This year’s convention shifted the focus beyond just buildings onto how buildings interact with each other and the public space around them. The convention also celebrated the first ten years of the existence of the GBCSA and the many milestones it has achieved in conjunction with its members.
GBCSA leads the way in the journey to net zero buildings
The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) yesterday announced the official launch of its Net Zero Programme and the certification of the first four projects under its Net Zero Pilot Certification scheme.
The GBCSA is one of 14 green building councils participating in the World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero project, which aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050.
Net zero carbon buildings are defined as highly energy efficient buildings, with remaining energy demand supplied by on-site and/or off-site renewable sources, or through offsets.
The GBCSA has gone a step further by launching its Net Zero Certification scheme, which rewards projects for completely neutralising (Net Zero) or positively redressing (Net Positive) their environmental impacts under four categories: carbon, water, waste and ecology *(please see draft definitions for each category under Notes to Editors). Net Zero certification is awarded over and above any Green Star certification a project already has.
The first four projects to be certified as Net Zero under the pilot programme in South Africa are the Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre in Midrand, Gauteng, which is net zero rated in both carbon and ecology; Estuaries Plaza in Century City, Cape Town, which is net zero water; and Greenfields Industrial Park in Cape Town and Two Dam Sustainable in Montagu in the Western Cape, which are both net zero carbon.
GBCSA CEO, Dorah Modise, says ”By launching the net zero programme, the GBCSA has set a new frontier for property owners and tenants to be rewarded for going even further along their sustainability journey – now property owners and investors can be recognised for being net zero or net positive carbon, water, waste and ecology. We are thrilled to already have four projects that have achieved certification under this new programme in the pilot phase.”
Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “We’re excited to see GBC South Africa officially launch its Net Zero Programme, which includes certification, training and advocacy for net zero carbon, water, waste and ecology in buildings. The work our Green Building Councils are undertaking through the Advancing Net Zero project will change the way the world’s buildings perform”
“South Africa is one of the global leaders in green buildings, and this Net Zero Programme will certainly contribute to continuing this trajectory. We urge and challenge property owners and investors to reimagine how they design, build and operate their buildings by aiming to be net zero carbon, and working with the GBCSA to do so.”
All participating green building councils are creating specialised training for green building professionals and will be supporting the development of net zero carbon demonstration projects in their countries.
Training in South Africa kicked off in July and the recently certified Net Zero projects were showcased at the Green Building Convention taking place in Cape Town this week.
Green Star expands throughout Africa
The Green Star sustainability rating system continues to influence the design and delivery of buildings and communities around Africa, the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has announced a rebrand.
The Green Star SA rating system has been rebranded Green Star Africa to support its uptake throughout the continent.
Green Star was originally developed by the Green Building Council Australia (GBCA), and was licensed to GBCSA in 2008 for use in South Africa.
Green Star has been extensively adapted for the local African climatic, social and economic context, which makes it the rating system of choice for property owners in Africa.
Under a new agreement, the GBCSA is now licenced to certify green buildings throughout the African continent with the Green Star rating system. The licence agreement allows the GBCSA, in collaboration with other African green building councils, to sub-licence and use Green Star with their Local Context Report to certify buildings in their respective countries. The Local Context Reports developed thus far can be viewed here
Thulani Kuzwayo, Regional Chair of the Africa Regional Network of green building councils, adds that the GBCSA has been certifying green buildings across the continent outside of South Africa since 2014. Green Star certified buildings are now found in Ghana, Rwanda, Namibia and Kenya, with upcoming registered projects in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Mauritius to follow.
“We are also proud to have supported the establishment of seven green building councils in Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. It is fitting that the Green Star rating system name now encompasses the entire continent as the green building movement goes from strength to strength in the region.”
“The growth of green buildings in Africa and involvement of the industry is truly inspirational and the GBCSA has driven a new way of thinking about green buildings – one which captures the benefits of green building not only for the environment, but for people too,” says the GBCA’s chief executive officer, Romilly Madew.
“The GBCSA’s work has helped to demonstrate that, the world over, building rating systems are one of the most powerful mechanisms to drive positive change and market transformation, and to build better places for people too. I’m optimistic that this new era for Green Star will help other countries in Africa to achieve success too.”
GBCSA CEO, Dorah Modise, says, “Across Africa, we are seeing countries taking important steps towards a large scale and long term transformation of how buildings and cities are being built. It is extremely promising to see the impact of the green building movement on the region, one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This rebranding of Green Star Africa acknowledges the African continent’s commitment to transformation.”