How green is your office?

Posted by Laura Grant on August 1, 2008
Posted in Business

Green buildings are healthier to work in, use less energy and water, and are built using materials and techniques that minimise their environmental impact. Although the green building concept is relatively new to us ordinary South Africans, there’s obviously a growing interest. But how do you know whether the Tuscan-style office park-cum-golf course that’s calling itself an “eco”-development really is green?

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has come to the rescue. This week it launched a pilot version of its Green Star SA building rating system to assess “objectively” how green a building really is. The rating system looks at issues such as energy, water, materials and emissions. Then, if they make the grade, buildings will be issued with a Green Star SA Certification – a 4-Star certification for “Best Practice”; a 5-Star Certification for “South African Excellence”; and a 6-Star Certification for “World Leadership”.

The rating tool has been specifically adapted for South African conditions by a team comprising the GBCSA of South Africa, the Green Building Council of Australia, an international sustainability consultant, Arup Africa and 25 volunteer local experts.

The GBCSA has made the pilot tool available for download on its website along with Fact Sheets, and guides for the use of the various calculators within the tool. People in the industry are urged to test the tool and submit comments to the GBCSA.

The PILOT phase will run until 1 September 2008, and the final version of the tool will be launched at the GBCSA’s Convention in November.

When the final version of the tool is officially launched, the GBCSA will begin accepting project registrations and submissions for certification under Green Star SA.

The GBCSA will also be offering Green Star SA Accredited Professional training courses in the use of the rating system from November 5.

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