Categorized | Green

South Africa, a green building trailblazer – research

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For once, this is something to cheer about, amid the gloom of the drought and a stressed economy – recent research findings indicate that South Africa is one of the top performers worldwide, reporting the highest percentage of green building projects currently under way. Even more impressive is the fact that South Africa’s commitment to green building isn’t triggered by regulatory requirements, as is the case in many other jurisdictions, but by ‘doing the right thing’.

Dodge Data & Analytics and United Technologies published ‘World Green Building Trends 2016’ this month, on which the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) was a research partner.

The report states that respondents in South Africa believe the green activity so far is just laying the groundwork for an overall shift in the market. If this degree of commitment to green building holds, South Africa will be a leader in the global green market in the next three years.

The report finds that, internationally, twice as many companies are expecting their building projects to be certified green by 2018 – an increase to 37%. In comparison, respondents in South Africa indicated that 41% of their work is already green.

Outperformance continues

“South Africa will continue to outperform with almost two thirds of respondents expecting more than 60% of their projects to be green by 2018,” says Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) CEO, Brian Wilkinson.

Especially noteworthy is that South African green building is driven by an acknowledgement that green building is ‘the right thing to do’, rather than by regulations, according to the report.

“In South Africa, there is an absence of regulatory requirements – which, in countries like the UK, Australia and Singapore, are in fact the trigger for green building,” explains Wilkinson. It’s testimony to the work being done by the GBCSA.

The GBCSA certified South Africa’s first green building project in 2009. In May 2015, the council certified its 100th building project, and today, there are 167 certified projects.

“It’s a clear sign that green building practices are gaining significant momentum in South Africa, along with an acknowledgment that Green Star certified projects are not only world-class and innovative, but benefit people, the planet and profits,” concludes Wilkinson.

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