Jul 30, 2012
Green retrofit showcases energy savings, lifestyle benefitsBack
DURBAN|Natal|Education|Africa|South Africa|Green Building|Green-building|Green-building Solutions|Material Energy|Bruce Kerswill|Nicola Brewer|Sarah Rushmere
© Reuse this
The study followed on from a R1.2-million project undertaken by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) and funded by the British High Commission in the run-up to the recent seventeenth Conference of the Parties climate negotiations, held in Durban.
The installation of solar water heaters proved to be the most popular of the interventions made, as it provided convenient warm water to residents that previously used stoves, kettles and burners to heat their water.
Other solutions deployed included efficient compact fluorescent lighting, ceiling insulation and a rainwater harvesting system that had to be specially designed for houses that had been built without gutters.
High Commissioner Dame Nicola Brewer says the project has offered a practical demonstration of the range of socioeconomic spinoffs that can flow from such green retrofits, including improving health from the reduced burning of paraffin, coal and wood.
Speaking at the launch of the case study, Brewer, therefore, welcomed the fact that the Australian High Commission had agreed to fund the second phase of the pilot project, which will be rolled out to 26 adjacent homes in what is becoming a ‘green hub’ within the Durban township.
GBCSA advocacy and special projects executive Sarah Rushmere says the council plans to used the ‘Cato Manor Green Street’ development as a permanent demonstration of the advantages associated with green-building solutions.
Rushmere hopes the project will also begin to influence human settlement policy at a national, provincial and municipal level, as well as spur further green-street-type retrofits.
Extrapolating from the results achieved in Cato Manor, the case study calculates that, if similar retrofits were implemented across the country’s existing stock of three-million low-cost houses, power and water savings of R3-billion a year could be achieved for homeowners.
In addition, some 3.65-million person days of work could be created, 3.45-million tons of carbon dioxide could be avoided and 3 400 GWh a year of power savings could be achieved (the equivalent of one-third of Durban’s yearly consumption).
GBCSA executive chairperson Bruce Kerswill says the project has also been aligned to efforts that the South Africa council is leading on behalf of the 90-member-country World Green Building Council to design a new socioeconomic rating tool for the property sector.
The tool will seek to move beyond the existing rating schemes, which focus mainly on environmental elements, and recognise buildings for creating employment, transferring skills and improving health through the process of construction.
Hitherto, the GBCSA has focused on the commercial property milieu, where rating tools have been introduced for setting benchmarks for new green buildings, as well as retrofits.
“But the missing link was how to address the huge challenges of South Africa and Africa, and all developing countries, in dealing with poverty and unemployment, a lack of skills and education, health challenges and housing,” Kerswill explains, noting that existing tools are inadequate in these areas.
The Cato Manor project is part of evolving and pioneering efforts to begin introducing “developmental issues” into green-building rating systems.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Johannesburg-based locomotive solutions provider DCD Rolling Stock officially launched Phase 1 of its R240-million recapitalisation programme at its Boksburg manufacturing facility, last month.
Sales of electric cars should pick up once more such vehicles become available on the South African market, says Nissan South Africa (SA) chief marketing manager Ross Garvie. The local arm of the Japanese car company launched the country’s first fully electric...
Denel Land Systems’ (DLS) Mechem division is successfully marketing the latest version of its highly regarded Casspir mine-protected vehicle, the Casspir NG2000 series wide body ambulance. As its description says, this has a notably wider body than standard...
The infrastructure boom in Africa has seen investment in 322 megaprojects reach $222.7-billion, says professional services firm Deloitte in its ‘African Construction Trends’ report. Deloitte Southern Africa infrastructure and capital projects leader André Pottas...
ASME, the international engineering profession’s cooperative, educational and training, research, outreach and codes and standards development organisation (originally the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, founded in 1880), is seeking to improve the...