GBCSA Holds Annual Convention Marking 10 Years of Astounding Growth

Delegates Network at the GBCSA 2017 Convention (GBNA)

South Africa – The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) successfully held its 10th annual convention from 9 – 11 October 2017 at the sustainably built and operated Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.

The convention attended by hundreds of local and international delegates saw GBCSA celebrating several milestones and some players in the green building sector being honoured for their achievements over the past ten years.

The GBCSA celebrated ten years of existence in South Africa with 300 resource-efficient buildings certified.

Rabie Property Group received the 300th Green Star certificate during the convention for its all-green mixed use Century City Square development.

“It took six years to certify the first 100 buildings, and just two and a half years to certify the next 200. Plus we’ve signed up all the municipalities in the country through an agreement with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA),” said GBCSA Chairperson Rudolf Pienaar while remarking on the exponential growth the GBCSA has gone through.

Added to this, Local Context Reports have been developed for Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Namibia and Mauritius to initiate growth in their green building sector as well.

The GBCSA, which certifies buildings according to the Green Star rating system, estimates that in 2018, the proportion of green buildings will climb from 2017’s 41% to 61% of all South African building project activity.

The GBCSA strategy has matured since the South African Property Owners Association’s (SAPOA) initial sponsorship paid for the development of a rating tool relevant to South African conditions.

“Today there are 10 rating tools, including a world-first framework to build better places for people,” said Pienaar.

Pienaar also pointed out that the success of the GBCSA as an economic and social imperative depends on collaboration.

“A significant 23% of greenhouse gases stem from buildings, and if we don’t act now, and fast, there will be no chance of achieving reduced carbon emission targets,” he warned.

The GBCSA 10th convention had a stellar lineup of local and international keynote speakers including the GBCSA CEO Dorah Modise who pointed out that the green building council is meaningfully contributing to the planet.

“If developers want a high Green Star rating for their building, then the Local Content category points, gained for using a local supply chain of sustainable materials and skills, is a key contributor,” Modise explained, adding that as established corporates order new green products from SMMEs, the general skills base increases to accommodate the growing demand.

“Interestingly, most South African firms give the motivation of their green builds as ‘the right thing to do’”, comments Modise.

The convention also saw other property companies as well as consulting firms and individuals being honoured.

The 10 year award for property investor or owner with the highest number of certifications went to Growthpoint Properties with 86 certifications.

Solid Green Consulting scored the 10yr award for a green building consulting company with the highest number of certifications.

Fabio Venturi of Terramanzi won the Edge Buildings project submission award for its work on Woolworths’ Palmyra Junction.

Other awards included the highest rated building award, best quality submission, as well as the established and rising Green Star awards.

Lead sponsors for the GBCSA 2017 convention included Century City Conference Centre and Hotel, Enel, Growthpoint, Lafarge, Rabie and Standard Bank.