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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  22 Jun 2009

CONVENTIONS: Green Building Issues Examined


Recent Western Cape Business News

Following the success of its inaugural convention in 2008, the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is once again bringing the leading international green building experts to Cape Town for its second annual convention and exhibition to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 21-23 October 2009. The convention will be sponsored by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance.

This world-class event is set to be a melting pot of ideas, skills, technologies, solutions and knowledge as the South African property industry gathers to ensure it keeps pace with green building trends globally.

With an impressive line-up of speakers and topical presentations, the conference promises to meet the high standard of last year’s ground-breaking and widely praised event. It will be a powerful gathering of over 600 delegates and exhibitors, representing key role-players and decision-makers in the commercial property industry, from across the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

The only investments worth making the current economic climate are sustainable ones,” notes Nicola Douglas CEO of GBCSA. “The green building movement has been gaining momentum in the mainstream property industry globally and of late South Africa has seen a surge of corporates, developers, consultants and other industry professionals making a strong commitment to green principles.”

The convention focuses on the very latest initiatives and progress in environmentally-sustainable property development, and addresses a wide span of green building issues with high-profile presentations from leading international and local green building experts who will be sharing their experience and expertise.

Says Frank Berkeley, managing executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, “Nedbank Corporate Property Finance is proud to sponsor the Green Building Convention for a second year.  The overwhelming response to the convention last year is a good indication of how South Africans are taking the issue of climate change seriously.  And no company is more committed to the green movement than Nedbank.  We believe that banks in particular have a crucial role to play in enabling the transition from a carbon-intensive economy to more efficient low-carbon alternatives.  By being involved in initiatives such as these, we are taking a leadership role by recognising that climate change affects the financial sector directly through the operations we run and indirectly through our business investments.”

Stimulating topics to be covered include sustainable architecture, carbon trading, global policy, the response of the SA Government, energy and water solutions, existing building retrofits and green building materials.

Expanding its view, the convention will also look beyond the individual green building, to the development of green cities. It will also discuss the investment case for green buildings, an area where the sustainability comes head-to-head with financial feasibility,” says Douglas.

Practical guidance will also be provided with local and international green building case studies giving valuable insight to building owners and project teams.

Following the launch of the Green Star SA rating system at last year’s convention, the Green Building Council recently began working on the second in the suite of Green Star SA rating tools – for retail buildings/shopping centres. GBCSA anticipates the launch of the PILOT version of the Green Star SA – Retail tool at its second annual convention & exhibition later on this year.

There are a number of educational and networking events being held in parallel with the convention, from a range of educational courses to be held the day prior to the convention, to the opening cocktail function and convention dinner.

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects is the exhibition showcasing green building products, services and technologies. In addition to being a major attraction for the duration of the conference, it will also be open to the public on the final afternoon of the convention, allowing everyone access to this treasure of green property ideas and applications.

The GBCSA is the official South African member of the World Green Building Council and the Green Star SA accreditation body. It is an independent, non-profit, member-based organization spearheaded by leaders from all sectors of the commercial property industry. Launched in 2007, the Green Building Council aims to promote and facilitate green building practices through market-based solutions.

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