Commercial buildings are more than just places where people work – they are an essential part of the surrounding community.

To highlight the importance of sustainable communities, the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA)has launched a Green Star communities rating tool – the first of its kind in South Africa.

A new system for a new way of working and living

There was a time when green buildings were unusual in South Africa, with one or two innovative developments standing out in the crowd. Today, the situation has changed – and entire areas are embracing environmental sustainability.

To reflect this new approach to building, working, and living, the GBCSA has adapted the system used by Green Star in Australia to assess the building, planning, and design of precincts, neighbourhoods and communities.

Recognition for sustainable communities

The GBCSA will assess each community or precinct according to several criteria. These include:

  • Providing diverse, inclusive and affordable residential, commercial and entertainment spaces
  • Reducing the community’s ecological footprint through sustainable buildings and services
  • Showing leadership in community organisation and sustainability
  • Achieving value for money through whole-cost-of-life savings
  • Promoting business innovation, diversity and economic development

South Africa’s history of social inequalities and an economy dependent on mining and heavy industry are in the process of changing – and green communities can become this change.

By rewarding communities where all people can live, work, and thrive together, the Green Star certification will set a new benchmark in planning, building, and community management. A community that districts all over South Africa should be keen to follow.

Green Star launches with 14 pilot projects in the works

The new Green Star communities certification may be just a few months old, but 14 projects from across SA are already being assessed.

Eight of the projects are already being considered for certification, with the Western Cape being well-represented by the Garden Cities development in Sunningdale, now in its 13th phase.

As entire communities embrace sustainable working and living practices on a planning, building, and everyday management level, the GBCSA’s new certification couldn’t come at a better time.

If you would like to view a range of environmentally sustainable commercial properties, contact us today. Our team is on hand to assist you.