The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) and the World Green Building Council have worked together to create a new framework enables socio-economic issues to be integrated into any green building rating system in the world.
The new criterion is designed to recognise the socio-economic issues that are relevant in developing countries such as South Africa and allow green buildings to consider not only sustainability issues but also socio-economic sustainability.
Under the framework socio-economic achievements of new buildings and significant retrofits will be acknowledged and rewarded under Green Star SA tools. It will run as a separate and optional category for which projects can be assessed alongside their standard Green Star SA certifications.
GBCSA has already certified its first project under the new framework. The Karl Bremer Office Block in Cape Town is a 5-Star Green Star SA rated building that achieved its SEC Pilot rating by addressing and incorporating issues such as economic opportunity, job creation and skills development.
“Our property sector is truly becoming a growing force for good in South Africa, not only for the environment but also for people and business too. Societal challenges such as poverty, unemployment, lack of education and skills, and health can all be addressed, at least to some degree, through the way we design, build and operate buildings,” Brian Wilkinson, CEO of GBCSA.