There is evidence that the commitment to green buildings is gaining momentum in South Africa. Local companies expect levels of green buildings levels to more than triple in the next three years, says Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) CEO Brian Wilkinson.

Wilkinson says that the share of South African firms highly dedicated to green buildings was growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world. Quoting recent McGraw Hill findings, Wilkinson says more than two thirds of respondents felt that green buildings ratings provided a competitive advantage. Some 60% of respondents have green new build plans, while 58% have green retrofit plans.

The GBCSA last year appointed Royal HaskoningDHV as the lead consultant of the Green Star SA Existing Building Performance Tool. The pilot programme for the tool will run throughout 2014 on 60 buildings. Categories for credits in the rating tool are management, transport, land use and ecology, indoor environment quality, water, emissions, energy, materials and innovation.

Meanwhile, CEO of Royal HaskoningDHV Nyami Mandindi also says that in light of government’s multi-trillion infrastructure spend in coming years, innovation is key. In 2012, president Jacob Zuma announced a R4 trillion infrastructure spend over a 15-year period to boost economic development and growth. Government is expected to spend R845 billion in the next three years. The massive infrastructure drive opens a bigger role for private sector participation in the economy.

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