BUILDING: GBCSA To Intepret Global Knowledge For Property Conditions
Recent Western Cape Business News
As the drive to build greener buildings becomes more urgent for the South African property industry, the role of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) as a conduit for global green knowledge is ever more crucial. The Council’s third annual Convention & Exhibition, sponsored by Nedbank Corporate, scheduled for September this year in Cape Town, is a key piece of the agency’s strategy to empower SA property professionals with green tools customized to local conditions.
Established in 2007, the GBCSA is the official SA member of the World Green Building Council and the sole agency in the country authorized to provide Green Star accreditation and training.
"There are lessons to be learned from all over the world, but they need to be relevant for SA property developers, owners and managers," explains Nicola Douglas, CEO of Green Building Council.
"That's where the Council comes in, and the annual convention is a major part of how we do it." Last year's convention attracted more than 700 delegates and almost 100 exhibitors.
International speakers already confirmed include keynote and international green building icon Joe van Belleghem, the man behind the ground-breaking Dockside Green development in BC, Canada, which aims to include 26 LEED Platinum buildings; Shane Esmore, director and principle sustainability consultant with Umow Lai, and one of Australia's largest foremost ESD consultants; and sustainable facilities management consultant Teena Shouse of the US firm FEA Associates and member of the International Facility Management Association.
The 2010 convention will also feature case studies of green buildings, updates on relevant government policy, and a variety of networking events for industry professionals.
"As the property industry strives to adapt to increasing cost pressures and meet the challenge of climate change, the need to make buildings more efficient is becoming imperative," says Douglas.
"Globally the property industry is starting to play a leading role by greening the built environment – and the GBCSA is assisting the South African market with the information and tools to join this worldwide shift."
The Green Building Council has made impressive inroads into the SA market, after just two and a half years of operation, a testament to surging demand for sustainable building and management techniques.
The Council has to date signed up 600 corporate members and trained more than 1,500 professionals on the Green Star rating system. In late 2008, the Council launched a customized office rating tool for SA, and a customized rating tool for retail centre buildings is due for launch later this month.
“Nedbank is committed to the green movement and we’re proud to sponsor the convention for the third year running,” says Frank Berkeley, managaing executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance. For Nedbank, sustainability ultimately presents a means of achieving the delicate but essential balance between economic objectives, social development activities and environmental responsibility.
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