Standard of Sustainable Building Materials and Inspection

Green building encompasses all that facilitate skillfulness in avoiding energy wastage, the utilization of sustainable construction materials, and processes that promote not only human, but also those that promote environmental health. There are profound effects that revolve around green building, effects that are either positive or negative. The results not only point to the individuals living or surrounded by the Green Building, but also at the natural environment which we as people share every day of our lives. The green building comes in as a way to curb the adverse effects, amplifying the positive ones in an attempt to make the world a better place for us to live and call home.

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Building permission precedes green building architecture focuses solely on the proper operations, planning, the construction processes, the design of buildings with core and most profound considerations. These factors include both energy and water utilization, within environmental quality, building material selection and the effects that may come as a consequence of building at the particular site. The practices involved all play around profound scientific principles that are considered to bring forth a constant development. Sustainable green building very much relies on the field of science a great deal.

Utilization of energy that is near its source is preferred. It is important as energy conversion losses are substantially minimized. All forms of heat transmissions are considered in the choosing of the better sustainable construction materials and the practices involved. Air barriers are created and maintained like that throughout the construction process. Ventilation and a pressure neutral interior are equally significant. Construction details that can accommodate the movement of water by the process of gravity, by capillary action or by diffusion are considered. They all form part of the green building architecture.

Some of the sustainable construction materials that are typically taken to be green encompass lumber, electric renewable plant components such as bamboo and straw, recycled metal, dimension stones, reclaimed stone, together with other goods which are reusable, renewable, recyclable and non-toxic. Using already used substances like processed coal materials and other reusable substances in the construction processes are equally recommended.

Inspection is a key thing that is important after any procedure has taken place. It gives room to finding out whether the whole process was okay and whether specific expectations are achieved. A pre handover inspection helps assure value, it is a brief review of the entire process before the full review commences.  There are specific issues that are considered to a particular level to reach the green building structure inspection standards. These items include energy efficiency, sustainable construction materials and practices and human and environmental health.

Energy efficiency

Efficient use of energy is recommended. Power consumption involves not only the equipment and methods employed in the green building process, but also its design and the effectiveness of the equipment set up within the building. Green building inspection should above all provide information on the economic utilization of the energy. Smoke alarm testing is often done to find out if proper fixing was done in the building process. The inspection focuses on the evaluation of the effectiveness of the design of the building in trying to save energy. All these are also often included in the energy audit process apart from the home inspection process. Different skills are used in the energy auditing process, that are relatively dissimilar to those used in the review process.

Sustainable building materials

It is during the consideration process when it is determined whether sustainable equipment and practices were applied. Sustainable building materials and the methods involved include those that uphold environmental health. They also include those that encourage the efficient use of resources throughout the entire process of construction. Durable materials are low-energy materials. Materials like wood are regarded as sustainable when obtained from trees that grow at a fast rate and which once cut are replaced quickly to ensure no deficit when they are badly needed. Conserving water by using equipment that encourages this is recommended. Such are the good practices helped hitherto. The training of home inspection does not, however, address the utilization of these materials and the carrying out of these practices. The lack of address makes it difficult for the individuals carrying out the inspection processes to identify the existence of both the materials and the practices. It is just, but one of the challenges, which the persons are going round to inspect the green buildings incur.

Human and environmental health

The inspection process also focuses on certain features of homes that are kinder the health of people. It also focuses on aspects that are environmental friendly. During the review process, the inhabitants of greenhouses are encouraged to embrace practices that are health friendly. It means that when all seems right, it may necessarily not be good enough. The inspection process brings to light all these.

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Source: sustainablecitiescollective

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Green shopping the way to go

New green building ratings mean the Vandamp;A Waterfront is one of the greenest places in Cape Town.

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has awarded both Victoria Wharf and the BP building 4-star “existing building” ratings, reflecting the buildings’ high-level environmentally friendly and sustainable operating efficiency, says Vandamp;A Waterfront CEO David Green.

The Silo District’s No. 1 Silo was awarded South Africa’s first ever 6-star “as built” rating last year, making the Vandamp;A Waterfront possibly the greenest place in

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Cape Town.

“Sustainability is an integral part of operations at the Vandamp;A Waterfront, and we are committed to leadership in sustainability practices in both our future and current development plans. We are thrilled with the addition of Victoria Wharf and the BP building to our green-rated buildings because we believe it shows follow-through on our environmental promises, and our genuine commitment to leaving a sustainable legacy for future generations,” Green says.

