Outside of my office today, a weed-eater is humming a doleful tune in the driveway, as if to create the soundtrack for what has turned out to be a grey-clouded afternoon. Nevertheless, I’m sitting inside at my desk writing this note to you, while eating a chocolate marshmallow easter egg (it’s actually my first one of the season but, let’s be honest, it won’t be my last).
I’m pondering over new life, beginnings, seasons, change; and all the things that easter eggs are supposed to represent. This time in 2020, South Africa was in the middle of a hard lockdown due to the world having just plunged into a devastating pandemic. It has been a challenging year in so many ways, but also a year of unusual innovation. Many businesses were forced to reinvent themselves, to pivot, to adjust. It has been a year in which the necessity to be more sustainable and resilient has laid itself out starkly, and many have risen to the challenge. Many have decided to build back better.
In this issue of +Impact Magazine, we explore what it means to be ‘green by design’.
The new home of the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking (d-school) at UCT demonstrates a meeting of conceptual collaborative thinking and structural form. Collaborative workshops were held with various stakeholders, in order to make sure the building design really served all of its required functionality. These ideas have come to life in a dynamic steel and glass structure which curls itself over the inside spaces like a cloud. Furthermore, the building is targeting a 6-Star Green Star PEB Design rating, showing that ‘green’ can be highly innovative too.
Being green doesn’t always mean starting right from the beginning of a building’s design. Liberty Two Degrees recently Green Star certified their entire portfolio of retail centres showing that it is possible for existing buildings to be retrofitted and reinvented into greener ones. With a prestigious retail centre such as Sandton City achieving a 6-Star EBP rating, others are sure to follow suit (holding thumbs).
Balwin & Boogertman+Partners ‘green barn’ lifestyle centres are a striking design addition Balwin’s Green Collection residential developments. With plans to target 6-Star Green Star ratings for all these developments, I wonder how this will influence the residential development space, and whether it will encourage other developers to pursue ambitious green goals too.
We also feature a discussion of the role of lighting in green buildings which expands on the influence of technology on design, and a review of the Energy Performance Certificate regulations – an important development for all property owners.
Last, but certainly not least, I wish to you a happy easter holiday period (whatever the significance of the holiday is for you). May the change come easy as you glide into the second quarter of 2021 (and a new season).