keyboard_arrow_upThermally activated building systems save energy
keyboard_arrow_downThermally activated building systems save energy

Rehau played a part in the construction of South Africa’s first building to achieve a 6-star Green Star SA rating from the GBCSA – the Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre in Midrand.

keyboard_arrow_upShutters allow ventilation, light and heat control
keyboard_arrow_downShutters allow ventilation, light and heat control

The recent amendments to the National Building Regulations – with the introduction of the SANS 10400-XA energy efficiency standard – impact on the design and specifications of many elements of a building, from floor to roof, including windows and doors.  Well-designed and finished windows and doors can improve the energy efficiency of a building by optimising natural ventilation, heating and cooling as well as natural daylighting. 

keyboard_arrow_upEnergy-saving eco-friendly heating
keyboard_arrow_downEnergy-saving eco-friendly heating

BioFire Fireplaces joined the South African marketplace at the end of 2010, responding to a real demand for ecologically-friendly and electricity-independent heating in South Africa.  As the costs of electricity and gas continue to escalate, wood offers an appealing and cost-effective alternative and it is a renewable resource, growing in abundance around the country.  A BioFire fireplace uses, on average, only 18 pieces of wood a day, to generate hours of heat for the home. Consider how much this could save you in terms of gas or electricity usage. 

keyboard_arrow_upHelping home wishes come true
keyboard_arrow_downHelping home wishes come true

RBA Homes handed over the keys for a brand new home to Lucky Mathibela and his family on Friday 1 June 2012, making good on its promise made on 94.7 FM Highveld Stereo’s Christmas Wish campaign.  When RBA Homes was approached by 94.7 Highveld Stereo’s Breakfast Show and heard Lucky’s story, it welcomed the chance to make a difference in his life. RBA Homes was impressed by the young man’s positive spirit and his desire to give back to his community as a teacher – even though he was struggling himself. 

keyboard_arrow_upNatural light without the heat
keyboard_arrow_downNatural light without the heat

Ice Cool, flagged as the premium insulating window film from Solashayde, admits “all the light with none of the weather”. When natural light and temperature and solar control are priorities, this is the best window film to use. Ice Cool assists in keeping interiors warm in winter and cool in summer, while letting through bright, visible light. It can be used in offices, homes and any other buildings. 

keyboard_arrow_upControl valves reduce air-conditioning costs
keyboard_arrow_downControl valves reduce air-conditioning costs

Johnson Controls Building Systems has introduced a series of VP1000 pressure-independent control valves that promise to reduce the installation and commissioning costs for smaller fan coil and air-handling air-conditioning units.  “Traditionally, two separate valves are installed to regulate the flow and pressure of water through the air-conditioning units in response to the demands of a controller. The VP1000 valve performs the functions of both valves, with a differential pressure regulator and a regulating valve for flow adjustment. It is easier to install, more cost-effective and requires less maintenance,” explains Neil Cameron, general manager at Johnson Controls Systems & Service South Africa. 

keyboard_arrow_upAlternative building systems support energy efficiency
keyboard_arrow_downAlternative building systems support energy efficiency

ABP Building Products, specialist in the design, development, manufacture and marketing of alternative building systems that support energy efficiency, has changed its name, because of a naming rights conflict, to Eco Building Systems.  Rodney van Dam of Eco Building Systems says, “We focus primarily on using expanded polystyrene systems (EPS) to provide building products that withstand the impacts of rising building, energy and labour costs. With the promulgation of new energy efficiency legislation in the National Building Regulations, our products are playing a greater role in the South African building environment. 

keyboard_arrow_upRadiant barrier insulation reduces heat build-up
keyboard_arrow_downRadiant barrier insulation reduces heat build-up

The newly legislated SANS 10400-XA: 2011 and SANS 204: 2008 introduce the requirement for proof of compliance with the standards set out for energy efficiency in buildings. This means that architects and building developers need to ensure that new buildings and building refurbishments are designed to meet the prescribed energy efficiency standards; that a building’s performance in terms of energy usage is calculated and documented; and that the building is built to perform accordingly.  Thermal insulation materials – for roofs, walls and floors – constitute a key element in building to achieve the required thermal resistance values (R-values) as set out in SANS 204. 

keyboard_arrow_upShutters and blinds for healthy indoor air quality
keyboard_arrow_downShutters and blinds for healthy indoor air quality

Most of us spend at least 30% of our time at work, often inside the same building from 8am to 5pm, with maybe an hour’s break to step outside. It’s important therefore that the buildings where we work should be ‘healthy’ buildings.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) for almost three decades. In 1984 the WHO reported that 30% of new and remodelled buildings worldwide might be linked to symptoms of SBS. The causes are many and varied but SBS is commonly attributed to poor indoor air quality – a result of poor ventilation, faulty or badly maintained air-conditioning systems, a range of indoor chemical pollutants such as small quantities of toxins in the emissions from building and office materials and biological agents such as moulds and bacteria. 

keyboard_arrow_upSANRAL leads the way for green government buildings
keyboard_arrow_downSANRAL leads the way for green government buildings

