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South Africa potential leader in green building

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Green building is forecast to double globally by 2018, according to new research, which showcased South Africa as one of the top performers world-wide, reporting the highest percentage of green building projects currently underway.

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.

“[In South Africa], respondents believe the green activity so far is just laying the groundwork for an overall shift in the market,” says the report. “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,” it continues.

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

“South Africa will continue to outperform with almost two thirds of respondents expecting more than 60 percent 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, he says.

The GBCSA was founded in 2007, and in 2009 certified South Africa’s first green building project. 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.

(Photograph: GBSA CEO Brian Wilkinson) 


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