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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 10:04

How to Use Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2017 on a Budget… And Actually Pull It Off

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Going green has never been trendier, especially now that Pantone has named “Greenery” 2017’s official colour of the year. But there’s more to it than just slapping some green into your colour scheme, and it’s not exactly the easiest colour to decorate with. That’s why Retail Display Manager at Tile Africa, Liza Watermeyer, is shedding some light on how you can incorporate this fresh trend into your home, without an expensive overhaul or a decorating disaster on your hands.

Make sure you understand it’s not just a colour

“Sustainability is the inspiration behind the selection of this colour, so being able to use this shade in a meaningful way that is easily adaptable and cost effective is vital to the trend,” says Liza. She also warns against splurging on the array of zesty yellow-green hued décor items you’ll find crowding shopping mall shelves… and then bins in the next year. “If you are going to create waste or pollution in your quest to incorporate this eco-conscious shade, you’re going about it in completely the wrong way.”

Find simple, non-imposing ways to introduce it into your space

As this year’s colour is inspired by nature, a literal way to bring it into your home would be with foliage and plants. It’s as simple as decorating tables, drawers, shelves and other surfaces around your home with vases, jars and pots containing varying leaves and plants.

Environmentally friendly paint products can also be used to effortlessly convert a wall or piece of furniture to include Greenery – try horizontal or vertical stripes of Greenery and another corresponding shade. Tiled mosaics are another inexpensive option, especially for kitchens and bathrooms, where adding a border, backsplash or focus wall will be a welcome addition.

Bring complementary shades and tones into the mix

Greenery is a pretty intense colour palette, and it’s going to come off as contrived if you just blitz your entire home in it. Instead, try to create a cohesive theme with touches of greenery.

If you want your home to have a fresh and invigorating quality, consider using white and mixed metallics. A darker, more moody aesthetic can be achieved by adding deep shades of chocolate brown or a luxurious ripe grape hue. Then, simply embellish using a mix ‘n match ensemble of green bits and bobs you can find lying around the house, so you can get the look without spending a cent!

Any material that is organic or from nature will intrinsically combine well with this fresh colour. Think of light, honey coloured oak or darker mahogany, with mixed metallic accents in matte and glossy patinas. White and terracotta shades also integrate nicely with Greenery, as well as materials made from cement, wicker, glass, or even cork, which is being used more and more often as a wall and floor covering.

Get extra style points for using it in combination with other global décor trends

Every year, Tile Africa sends a team of experts to Cersaie, an international exhibition in Italy that offers industry leaders an insider peek at upcoming trends in tiles and ceramics for interior design. Liza, who attended this exhibition, says trends from Cersaie were eclectic and based on a global worldly appearance.

There was a strong sense of the old made new, with a focus on plants, wood and metal combinations of craftsmanship. The colour scheme was based on dark neutrals, and shades of brown and black featuring across all styles, with Stone and Wood-look tiles making for a perfect backdrop to accentuate Pantone’s Greenery shade in your home.

For more information on Tile Africa products, visit or contact Tile Africa on 0800 002 783.

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    Alternative construction system company Moladi has developed a means of incorporating mine slag into its Moladi mix, offering mining companies a viable method for recycling their waste material and reducing construction costs when developing mine-site accommodation.

    Moladi founder and CEO Hennie Botes explains that its cement admixture is poured into plastic moulds to form walls. “Using slag instead of sand in the mortar will result in substantial cost savings for mines during the construction of housing units and other site buildings.”

    Further, he notes that, with mines having problems disposing of mine slag, this solution will enable mines to use their waste material to build infrastructure.

    Business consultancy MJC Business Consulting director Marius Lotter adds that, traditionally, mines made use of conventional building methods to construct the various site buildings. However, he suggests that a lack of quality management, logistical challenges, rigid deadlines, theft as well as excessive costs – including those relating to the use and rental of various types of heavy machinery, the contracting of a skilled labour force and the use of labour intensive methods – have resulted in mines looking to alternative building technologies.

    Lotter notes that the Moladi system not only addresses most of the aforementioned issues but it also creates jobs. This assists mining companies with the legal obligation to, firstly, provide adequate housing and living conditions for staff and, secondly, “facilitate economic linkages to sectors other than mining” – which are the requirements in the 2010 Social and Labour Plan Guideline published by the Department of Mineral Resources.

    Lotter adds that Moladi has been successful in implementing its entry strategy for the mining industry and it “foresees that as many as 150 houses will be completed in 2017”.

    The company is also set to supply 150 staff accommodation units at an Mpumalanga project, which has already been approved, and is awaiting the approval of 22 000 units to accommodate staff at another mining project.

