Climate Smart Construction Spurs ART, JBR Agreement

Avery Lightbourne of ART Bahamas, sole distributor of BasaFlex (left) with Adrian Burrows, General Manager of JBR Building Supplies, authorised retailer

With a commitment to bring climate smart construction to The Bahamas and the region, Avery Lightbourne of ART Heavy Equipment and Development has announced that Basaflex, a rebar that replaces steel and will not rust in buildings, will now be carried by JBR (Just Build Right) Building Supplies.

ART has the sole distributorship for Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer (BFRP), a revolutionary building material made of basalt rock – a natural, igneous, volcanic rock with a myriad of benefits in the construction industry. Manufactured by Basanite Industries, LLC, based in Florida, BasaFlex rebars and BasaMesh are environmentally friendly, high-performance composite construction materials.

On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, ART welcomed JBR as the first official authorised retailer of these reinforcement products that are approved by The Bahamas Government to replace steel bars and steel mesh in construction. On hand for the occasion were Adrian Burrows, JBR General Manager and former Assistant Manager Randy Rodgers. 

Lightbourne noted that this new business relationship “not only enables diversity in the construction industry, but also contributes to the positive impact on the Bahamas’ carbon footprint”. 

“High-performance Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymers (BFRP) is fundamentally changing the construction industry internationally,” he said.

“The Bahamas now has an environmentally friendly steel alternative. Steel production has a number of environmental impacts including air emissions, wastewater pollutants, hazardous waste and solid waste. Generally, in a country where import costs are high, the average Bahamian cannot afford to maintain the upkeep of their home in the long run. This is due to degraded traditional steel, which can cause severe damage to infrastructure as a result of hurricanes, rising seawater levels, and erosion in our subtropical climate. It can be argued that the lifespan of steel is no longer conducive to the needs of the Bahamas today.” 

According to Basanite, BasaFlex is engineered to add intrinsic value in a concrete structure by eliminating corrosion problems associated with typical steel reinforcement, saving both time and money over the lifecycle of a concrete structure. BasaFlex has a 100-year design life and is non-corrosive. It weighs just 25 percent of steel, and has 2.5 times greater tensile strength. It is also transparent to magnetic fields, radar frequencies and other electro-magnetic radiated energy, and is both electrically and thermally non-conductive. It is easy to use and much safer to handle on the job site.

ART Development is dedicated to working with many other construction supply companies in the near future to help the Bahamas to alter its building practices and ensure endurance, Lightbourne says. 

“I am positive that ART Development and its Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymers will steer the Bahamas into a futuristic direction as its product longevity and environmentally friendly properties have been proven worldwide to be the new way forward in construction,” he added. 

“This innovative material will assist the Bahamas, which is a small island nation susceptible to global warming and other natural phenomena, to be equipped to withstand mother nature.”

Source: Felicity Darville

(l-r) Avery Lightbourne of ART Bahamas, sole distributor of BasaFlex; Adrian Burrows, General Manager of JBR Building Supplies, authorised retailer; and former Assistant Manager, JBR, Randy Rodgers.