South Africa's top green building achievements honoured

Carin Smith

Cape Town - Hotel Verde in Cape Town came out tops in the Green Star SA Leadership Awards 2015 at the annual Green Building Convention in Cape Town.

The hotel, with its 6-Star Green Star SA existing building performance (EBP) rating, has some of the most advanced, environmentally conscious technological installations, construction methods, procurement and operational practices of any hotel in the country, according to Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).

The annual Green Star SA Leadership Awards, sponsored by Old Mutual Property, has four categories. For buildings, there are the Highest Rated Building and Best Quality Submission awards, while individual professionals are recognised as either a Rising Green Star or an Established Green Star.

Hotel Verde was the winner in the Highest Rated building category for its EBP pilot tool rating. It is owned by Mario Delicio, with Andre Harms from Ecolution as the project’s "accredited professional" (AP).

The runner up in this category was the Upper Grayston Building in Sandton Central, Johannesburg. It is owned by the Tower Property Fund and its APs were Annelidé Sherrat and Marloes Reinink of Solid Green.

The best quality submission award went to Solid Green’s Dash Coville, for his work as the green building AP on the Monte Circle Building A development owned by Abland. The runner up in this category was Sally Misplon for her work as the green building AP on the Gatehouse Building - owned by Redefine Properties - at Black River Park in Observatory, Cape Town.

Alison Groves of WSP was awarded the Established Green Star, acknowledging her outstanding and ongoing contribution to green building in South Africa. Jaco Kemp of Arup was the runner up in this category.

Mauritz Kruger of RHDVH was named this year’s Rising Green Star and Nick Gorrie of Agama was the category’s runner up.

“Our convention this year aimed to inspire better buildings, and this is exactly what our leading building professionals and projects are achieving," said Wilkinson. "These winners are at the forefront of making a difference in the built environment. They are leading by example in the greening and sustainability space.”

Regional manager for Old Mutual Property Faieda Jacobs said the breadth and quality of entries submitted prove there are many corporates out there starting to come on board.

In 2009 the GBCSA awarded SA’s first green certification. By April 2014 the country celebrated 50 Green Star SA ratings and, to date, the number of Green Star SA ratings has nearly tripled to 140 certified projects.

"Having achieved 100 certifications in April this year, we have been overwhelmed by the commercial property sector’s commitment to sustainability and resource efficiency,” said Wilkinson.