The Vandamp;A Waterfront’s Victoria Wharf, which houses the bulk of retail trade at the Waterfront, is the first shopping centre in South Africa to be awarded a 4-star green rating, he says.

The BP building was the first commercial-scale office development in Cape Town that consciously encompassed green building principles in its design and construction, Green explains.

Both green-star ratings will be valid for three years before the GBCSA’s assessment must be repeated to ensure the sustainability practices have continued.

“Green features in the buildings include drip irrigation, lighting controls, electrical sub-metering, a high-performance chilled water plant, use of natural lighting, and, importantly, the introduction of a green lease tenant criteria reference manual, ensuring that not only are the buildings sustainable, but that their tenants enhance the eco-friendly environment,” Green says.

Source: News 24


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GREEN BUILDING is rapidly becoming the norm for new large building projects. As awareness, price and environmental pressures rise, so too has the demand for sustainable office and commercial space. New design strategies, building materials, and approaches are contributing to an ever more innovative and rapidly changing built environment. Get the latest thinking, perspectives, case studies, and projects as they unfold in multiple presentations and interactive discussions at the 9TH ANNUAL GREEN BUILDING CONFERENCE.
GREEN BUILDING is rapidly becoming the norm for new large building projects. As awareness, price and environmental pressures rise, so too has the demand for sustainable office and commercial space. New design strategies, building materials, and approaches are contributing to an ever more innovative and rapidly changing built environment. Get the latest thinking, perspectives, case studies, and projects as they unfold in multiple presentations and interactive discussions at the 9TH ANNUAL GREEN BUILDING CONFERENCE.














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Conference to focus on sustainable built environment

The latest perspectives on innovative and sustainable construction solutions, new design strategies and cutting edge examples from international and regional speakers will be presented at the ninth annual Green Building Conference.
The conference takes place on 24 and 25 June 2015 during the annual Sustainability Week at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

Buildings are a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and therefore a more sustainable built environment is needed. The Green Building Conference will focus on these issues as citizens have a responsibility to minimise electricity usage, with demand exceeding supply in both commercial and residential areas.

“The world’s population could reach almost ten billion by 2050. Most people will live in cities. To accommodate an additional three billion people, we’ll need to build the equivalent of one new city that can support one million people, every five days between now and 2050,” says Professor Barbara Norman, foundation chair of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Canberra. Norman will present extensive insights into building resilient and healthy cities for the 21st century.

Improving urban living

Co-founder architect of UNITYDESIGN Inc and researcher at Tokyo University, Tomohiko Amemiya, will discuss how to improve urban living in high density residential areas. Amemiya will share insights gained from his work on the award-winning Slum Housing Project, Megacity Skeleton, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Kenneth Stucke, director of Environment Response Architecture (ERA Architects) will present two green building case studies of energy, water and waste efficiency. Stucke will discuss the value of climate, geology, geography and ecology as a resource with which architecture synthesises to produce built form.

“We define sustainability as a balance between economic success and social and environmental responsibility. Sustainability is at the core of our business with global standards implemented across all value chains, and we’ll be showcasing our innovative solutions that drive sustainability,” says Joan-Maria Garcia-Girona, vice-president and head of Business Centre South Africa and sub-Sahara at BASF.

“South Africa is now seeing a strong move to sustainable development. We have always played a leadership role in the industry and promoted cooperation in sustainable development. Green building in the broadest sense of sustainable development is an integral part of all aspects of our business strategy, and that is why we attach such importance to the Green Building Conference 2015,” says Felix Motsiri, national mineral and sustainability manager at Lafarge South Africa.

Source: Bizcommunity


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Case Study: Bio-climatic Building design for tropical climates

By Antoine Perrau

Environmental design in the humid tropics requires special consideration. This chapter is based on two case studies which attempt to develop a practical approach to including key elements of bio- climatic design in tropical regions.

Location: Reunion Island
Population 840,000 inhabitants
Area: 2512km 2
Geology: Volcanic island
Highest point: Mount des Neiges 3070m
Rainfall: Reunion holds all world records for precipitation between 12 hours and 15 days

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Case Study 1: Malacca flores

Promoter: SIDR (Semi-Public Social Housing) Architects: Michel Reynaud / Antoine Perrau Environmental quality department: LEU Meeting City: Le Port
Altitude: 10 m leeward coast
Delivery: 2011
Total floor area: 8950 m2

The Context:

The project is located in a Development Zone and the objectives include: opening the city towards the sea, to reinvigorate the city centre, create a link between the periphery and centre of the community, and to implement the principles of sustainable development through a green master plan.
The projects location and surroundings were thus crucial to its success.

