SA – the world’s fastest growing green building market

25 August 2014

Nearly eight years ago green building in South Africa was considered a “right thing to do” for the environment. But more developers are heeding the call for sustainable building as they are becoming more mindful of economic benefits and the country is positioning itself as the fastest growing sustainable building country in the world, writes MoneyWeb.

The growth of green building in South Africa trumps that of established sustainability building regions such as Europe, Australia, United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Brazil says United States-based McGraw-Hill Construction in its World Green Building Trends survey.

While South Africa is only playing catch-up to its developed and developing counters, the survey pegs the country’s take up of green building to grow three-fold, from a measured 16% in 2012 to 52% by 2015. A total of 60% of firms in the survey reported future green commercial developments by 2015, while retrofits came in at 58%.

“The future for green building is more concentrated in South Africa compared to other parts of the world…Notably, South Africa is one of the only countries with a high reported level of green activity in the residential marketplace,” McGraw-Hill Construction notes.

While green building in South Africa is still about the drive for companies to operate in “a more socially and environmentally responsible manner”, financial incentives are becoming realised, says Neil Stuart-Findlay, portfolio manager of the Investec property equity fund.

Beyond saving on operational costs, studies in the United States and Australia have shown higher returns on assets extending to rental rates in green buildings to be approximately “6% and 5% higher respectively.”

According to GBCSA programme manager Jo Anderson, there are 34 buildings rated in the four green star category, 13 in five star and three as six star. The buildings ranked comply with the criteria of using green and innovative technologies including; efficient energy and water use, waste disposal, the use of recyclable materials in construction, sustainable use of space and use of natural lighting.

The Department of Environmental Affairs building in Pretoria achieved the prestigious six star rating – a category considered in line with international best practice.

The other two in this category are Cape Town’s No. 1 Silo at the V&A Waterfront and Midrand’s Vodafone site solution innovation centre.

GBCSA has 62 certified green buildings with an additional 150 buildings in the pipeline for certification.
By Ray Mahlaka
Read the full article here:–the-worlds-fastest-growing-green-building-mark

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