Green Buildings Take Off in Sa

EmailEmail Print Share
News24 marketing banner

28 Nov 2012

Over the past decade, green building has emerged as a growing trend among a vigorous interest group to create high-performance, energy-efficient structures that improve tenant and/or owner-occupier comfort and well-being while minimising environmental impacts.

Excellerate Facilities Management is currently conducting a greening assessment at JHI Place in Sandton, focusing on optimising the energy usage in the building.

This is according to Nival Porun, portfolio executive and head of the green business unit at Excellerate Facilities Management.

Porun explains that with support structures in place by organisations such as the South African Property Owners Association and the Green Building Council of South Africa, both public and private entities are increasingly pursuing green buildings in the institutional, commercial and residential sectors.

Landlord and tenant mindsets are changing and progress in achieving greener standards is becoming noticeable, he says.

Porun says building projects which are currently being designed but have not yet been submitted for municipal approval need to be aware of the SANS 10400 part XA standards which form part of the National Building Regulations.

Fundamentally, these standards focus on how buildings are designed and built by providing guiding principles for minimum requirements for items such as hot water supply, energy usage, design assumption (for example, the design process followed) orientation or location/positioning of the building, floors, external walls, fenestration (the design and placement of windows in a building) and roof assemblies.

The standard also provides a few options for proving compliance, which needs to be substantiated with any building plan that is submitted to a municipality for approval.

A further advantage for achieving such compliance is that the accredited person can apply to the South African Revenue Service for a tax refund in terms of the National Energy Act, 2008 Regulations on the Allowance for Energy Efficiency Savings (as published in Government Gazette number 34596).

Porun points out that there are other incentive schemes in place to drive the greening process, for example the standard offer and standard product schemes set out by Eskom in order to promote energy efficiency in South Africa.

Green building makes sound business sense

Porun says one of the other key factors to be considered when changing a business unit or building from traditional to sustainable is to carry out a cost-benefit analysis. 

The purpose of this is to make sure that the investors weigh the costs of doing business the usual way or against the costs of keeping the environment in mind when conducting business.

It is imperative to consider the social implications of implementing a sustainability programme into your business and how your organisation will reap the future rewards.

Previously, when a person termed an organisation as being sustainable, one would have considered the steady increase in the earnings of that particular organisation, but in more recent times sustainability of an organisation may refer to as a strategy to save costs in order to drive the bottom line, thereby making good business sense.“

He says in order for a building to obtain a green star accreditation, a process of submitting documentation highlighting the efficiencies of the design and implementation is the route to follow.

Once the documentation is vetted by the Green Building Council, green rating is granted on the building.

He raises a valid point: “If that particular building does not perform the way it is said to, is the building really green?

An inefficient building could result in higher energy usage, mislead investors and more resources could be utilised on the building - which could end up having a higher carbon footprint.

Our ongoing objective is continuous improvement, and as a result systems to ensure that a building performs should be vital in maintaining the green rating.

A proper measurement and verification process should be in place so that the performance of the building is monitored and the ultimate aim is achieved.

“So how does one proceed in a challenging environment by taking a sustainable approach? At the sustainable business unit we provide a flexible solution assisting organisations to reduce costs and improve their bottom line, he says.

“Our assessments are designed to strategically focus on critical areas that are negatively impacting on tenant and owner comfort.”

He says from a tenant’s perspective they focus on reducing energy costs while at the same time ensuring that the habitable area meets the regulatory standards.

“From a landlord’s perspective our objective is to lower operating cost, meet government regulatory requirements and increase the asset value.

“We therefore provide assessments for an existing building in order to derive green solutions to our clients, and by setting out continuous improvement guidelines the implementation of these are sustainable over the long term.”

Long-term benefits outweigh initial cost

Porun says there is a perception that implementing green methodologies costs more and is therefore not suitable for the average property owner.

However, research has shown that the costs versus benefits of green building have a modest initial cost premium, but that long-term benefits far exceed the incremental capital costs.

In addition, research has proven that if green methodologies are incorporated during the design phase of a project, it is far more cost effective than implementing green initiatives once the building is developed, he adds.

Similar Articles

The new multi-million rand Tugela Ferry Mall and Jozini...

A new flexible co-work facility, One Chadwick Co-Working...

The Amdec Group handed over a cheque for R250k to the...

View all articles

Top Articles

Offering a unique lifestyle and abundant natural beauty,...

Whether you’d like to spend time on the glorious coast or...

St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape is the ideal weekend or...

View all articles
Top Articles
13 Feb 2016
Offering a unique lifestyle and abundant natural beauty, wine farms in t...
12 Feb 2016
Whether you’d like to spend time on the glorious coast or go further inl...
12 Feb 2016
St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape is the ideal weekend or holiday escap...
12 Feb 2016
At USD$217 trillion, real estate is the pre-eminent asset class globally...
12 Feb 2016
Former Protea cricketer and world-renowned commentator, Pat Symcox, has ...
Get the latest property news.
Select your options:

Your browser is out of date!

It looks like you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.

For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724