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Green Building News

GBCSA to unveil interior rating tool

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th October 2013 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) plans to unveil a new rating tool for interiors in response to market demand. The Green Star SA – Interiors rating tool will assess the design, construction and refurbishments of interior spaces in both existing and new buildings, and extend to... 

New R150m facility to consolidate distribution to Africa

By: David Oliveira     4th October 2013 Pump manufacturing company Grundfos’ new 9 000 m2 facility, in Meadowbrook, which cost about R150-million to construct, was officially opened on August 14 and will serve as the company’s assembly and distribution centre for Africa. “The company decided to consolidate its facilities, in Pretoria,... 

RENEWABLE ENERGYThe Meadowbrook building uses three wind turbines that generate electricity directly into the building’s grid to power the pumps and lighting when solar power is not available
RENEWABLE ENERGYThe Meadowbrook building uses three wind turbines that generate electricity directly into the building’s grid to power the pumps and lighting when solar power is not available

Growthpoint Properties opens regional office in upmarket Pretoria building

By: Joanne Taylor     4th October 2013 Property investment company Growthpoint Properties has opened a regional office in the premium 10 000 m2 AAA-grade Menlyn Corner, in Pretoria, which the company owns. 

MENLYNGrowthpoint’s prime office building provides occupants with cost savings owing to its energy efficient design and technologies
MENLYNGrowthpoint’s prime office building provides occupants with cost savings owing to its energy efficient design and technologies

Learners show they are up to the task during energy-saving competition

By: Joanne Taylor     27th September 2013 St John’s College, in Johannesburg, won first prize in the 2013 Siemens Junior Cyber Junk Yard Challenge earlier this month, – a competition in which talented learners go head-to-head in building models of energy-saving homes.  

ST JOHN’S COLLEGEThe school won first prize with its model of an energy-efficient home at the 2013 Siemens Junior Cyber Yard Challenge
ST JOHN’S COLLEGEThe school won first prize with its model of an energy-efficient home at the 2013 Siemens Junior Cyber Yard Challenge

Green systems financier targets diesel power 

By: David Oliveira     27th September 2013 Green energy technology service provider New Southern Energy (NSE) is supplying a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system, generator and batteries for an energy efficiency greenfield project at a game lodge in Arniston, in the Western Cape. Construction at the game lodge, which started late... 

COST-EFFECTIVE POWER Photovoltaic systems are a better electricity generation option for sites using more expensive alternatives, such as diesel-powered generators
COST-EFFECTIVE POWER Photovoltaic systems are a better electricity generation option for sites using more expensive alternatives, such as diesel-powered generators

SA unit main cause of ‘very disappointing’ year for Aveng

By: Irma Venter     20th September 2013 “The bottom line is that we have to stop scoring own goals and execute profitable work,” says Aveng CFO and acting CEO Kobus Verster. He notes that continued losses at Aveng’s South African construction business, Grinaker-LTA, are largely to blame for the negative performance of the construction... 

Geothermal systems installed at Steyn City development

By: Ilan Solomons     20th September 2013 Geothermal technologies are increasingly becoming a global means of effectively heating and cooling industrial and residential buildings, owing to rising electricity costs and increasing levels of consumer environmental awareness, says local environmental contracting company Environmental... 

PALAZZO STEYN 
Environmental Drilling & Remediation Services in July completed the installation of 18 borehole closed-loop geothermal heat pump systems at the private residence of South African billionaire Douw Steyn’s Palazzo Steyn
PALAZZO STEYN Environmental Drilling & Remediation Services in July completed the installation of 18 borehole closed-loop geothermal heat pump systems at the private residence of South African billionaire Douw Steyn’s Palazzo Steyn

M&R outlines labour losses and concerns, confirms more competition provisions

By: Irma Venter     13th September 2013 Murray & Roberts has accrued around R350-million in losses in its South African business owing to labour unrest and strikes in the 2013 financial year, says CE Henry Laas. He says the deteriorating labour situation in South Africa is a “big problem”, and that he is concerned about the spate of... 

WBHO targets Central and West Africa as it builds continental portfolio

By: Irma Venter     13th September 2013 Construction group Wilson Bayley Holmes Ovcon (WBHO) has established an international civil engineering and building division to drive further growth in Central and West Africa, adding to the work the company’s roads and earthworks division is already doing on the continent. WBHO CEO Louwtjie Nel... 

Aveng sees profit slide as Grinaker-LTA posts R950m loss 

By: Irma Venter     10th September 2013 “The bottom line is that we have to stop scoring own goals and execute profitable work,” said Aveng CFO and acting CEO Kobus Verster on Tuesday. Speaking in Johannesburg, he noted that continued losses at Aveng’s South African construction business, Grinaker-LTA, were largely to blame for the... 

Kobus Verster
Photo by Duane Daws
Kobus Verster

IDC to issue bonds up to R12bn, dangling R2.7bn youth carrot

By: Martin Creamer     9th September 2013 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which plans to issue bonds up to R12-billion in the next 18 months, on Monday announced stepped-up R2.7-billion funding to boost youth entrepreneurship. The State-owned corporation, which disbursed a record R16-billion into the... 

IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena
Photo by Duane Daws
IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena

Partnerships and new thinking needed for regenerative-city plans to prevail  

By: Joanne Taylor     6th September 2013 Strong consensus emerged at a recent Infrastructure Dialogues gathering, which took place in Midrand in August, that a combination of behavioural change and partnerships between the private sector, civil society and government are needed in order for city-level regenerative initiatives to have... 

SHAUN NELSouth Africa agreed to reduce its carbon emissions by 37% in 2015 and by 42% by 2025, most of which needs to happen at city level
Energy Intensive User Group project director and adviser Shaun Nel gives his view on how regenerative cities could be a success. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Shane Williams.

Two new engineering buildings opened at Stellenbosch University

By: Leandi Kolver     5th September 2013 The Stellenbosch University’s (SU’s) Faculty of Engineering on Wednesday officially opened two new buildings that were designed according to green principles. The newly constructed 4 000 m2, R38-million Knowledge Centre, which comprised the Engineering and Forestry Library, two large lecture... 

Two new engineering buildings opened at Stellenbosch University

GBCSA moves to new green office

By: Leandi Kolver     5th September 2013 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has moved into its new green office at the Black River Park complex, in Obervatory, Cape Town, and will seek to secure a Green Star rating for the building. The GBCSA had to move after having outgrown its previous office space. 

WBHO aims for Africa and higher margins with new division

By: Irma Venter     2nd September 2013 Construction group Wilson Bayley Holmes Ovcon (WBHO) has established an international civil engineering and building division to drive further growth in Central and West Africa, adding to the work the company’s roads and earthworks division was already doing on the continent. WBHO CEO Louwtjie... 

WBHO CEO Louwtjie Nel
Photo by Duane Daws
WBHO CEO Louwtjie Nel

Kleinmond-harvested rainwater not fit for human consumption – WRC 

By: Leandi Kolver     30th August 2013 A recent study by the Water Research Commission (WRC) has found that untreated water collected by rainwater harvesting tanks provided in a low-cost housing project in Kleinmond, in the Western Cape, did not meet drinking water standards. The Kleinmond Housing Scheme, which comprises 410 units,... 

Kleinmond-harvested rainwater not fit for human consumption – WRC

New children’s hospital aims for global green-building recognition

By: Sashnee Moodley     30th August 2013 Construction of the green Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital, which will be located in Parktown, Johannesburg, is expected to begin in the last quarter of 2013 and the building’s architects hope to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. 

Resolution on Gautrain delay and disruption claim moves to 2016 

By: Irma Venter     29th August 2013 The delay and disruption claim the Bombela consortium had filed against the Gauteng government regarding the construction of the Gautrain “was taking a long time”, and would only be resolved by 2016, said Murray & Roberts CE Henry Laas on Thursday. Last year August the construction and... 

The Gautrain
Photo by Duane Daws
The Gautrain

Murray & Roberts takes R350m strike knock

By: Irma Venter     29th August 2013 Murray & Roberts accrued around R350-million in losses in its South African business owing to labour unrest and strikes in the 2013 financial year, CE Henry Laas said on Thursday. Speaking in Johannesburg, he said the deteriorating labour situation in South Africa was a “big problem”, and that he... 

The Medupi power project
Photo by Duane Daws
The Medupi power project

M&R, Competition Commission to work through five more collusion cases 

By: Irma Venter     29th August 2013 Construction and engineering group Murray & Roberts said on Thursday that it had made financial provision for another possible penalty from the Competition Commission, following on from the settlement of 17 cases of collusive behaviour earlier this year. The commission in June imposed a... 

Murray & Roberts CE Henry Laas
Photo by Duane Daws
Murray & Roberts CE Henry Laas

Group Five hopes restructuring will lift margins

By: Irma Venter     23rd August 2013 JSE-listed construction company Group Five has reported net profit of R299-million for the financial year ended June 30, reversing a R230-million loss recorded in 2012. Revenue from contiuing operations was up 27% to R11.13-billion. With almost all of the group’s problem contracts in the Middle... 

SA construction firms have much mending still to do, Upton avers

By: Irma Venter     23rd August 2013 The construction industry’s engagement with the Competition Commission and the rest of South Africa remains a “work in progress”, says Group Five CEO Mike Upton. The commission earlier this year levied R1.46-billion in penalties against 15 companies in the industry for collusive tendering related... 

CSIR unit concludes passive energy efficiency study, moves to continue research  

By: Samantha Herbst     23rd August 2013 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) Build Environment unit has signed its second memorandum of understanding with chemicals giant BASF to continue researching passive energy efficiency in new buildings. The CSIR concluded a two-year performance research project earlier,... 

BASF LOW-COST DEMONSTRATION HOUSEThe CSIR has concluded a two-year performance research project analysing the energy and thermal performance of an insulated demonstration house, sponsored by chemicals giant BASF
CSIR Built Environment senior researcher Llewellyn van Wyk discusses the results of a two-year passive energy-efficiency study.