The new corporate headquarters for the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) in Pretoria has been awarded a 4-star Green Star SA - Office Design v1 rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), the country’s green building authority.  As the first parastatal in South Africa to achieve a Green Star SA rating for one of its buildings, SANRAL, an agency of the Department of Transport, is leading the way for government and state-owned enterprises to move towards green building standards.  Worldwide, buildings are reportedly responsible for a third of all carbon emissions. Given that SA has boldly committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025, the reduction of carbon emissions via buildings and the built environment presents one of the most efficient ways of achieving these commitments. 

keyboard_arrow_upInterbuild Africa 2012
keyboard_arrow_downInterbuild Africa 2012

South Africa’s leading exhibition for the building and construction industry – Interbuild Africa – will take place 15 to 18 August this year at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, in Johannesburg.  The exhibition provides a platform for showcasing the latest innovations, products, services and developments in the industry.

keyboard_arrow_upCeiling fans indoors or out
keyboard_arrow_downCeiling fans indoors or out

Solent Trading, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of wall and ceiling fans as well as other electrical products, is now also the exclusive South Africandistributor of Hunter fans.  Since 1886 the USA-based Hunter Fan Company has pioneered new and smarter ways to clean, circulate and condition the air in homes and other buildings. Hunter ceiling fans have set the standard in quality and craftsmanship for more than 120 years.

keyboard_arrow_upHVAC systems for new Botswana hospital
keyboard_arrow_downHVAC systems for new Botswana hospital

Actom Mechanical Equipment has signed an agreement with its main international technology principal, Fläkt Woods, which sees the local company appointed the sole agent in Southern Africa for Fläkt Woods’ world-class modular heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.  Actom Mechanical Equipment has a longstanding association with Fläkt Woods of Europe relating to the use of its advanced fan technologies and the manufacture and sale of its axial flow and centrifugal fans for industrial and mining ventilation applications.

keyboard_arrow_upPVC strip curtains stabilise internal temperatures
keyboard_arrow_downPVC strip curtains stabilise internal temperatures

Apex strip curtains offer an inexpensive way to cover a door opening and prevent the ingress of cold air or hot air – as may be required – while still allowing easy passage for personnel and vehicular traffic. Manufactured from specially formulated PVC material that does not become brittle with use, Apex strip curtains are transparent for optimum visibility and safety. This locally manufactured product is best known for its patented Balledge design which, while providing an effective thermal seal, parts easily under pressure to allow people and goods to move through unhindered.

keyboard_arrow_upEconomical infrared zone heating
keyboard_arrow_downEconomical infrared zone heating

Winter is with us and in those ‘difficult-to-heat’ areas in factories, workshops, processing plants, restaurants and corporate buildings many people will be feeling the chill. One heating solution that is effective and economical is infrared zone heating, available from Technilamp. It provides warmth across controlled zones within those spacious areas.

keyboard_arrow_upJoining forces in air conditioning and ventilation
keyboard_arrow_downJoining forces in air conditioning and ventilation

The well-known South African electrical engineering group, Actom, has acquired the specialist air conditioning engineering and contracting company Luwa SA from its South African shareholders. The acquisition, via Actom’s Power Conversion Division, was concluded in January and effective from 1 February 2011. Luwa SA was established in 1971, so this year marks its 40th anniversary. The company is one of the leading players in industrial ventilation and air conditioning and offers design, manufacturing and installation capabilities. Luwa SA has offices in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal and Brackenfell in Cape Town.

keyboard_arrow_upA cooling breeze
keyboard_arrow_downA cooling breeze

Durban-based Solent Trading has introduced two new light kits – the Oyster Light Kit and the Tara Light Kit – which can be combined with its already extensive range of ceiling fans. The new light kits, like others in the Solent range, can be used with either two GU 10 globes, or two 60W incandescent globes.

keyboard_arrow_upLow-e window film saves energy for early learning centre
keyboard_arrow_downLow-e window film saves energy for early learning centre

Consulting engineers DTM/Spoormaker & Partners approached Cape Town-based Lunar Products, supplier of LLumar window film, to source a window film that would provide maximum energy savings all year round. The energy-saving film was sought for the Old Mutual Green’scool Early Learning Centre in Pinelands, Cape Town, a 2 200m² building that accommodates 280 children. The principal, Gina Mattei, had raised the concern that the school was experiencing extremely high heat gain through the windows – indoor temperatures of up to 30°C were recorded – and a lot of heat was being lost in winter, especially from the under-floor heating in the nursery section.

keyboard_arrow_upAir conditioner honoured for design
keyboard_arrow_downAir conditioner honoured for design

Daikin Europe  recently announced that its Daikin Emura designer room air conditioner was awarded an honourable mention by the jury in the international Red Dot 2010 Product Design Award competition.

keyboard_arrow_upControlling temperature and saving energy
keyboard_arrow_downControlling temperature and saving energy

Rodwell House is an upmarket guesthouse in St James, Cape Town. Being close to the sea and east facing, the building receives an early morning dose of sun but goes into the shade by early afternoon when the sun slips behind the Kalk Bay mountains that form part of the Silvermine section of Table Mountain National Park.