The Site:

The site of a project and its concomitant micro climate is of particular importance in the tropics. Favourable conditions on site will impact the performance of buildings constructed there.

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For instance the presence of trees plays a fundamental role in the areas micro-climate.

Our firm’s offices are in the centre of the island, allowing us to illustrate these differences.

During February, the month with the highest temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere, a temperature differential of 7 ° C was measured between the street and the inside of the office (without air conditioning). This is achieved in part, by planting buffers of vegetation such as grass and shrubs between the street and the building. The effect of the plants is to cool the air through evapotranspiration, and reduces the albedo effect by shading the concrete and other hard surfaces.

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The role of plants in reducing the urban heat island effect has also been demonstrated in the city of Paris by researchers from Météo France. The diagram below illustrates the difference in temperature between the suburbs and the city center during a summer’s day, which was 4 ° C.

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We therefore sought a favourable site for the project, and special effort was taken to re-vegetate surrounding buildings and find space on natural land.

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The second step was to determine the most favourable orientation of the shading devices through computer simulations of sunscreen designs.















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Parallel to this reflection, we verified the thermal comfort. It should be noted that the concept of comfort temperature is different from the temperature measured with a thermometer and is not absolute but depends on several parameters: humidity, air velocity, air temperature, the radiation

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temperature of the walls, metabolism and clothing. One can evaluate the effect on internal comfort of a building as influenced by the first four factors mentioned above using the comfort graph developed by Givonni:

Red air velocity of 1m / s Yellow air velocity of 0.5 m / s Green air velocity of 0m / s

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The graph demonstrates how essential it is to ensure natural ventilation, which is achieved through the porosity of the facades, and in this latitude, there should be a minimum porosity of 20% between two opposite facades.

Effective implementation of these interventions allows urban and architectural buildings to reduce their energy consumption by between 28 and 41 kWh / m2 / year. In fact spaces designed in this way provide thermal comfort without the need for air conditioning, even in the tropics.



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Additional Features:

Beyond these provisions, the specification proposes a number of other environmental features:

Implementation of solar hot water panels and photovoltaic roof panels

These panels are also used to shield the roof from high levels of solar radiation. 70% of the heat input comes through the roof, and so this element of the design should be treated with the utmost consideration and care.

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This dual purpose of the solar devices can increase their efficiency and reduce overall cost. Increased use of wood to reduce the carbon footprint of the project Wood was specified for the structure of corridors, sidings, sunscreens and pergolas.

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Grey water recycling

We used a filtration system with a settling tank and a filter zeolite vertical which provided regular contributions of water for irrigation.

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Source: Continue reading to Case Study 2 in the Green Building Handbook Volume 4, pg 146



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Optimising Daylight in South Africa: A case study

Light is of decisive importance in experiencing architecture. The same room can be made to give very different spatial impressions by a simple expedient of changing the size and locations of its openings. Moving a window from the middle of a wall to a corner will utterly transform the entire character of the room. To most people a good light means only much light. If we do not see a thing well enough we simply demand more light. And very often we find that it does not help because the quantity of light is not nearly as important as its quality. (Rasmussen, 1964)

At the moment lighting accounts for around 35% of the energy used within non-residential buildings and between 0% and 28%1 in residential buildings. Electricity usage (%) in the residential sector for high/ middle income residences consume typically 5% for fluorescent and 12% for incandescent types of lighting. (UNEP, 2009). Designers are encouraged to use natural daylight in their designs to reduce the energy used (SANS 204-2, 2008).

The use of daylight to supplement or as a substitute for electric light in the window zones of interiors with side windows or over the entire area of spaces with skylights can save lighting energy. This saving should be balanced against the energy required to compensate for heat gains and losses through the daylight openings. During times of low external temperatures more heating and during times of high external temperatures and sunshine more cooling of the interior will be required in order to maintain a constant internal air temperature. The use of daylight therefore will only be energy effective and cost-effective if the savings on lighting exceed the extra expenditure for climate control (SANS 10114-1, 2005)

Uses of Daylight

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Natural daylight is a very important and interesting source of lighting in buildings. Natural daylight can inter alia be used for functional1, decorative2 and artistic3 purposes. In the SANS 204-2 and 10114-1 norms the emphasis is mostly on functional uses. The light levels, power and energy usage for the building is determined in accordance with a lookup table 14 (SANS 204-2, 2008).This table describes the recommended light levels, power and energy for various classes of buildings. The light levels range from 50 lx for entertainment and public assembly to 700 lx for high risk industrial type of spaces.