Green building lighting installations to soon be complete

By: Sashnee Moodley     16th August 2013 Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting solutions manufacturer LED Lighting South Africa (SA) will soon complete its supply of almost 7 000 light fittings and LED units for what will soon be Cape Town’s tallest skyscraper, the Portside building. 

Group Five back in the black as it records R299m profit

By: Irma Venter     12th August 2013 JSE-listed construction company Group Five on Monday reported net profit of R299-million for the financial year ended June 30, reversing a R230-million loss recorded in 2012. Revenue from contiuing operations was up 27% to R11.13-billion. With almost all of the group’s problem contracts in the... 

Group Five back in the black as it records R299m profit

Construction industry must deal with 'great anger' over collusion, says Upton  

By: Irma Venter     12th August 2013 The construction industry’s engagement with the Competition Commission and the rest of South Africa remained a work in progress, said Group Five CEO Mike Upton on Monday as he reported the construction group’s financial results for the year ended June 30. The commission earlier this year levied... 

Group Five CEO Mike Upton
Group Five CEO Mike Upton discusses the fallout of the Competition Commission's investigation into collusion in the construction industry. Cameraperson: Nicholas Boyd; Editing: Shane Williams. Recorded: 12.08.2013

Civil engineering body raises alarm over limited, ageing talent pool 

By: Irma Venter     2nd August 2013 Ideally, engineering teams should reflect the accepted international municipal and utility ratio of six engineering professionals per 100 000 inhabitants. However, in South Africa’s best case scenarios  – larger cities and towns – municipalities have access to three engineering professionals for... 

Construction margins fell in 2011, report shows

By: Irma Venter     26th July 2013 South Africa’s construction industry saw its average profit margin plunge from 5% in 2009, to 2.8% in 2011, says Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) statistician-general Pali Lehohla. Income in the sector reached R267-billion in 2011, down from R285-billion in 2009, the year the industry probably... 

Mandela birth town’s first high school under construction

By: Joanne Taylor     19th July 2013 Former President Nelson Mandela’s birth town of Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape, is having its first high school built. 

FIRST HIGH SCHOOLThe R100-million high school in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape will underpin three pillars of the Siemens commitment – skills development, sustainability and local commitment
FIRST HIGH SCHOOLThe R100-million high school in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape will underpin three pillars of the Siemens commitment – skills development, sustainability and local commitment

DEA head office receives six-star rating from Green Building Council

By: Joanne Taylor     19th July 2013 The new Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) head office, in Pretoria, received a 6 Star Green Star South Africa (SA) Office Design certificate from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). 

Cape Town’s tallest building awarded five-star rating

By: Joanne Taylor     19th July 2013 The R1.6-billion Portside development, in Cape Town’s central business district, has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star South Africa (SA) office design rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). 

Energy management certification can help boost efficiency, reduce consumption

By: Joanne Taylor     5th July 2013 Energy management standards, such as the ISO 50001 Energy Management certification, are crucial to businesses moving forward amid a world energy crisis, said Certification Europe founder and director Dr John Ryan at the second Eastern Cape Energy Efficiency conference, in May. 

DR JOHN RYANISO 50001 Energy Management certification is crucial to businesses moving forward amid a world energy crisis
DR JOHN RYANISO 50001 Energy Management certification is crucial to businesses moving forward amid a world energy crisis

Construction Inc profit margin at low 2.8%, shows Stats SA

By: Irma Venter     3rd July 2013 South Africa’s construction industry saw its average profit margin plunge from 5% in 2009, to 2.8% in 2011, said Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) statistician-general Pali Lehohla on Wednesday. Income in the sector reached R267-billion in 2011, down from R285-billion in 2009, the year the... 

Construction Inc profit margin at low 2.8%, shows Stats SA

R400m enviro-friendly store opened in Gauteng 

By: Gia Costella     7th June 2013 South African retailer Massmart opened a R400-million environment-friendly Makro store in Alberton, in the south of Johannesburg, as part of its new-generation stores. Makro’s new-generation stores – those built after 2009 – incorporate technologies which include energy efficient refrigeration... 

R400m enviro-friendly store opened in Gauteng
Makro store development manager Alan Walker discusses the environmentally friendly elements of the new Makro store, in Alberton. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Manufacturer donates pipes to shack-conversion project

By: Gia Costella     7th June 2013 Manufacturer of water reticulation, drainage and pipe-fitting systems DPI Plastics donated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) building pipes and fittings to the first-ever shack-to-house eco-replacement project in Kayamandi, in the Western Cape. The test phase of the Kayamandi project, which was completed... 

DEA’s green building gets six stars 

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th June 2013 The Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA’s) new head office, in Pretoria, has become the first government building, as well as the first in Tshwane, to be awarded a six-star Green Star rating. The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) said on Tuesday, that, in addition to achieving... 

Chemical additive introduced to seal liquid holding concrete structures

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2013 A chemical concrete-additive causes impermeable crystals to grow inside and seal cracks, pores and capillaries and preventing liquids from penetrating the concrete. This nontoxic additive can be used to seal concrete structures in potable water systems and in more aggressive applications, such as... 

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