    Global Acclaim
    The company was featured in a World Economic Forum report called ‘The Future of Construction’, published in January, which forms part of a multiyear global economic initiative to guide and support the engineering and construction industry.

    The report notes that Moladi has an advantage over other affordable housing technologies, particularly those using prefabricated building components, because developing countries have notoriously inadequate road infrastructure, which makes transporting fully prefabricated units unviable and could result in the damage of prefabricated components. As Moladi’s system involves the use of lightweight plastic formwork, which is easily transported, it is unlikely to be damaged, regardless of road conditions.

    The system’s formwork is assembled by clipping together a set of injection-moulded, 30 cm × 10 cm × 20 cm plastic panels that are removable, reusable and recyclable. With this system, a building can be constructed in as little as two days.

    The formwork panels are assembled on the first day. Window and door frames, as well as piping and wiring are positioned within the wall cavity before the mould is filled with the Moladi mix.

    To illustrate the speed of the process, Botes explains that constructing a 40 m² house takes a team of 18 workers about four hours: two hours to erect the formwork and another two hours to pour the mortar.

    On the second day, the formwork is removed, the walls are painted with a cementitious water-based paint and the lighting and sanitary equipment are installed.

    The entire process can be monitored by one Moladi supervisor who provides on-site training and assistance to local workers with no prior construction experience or special construction skills.

    Moladi’s system is generally associated with small affordable housing units, but it can be applied to various infrastructure assets, including schools, hospitals or courthouses, site offices and multistorey buildings.

    Its main advantages are the speed and ease of production, the lower costs and reduced environmental impact, the quality of the end product and a localised supply chain that benefits local communities.

    The cast walls have a strength of between 7 N/mm² and 15 N/mm² – which is significantly stronger than traditional structures.

    The technology has undergone extensive testing and received certification from several African building and standards authorities, including the South African Bureau of Standards and the Tanzania Bureau of Standards. The structures are also reported to be “very earthquake resistant” according to tests conducted by the University of Panama.

    The system has been used to construct several thousand units in 20 countries in Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania. It has also been used in Sri Lanka, Mexico and Panama.

    Moladi is reportedly preparing to expand its footprint to include the UK and other industrialised countries that have a shortage of affordable housing. The report noted that one of the virtues of the Moladi system is that it can be easily adapted to local building codes and conditions by integrating the required reinforcing structures into the cast.

    It concludes that the system is limited to single- or two-storey buildings, but Moladi is working with engineers to upgrade its construction processes and mortar to qualify the use of its system for multistorey buildings.

    Read more - How Elon Musk and other pioneers (moladi) are shaking up the construction industry | World Economic Forum #WEF #moladi #Tesla #HennieBotes #ElonMusk

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  • Make It Yours

    Transforming a house into a home is one of the most rich and rewarding journeys of every person’s life. A home is a mirror of your best self; your hopes, memories, quirks and loves. But all too often on the journey to building the perfect home, the bathroom gets left behind.  

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    Colour is not just a part of life. It is life. It’s how we express ourselves, it influences our mood and it helps us to understand our world. As South Africa’s largest paint manufacturer, Plascon not only has an expert understanding of our relationship with colour but also how to make using it easy and inspiring in any space. It’s about combining the science behind innovative paint with the evocative power of colour, all grounded by a deep understanding of the South African culture, style and environment.


    Every year, Plascon publishes an overview of the latest colour trends in their Colour Forecast. This exciting publication gives customers an insight into the trends at play, while at the same time making it easy to interpret them in their own spaces.

    These trends are then brought to life with a distinctive palette curated from Plascon’s colour system and expressed through carefully-considered interior and inspiration imagery. There is also reference made to the specific décor techniques that will help customers to recreate the theme in their own space.


    Anne Roselt is Plascon’s Global Colour Manager and has been the driving force behind the Forecast since its inception. “Every year we travel around the globe in search of the latest colour trends and we’re so excited to share them with our customers,” she explains. “We want to really inspire people through the Forecast,” she continues, “and help them to bring trend inspiration to life in their own homes.”

    Colour Hive (formerly Global Colour Research) is a collaborative partner, providing global trend insight to the project. They are the thought leaders behind the renowned MIX magazine – the go-to resource for designers around the world when it comes to colour. This is the second year Colour Hive has collaborated with Plascon on the Forecast. As Roselt explains, “they bring an international perspective that is so valuable to a project like this.” She continues, “and it’s by combining this global insight with our deep understanding of the South African taste level, lifestyle and décor preferences that we can create something that is both inspirational and useful.”

