Taking leaps and bounds in the world of sustainability

by Tania Wannenburg

A big project for a leading SA bank has once again highlighted how one of the oldest flooring companies is taking the lead in the demand for going green.

Van Dyck Carpets has recently completed two very high-profile installations of Reverse Carpet Tiles for Nedbank, at the Majestic (6 000m²) and Newtown Junction (30 000m²) in the heart of Johannesburg.

The vision for the prestigious Newtown Junction development is geared to further revitalise Johannesburg’s iconic historic Newtown precinct. The entire development embodies a holistic vision – connecting the past, present and future of this built environment with care and flair. Newtown Junction is a unique, lively hub where people can work, shop, eat, relax, linger and connect with one another and the unique and compelling city legacy surrounding them.  

The office development for Nedbank incorporates ‘green’ designs with the use of sustainable material and building practices, forming the solid foundation for the bank’s vision of contributing to a sustainable built environment that promotes environmental preservation – and the development of South Africa’s emerging green economy.

In line with their clearly stated environmental objectives for new buildings, this project required that all aspects of construction, energy usage and environmental impact going forward had to be carefully researched and planned into the project in order to achieve the highest possible Green Star building rating. One of the key elements required to achieve this result was the need to source a floorcovering, suitable for use on access flooring, that had a high proportion of recycled and recyclable content, and could withstand the rigorous wear conditions of general office areas, castor wheels and regular workstation reshuffles.

With the above criteria in mind Nedbank chose the product Modulyss Reverse 100 Colour 91U commercial carpet tile as being the floorcovering that would satisfy the environmentally friendly requirements. Modulyss products are officially marketed and distributed through Van Dyck (the oldest and best-known carpet manufacturer in South Africa). The top cloth of this product is manufactured by Modulyss in Belgium from 100% recycled Econyl* Aquafil Solution-Dyed Nylon and then converted into bitumen-backed carpet tiles by Van Dyck at the factory in Durban in order to add the necessary local manufacturing content. Van Dyck used modified, recycled bitumen for this product with more than 50% recycled content to meet Nedbank’s requirements.  

Van Dyck’s ISO 14001 accreditation serves as a reminder of why Van Dyck is a proud member of the Green Building Council of South Africa. Van Dyck is a local manufacturer that pays a great deal of attention to the impact its processes and products have on the environment, and is more than ever focused on the future. The entire business is now designed around sustainability.

The company is making great strides in the minimisation of waste, reduction of energy, reducing the use of hazardous materials, and reduction of emissions – with very low CO2 emissions during normal operations. In addition, recycled materials are used instead of virgin materials wherever possible.

Beyond this, Van Dyck has solidified its commitment to a greener and more sustainable world by becoming the first and only flooring manufacturer in South Africa to disclose its carbon footprint and to have an IS0 14064 certificate. By carefully measuring its greenhouse gas emissions the company is now in a better position to work out various initiatives that will enable it to further reduce electricity consumption and carbon footprint. This certification is another big step in Van Dyck’s commitment to be the most eco-friendly flooring manufacturer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Van Dyck is proud to be part of such prestigious projects, and very grateful for the repeat business that the company has been awarded by Nedbank following the successful installation of the same product at Menlyn Maine in Pretoria a few years ago.

*Econyl is a registered trademark

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