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Green Building News

SA construction firms starting to focus on green practices

By: Christy van der Merwe     25th January 2011 As increasing environmental pressures take hold in South Africa, the country’s major construction companies showed that they were starting to focus on pursuing green practices and projects, particularly in renewable energy projects where opportunities were emerging. For Group Five in particular,... 

New strings to be added to green building conference bow

21st January 2011 The Green Building Conference 2011, to be held on July 13 and 14, at the Sandton International Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, will incorporate new features for delegates and exhibitors. 

Building confidence index uptick may be early sign of a recovery

By: Irma Venter     10th December 2010 Building contractors continue to face difficult conditions during the fourth quarter of 2010, says First National Bank chief economist Cees Bruggemans, however, the increase in the FNB/Bureau of Economic Research (BER) building confidence index signals an economic awakening in parts of the... 

Building confidence index signals possible recovery in 2011

By: Irma Venter     29th November 2010 Building contractors continued to face difficult conditions during the fourth quarter of 2010, said First National Bank chief economist Cees Bruggemans on Monday, however, the increase in the FNB/Bureau of Economic Research (BER) building confidence index signalled an economic awakening in parts... 

Food group moves to ‘greener’ building pastures

By: Petronel Smit     19th November 2010 The Johannesburg-based headquarters of food manufacturer Nestlé South Africa have moved to a new building in Bryanston in early November as part of its aims to contribute to environmental sustainability and offer an improved employee comfort level. 

Direct solar water heaters – can they function in the cold?

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     19th November 2010 A common misunderstanding in the solar water heater (SWH) market leads many consumers to believe that all direct SWH systems are bound to freeze up and suffer damage if installed in regions where the temperature drops below freezing. 

‘Greener’ construction needed to support emerging market needs

By: Loni Prinsloo     18th November 2010 Building materials company Lafarge said on Thursday that a strong focus was needed on sustainable construction to supply the additional two billion people that would be in need of housing and infrastructure by 2025. Speaking at a sustainable construction roundtable in Johannesburg, Lafarge South... 

Pretoria mall achieves Green Star SA design rating 

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th November 2010 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has certified the first mall in South Africa after the release of its Green Star South Africa retail centre rating tool, which was launched in 2009. The centre scooping the accolade of being the first Green Star design rated shopping centre, was... 

Heat pumps could play key energy efficiency role as electricity price rises

By: Christy van der Merwe     29th October 2010 While solar water heaters (SWHs) have captured the attention of South Africans, heat pumps for water heating are also emerging as a cost effective way to deliver large volumes of hot water, particularly where the use of solar collector panels is impractical.

Emergent Energy CEO Frank Spencer... 

Facilities managers vital in achieving green building targets

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th October 2010 US-based senior facilities management consultant Teena Shouse urges architects and engineers to “begin with the end in mind” and involve facilities managers from the very start of a green building project. This is important because it is the facilities manager who will ensure that the building... 

Green building needs public- and private-sector impetus

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th October 2010 Local and international speakers at the Green Building Council of South Africa’s (GBCSA’s) yearly convention, which took place in Cape Town, emphasised the importance of government and the private sector working “hand in hand” to drive green building forward. 

Menlyn Maine co-sponsors green building rating tool 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st October 2010 Property developer Menlyn Maine Investments will co-sponsor he development of the new multi-unit residential green building rating tool, which will be carried out by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). The multi-unit residential tool has passed the necessary pilot phases, and was... 

Heat pumps reduce power costs in the home

1st October 2010 A heat pump can deliver the same heat output as an electrical element, to geysers, for about one-third of the electricity consumption, Chas Everitt International property group CEO Berry Everitt. 

Despite big infrastructure pledge, construction contracts stall and margins fall

By: Irma Venter     1st October 2010 It was a big Budget announcement that, in the end, has yielded only a fraction of what was promised in the timeframe specified. It is not certain what factors are to blame. It could be the emergence of a new administration at the very time when the recession was gaining traction. It could be the... 

Two SA properties receive Green Star ratings

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st September 2010 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) on Tuesday handed out two project certification awards to South African property developments, which achieved Green Star South Africa ratings. The first project, the Nedbank phase-two head office in Sandton, achieved a four-star Green Star South... 

Govt and private sector should join hands to drive green building 

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st September 2010 Local and international speakers at the Green Building Council of South Africa's (GBCSA's) yearly convention, which is under way in Cape Town, have emphasised the importance of government and the private sector working "hand in hand" to drive green building forward. Australia-based Lend Lease... 

Insulation key to reducing costs 

17th September 2010 With the rapidly rising cost of energy, more people are becoming aware of the importance of insulating their homes and businesses to save money, says insulation manufacturer Thermguard MD Mark Stannard.

He explains that there is significant awareness about the environmental benefits of using... 

Construction capacity to exceed demand into 2012, says WBHO's Nel

By: Irma Venter     7th September 2010 Construction capacity in South Africa would exceed demand for the next 12 to 18 months, said JSE-listed construction group Wilson Bayly Holmes – Ovcon (WBHO) CEO Louwtjie Nel on Tuesday. “Margins pressures will persist as a result.” However, Nel emphasised that there remained a healthy pipeline... 

