KBAC Flooring has donated about 800 square metres of used Interface carpet tiles to South Africa’s first Streetlight School which opened in Johannesburg in mid-January this year.

The Streetlight School project has been registered for a 4-Star Green Star SA Interiors rating with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) by leading Johannesburg sustainability specialists, Solid Green Consulting. If the rating is awarded, it will be the first Green Star-rated school in South Africa. The site for the first Streetlight School is Jeppe Park Primary, near the Johannesburg CBD.

The carpet tiles, donated and installed by KBAC Flooring, were uplifted from a project for which the company had supplied new Interface carpet tiles. Interface – exclusively distributed in South Africa by KBAC Flooring – has won global acclaim for internationally leading the way in sustainable flooring.

Lesley Fidrmuc, Interface Consultant for KBAC Flooring, arranged the donation after an approach from Solid Green Consulting with which she had worked closely on sustainable flooring projects in the past.

Jessé Hamman, Interior Green Consultant at Solid Green says that sustainable flooring is essential in achieving a Green Star SA Interiors rating. “Emphasis is placed on using certified flooring products manufactured in an ISO14001-responsible factory, or on reused flooring products, or products that have a product stewardship in place, such as a take-back scheme. The responsibility lies not only with the supplier but also with the design professional to ensure that responsibly manufactured materials are used in such projects,” Jessé explained.

Lesley says the donation to what could become the country’s first Greenstar-rated school, is in line with KBAC’s local adaptation of Interface’s  “Re-entry” programme which in Europe aims to prevent carpeting that has become worn out, outdated, or no longer regarded as fashionable, ending up in landfills by recycling the old carpet tiles into the production line for new flooring.

“Due to the high costs of shipping used South African flooring overseas to be included in the Interface Re-Entry programme for recycling at the factory mills in the Netherlands, a local ‘Re-Use’ initiative – which also has strong social responsibility elements – has been created by KBAC Flooring.

“Carpets dumped in landfills are not bio-degradable due to the high oil content in the nylon fibres and backing used to produce the carpets. So, to keep old carpets from landfills, KBAC Flooring now seeks needy organisations and institutions – such as Streetlight Schools – that can utilise the still very usable carpeting, and donates the uplifted flooring to them as part of our Re-Use programme,” Lesley added.

Neil Duncan, Chief Financial Officer of KBAC Flooring, said the company had no hesitation in donating the 800 square metres of Interface “Cubic”, Sunflower colour, carpet tiles to the Streetlight School. “KBAC Flooring also installed the carpet tiles free of charge, using a low VOC adhesive. We are extremely proud to have contributed to this admirable initiative and hope to continue providing assistance as the concept is rolled out further. In fact, Hannetjie Smit, Sales Consultant for KBAC, has already secured a donation by Tuffloor of some of the company’s black interlocking tiles which KBAC installed free of charge in the open area outside the school’s classrooms to further assist the Streetlight Schools initiative,” he added.

Hannetjie also approached KBAC’s long-standing preferred carpet cleaning specialists, Brakpan-based Getset Cleaning, headed by P-J Fernandes, to clean the donated carpets at Streetlight School. P-J Fernandes immediately offered assistance and personally visited Streetlight School for assessment and floor measurements. Getset then provided the equipment and environmentally-friendly materials required for the cleaning project at no charge.

    A classroom at the first Streetlight School with carpet tiles supplied by KBAC Flooring.

It is hoped that Jeppe Park Primary School, just south of the Johannesburg CBD, will become SA's first Green Star-rated school.

It is hoped that Jeppe Park Primary School, just south of the Johannesburg CBD, will become SA’s first Green Star-rated school.