WHAT IS GREEN BUILDING?

Home > What is Green Building?

In its simplest form, “green building incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and people. Green buildings are energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible” Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA)

Green building standards in South Africa are governed by the Green Building Council, through the Green Star Rating system. This system assesses whole building design and operation and rewards initiatives through predetermined criteria across the following categories:

Management
Indoor Environment Quality
Energy
Transport
Water
Materials
Land Use and Ecology
Emissions
Innovation
Additional available category: Socioeconom

There is good reason for green building, as evidenced by the impact that the building sector has on resource use has, which is demonstrated below with approximate figures of total resource use or waste production attributed to the building sector.

  • TOTAL ENERGY 39% 39%
  • CO2 40% 40%
  • MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE 65% 65%
  • TIMBER HARVEST 25% 25%
  • ELECTRICITY 70% 70%
  • MATERIAL CONSUMPTION 40% 40%
  • WATER 42% 42%
  • OZONE-DEPLETING CFC’S 50% 50%
In South Africa, operation of the building sector accounts for approximately 23% of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The tide has turned in South Africa… green building principles have infiltrated the mainstream commercial property industry and energy efficiency and green building is part of the strategy of every major property owner in the country.” – Neil Gopal, CEO, SAPOA

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