The certification of the first four projects under the Green Building Council South Africa’s (GBCSA’s) Net Zero pilot certification scheme was announced this week.
Net zero carbon buildings are defined as highly energy efficient buildings, with remaining energy demand supplied by on-site and/or off-site renewable sources, or through offsets.
The GBCSA is one of 14 green building councils participating in the World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero project, which aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050.
The GBCSA has gone a step further by launching its Net Zero/Net Positive certification scheme, which rewards projects for completely neutralising (Net Zero) or positively redressing (Net Positive) their environmental impacts under four categories – carbon, water, waste and ecology.
Net Zero certification is awarded over and above any Green Star certification a project already has, the body said in a statement on Thursday.
The first four projects to be certified as Net Zero under the pilot programme in South Africa are the Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre, in Midrand, Gauteng, which is net zero rated in terms of both carbon and ecology, while in the Western Cape Estuaries Plaza, in Century City, Cape Town is net zero in terms of water, and Greenfields Industrial Park, in Cape Town, and Two Dam, in Montagu are both net zero in terms of carbon.
”By launching the net zero programme, the GBCSA has set a new frontier for property owners and tenants to be rewarded for going even further along their sustainability journey. Property owners and investors can now be recognised for being net zero or net positive in terms of carbon, water, waste and ecology impacts.
“We are thrilled to already have four projects that have achieved certification under this new programme in the pilot phase,” GBCSA CEO Dorah Modise said.
“We are excited to see GBCSA officially launch its net zero programme, which includes certification, training and advocacy for net zero carbon, water, waste and ecology in buildings. The work our green building councils are undertaking through the Advancing Net Zero project will change the way the world’s buildings perform,” added World Green Building Council CEO Terri Wills.
He also challenged property owners and investors to reimagine how they design, build and operate their buildings by aiming to be net zero in terms of carbon.
All participating green building councils are creating specialised training for green building professionals and will be supporting the development of net zero carbon demonstration projects in their countries.
Training in South Africa kicked off in July.