Despite various industries suffering throughout the pandemic, the built environment was able to remain on its feet for the most part, with many city-shaping projects and developments floated by private and public entities.

There is one problem though. Supply shortages are currently slowing down what should be a fruitful period for the construction industry. In order for us to move forward, it's a matter of playing the waiting game until supply reaches demand down the line, or looking to alternatives.

Sustainable alternatives are the way forward. Given the climate crisis, alternate materials that bear no impact on the environment should be utilised more than what they are. It’s the likes of ECOPact by Holcim, winner of the Best of the Best category as well as the Green Building Material category, that will prove influential down the line.

The construction industry extracts 30 percent of what comes out of the ground each year. By utilising green building materials, that number can be reduced. Building products that are renewable, rather than non-renewable, environmentally responsible and where the impact is considered over the entire lifetime of the product are eligible for the Green Building Material category at the Sustainability Awards.

The key considerations of the category include: use of sustainable /green building materials, longevity, a holistic approach to sustainability (as demonstrated through materials etc.), relevance to context, empathetic to user considerations, high levels of research into use of resources and translatable concepts.

ForestOne is recognised as the country’s biggest independent distributor of timber panels and products, and will this year partner with the Sustainability Awards to sponsor the Green Building Materials category. Utilising one of the world’s most sustainable resources, the company sources its materials ethically while looking to ensure the best possible outcome for clients in the way of products. The company’s values underpin their operations, and are identical to that of the Sustainability Awards.

The Sustainability Awards is an annual showcase of people, products and personnel that put sustainability first. To register a green building material, dwelling or architect, please do so here.