GBCSA Launches Net Zero Buildings Programme

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Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre (GBCSA)

South Africa - The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has 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 (WGBC) Advancing Net Zero project. The WGBC project 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.

Net Zero certification is awarded over and above any Green Star certification a project already has.

The projects to be certified as Net Zero under the pilot programme in South Africa include the Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre in Midrand, Gauteng Province - net zero rated in both carbon and ecology.

Other projects are located in Cape Town in the Western Cape Province. These are Estuaries Plaza - net zero water; Greenfields Industrial Park and Two Dam in 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 WGBC, 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 that took place in Cape Town at the beginning of October 2017.