The developments in electric lighting have not eliminated a widespread preference for daylight in buildings, wherever practicable. The reliance on daylight is greater in homes, offices, schools and patient areas in hospitals than in factories and shops.

The factors listed below will be different for different types of interior, different methods of daylight admission and for different climates (See Table 6.2). Recommendations regarding daylight should inter alia allow for the following factors (SANS 10114-1, 2005): Levels and uniformity. Daylight provides variability and, when it enters through side windows, creates a specific modeling and luminance distribution in the interior. It therefore contributes to visual satisfaction. The quantity of daylight is usually specified by the daylight factor, both with regard to illuminance and uniformity. In interiors with side windows, the available daylight decreases rapidly with distance from the windows. In many cases such as living rooms and small offices this non uniformity is acceptable and even appreciated. In other cases, supplementary electric lighting is required. Roof lights (skylights) can provide ample and highly uniform daylighting, but should be carefully designed to avoid solar overheating and glare.

• External view. Where natural light is used throughout the day for reasons of convenience and economy, an additional advantage is the view of the outside environment. However this is not always possible in large industrial or commercial buildings. The best position, shape and dimensions of the windows will depend on the nature of the outside environment. It also depends on the building design and will take into account architectural, lighting, visual, thermal and acoustic considerations.

Glare from the sun or sky. Daylight can produce sky glare and can adversely affect the comfort in the interior. Direct sunlight is desirable for various types of buildings, such as homes in moderate climates, but should generally be avoided in work areas. Means to avoid direct sun irradiation are appropriate orientation of windows and skylights, the use of various types of curtains or blinds and the use of louvres or screens. The latter are also effective in reducing sky glare and are particularly important on the upper floors of high-rise buildings where large parts of the sky might be visible. Small windows have an effect on the sky glare only to the extent that they prevent parts of bright skies or bright opposite facades or buildings from being seen. When appreciable areas of a bright sky remain in the field of view some glare such as discomfort5 glare or disability6 glare should be expected. Therefore, even with small glass areas, work areas directly facing windows should be avoided. If this is not possible, some means should be provided to reduce possible sky glare. Other techniques to reduce window glare are:

• The use of external or internal devices, such as louvres.
• Deep splayed reveals on the side of the windows, finished with a high reflectance surface and

with the same finish applied to any frames and glazing bars.
• The use of tinted low transmission glazing.
• Arranging for light in the interior to fall on the wall area adjacent to the windows, either from roof lights or from specially located luminaires.

Heat gains and losses. The heat gain through windows might require cooling of the interior during

the warm season, but might reduce heating costs during the cold season. However, heat losses through the window during the cold season can offset the savings and can increase heating costs. The use of daylight as an illuminant can save energy used for electric lighting, but this should be balanced against the energy required to compensate for the heat gains and heat losses through the glazing. Means to avoid excessive solar heat are:

  • Appropriate orientation of glazing.
  • Reduction of areas of glazing.
  • Use of an appropriate daylight system (Table 6.2)
  • Use of heat-reflecting or heat-absorbing glass or coated glass.

The International Energy Agency (IEA, 2000) recognizes a wide range of innovative daylight strategies and systems. Some are rarely used in South Africa. The IEA recognizes two basic types of daylight system i.e. daylighting systems with Shading and daylighting systems without shading. The latter type consists of four subdivisions:

• Diffuse light-guiding systems
• Direct light-guiding systems
• Light-scattering or diffusing Systems • Light transport systems

Gallery below provides some examples of the various types.

Luminance and iLLuminance

Luminance is a photometric measure of the luminous intensity per unit area of light travelling in a given direction. It describes the amount of light that passes through or is emitted from a particular area and falls within a given solid angle. The SI unit for luminance is candela per square metre (cd/ m2). Luminance is often used to characterize emission or reflection from flat diffuse surfaces. The luminance indicates how much luminous power will be detected by an eye looking at the surface from a particular angle of view. Luminance is thus an indicator of how bright the surface will appear. In this case, the solid angle of interest is the solid angle subtended by the eye’s pupil.

