There is a growing consensus among experts in the built environment that there is a “regeneration gap”

Making an


There is a growing consensus among experts in the built environment that there is a “regeneration gap” in building and that we urgently need to expand our thinking on sustainability to thinking regeneratively when we look to the future of green building.

With buildings and their construction together accounting for 36% of global energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (UNEP), the built environment has a responsibility and the opportunity to shift to building holistic, data-driven, and renewal-focused spaces and places.

That is why the theme for the 15th Green Building Convention – The RE-Generation – is aimed at “shifting years” and focused on the regeneration needed in the built environment in this decade of accelerated climate action. It is about building a RE-Generation of people that move beyond sustainability to building regeneratively towards transforming the built environment for people and planet to thrive.

THE RE-GENERATION 2-4 November 2022 | Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town


By December 2022, non-residential buildings will be required by law to track and display an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). To obtain an EPC, a building owner will need to gather building information and contract a South African National Accreditation System inspection body to audit the information.
GBCSA Training Workshops for EPCs
• Green Building Insights EPC 1: Understanding the Application of EPC Standards for Buildings
Public and private sector building owners, and facilities managers responsible for data collection required for EPC auditing purposes should attend. Delegates explore South Africa’s energy landscape and legislation as it refers to EPC requirements.
• Green Building Insights EPC 2: Understanding EPC Inspection Body Accreditation Process
The collection of energy data in preparation for the EPC and the auditing of the energy data.

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The world’s tallest building constructed with hempcrete

A partnership between two Cape Town-based companies, Hemporium and Afrimat Hemp, 84 Harrington Street is setting the benchmark for how to build a safe, carbon-neutral, multi-story building using hemp.

“From a sustainability and eco-construction perspective, we wanted to take hemp construction in South Africa to the next level, while also contributing to the inspiring hemp construction projects being undertaken globally,” says Duncan Parker, founding partner and CEO, Hemporium.

There is a massive increase in the global demand for bio-based construction which is driven by the need for the reduction of CO₂ emissions. Hemp construction is considered the gold standard for CO₂ reduction in buildings. Afrimat Hemp is leading the way for a new era of carbon-neutral building materials and investing in a sustainable future in construction. They supplied the hempcrete blocks and building systems for 84 Harrington Street (as seen below).

The lower density of the hemp blocks reduces the load of the walls on the foundations and therefore the cost of concrete.

A global first, 84 Harrington Street is officially the world’s tallest building constructed using hempcrete blocks and hemp building materials.


Generation Equality is a campaign that links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender diversity by 2030. Several women have stood up to be counted.

One such outstanding woman is 32-year-old Kedibone Tsiloane, founder of Ramtsilo Manufacturing and Construction – a 100% black female-owned sustainable company. Ramtsilo provides waste management and recycling services for plastic pollution, which is used in the manufacturing of strong, durable and fire-retardant bricks.

“We are from the township and upon discussion with one of the waste collectors, we learnt that plastic waste collection in conjunction with the recycling of plastic has created a source of revenue for the unemployed. We began prototyping the use of plastic in brickmaking in 2016 and in 2017, and once we had a product that we were comfortable with, we took [it] for testing. The results were much better than we expected, and we formally went into market in 2019,” says Tsiloane.


The New Ashton Arch, South Africa’s first transversely launched concrete tied-arch bridge, clinched an award for Best Infrastructure Project greater than R100-million at the 2022 Fulton Awards, held every two years by the Cement & Concrete South Africa (CCSA). The project also received a commendation for Innovation and Invention in Concrete. The judges praised the New Ashton Arch for its “unique bridge engineering technique”.

AECOM, which entered the project on behalf of its client, the Western Cape Government’s Department of Transport and Public Works, was responsible for all engineering aspects, from road and bridge design to project and construction management. The main contractor was Haw & Inglis Civil Engineering.

Careful attention was paid to the materials selection and structural performance to ensure constructability of the larger concrete elements, while favouring important ESG goals like recycling. In this regard, the old bridge became part of the foundation of the new bridge. In terms of sustainability, the cementitious system adopted comprised 30% fly ash, which has a much lower embodied carbon content.

“A project like this reveals that our South African engineers can compete with the best in the world, which is very encouraging,” says AECOM Cape Town bridges team lead Abé Newmark.

A night view of the New Ashton Arch.

Stay cable installation at the New Ashton Arch.


The Ikusasa building in the Oxford Parks precinct in Rosebank has been awarded six stars by the GBCSA. The 6-Star Green Star SA Office V1.1 Design Certification from the GBCSA is considered as World Leadership status. In both its construction and operation, Ikusasa reduces water use, energy consumption, process waste and pollution.
To achieve a Green Star Net-Zero Carbon Level 1 score, Ikusasa generates all the energy required by the base building. This is achieved by harnessing renewable energy, with a solar photovoltaic system on the roof. Energy efficiency is enhanced through sub-metering, which tracks the main areas of consumption.

Ikusasa restaurant.