OUR SUSTAINABILITY VISION
We believe that protecting our natural environment is the foundation for sustaining our planet, community, and economy. MADE BETTER, together is our migration towards a more sustainable architectural future for the protection and preservation of ecosystems and environmental biodiversity [PLANET] and helping to improve the living conditions and wellness of the communities we serve in [PEOPLE].
And we invite you to come along for the journey.
THE WAY WE WORK...
A Single Step
All journeys start with a single step, and this is ours... the commitment of our stakeholders to be NET ZERO by 2050.
But we know commitment without action is a road to nowhere and any route to net zero requires clear thinking and thorough accounting, beginning with accurate measurements of all carbon sources to ultimately reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible.
Naturally, as Tent Architects and Structural Design Engineers, the materials that our designers specify must be efficiently used to create safe, comfortable, and durable structures. To this end, establishing the Tenthouse Sustainability Forum is just the beginning of robust discussions, late nights, and a deep analysis of the processes, practices, and partners that influence how we work.
As an industry, we simply must reduce the embodied carbon of the structures we design through material choice and structural optimization. Yet even as members of the Green Building Council in SA, there is more work that needs to be done to publish real guidance both locally and globally, specific to tented structures.
Beyond the Gate
Since late 2022, we have been following the internationally recognized IStructE guidance, which considers carbon emissions throughout the product life cycle.
These calculations consider material volumes and audited carbon emission data, combined with consideration of the construction process, operational use, and end-of-life deconstruction and recycling to give a cradle-to-grave total count.
But an emissions number alone cannot guide the design and needs to be used in a relative manner when comparing a number of scheme options, supply sources, transportation options, etc. Carbon counting is the tool to steer design choices and present more sustainable options to our clients.
On the Horizon
Within the construction industry, the aim is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and a corresponding carbon reduction path is set to achieve that.
The SCORS system (structural carbon rating system) provides a simple product rating based on cradle-to-gate emissions relative to the building plan area. RIBA targets reinforce that system for the same. The global average of all building types currently sits within the 'E' band (340kgCo/sqm).
Tensile structures, by nature of their efficient and minimalist use of materials, thankfully sit above that line and our current assessment of our typical 'Expedition' Tent finds us within the 'B' band (170kgCo/sqm) with more optimizations to follow and our entire range of products to review.
It's the journey that counts
Our goal at this early stage of our sustainability strategy is to target yearly reductions by developing innovative new systems and materials, supported by disciplined supply chain management to keep us on our elevated path toward carbon neutrality.
Let’s take this journey together!
THE WAY WE ACT...
Guided by our MADE BETTER, together philosophy, we must accept that our journey to Net Zero will span many years.
So what can we do today that will make an immediate impact within the communities that we serve?
Those answers lie in the many exciting collaborative partnerships, education programs, and volunteering initiatives we have undertaken within our Social Responsibility team to deliver meaningful change and lasting impact.
An ongoing reminder that even the smallest steps in the right direction lead us to our destination.
THE KINGSLEY HOLGATE FOUNDATION
We are proud to announce that the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and Tenthouse Structures are joining forces to improve the infrastructure of two creches in rural Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
Together, we are erecting two shaded structures, which will provide the children with a much-needed reprieve from the African sun. This exciting partnership promises to make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most and underscores the power of teamwork and collaboration in achieving meaningful change. [READ MORE]
TIMBAVATI PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (TPNR) is committed to preserving and protecting South Africa’s natural heritage. Supporting conservation and wildlife security efforts is as important to Tenthouse Structures and we are proud to collaborate with the TPNR and unite against poaching.
The TPNR expressed a desire to build a Canine Detection Search Bay and together with the Warden of the Timbavati, Edwin Pierce, THS set about to conceptualize, design, and install the new antipoaching unit at Avoca Gate, Limpopo Province, South Africa. [READ MORE]
Environmental education for preschoolers is crucial to help them understand the world around them, and it teaches them to be responsible and respectful towards nature.
Through a partnership with MASICORP, Tenthouse Structures is presenting our new environmental education program, WILD HEARTS to the children of Masiphumelele, Western Cape, South Africa.
It has been wonderful to map the development of the children’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and we know that with this collaboration, we are creating an army of eco-warriors.
MICATO SAFARI'S AMERICASHARE
Together with Micato Safari’s philanthropic arm, America Share, Tenthouse Structures is proud to have installed windsail barriers to the ‘Umbono Wempumelelo’ wooden deck in Redhill informal settlement, Western Cape, South Africa.
Aptly translated as 'a view to success’, this open-air Early Childhood Development facility is being used to host preschool activities in a safe environment and give the community members hope for a brighter future.
Click here to read more about this collaboration.
PRE-SCHOOLERS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Our program facilitates exciting experiences where children can build on their natural interest, explore their curiosity, and learn to consider the environment in everything they do.
The topics of the WILD HEARTS program have been designed around carefully selected international environmental awareness days. Mother Nature is at the core of the curricula and creative, fun-filled lessons and activities have been developed around wildlife and the natural world. [LEARN MORE]
Reuse, Repurpose & Recycling Projects
COMMUNITY GROW BAGS
Estimations are that one in ten South Africans goes hungry every day. Malnutrition levels are high and equal access to nutritional food remains a challenge. Organizations like Abalimi Bezekhaya, in the Western Cape, South Africa, fulfill an important role in aiding food security and empowering local communities.
After an initial visit to Abalimi’s garden centre in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Tenthouse Structures was inspired to reuse and repurpose our sample fabric and used shade sail canopies to make vegetable grow bags for Abalimi’s micro farmers.
This year we are excited to be providing pencil bags, repurposed from a sample canopy to Project Rhino, to serve as prizes for their art activities and competitions.
Rhino Art – ‘Let the Children's Voices be Heard’ is recognized as the most effective conservation initiative for youth art and a highly successful antipoaching program. Its main goal is to collect the largest amount of children's art voices ever recorded in support of rhino conservation and use these messages to create a universal call to action against rhino poaching.
Hundreds of people lost their homes after a fire raged through Masiphumelele informal settlement in Cape Town, South Africa. Buying replacement building materials and basic furnishings is not a reality for many of the people in the area.
Tenthouse Structures is committed to helping vulnerable communities through sustainable business practices and reusing, repurposing, and recycling our textiles. By repurposing a sample canopy, we were able to provide the Masiphumelele community with tarpaulins to be used to waterproof and windproof homes.
Volunteering and Donations
CELEBRATING WOMEN'S DAY 2022
South Africa celebrates its annual Women’s Month in August, and the 2022 theme was ‘Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment’.
Tenthouse Structures found a female-focused community initiative, MASICORP’s Masi Brave Girls, and started a donation drive to make a meaningful contribution to our local community. Our wonderful staff and partners contributed disposable sanitary towels, and THS matched these donations with washable, cloth, reusable towels.
MANDELA DAY BEACH CLEAN UP 2022
Today marks a special day of remembrance for the late, great Nelson Mandela.
His legacy and birthday is celebrated around the world through 67 minutes of community service - correlating with the 67 years that he fought for human dignity, equality, and justice.
Our team of Tenthouse volunteers, picked Woodbridge Island, near to Robben Island, where Madiba was incarcerated for many years, and coordinated a beach clean up in his honour.