Cement manufacturer and supplier Lafarge South Africa (SA) announced in August that it had recently become the only building materials company in the country to provide the construction industry with environment-friendly Level C global certification system Global GreenTag-certified products.
Having made this announcement in August, the company notes that three of the company’s value-added global brands, Agilia, Artevia and Hydromedia, were successfully certified by the internationally recognised GreenTag ecolabel at the end of June.
GreenTag is a third party, green building product rating and certification system, underpinned by rigorous scientific and life cycle assessment (LCA) processes. Its advanced, robust LCA certification methodology, developed exclusively by ecospecifier, is a world first.
The GreenTag ecolabel rating positions a product within the top end of the green product market, enabling manufacturers to fully record the work they have undertaken to improve the ecological and health benefits of their products.
Lafarge highlights that this achievement places the company at the forefront of green building in the local industry. This helps it and its clients contribute to sustainable development through energy conservation and the protection of natural resources.
The company maintains that the global brands were scored against the six main sustainability assessment criteria (and another 20, as well as life cycle and social criteria), namely greenhouse-gas emissions, biodiversity, health and ecotoxicity, life cycle analysis, synergy (product efficiency), and social responsibility and labour conditions.
Global GreenTag certification standards are recognised in over 70 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa and a variety of other African countries.
Lafarge SA’s global brand products will boast the Global GreenTag ecolabel and compliance with the Quick Response Code for the next year until the time comes for a reassessment.
“The effectiveness of our company’s green solutions is not only reflected in our rapidly growing record of involvement in building projects with highly ranked Green Star South Africa (SA) ratings registered by the Green Building Council of South Africa, but now also in our newly Global GreenTag-certified global brands,” says Lafarge SA Readymix GM Alta Theron.
She adds that, Lafarge SA’s “highly-experienced” team, led by building marketing head Herbert Groenewald, was instrumental in seeing the intense Global GreenTag certification process to successful execution.
Theron explains that designers who specify the global brands as finished surfaces, walls and floors will be able to do so easily and confidently as research, analysis and review of the product’s standards have already been done.
“We are able to provide architects and engineers with a range of well-integrated efficient building systems that contribute not only to energy conservation and lowering the carbon footprint of their designs, but also to credits towards their Green Star SA interior rating,” adds Theron.
Green Star buildings have reduced operating costs, they achieve 5% higher rental income and the overall asset value increases by 12%.
Meanwhile, in August, Lafarge also announced the launch of its EkhayaBag, an innovative readymix solution of smaller quantities of mortar, concrete or Artevia Colour delivered to site in bags and ready to use.
The company explains that the EkhayaBag simplifies building projects as customers do not always require big amounts of concrete for their projects. Using this product, customers also do not need to buy cement, sand or stone separately, as the EkhayaBag is delivered ready to use. No additional water or mixing is required, resulting in cleaner job sites.
“We are the first building materials company in the country to provide this unique value proposition, once again proving that we put innovation at the forefront of our business, and that we always aim to provide solutions our customers’ needs,” says Theron.
She adds that, as homes are a pivotal part of communities, the company’s ambition is to facilitate the building of better homes through its range of innovative products and solutions.
One EkhayaBag contains 0.5 m3 (500 ℓ) or about 1 200 kg of material.
The EkhayaBag product range includes EkhayaBag concrete, available in two grades and its use ranges from domestic foundations, garage and house floors to light commercial floors, concrete walls and columns, and EkhayaBag mortar, available in a 12–, 24– and 48-hour workable mix suitable for use in the laying of masonry units such as bricks, blocks and stone.
The range also includes EkhayaBag Artevia Colour, a range of pigmented concretes in sandstone, mahogany and charcoal colour tones, which can be used for floors, driveways, braai areas, swimming pool surrounds and patios.