New Green rating tool for Public and Education buildings freely available

The latest green building rating tool launched by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), enables to rate public spaces regardless of whether these buildings are publicly or privately owned.

The Green Star SA - Public & Education Building (version 1) Rating Tool, was first put through its paces in an extensive pilot project carried out on a number of public buildings in South Africa and is now freely available in digital format.

Funded by the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb), an agency of the National Department of Public works (DPW), this latest tool enables the GBCSA to rate public spaces, such as community centres, libraries, museums, places of worship, indoor sports centres, entertainment, exhibition and convention centres and public transport terminal buildings, regardless of whether these buildings are publicly or privately owned. The rating tool extends to Education buildings such as schools and tertiary education facilities.  

As with the other Green Star SA rating tools, the Green Star SA – Public & Education Building rating tool assesses the environmental attributes of new or significantly refurbished building developments. The tool assigns a Green Star SA rating to the building as a whole on the basis of its design and rewarding sustainable building design attributes.

“What’s exciting about the Public & Education Building rating tool in particular, is that we are now seeing a move into a much broader range of buildings, where government will play a significant role,” says Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA 

From a Museum to a University 

Prior to the launch of this latest tool, the GBCSA  put the PILOT version of the Public & Education Building rating tool through its paces on a few projects across the country in order to improve and streamline it for the South African market. These projects emanate from both the public and private sector. One such pilot project was the Grahamstown National English Literary Museum (NELM).

Marloes Reinink, sustainable building consultant from Solid Green Consulting, who handled the testing of the Public & Education Building rating tool pilot for this building explains that the first step undertaken was a workshop with the entire team to define the Green Star SA strategy for this project and to assist with the preparation of the relevant documentation.  

“Because this project was only in its pilot form, there were a number of queries and a lot of communication with the GBCSA - which significantly helped the Technical Consultants that were developing the tool to implement improvements,” says Reinink.   “The initial goal was a 4-star Green Star SA rating, however after the workshop it appeared that the project would be able to target a 5 star Green Star SA rating.”

Some green initiatives at the Grahamstown National English Literary Museum (NELM):
Large ‘green’ roof over the Archives, assisting constant temperature control
Rainwater collected and reused for toilet flushing
Xeriscape garden with endemic landscaping design
Building is not fenced off and outside areas open to the public throughout the day
Education is a focus point, live metering display and educational posters in the entrance of the building

Another building that took part in the Pilot period was the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School.

Andy Kopelowitz, an engineer from Arup, handled the pilot project for NMMU and explains that going through a pilot process is not vastly different to pursuing a Green Star SA rating under a finalised tool. “There is the constant management of the Green Star SA process during the design stages, and specialist input into specifications and design items to ensure that the intention of the project to meet the Green Star SA requirements is achieved.”

“The Green Star SA Accredited Professional (AP) was in regular contact with the GBCSA, raising various queries, most often relating to how compliance with a credit is measured and how certain aspects of the ‘fine print’ in the Technical Manual related to our particular building type.”
Putting the tool through its paces 

“The purpose of a pilot project is to test the tool and target pilot certification, and this means that we were required to raise any issues with the GBCSA,” says Kopelowitz. “The project was required to submit formal comments on the tool to the GBCSA for consideration, and these comments, plus the numerous queries which were submitted as they arose, assist the Council in ensuring that the final version 1 of the tool is succinct and robust.”

Some green initiatives at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School:
Rain water is harvested and used for 100% of toilet and urinal flushing, and allowance for irrigation
Major materials are being sourced locally (concrete and masonry)
A minimum of 70% of waste generated during construction is being sent for recycling or being re-used
Bicycle facilities are being provided for staff and students
Topsoil is being preserved for re-introduction on site once construction is completed
Low-VOC paints, carpets and adhesives have been specified to reduce indoor pollutants

Green Star tools instrumental in the take-up of green building practices 
“The ongoing strategic expansion of available rating tools by the GBCSA is being driven by the demand for increased coverage of the property sector and the acknowledgement of unique environmental issues attributed to specific building types,” says Manfred Braune, Technical Executive - GBCSA.  The Public & Education Building (version 1) rating tool Technical Manual is available for the first time in digital format and as a free download to GBCSA members and students.  Non-members can anticipate paying R700 for the manual. The rating tool and related documents are freely available on the GBCSA website.

“Green Star SA establishes a common language for the industry and importantly, recognises and rewards excellence in environmental leadership. Rating tools have been instrumental in marking the mainstream take-up of green building practices in a number of markets worldwide, and South Africa is following this trend,” concludes Wilkinson.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 19 Jan 2018
      Extending from Randfontein in the west to Roodepoort in the east and including the towns of Krugersdorp and Magaliesburg, the West Rand has a plethora of property available to residents who choose to make this unique area their home.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      When it comes to financial planning, doing the work to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected emergencies is just as important as ticking off your other goals and New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of the year is also the perfect time to review your various insurance policies.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      No surprises at the first Monetary Policy Committee of 2018, as Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced that the interest rates would stay at their current levels.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      The Southern Suburbs make up some of the most popular residential areas in Cape Town, comprising charming groups of suburbs which lie to the south-east of the slopes of Table Mountain. It is seen as the city's most expensive residential neighbourhoods with a choice of various private schools, upmarket eateries, wine estates, beautiful homes and trendy apartments.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      New year, new goals! If you’ve resolved to purchase your first property in 2018, then this 6-step guide from the Rawson Property Group is a must-read. It will help you navigate and simplify what is often be seen as a confusing process of buying your first home – right from the house-hunt to the house-warming.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      While the current property market may still favour buyers, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well prepared before putting in an offer to purchase.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      Lightstone lists Blair Atholl as the most expensive suburb with an average house price of R11.2 million, followed by Westcliff (R10.5 million), Dunkeld (R9.3 million), Sandhurst (R9.1 million) and Inanda (R7.2 million).
    • 17 Jan 2018
      As it currently stands, there are four main ways in which a home can be bought in South Africa, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who adds that deciding in which legal entity to purchase the property is not a decision that should be entered into lightly, as each has its pros and cons.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us