For a perfectly diffusing surface, the luminance can be calculated in accordance with the following formula (SANS 10114-1, 2005):


L is the luminance, candelas per square metre; E is the illuminance, in lux;
r is the reflection factor.

For example, if a matt surface that has a reflection factor of 0.5 is exposed to an illuminance of 200 lx, the luminance is


Illuminance is a photometric measure of the total luminous flux incident on a surface per unit area. It is a measure of the intensity of the incident light, wavelength-weighted by the luminosity function to correlate with the human brightness perception. Similarly, luminous emittance is the luminous flux per unit area emitted from a surface. Luminous emittance is also known as luminous exitance.

In the SI system these are measured in lux (lx). lluminance was formerly often called brightness, but this leads to confusion with other uses of the word. “Brightness” should never be used for quantitative description, but only for nonquantitative references to physiological sensations and perceptions of light.

4. Daylight factor
The daylight factor is the ratio of internal light level to external light level and is defined as:

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For example, if a matt surface that has a reflection factor of 0.5 is exposed to an illuminance of 200 lx, the luminance is

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Illuminance is a photometric measure of the total luminous flux incident on a surface per unit area. It is a measure of the intensity of the incident light, wavelength-weighted by the luminosity function to correlate with the human brightness perception. Similarly, luminous emittance is the luminous flux per unit area emitted from a surface. Luminous emittance is also known as luminous exitance.

In the SI system these are measured in lux (lx). lluminance was formerly often called brightness, but this leads to confusion with other uses of the word. “Brightness” should never be used for quantitative description, but only for nonquantitative references to physiological sensations and perceptions of light.

4. Daylight factor
The daylight factor is the ratio of internal light level to external light level and is defined as:

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There are basically three paths (daylight factor components) along which light can reach a point inside a room, i.e. through a glazed window, rooflight or aperture as follows:
• The sky component (SC) that is direct light from part of the sky or sun at the point considered.
• The externally reflected component (ERC) that is light reflected from an exterior surface and then

reaching the internal point measured.
• The internally reflected component (IRC) that is light entering through the window but reaching

the point only after reflection from an internal surface.

The sum of the three components gives the illuminance level in lux at the point measured. The daylight factor only gives the proportion of daylight from outside that reaches the interior of the building and does not indicate the absolute level of illumination that will occur.

To calculate daylight factors requires complex repetition of calculations. It is normally undertaken by a software product such as Radiance. This is a suite of tools for performing lighting simulation which includes a renderer as well as other tools for measuring the simulated light levels. It uses ray tracing to perform all lighting calculations. The design day used for daylight factors is based upon the standard Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE) overcast sky for 21 September at 12h00 and where the ground ambient light level is 11921 lux. Since the CIE standard overcast sky assumes no orientation effects, the estimates of the daylight contribution can be wrong. To correct for this, orientation factors have been derived to be applied to the daylight factors. More recently the CIE has derived a standard based on the spatial distribution of daylight, i.e. the CIE Standard General Sky (CIE, 2002).

Rooms with a DF of 2% are considered daylit. However a room is only considered as well daylit when the DF is above 5%.

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Case study

The following is an example of how a designer might approach a design analysis to optimize daylight in a building. The first step is to determine the solar angles at different times of the year accurately. With the advent of Google Earth it has become much easier to determine these accurately. This is the basis for the calculation of solar angles.

Read the entire article in the Green Building Handbook Volume 4 on pg 114 here. Or sign-up to download the digital version of the handbooks here.



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Seana Nkhahle takes over reins as Chairman of the Green Building Council of South Africa

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has appointed Seana Nkhahle from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) as its new Chairman.

Nkhahle, who is also a founding director of the GBCSA, takes over the reins from long-time Chairman Bruce Kerswill, who played a leading role in the formation of the council.

The GBCSA was established in 2007 to promote green building development in the country. It is a member of the World Green Building Council (World GBC) and is today one of the most active councils worldwide.

Nkhahle is an Executive Director at SALGA, responsible for ‘Corporate Strategy and Research’. Prior to this he was the Executive Manager and National Programmes Co-ordinator at the South African Cities Network from 2005 to 2009.

In both these roles he facilitated partnerships and support to selected municipalities to improve sustainability in their operations with particular emphasis on energy, water and land use management. Up to 2005, he was a managing Partner at Syn-Consult Africa, a consulting firm focusing mostly on sustainability on the built environment. Nkhahle is one of the founding members of the GBCSA board thus bringing institutional memory of the organisation and some important insights into the industry.

