AfriSam, the core sponsor of the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation, is a leading supplier of quality construction materials and technical solutions. Our products include cement, aggregate materials and readymix concrete. Traditionally, cement production is a resource intensive process, responsible for high carbon emissions and energy use. In light of this, we realised the importance of finding innovative solutions that are less harmful to the environment and help conserve natural resources for current and future generations.
One of AfriSam’s core values is ‘Planet’, a reflection of our commitment to the environment. Through this, we assume a responsible attitude towards the environment and use natural resources in a deliberated way. We published our first environmental policy in 1994 – reviewed and updated annually, we commit ourselves to its principles.
Over the years, AfriSam has made significant progress in their drive towards sustainability, including the introduction of their green cement range, becoming one of the lowest CO₂ generators per ton of cement in Africa.
Through the use of recycled mineral components, AfriSam’s Advanced Composite cements have set the pace for the green revolution in the cement industry. Typically, these include by-products from other industries such as Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBFS) from the steel manufacturing industry, Pulverised Fly Ash (PFA) from coal-powered stations and Silica fume, a by-product of the silicon and ferrosilicon alloy production. New cement technology has allowed us to utilise these by-products in a manner that enhances the properties of cement. When blended in specific proportions with cement, the resulting composite cement achieves higher final strength than Portland cement and has been proven to have the following benefits for the environment:
- Reduced use of natural resources through a reduced clinker factor
- Significantly reduced energy use compared to that required in the production of pure cements
- Reduced greenhouse gases that are typical of pure cement production
- Reduced waste (slag and PFA) that would typically end up in our landfills
SAIA’s Commitment to Sustainability
The South African Institute of Architecture (SAIA) is wholly committed to sustainable development. This is because the first principle of the SAIA Code of Ethics places on members is a “responsibility to serve and promote the public interest in a professional and responsible manner.” In turn, the primary rule derived from this principle is for members to ensure that their professional actions contribute to the quality and sustainability of the natural and built environment and, within this context, to the health and safety of the public.
SAIA keenly acknowledges the drive towards the goal of sustainability as a broad-based initiative, launched and co-ordinated globally and, as such, commit ourselves to be actively involved in this initiative within the sphere of our professional activity and the environment in which we work. We view the term “environment” holistically understanding it to mean the economic, social and natural environments, which make up the total living environment. Additionally, SAIA regards sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.