“In a time when everybody says the economy is down, and there are so many things that are against us, people are buying into and understanding the concept of building back better. And really, if we are going to recover as a country, and globally, why not make it a green recovery?” said Lisa Reynolds, CEO of Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) during the 15th Green Building Convention that took place in Cape Town from 2 – 4 November.
The Green Building Convention is GBCSA’s flagship event that attracts over 850 built environment professionals in both the private and public sectors in Africa and around the world.
At the opening of the event, Reynolds reflected on the significant GBCSA milestones over the past 15 years and the incredible momentum of green building on the continent. GBCSA reported a record 165 green building certifications in the last year alone, bringing the total number to 905 certifications since 2009.
“I think the first 50 certifications were done in five or six years from 2007 and if you look at the rate of change, I think we are going to be looking at 10 000 certifications in 15 years’ time,” said Brian Unsted, chairman of the GBCSA Board, on the future of green building in Africa.
“While a lot of work has been done in the office sector of the economy, more needs to be done in the retail sector and this remains an opportunity for GBCSA. We also need to reach not only the landlords and developers but the huge occupiers of space – the tenants who can make a massive difference in this industry. Our interests all need to be aligned,” he added.
Reynolds in turn shared her optimism for the future of green building, indicating that GBCSA is going to move beyond buildings and drive how we look at South Africa as a whole to make a low-carbon future.
President of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and a keynote speaker at the Green Building Convention, Dr Antony Wood, highlighted the importance of tall buildings in reimagining future cities: “We need to completely rethink how we are doing cities. Tall buildings have an impact on the city. They need to reduce the carbon and energy footprint but even that is not enough. They need to maximise what they bring to society.”
Partnerships are key in the regeneration
Partnerships and collaboration were important themes of the Green Building Convention as key drivers for transitioning to a sustainable, green built environment.
Nedbank, who has been a close partner of GBCSA since its inception in 2007, came on board as a lead sponsor of the Green Building Convention this year. Nedbank Property Finance divisional executive, Richard Edwards, called the partnership a “natural extension of our long-standing relationship with GBCSA. Our organisations share a very similar vision for the future of South Africa’s built environment, and the role it can, and must, play in the success of the country’s Just Transition imperative.”
“We are really proud to partner with GBCSA as we have done for many years, especially for this Convention where the topic of climate change and ESG has become so foundational to how we move into the future,” said Genevieve Naidoo, divisional executive for Property Finance PM and Valuations for Nedbank CIB.
Rand Water, another close partner of GBCSA and lead sponsor of the Green Building Convention, highlighted the urgency to consider and conserve the environment in light of the dire climate crisis signs including drought, floods, environmental degradation, urbanisation, resource depletion, pollution, and more.
“Rand Water is committed to a sustainable future and to engaging in actual change. One of these initiatives comes in the form of a relationship with GBCSA. This relationship between the two organisations includes amongst others, training, awareness, identified green interventions, and conferences. Rand Water together with GBCSA is committed to enhancing the built environment as well as the tools used to assess these. It is trusted that this long-term relationship between the two organisations will provide a positive contribution internally as well as to society,” said Mbuyiswa Makhubela, Rand Water general manager for corporate services.
GBCSA annual leadership awards
During the Green Building Convention, the winners of the 2022 GBCSA annual leadership awards were announced.
The criteria for qualifying green projects are based on submission data gathered during the GBCSA’s Green Star certification process and the strength of the submissions. Individuals are nominated by the industry and their Green Star engagement is also taken into consideration.
The winners and runners-up are as follows:
Highest rated building
The Ridge, 6-Star Green Star Office As Built v1.1
Property owner: V&A Waterfront
Accredited professional: Mike Munnik (Arup)
The runner-up in this category has opted to remain confidential.
Best quality submission
Sally Misplon, Misplon Green Building Consulting (accredited professional)
Projects: Black River Gatehouse, Black River Park – Park Building and Commerce Square Buildings 1 – 5 (Existing Building Performance v1 certifications)
Property owner: Redefine Properties
Lesedi Tsimani, Zutari (accredited professional)
Projects: 138 West Street, Brookfield Office Park, 100 West Street, Freestone Office Park and 28 Fricker Road (Existing Building Performance v1 certifications)
Property owner: Growthpoint Properties
Alison Groves, WSP (accredited professional)
Waterfall Corporate Campus Building 4, 4-Star Green Star Office as Built v1.1
Property owner: Corporate Campus Joint Venture
Established Green Star
Francois Retief, Sow & Reap
Yogesh Gooljar, PJC+Partners
Rising Green Star
Makhosazana Mthethwa, Solid Green Consulting
Alex Varughese, WSP
Highest rated African submission
The winner in this category has opted to remain confidential.
Mashatu Terrace, 5-Star Green Star Office As Built v1
Accredited professional: Nomamfengu Mbele, Solid Green Consulting
Property owner: Time Projects
The Precinct, Unity Building, 5-Star Green Star Office Design v1.1
Accredited professional: Adrie Fourie, Solid Green Consulting
Property owner: Gr1t House Ltd
Net Zero submission
Headquarters of Fuchs Lubricants: Carbon – Level 2, Modelled
Accredited professional: Alex Varughese (Solid Green Consulting)
Property owner: Fuchs Southern Africa
SANBS KZN Zone Head Office: Carbon – Level 1, Modelled
Accredited professional: Alison Groves & Hlologelo Manthose, WSP
Property owner: South African National Blood Service