Nkhahle holds a Bsc (Hons) Town and Regional Planning from Wits University. In 2004 Nkhahle received a recognition award issued jointly by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. This was awarded for a toolkit he developed for assessing sustainability of housing projects. The toolkit formed the basis from which he was able to contribute towards the development of GBCSA’s rating tools.

GBCSA CEO, Brian Wilkinson, comments: “We are happy to welcome Seana Nkhahle on board as the council’s new Chairman. He brings with him extensive experience in terms of sustainability knowledge in his academic work as well as the work he has done in consulting and in local government.

Wilkinson praised the efforts of Kerswill in founding the council and his passion and commitment to creating awareness and promoting green building and sustainable development in South Africa.

“Kerswill is one of the country’s leading green building advocates and has helped put South Africa on the international map in terms of embracing green building, through the establishment of the GBCSA. He has gone on to become the chairperson of the World GBC and his leadership in transforming the building industry towards green is noteworthy. We thank Kerswill for his incredible work and know that he will continue to play a role in green building locally and internationally,” says Kerswill.

Commenting on his appointment, Nkhahle says he is looking forward to the opportunity of heading the board of the GBCSA and playing a meaningful role in transforming the building industry towards a greener future. He believes that enhancing sustainability in the built environment and urban development will enhance efficiency in South African towns and cities as well as those on the rest of the continent.

“I want to draw on my experience in sustainable urban development and local government in taking the GBCSA into the next phase of its journey. The council is at an important chapter, where green building is gradually gaining momentum. People, private companies and government are realising that managing climate change is becoming increasingly important and that green building is a crucial element to this effect.

An important milestone in the green building industry and a departure from previous debate is that while green building is crucial for climate change mitigation, it is equally important for financial purposes as green buildings yield better economic returns while at the same time improved liveability bodes well socially”.

The new chairperson’s goals are to consolidate the solid foundation that has been built by his predecessor and to enhance the scope and reach of the council. This includes ensuring that more commercial buildings are supported to achieve good ratings thus building on the momentum already seen in this category. Existing buildings which has the biggest building stock will also be a key target. Nkhahle anticipates supporting government and municipalities in particular to play a bigger role in facilitating sustainability in their respective built environments.


Image: African Design Magazine


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South Africa construction market to be boosted by 10-15 year new city project in Modderfontein

The South African construction market is to be boosted by a new 10-15 year project funded by Chinese company, Shanghai Zendai, to build a new city in Modderfontein in eastern Johannesburg. Once compete, the city will include 35,000 new houses, an education centre, a hospital, and a sports stadium and will house around 100,000 residents.

Chinese firm Shanghai Zendai bought the 1,600 hectare plot of land back in November 2013 for R1.06 billion from South African chemical and explosive company AECI and has plans to develop the site into a world financial centre to rival New York City and Hong Kong. The project is forecast to take around 15 years to complete and will provide jobs for local contractors, engineers and other workers in its construction, as well as 100,000 jobs in the new services available upon completion. The new city site is located on the Gautrain route between the OR Tambo International Airport and the central business district of Sandton in eastern Johannesburg, and will soon include a new Modderfontein station to enable easy access.

The transaction to purchase the property was one of the single largest foreign investments ever in South Africa. Shanghai Zendai is a Hong Kong listed investment company that develops and manages property projects in northern China, Shanghai City and Hainan province and hopes that the Modderfontein project will create a new hub for Chinese firms looking to invest in sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa is the second largest economy on the African continent and the construction sector is set for a boost due to the South African government’s National Infrastructure Plan which focuses investment in energy, transportation, telecommunication and housing sectors. The construction sector experienced a major boost in 2010 when South Africa hosted the Fifa World Cup, but the economic downturn caused a slow down of growth. Recent government focus on infrastructure development has seen a rapid urbanisation in the country and the project at Modderfontein illustrates the significant influence of foreign investment. Foreign investment is one way by which the South African construction industry is overcoming the challenge of cost overruns that many domestic companies face due to the unavailability of funds, the time-consuming roll out of labour, labour unrest, and major project delays.

Key players in the South African construction market should be aware of the upcoming trend towards ‘green’ buildings. In an effort to promote sustainable development, construction companies are increasingly focusing on developing energy-efficient buildings and sustainable construction solutions.

Source: Companies and


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