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Green Building

What Is Green Building?

Green Building

Green building means improving the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water and materials. It is all about environmentally responsible, sustainable building.

Green Building

Green Building

Green Building

Green Building with FinnBUILDER

Half the cost, double the strength and twice as fast.

The low embodied energy required to build with FinnBUILDER, makes FinnBUILDER the ideal choice whenever green building projects are being considered. Here follows some green building methods to incorporate along with FinnBUILDER.

Green Building Methods

Green Building Methods to consider when designing your house:


  • = Protect Native Topsoil & Minimise Disruption of Existing Plants and Trees - through careful planning and construction               practices, valuable soil, plants and trees can be preserved;
  • = Implement Construction Site Storm Water Practices - identify storm water drains and other drainage systems and               streams. Take measures to prevent pollutants from entering them;
  • = Protect Water Quality with Landscaping Design - designing landscaping to allow irrigation and storm water to soak into               the soil recharges groundwater systems and filters out pollutants;
  • = Design Resource-Efficient Landscapes & Gardens - specify indigenous, drought-resistant plants as they utilise less               water and chemicals;
  • = Install High-Efficiency Irrigation Systems - new irrigation technologies apply water to the soil at the plant root zones              at the rate the soil can absorb it, reducing water wastage from overspray;
  • = Provide for On-Site Water Catchment / Retention - rainwater is channeled through gutters and downpipes into holding                tanks for irrigation and toilet flushing;
  • = Install a Compost Bin - compost adds nutrients and beneficial microbes to the soil and replaces fertilizers.


  • = Install a Geyser Jacket - installing an insulation jacket to your geyser can reduce heat loss by about 10%. Before              installing, make sure that it will not void your warranty;
  • = Insulate Hot & Cold Water Piping - insulation reduces heat loss or gain while the water is standing;
  • = Install Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures, including Taps & Showerheads - flow reducers reduce the flow of water with little              noticeable effect and can cut water usage by as much as 40%;
  • = Install Ultra-Low Flush Toilets - these new, high efficiency toilets use as little as 6 liters per flush. Some are available              with dual flush;
  • = Install Instant Water Heaters - tankless instant water heaters (on-demand heaters) heat water as needed, rather              than having a tank in which water is stored. Install as close to the point of use. Typical geysers lose up to 15%              of their energy through standing tank losses. You will also save water by not having to wait for hot water to              arrive from the geyser.


  • = Install Low Electricity Use Lighting - install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) as they use about a fourth of the              electricity of incandescent bulbs for the equivalent light;
  • = Install Insulation Compatible Air-Tight Recessed Lighting Fixtures with CFLs - conventional recessed lighting used with              incandescent bulbs cause a chimney effect, drawing the room's conditioned air through the fixtures holes and              exhausts it into the roof space;
  • = Install Lighting Controls - use dimmers, timing devices, sensors or home automation to switch lights on and off and              thereby having the lights burn for shorter periods of time;
  • = Install High Efficiency Ceiling Fans - fans circulate cold or warm air thereby improving interior comfort and reduce the              need for air conditioning. Some models can be adjusted to draw cool air upwards in summer and warm air              downwards in winter.


  • = Install Radiant Barrier - a radiant barrier is a reflective layer (foil) which is attached to the rafters and reflects radiant              heat from the sun back upwards, reducing radiated heat to the ceiling space and eventually into the interior              rooms;
  • = Insulate Floors, Ceiling Space & Walls - install extruded polystyrene below floor slabs, above ceilings and in cavity                 walls to minimize heat loss or gain and thereby improving interior comfort and reducing electricity bills;
  • = Install Energy Efficient Windows - double glazed windows insulate almost twice as well as single glazing which account              for up to 25% of a building's heat loss in winter. Double glazing also restricts heat from entering the house and              makes the house quieter, providing more comfort during all seasons while reducing electricity bills. Double glazed              windows with Low-E coatings further assist with heat loss or gain.

Ventilation, Heating & Air Conditioning

  • = Install Roof Space Fans - in summer, roof spaces can reach up to 55C. This heat migrates into the home and              increases the temperature inside. Installing a fan with correct roof venting allows the removal of much of this              hot air and reduces the burden on air conditioning;
  • = Install a Whole House Fan - this fan is mounted in an appropriate position in a ceiling on the top floor. It exhausts              warm air from the house into the roof space (adequate venting in the roof space is required) and draws cool air              into the house from a bottom floor window, preferably on the south side. An airtight cover/seal is necessary to              prevent leakage through the fan in winter. On average, whole house fans use one-tenth of the electricity of an              air conditioning unit, and move large volumes of air to achieve indoor comfort during higher temperatures              without using air conditioning;
  • = Install Air Conditioners with Non-HCFC Refrigerants - HCFC is a refrigerant that contains chlorine which is an
                 ozone-destroying chemical. Using alternatives to HCFC reduces the depletion of the ozone layer in case of              leakages; PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version
  • = Install Separate Garage Exhaust Fan - according to studies, an attached garage is the single most significant              contributor to poor indoor air quality. Car exhaust contains many known carcinogens which can migrate into the              house from the adjacent garage;
  • = Sealed-Door Fireplaces - are highly effective for heat generation and are very efficient and economical in the                       combustion of materials (wood etc). Newer models duct outdoor air directly into the combustion chamber                       eliminating the use of conditioned house air. At the same time this prevents reverse exhausting of                       contaminated air from the combustion chamber and exhaust flue into the house, caused by negative air                       pressure that may occur within the house;
  • = Install Low Temperature Water-Born Under-Floor Heating - conventional heating systems heat air by passing it over a              hot surface. The warm air rises resulting in excessive energy losses at high levels through ceilings, walls and              windows. Using warm water as the heat distributer, the whole floor becomes a low temperature radiant heating              surface distributing warmth evenly through the room. This, combined with the use of specific heat pumps and              under-floor insulation, can result in energy savings of up to 60%;
  • = Install a Swimming Pool Heater - the same pump used for your under-floor heating in winter can be switched over for              use to heat your swimming pool in summer in cold climates.

