Oct 18, 2012
SA must determine route to sustainable development – expertBack
Johannesburg|London|Venice|South Africa|Transport|Dan Epstein|Stratford|The London Olympics|The Olympics
© Reuse this
He told Engineering News Online that South Africa was not faring well in terms of sustainable development, especially compared with Scandinavian countries, which were the front-runners in this regard.
South Africa’s heavily road-dependent transport sector and its coal-driven power generation sector contributed greatly to its unsustainable status.
Epstein said the country could learn a lot from the £8-billion London Olympic Park construction project, in the derelict Stratford district, in east London.
The same size as Venice, the 2.5 km2 park contains various sports centers and a stadium, as well as a 100 ha park and athlete accommodation that can all be used beyond the Olympics Games.
With sustainability at the heart of the park’s design, 25% of materials used during construction were from recycled sources, with 90% of the rubble created in the demolition of over 220 associated buildings being reused in the project.
Targets were set to enhance the area’s environmental health status; the park was built to allow for a 50% reduction in carbon emissions and a 40% reduction in water use.
The seven-year project also involved the upgrading of the subway, railway and other infrastructure, while transferring skills and creating jobs.
Epstein explained that before construction could start, an extensive soil-cleaning operation had to be undertaken to rid the ground of contaminants deposited in the Stratford area when it was still London’s industrial and manufacturing hot-spot.
Speaking at a sustainable development workshop, in Johannesburg, he pointed out that funding was not the major factor holding back sustainable development globally, but “attitude and behavior.”
Epstein said the aim of the workshop was to get persons from South Africa’s construction sector to discuss how sustainable development could be achieved in their country.
He added that those attending the workshop would have to carry over their view of how local authorities and other role-players could implement the same eight principles that were applied in the London Olympic Park development project, when taking on sustainable development projects.
These principles were high quality, cultural richness, strong community, connectivity, economic resilience, environmental health, resource security and climate resilience.
“Government has a great responsibility and big role to play here,” Epstein noted.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Green Building News
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
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,...
This Week's Magazine
This month’s report includes details of junior miner Papillon Resources’ mining permit for its flagship Fekola gold project, in Mali; the Waterberg Coal Company’s feasibility on the development of an opencast mine, in Limpopo, to produce ten-million tonnes a...
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...