How To Meet South African Green Building Standards

If you are renovating or building a new property, whether it’s commercial or industrial, the ethical, and often legally required, thing to do is to build as ‘green’ as you can. As the need for sustainable and environmentally friendly practices rises, it is critical for building owners and construction contractors to get on board or risk being left behind.

Keep reading to learn five simple ways to work towards the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) building standards and the National Building Regulations and Building Standards (NBRBS) green building codes.

Start At The Beginning

To put yourself on the right path to meeting green standards, it is important to start planning for it from the design phase and then carrying it through the construction and management phases.

For example, design levels of heat reduction prior to planning thermal insulation, leverage access to natural light, and plan the structure and fittings to maximise air circulation.

Preplan Energy Efficiency

The goal of your green standards is to meet or reduce energy consumption to meet the SANS 10400-XA guidelines. A transformative tool to use in achieving this is renewable and efficient energy sources.

Water-wise Planning

Start your water-wise planning by focusing on plumbing setups, plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption, comprehensive rainwater collection and filtering, using rainwater in the house and not only the garden, water-wise appliances and landscaping and the general goal of reducing the consumption of potable water.

Green Materials

Choosing green materials is not solely based on using recycled products. The goal is the reduction of materials’ carbon footprint over their entire lifespan. Materials need to be judged on:

  • Levels of toxicity
  • Impact on the environment
  • Wastage of materials in each application
  • Impact on landfill
  • Recyclability of the product

Indoor & Outdoor Environmental Impact

Consider what impact your design will create on the quality of the indoor environment and the quality of the user’s experience. In addition, start considering the impact of your building project on the external environment during the building phase. The external impact created during the building phase is included in your building’s green rating as well as the long-term impact on the local ecosystem.

Biophilic design is a good principle to include in your drive to create a positive impact on the well-being of users of the indoor environment. Give these factors equal priority:

  • Flow
  • Natural light
  • Views of nature
  • Temperature stability
  • Fresh air
  • Quality lighting
  • Pollution reduction
  • Emissions from materials used

Next Steps

The above guidelines are just the tip of the iceberg and there are profound solutions that you can put in place to make your building a market leader in green standards. Our experts have a strong reputation for successfully helping our retail, commercial and industrial property owners achieve green building standards, energy reduction and cost savings. It can be achieved by phasing in changes or introducing the entire picture at the start of a building project. Start now.

Did you find these tips helpful? Contact us at Energy Management Solutions now for a full consultation.