    THE THEMES FOR 2017 Overview:

    The Colour Forecast for 2017 follows a similar format to the issues from previous years, with trends curated around four key themes. These each have a carefully considered colour palette that captures the spirit of the trend, and a suggestion on the décor treatments to bring it to life. Roselt explains that this year’s themes are influenced by the attraction we feel for both the digital and natural worlds. This seemingly contradictory pair is very much a metaphor for who we are as people at the moment, Roselt adds, and that’s why we’re seeing it in colour in many ways.

    “Our inspiration this year came from the world we feel under our feet and the worlds we create in our minds,” Roselt says. She explains that we’re seeing a more minimal approach to interiors. “Not that everything is going back to white,” she says. “It’s just that the use of colour is more pure and single-minded

    – something we’re seeing in the bold wall treatments and colour combinations this year,” she continues. She explains that this year we’re seeing everything from perspective geometrics to very subtle colour gradations,colour-blocking and everything in-between.

    Colour Story One: Anonymous

    Anonymous is about the freedom you get when you strip right back to basics and embrace the softer things in life. It’s a new kind of neutrality – beyond a specific gender, identity, place or even style. This approach embraces simplicity and is a response to how oversaturated our lives feel because of all the things that surround us in the world.

    The palette combines a lighter blue, green and pink with deep purple, blue and black. Metallic-inspiredshades complete the look and add a sense of depth to the theme. These colours are soothing and calm, giving us space to pause in a busy world.

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    Colour Story Two: Terrain

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    Colour Story Three: Prism

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    Colour Story Four: Pause

    The last theme is Pause – one for everyone who likes a sophisticated neutral look. And while it may be the most minimal and authentic at heart, it has maximum appeal thanks to a nuanced colour palette.

    In this theme of hushed colours, we see feminine blush shades as well as grey and blue-tinted updates on classic beiges. There’s also a metallic gold accent on hand to add a hint of luxury. This all helps to create a sense of depth and create a minimalism that is anything but boring.

    This sophisticated theme is brought to life through the use of chalky colour treatments for additional texture, as well as faded finishes and colour panels.


    Every year, Plascon chooses a colour that sums up the mood in the global design landscape. For 2017, it is “In the Mood”. Taken from the Terrain story, this is a neutral colour with earthy grey and very subtle pink tints. Warm and grounding but always clean and sophisticated, this colour is the perfect backdrop for any space. As Roselt explains, “It really captures the ‘back to basics’ feeling that the world is going through at the moment but is still rich, warm and really easy to use.”


    As South Africa’s largest paint manufacturer, Plascon is driven to provide both leading products and useful inspiration to make home decoration easy and exciting. The company is continuously developing new and innovative paint products specifically with the South African consumer in mind and is known for the exceptional quality of its various brands. With trusted names like Double Velvet, Cashmere, Wall and All, Velvaglo, Micatex, and Plascon Kitchens and Bathrooms in its stable, customers know that they can bring their inspiration to life using long-lasting, high-performance paint products, no matter what the application.


    The Forecast is launched each year at Decorex Joburg, where the themes are brought to life on the Plascon stand. Copies of the Forecast are then included in leading décor publications around the launch in August, as well as with Plascon’s Spaces magazine. After the launch, customers can visit their nearest Plascon stockist to collect their own copy. For more information, visit us online at

  • The Green Building Council moves into a new and ‘greener’ office space

    The Green Building Council SA (GBCSA) has taken up residence at its inspired new green office at the Blackriver Park complex in Observatory, Cape Town.

    Growing up fast

    As the commercial property industry in South Africa embraces sustainability, so the GBCSA's capacity and reach has expanded to the point where they outgrew their office space.

    The GBCSA has grown from a small start up to a fully-fledged mainstream operator, emphasised GBCSA CEO Brian Wilkinson. "From just one rating tool and one certification in 2008, to four rating tools with another two in development, and almost 40 certified projects today. Close to 5 000 professionals have attended our training programs, almost 500 professionals are Green Star SA Accredited, and 1100 corporates have joined as members, showing an incredible commitment by corporate SA to sustainability in the built environment."

    Designing a blank canvass

    The GBCSA relished the opportunity to walk their talk, and design a space that will resonate their green building values and principles.

    The new open-plan office has been designed to accommodate the future growth expected at the council, and embraces the GBCSA's increasingly flexible, collaborative, and shared approach to office space and the work environment. Besides the tangible sustainable interventions, the GBCSA have also instituted a ‘hot-desking’ system which supports flexibility, team integration and maximizes space.  Staff are also encouraged to use alternative and public transport and not to use their own cars to come to work by having less company-rented parking bays available, than staff employed.

