When the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) outgrew its offices in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, a call for sponsorships was sent out requesting contributions from industry to assist with the fit out of the new offices in Rosebank. PentaFloor stepped up with a generous contribution of supplying and installing high-end carpeting products.
In keeping with its green building ethic, the GBCSA chose its new space on the corner of Tyrwhitt and Jan Smuts based on the needs of its stakeholders and staff in terms of proximity to the Rosebank Gautrain Station, other public transport options and various amenities. The new office space is targeting a 4-Star Green Star Interiors certification, and the GBCSA have agreed with landlord, Redefine, to pursue an Existing Buildings Performance (EBP) certification for the whole building within the first year of the GBCSA taking occupation of its new premises.
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Accordingly, the specification of sustainable materials and finishes was an important consideration for the fit out. Grahame Cruickshanks, Managing Executive: Market Development at the GBCSA, explains, “The basic principle behind the fit out was to balance the typical green building requirements of reduced resource consumption with a high quality indoor environment – including considerations around ergonomics, air quality, light quality, views and acoustics. We also tried to introduce flexibility with regards to collaborative spaces; and increase the area of these spaces relative to that of conventional work stations.”
Interior designer, Tim Prins, Associate at TC RPv Architects, integrated the sponsorship offerings received from industry into the design concept wherever possible. Says Prins, “The sponsorship from PentaFloor was extremely generous. It’s very seldom that we get the opportunity to install such high-end carpet products, and I am very happy with the end result.
“The GBCSA wanted a unique environment that speaks to its identity, so we came up with an abstract interpretation of green building that incorporates several elements of biophilia. Pentafloor suppliedShaw Contract’sHexagon Linear Shift and Hexagon Plane, which speak of a honeycomb motif that abstractly references nature; and Shaw Contract’s Dye Lab, used in the Boardroom, has an unusual and luxurious mottled effect with an organic feel. PentaFloor has a superbly efficient installation team who completed the job early and without snags.”
Cruickshanks agrees. “The project was on a very tight timeline and all the sub-contractors had to work around each other. The PentaFloor team managed to accommodate a difficult and demanding timeline and the installation was highly efficient.”
The specification and installation of PentaFloor’s Shaw Contract products in the main boardroom and open plan workspace will contribute significantly to the Green Star submission under the Green Star Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and Materials credits.
Lara Pollastrini Wray, Head Interior Sustainability Consultant at Ecocentric Green Building Consultants, explains, “In terms of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), Shaw products are certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus programme, which is a certification scheme recognised by the GBCSA. This means that the total volatile organic compound (TVOC) content is within the limits stipulated in the Green Star Interiors tool and contributes to a healthier indoor environment.
“In addition, the Shaw carpets used are Cradle-to-Cradle certified. This eco-label is recognised as Level B by the GBCSA, which is the second highest recognition level. This means that the carpets are able to positively contribute to the score achieved in the Flooring category. Cradle-to-Cradle is a world renowned eco-label, which looks at material health, material re-utilisation, renewable energy and carbon management in manufacturing, water stewardship in manufacturing, and social fairness.”
PentaFloor is the only licensed distributor of Shaw Contract Group products in South Africa. Says PentaFloor’s Larry Shakinovsky, “With over 300 products Cradle-to-Cradle Silver certified, all Shaw’s carpets have the same backing that is infinitely recyclable. In addition, Shaw’s commitment to transparency and material health complement the philosophy of the WELL Building Standard, which is gaining traction worldwide in terms of prioritising occupant health and wellbeing. Shaw products contribute to the WELL standard requirements under VOC Reduction, Fundamental Material Safety, Toxic Material Reduction, Cleanable Environment, Beauty + Design, and Material Transparency.”
All three Shaw Contract carpetsareCradle to Cradle Silver Certified; free of chemicals under the Living Building Challengered list; and are CRI Green Label Plus certified. The Hexagon Linear Shift and Hexagon Plane carpets contain 44% pre-consumer recycled content; while the Dye Lab carpet contains 41% pre-consumer recycled content.
Other green building features at the GBCSA offices include the HVAC system, which balances air quality with energy consumption by substantially improving the fresh air rate matched to highly efficient HVAC equipment to make sure that energy efficiency is realised while simultaneously improving air quality. The zoning of the HVAC and lighting systems facilitates reduced consumption by allowing these systems to be managed as usage requires.
In addition, the office has no water points, with a decision having been taken to utilise communal facilities instead.These facilities will also become more efficient once the building is upgraded to comply with the EBP certification requirements. As the building does not currently have facilities available for waste recycling, the GBCSA separates at source, with all recyclable waste either delivered to depots or taken home by members of staff.
The Pentafloor-sponsored installation at the GBCSA offices has contributed significantly towards this high-profile project in terms of both look and feel, and sustainability; and has helped to further PentaFloor’s vision of driving sustainability in the flooring sector in Africa.
Pentafloor™ is built on strong brands with a rich heritage and an unrivalled track record, together with the highest international standards in quality and production. All our brands have been serving the networking environment jointly for more than 60 years. Over this time, our industry experts have been innovating, developing and designing systems in close collaboration with end-users, to meet the high expectations and requirements of clients and professionals alike in an ever-evolving data and networking environment. Dedicated to furthering sustainable development in Africa, PentaFloor’s access flooring and carpeting products have been specified in projects throughout Southern and West Africa. Our strategic alliances with our manufacturing channel guarantee that we can deliver cost-effective, superior solutions with quality products that instil confidence in our clients.
Photo Credits: Derius Erasmus for TC RPv Architects