Construction industry must embrace innovative technologies- Minister Nhleko
Public Works Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko on Monday called on the construction industry to embrace innovative technologies that have superior energy efficiency performance in comparison to conventional materials.
“Energy efficiency will contribute to sustainable development while implementing of eco-labelling of construction products will contribute towards South Africa’s green building policy,” said Minister Nhleko following his recent visit to the innovative construction product assessments entity, Agrément South Africa, located at the CSIR buildings in Pretoria.
The Minister pledged support for Agrément South Africa (Agréma SA)’s Vision 2030 aimed at ensuring that innovative, modern and improvement methods of construction technologies are widely used across the country while they also contribute towards addressing triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Nhleko said that Agrément SA is mandated to ensure provision of assurance by carrying out its testing, evaluation, confirmation and certification of fitness for purpose of non-standard construction products and systems through quality products and services in order to improve service delivery.
He emphasised that the organisation will need to be marketed more aggressively to ensure that South Africans take pride in the country’s intellectual property and concurred that its research and development unit must be developed and find linkage with the academia and other research institutions in the country.
Agrément SA Chief Executive Officer, Joe Odhiambo who heads the only organisation on the continent recognised by the World Federation of Technical Assessment Orgnaisations said that his organisation reduces risk involved in the use of untested innovations.
Odhiambo said that his organisation is responsible for safe introduction of advanced construction technologies from overseas and introduces them in the South African market ensuring that subsstandard products are prevented from accessing the local market.
Widespread use of some of the over 600 Agrément South Africa certificated products include hollow concrete blocks, metal roof tiles, lightweight internal partitions, hard drawn copper tubing, variety of waterproofing and wall coating materials, bath tubs and popular JoJo water tanks used in farming and rural communities.
Other advanced products accredited by the organisation include Polo-pave thin bituminous road surfacing system ,Eezi Thermal Building system, Amoriguard wall coating system, Weigh-In-motion monitoring system ,converted container & modular structures, IES Virtual Environment Software, Kleva-brick building system, Tip-Up Pre-Fabricated Building System, Resin Toof Tile, Tensa Finger RSFD Bridge Deck Joint, Poly-fibre Awning Window frames.