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    Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA, says: “Both SAPOA and GBCSA are committed to advancing the property sector in South Africa and delivering value to members that encourages a quality, sustainable urban environment. We’re pleased to share office space with people who also share our thinking space and look forward to the positive impact of our growing collaboration.”

    Targeting a possible first green office rating

    The GBCSA also aims to get the new office certified under the Green Star SA Commercial Interiors rating tool, which will be released at the GBCSA’s Green Building Convention in Cape Town, on October 16-18, 2013.

    The retrofit of the new office meant that the GBCSA could walk the talk, and ensure sustainability at every turn. The site was chosen because it is a re-used old warehouse building, and Blackriver Park prioritizes efficiency and recycling. It is close to public transport nodes, as well as having great amenities within the office park, and more within walking distance. Blackriver Park has also installed the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic installation in South Africa, which will provide 1.2 MW of renewable energy, once complete.

    The professional team involved in the office retrofit did extensive performance modelling to see where interventions could be made to boost green building characteristics, and the final design made significant sustainability improvements. When it came to furniture, products and equipment required for the new office, products meeting sustainability criteria were specified and installed.

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    As a non-profit, member driven organisation, the GBCSA was committed to achieving the highest green credentials at the lowest cost, and was able to achieve this through sponsorship from their member community and suppliers of sustainable products and services.  A total of 38 sponsors came on board in a short space of time to achieve a very ambitious goal. "We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of sponsors, and the products and services that have been made available to us. It is a great recognition of what we do," said GBCSA Education Manager& resident architect Donné Putter

    Open day for members and tenants

    To celebrate World Green Building Week (16 – 20 September), underpinned by the theme: ‘Greener Buildings, Better Places, Healthier People’, Cape Town members and Blackriver Park tenants will be invited to an open day at the GBCSA’s new offices which will include an insightful presentation by the project team.  The GBCSA aim to host regular office tours in the new year and to use the premises as a living showcase of healthy and productive office space.

    "I’m looking forward to celebrating the generosity of the fantastic sponsors, and welcoming members to visit us in our new space, which highlights green building principles and practices, and allows us to walk the green talk," concluded Wilkinson.

  • Lafarge Plasterboard: High-performance now comes in ‘green’

    As more clients request “green” building alternatives, Lafarge Gypsum is continually finding solutions that provide design flexibility for architects and interior designers without compromising the environment.

    Used in a variety of building types – including residential housing, hospitals, schools, offices and hotels – the Lafarge Gypsum Plasterboard range of 6.4mm, 12mm and 15mm are a boon to builders required to comply with the new SANS 204 energy efficiency standard.

    Officially listed on ecospecifier, the leading global source of sustainable development and life-cycled assessed green product information, Lafarge Gypsum’s plasterboard is produced in a number of standard lengths, widths and thicknesses; as well as with a variety of characteristics, depending on the intended use of the board.

    Says Jean-Paul Croze, Managing Director of Lafarge Gypsum South Africa: “Health buildings in particular are required to pass the most stringent technical standards to receive the necessary regulatory approvals. Lafarge Plasterboard is designed to meet these critical technical specifications while ensuring design flexibility.” In addition to their “green” attributes, the boards also offer fire and moisture resistance.

    “The ecospecifier approval means our products have undergone an independent and unbiased assessment and are benchmarked against both South African and international standards,” Croze adds. To be listed on ecospecifier, products must exhibit one or more eco- and health-preferable characteristics when compared to other products in its category.

    Ongoing research and development has seen Lafarge Gypsum produce a range of products that meet the most exacting technical specifications, whether an architect or builder needs to provide fire resistance, thermal insulation, acoustic control, partition solutions or a combination of these features.

    As the first local plasterboard manufacturer to produce a 15mm plasterboard, Lafarge Gypsum South Africa says the thicker board is more resistant to damage in high traffic areas, therefore requiring less maintenance. “It is also able to carry the weight of wall hangings and racks for merchandising, making it ideal for shop fitting,” says Croze.

    Lafarge Plasterboard and associated ceiling and partition systems are sold to installers through a network of stores in South Africa and across the continent. Lafarge Gypsum's products are also distributed to specialised resellers and hardware stores.

    “With more and more South African individuals and companies becoming aware of the importance of insulation, health and safety and cost effective structures, Lafarge Gypsum’s product range offers a fully-recyclable plasterboard that reduces energy usage during the building phase while ensuring interior designers and architects achieve an aesthetically pleasing finish.”

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