Sustainable flooring part of Total S.A.'S quest gor Green Star Building Rating

Leading floor supplier, Kevin Bates Albert Carpets (KBAC) supplied and installed all the flooring for the extensive ‘green’ refurbishment of the Total South Africa head office building in Rosebank – a major project aimed at improving the international oil company’s environmental footprint.

As part of Total SA’s quest for a Level 4 Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa for the refurbished building, just under 7 500 square metres of sustainable Interface flooring was specified for the refurbishment project by Paragon Interiors. Exclusively imported from Europe and distributed in South Africa by KBAC, Interface is an environmental pioneer in modular flooring, and has reached major sustainability production milestones since it embarked on ‘Mission Zero’ in 1996, an initiative to become the world’s first sustainable, restorative carpet manufacturer by the year 2020.

Lesley Fidrmuc, Interface Consultant for KBAC, says 6 950 square metres of the Interface Monochrome carpet tile range, and 500 square metres of Interface’s Urban Retreat carpet tiles, were specified by Paragon Interiors, and subsequently installed by KBAC in the Total SA building in Biermann Avenue.

“Interface Monochrome range comprise 500mm by 500mm highly textured loop pile tiles, made from 100% recycled fibre. The range is available in 48 colours so designers can use it for seamless wall-to-wall flooring or use different coloured tiles from the range to create zones or special patterns. Using Monochrome, designers can identify difference spaces and working areas without having to rely on partition walls,” Lesley explained. “The exceptionally wide array of colours also simplifies matching the flooring to other interior products and furnishings.”

Interface’s Urban Retreat is part of the company’s ongoing Biophilic ranges, the brainchild of internationally-renowned designer, David Oakey, pioneer of flooring bio-mimicry. Oakey found inspiration in the visual, tactile features of forest floors, grassy fields and pebbled garden paths in creating the Urban Retreat range that was so widely employed by Paragon Interiors to bring nature indoors for the 550 staff members based at the Total SA head office.

“The other Interface range specified by Paragon Interiors, Urban Retreat is a dynamic collection of 11 carpet tile products, also 500mm by 500mm in size, sorted into pattern studies that range from refined textures to broad organic forms. With its natural, neutral colour palette, Urban Retreat mimics, for example, forest floors, or moss or lichen-covered stone – all accomplished with an exceptionally high recycled content. For the Total hed office specification, KBAC supplied three Urban Retreat tiles to form Paragon Interiors’ overall pattern: one was a ‘transition tile’, UR 101, with each half of the tile a different colour; and then also UR 102 and UR 103, both plain coloured carpet tiles.

“Urban Retreat is a tufted, patterned loop carpet tile, produced from 100% recycled yarn with a high proportion of recycled content in its backing. The ranges installed in the Total offices are produced on a special computer-driven Interface tapestry machine, which produces a very heavily textured finish with high and low loops.

“The Interface flooring supplied by KBAC Flooring for the refurbishment project, replaced Interface carpet tiles installed in the Total head offices by KBAC about a decade ago,” Lesley added.

Lisa Young, Account Manager at Paragon Interiors, who specified the flooring for Total House, says with the Level 4 Green Star GBCSA rating in mind, Paragon Interiors had no hesitation in selecting Interface flooring because of the company’s prioritised focus on sustainability. “However, the focus on sustainability was a constant thread throughout the installation and not only relative to the Green Star requirement. The quest for sustainability is also pertinent to Total’s brand drive regarding environmental preservation,” Lisa said.

“Interface offers a 100% recycled yarn and KBAC used a ‘green’ method of installation to all the floor plates, applying the tiles with an adhesive with zero Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content.

“Paragon Interiors specified Interface Urban Retreat for the client meeting suites, as well as Total House’s executive wing. We used a combination of of the Interface Monochrome colours that related to Total’s brand to yield an uplifting and playful design to the collaboration destinations and communal hubs; and a grey palette pattern mix to the balance of the floor plates,” Lisa added.

Werner Gouws, KBAC’s Senior Contracts Manager, who was in charge of the installation, said the adhesive used for the Interface flooring had a zero total VOC content. “Installation posed no major challenges and was divided into phases, with separate scheduling for the ground, first and second floors of the building. Thanks to excellent logistical control by the main contractor, JC van der Linde & Venter Projects, the KBAC team simply had to focus on achieving top quality installation,” Werner recalled.

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Three views of the sustainable flooring supplied by KBAC Flooring for the new Total House, which has applied for a GBCSA Level 4 Green Star rating.

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