Western Cape looking to attract renewable energy projects

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd September 2010 The Western Cape provincial government was seeking to attract renewable energy developers into the area and wanted to play a greater role in facilitation between municipalities, as well as project developers and national government, to get projects started. The provincial government has set a... 

‘Green’ bricks for 
community clinic

By: Tracy Hancock     20th August 2010 Manufacturer of recycled bricks Cape Brick is supplying an energy-efficient, environment-friendly concrete masonry product for the construction of the Malmesbury/Wesbank Community Day Centre (CDC), a community day clinic, in the Western Cape.

The construction of the 2 000-m2 clinic started in... 

GE's $200m green innovation competition gathers momentum

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th August 2010 Global technology group General Electric's (GE's) $200-million competition for "breakthrough" green-energy ideas has reportedly already attracted around 1 000 submission. The competition, which was launched last month, is being pursued in collaboration with venture capital firms Emerald... 

R150m green building project under way

By: Dimakatso Motau     13th August 2010 Global engineering, management and specialist technical services group Aurecon reports that is consolidating its Cape Town operations from three separate buildings into a single location.  

A third rating tool in the pipeline for SA

By: Dimakatso Motau     13th August 2010 The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) reports that it has recently started developing a new Green Star SA rating tool for Multi-Unit Residential buildings with a targeted pilot launch in December. 

Energy saving technology ensures sustainability

By: Dimakatso Motau     13th August 2010 Consulting engineering company SSI reports that it has completed a contract for the design and construction of the Maize Trust in Pretoria. 

Association’s KZN offices go green

By: Dimakatso Motau     13th August 2010 Bruce Clark Associate Architects (BCAA) is currently in the final stages of completing the upgrade the Master Builders Association’s (MBA’s) offices, in Westville, KwaZulu-Natal. The MBA represents contractors operating in the building industry. 

Sanral’s head office to be completed by March 2011 

By: Dimakatso Motau     13th August 2010 Architectural and interior designer company Activate Architecture has been contracted to design the new South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (Sanral’s) R104-million head office, in Pretoria. Construction company GD Irons Construction is the main contractor for this project. Construction... 

Cement giant launches first ecocement in SA

13th August 2010 Cement producer Afrisam has launched its first ecocement in South Africa, Eco Building Cement, which has an overall carbon footprint of 401 g/kg, less than one-half that of the world average of 890 g/kg as set out by the Cembureau and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. 

DEA looking for projects to support green-economy strategy 

By: Loni Prinsloo     2nd August 2010 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is looking to identify potential projects that could contribute to ‘green growth' in South Africa, and has invited industry to submit expressions of interest (EOI). This is in response to the Green Economy Summit, which was held in May, where the... 

Construction giant advances with green initiatives

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th July 2010 Construction giant Basil Read’s developments division is moving ahead with a series of initiatives that are aimed at reducing its carbon footprint; a vision which has come to life at the division’s site office in Cosmo City, in the north-west of Johannesburg, where a 1 105-ha mixed-use,... 

Green building convention to have strong maintenance focus

By: Christy van der Merwe     29th July 2010 The 2010 Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) convention would have a strong focus on facilities management and property management, said GBCSA CEO Nicola Douglas. While design and construction have been prioritised when the built environment discussed green building initiatives, there... 

Growing awareness supports green building in SA

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th July 2010 Global research consultancy Frost & Sullivan (F&S) noted that while green building practices continued to gain momentum in South Africa, the sector still faced challenges, including a misconception of the costs involved in green design and construction, and a lack of appropriate policy and... 

Best-in-class design used to prove green houses can also be affordable

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th July 2010 South Africa’s built environment is earmarked as a sector having a significant role to play in becoming more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. But with a low-income housing backlog of more that two-million units, the affordable-housing sector potentially also has an important role... 

Best-in-class design used to prove green houses can also be affordable

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th July 2010 South Africa’s built environment is earmarked as a sector having a significant role to play in becoming more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. But with a low-income housing backlog of more that two-million units, the affordable housing sector potentially also has an important role... 

Menlyn Maine breaks ground for new ‘green-city’ precinct

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th July 2010 The multi-billion rand ‘green-city' precinct of Menlyn Maine on Wednesday broke ground at the site, where bulk earthworks for the construction of its first anchor tenant building will get under way. The first tenant building would be complete by 2012. Nedbank has been confirmed as the first... 

Four SA cities earmarked for big Africa green city review 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2010 German technology giant Siemens has commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to compile an ‘African Green City Index' by the beginning of 2011, ranking the greenest cities in 12 African countries, including four South African cities. The study follows on from the recent publication of... 

New energy-efficiency hub on cards for SA

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th July 2010 A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Wednesday opening the way for the establishment of the so-called South African Regional Energy Efficiency Centre (SAREEC), which is expected to begin operations within 24 months. Once developed, the centre will offer research and information, as... 

Renewables scale-up core to Zille's sustainability road map 

By: Jade Davenport     7th July 2010 Western Cape Premier Helen Zille officially released the Western Cape provincial government's (WCPG) strategic plan on environmental sustainability and resource-use efficiency in Cape Town on Wednesday, in which a target was set for generating 15% of the province's electricity from renewable... 

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