It’s almost impossible to travel more than a few kilometres without coming across one of South Africa’s major obsessions: the shopping mall.
I guess people have an itch to scratch and shopping does just that, but here’s something to consider – one cannot help but wonder about the environmental impact of these malls, which, by their very nature, are highly consumptive environments.
Fortunately we are seeing a subtle shift. The culture of enclosed, high environmental impact shopping centres is being replaced by more sustainable open-air malls.
That’s because developers and architects are clued up to the impact of the built environment on the global environment, and younger consumers are demanding more from businesses.
The good news that many new malls draw their design inspiration from green products, services and resources. Renewable building materials such as timber, sourced from environmentally responsible forests to reduce environmental impact and minimise construction waste, have become a priority.
Sustainable, natural Rhino Wood, the timber of choice for many of today’s ‘green’ shopping malls and office complexes, is used to soften contemporary industrial designs, exteriors and interiors, signage towers and walkways as well as add a touch of nature to common seating areas.
Basically, the timber is damn fine looking and doing its bit for the environment at the same time.
Look at this goodness:
Locally sourced Rhino Wood uses an innovative patented process that gives softwoods like SA pine similar, and at times even enhanced, characteristics of the most durable and rarest hardwoods. In addition, it requires far less energy to produce than inorganic materials such as steel and glass.
It also has extraordinary loadbearing capacity, is durable and stable and is virtually maintenance free.
Another Rhino Wood characteristic that leading green architects dig is the fact that it develops an appealing grey patina over time that blends in with, and often enhances, most exterior finishes.
We’ll lay it out nice and clearly to finish, with a handy infographic that shows exactly why this shift is gathering speed here in South Africa.
Be water wise and be wood wise, friends.
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