Entries for the yearly AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Award have been extended to July 3, as a result of the disruption brought about as a result of Covid-19.
Cement, aggregate and readymix concrete producer AfriSam points out that strict lockdown measures in most countries around the world have resulted in unintended, but positive, consequences for the environment.
“Nature has been given the opportunity to reclaim some of her natural position and many regions have experienced a significant reduction in various forms of pollution,” the company notes.
The manufacturer highlights that according to the World Economic Forum, evidence of lowered pollution is largely attributed to a reduction of nitrogen dioxide emissions. This major air pollutant is closely linked to factory output and vehicles operating on the roads, and its reduction is so great that the environmental impact changes are even visible from space.
“This significant drop, predominantly observed over major contributors China and Europe, is good news for world health, with the World Health Organisation estimating that conditions stemming from exposure to ambient pollution, including stroke, heart disease and respiratory illnesses, kill about 4.2-million people a year,” AfriSam states.
AfriSam sales and marketing executive Richard Tomes says AfriSam plays an important role in creating awareness and establishing open debate about sustainability within the broader context of the industry.
Launched in 2009, the AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Award highlights sustainability by profiling innovative solutions. The award has grown into one of South Africa’s renowned sustainable design awards programmes, drawing an exciting range of entries in sustainable architecture, and creating public awareness and debate on sustainability in the built environment.
“The awarded projects and programmes make a positive contribution to communities and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as the reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation and the use of sustainable or renewable construction materials,” says Tomes.
The awards comprise four categories: sustainable architecture, research in sustainability, sustainable products and technology and sustainable social programmes. These categories recognise contributions that bring sustainable innovation to human living environments through an integrated approach to communities, planning, design, architecture, building practice, natural systems and technology.
“The current global situation resulting from Covid-19 has forced us all to adapt our behaviour to ensure environmental sustainability and our survival. Covid-19 makes the case for a more sustainable world, and in this context, the awards and what they stand for are more relevant than ever,” Tomes comments.