to the following companies for the information contained in this article: www.gbcsa.org.za, www.statista.com, www.freedoniagroup.com, www.biomicrobics.com, www.manningtoncommercial.com and www.mohawkgroup.com.