Renewable Energy

  • = Install Solar Water Heating for Household use or Pre-Plumb for Future Installation - water is heated by solar panels and              the water is then stored in a hot water storage tank (geyser) for later use. Solar water can also supplement              standard heated water;
  • = Install a Solar Power (photovoltaic) System to generate Electricity for General Household, Under-floor Heating &              Swimming Pool, or Pre-Wire for Future Installation - PV (photovoltaic) panels convert the sun's energy into              electricity which is stored in large batteries and then converted into normal electricity by invertors;
  • = Install Solar Water Heating for Swimming Pools - solar heating is usually by means of black 'spaghetti' piping laid on the              roof. Water is circulated by a pump through the spaghetti and back into the pool. An alternative method is              heating by means of a heat pump (see Heating above) which is powered by PV panels.

Natural Heating, Cooling & Ventilation

  • = Incorporate Passive Solar Heating - passive solar systems provide heat to the structure by heating massive elements                      such as a floor slab or stone fireplace through large north facing windows during winter;
  • = Install Overhangs or Awnings over North Facing Windows - properly sized overhangs or awnings over north facing              windows are important components of passive solar heating and natural cooling. These devices, which can be              slatted louvers, awnings, wood trellises with deciduous plants or oversized roof overhangs, help keep the heat              of the sun from entering the home during summer and allow heat to enter during winter. These shading devices              can also be placed over the east and west windows to protect from morning and afternoon heat;
  • = Plant Deciduous Shade Trees on the North & West Sides - placement is important, planting 12 to 18 meters from the            house, avoiding structures and underground services. The most important areas to shade being windows and            paved areas. Shade trees can reduce summer air conditioning costs by 25% to 40%. Through shade and
               evapo-transpiration, large tress create a microclimate that can be up to 8 cooler than the surrounding area;
  • = Building Form & Orientation Redistributes Air Naturally - orientating a building to face in a northerly direction with low                windows on the cool south side and high windows on the hot north side assist hot air to exhaust naturally                from the house. Clerestories - high windows along the top of a wall, and often between two roofs are ideal.                These windows should be on the north or west sides, with lower windows on the south or east sides to allow                cool air into the building. High ceilings also assist by creating larger air volumes, while tall internal doors assist                hot air to move through a building more easily. This natural ventilation moves large volumes of air to achieve                indoor comfort and good air quality without mechanical means and thus saving electricity.


  • = Vent Stove Extractor Fans to the Outside - extractor fans are especially important for gas stoves and vent any            unburned gases, smoke and steam to the outside thereby improving air quality and excess moisture build-up;
  • = Install a Whole House Vacuum System - whole house vacuum systems expel dust to the outside. Most standard              household vacuum cleaners redistribute dust which is most harmful to the respiratory system;
  • = Install Built-In Recycling Bins - this system provides separate bins for recyclables and food waste.

Sustainable Source Materials

Some examples of Sustainable Source Materials are -

  • S A Pine which is used for structural purposes such as roof construction;
  • S A Pine for skirting boards and painted internal door frames;
  • Finger-jointed materials where shorter pieces of timber are glued together and used in skirting boards and other trims;
  • Salvaged building materials which have been selected and removed from old buildings for reuse;
  • Bamboo and Cork flooring are alternatives for hardwood flooring. Bamboo can be harvested every 3 to 5 years, while              Cork can be regenerated every 10 years.


Welcome to FinnBUILDER ...
the smart way to build

This is the easiest system of house construction, commercial property construction or industrial property construction. In fact it's the easiest way to build just about anything. It's half the cost of building with brick, double the strength and twice as fast. FinnBUILDER is an innovative alternative building system which is fully accredited and backed by major Banking institutions.



As winner of the All Africa Innovative Housing competition run by the South African Government, the NHBRC and ABSA Bank, FinnBUILDER can claim to be Africa's best building innovation. It is an alternative building system. The system makes use of easy to operate concrete slip forms and 15 MPa reinforced no-slump concrete. This ensures that structures are strong and yet all of this is achieved at surprisingly low cost.



FinnBUILDER is uniquely positioned to assist developers to contain building costs and maintain quality standards. Substantial cost savings are achievable. On a 200 m2 house and boundary walls, a developer will save about R 80 000. On a 300 m2 house, savings of about R 130 000 are being realized.