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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-star-ratingGreen 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: Socioeconomic

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 Energy0%


Municipal Solid Waste0%

Timber Harvest0%


Material Consumption0%


Ozone-Depleting CFC's0%

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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