an Impact

36th Corobrik Student Architecture Award finalists

Corobrik’s Student Architecture Awards provide a platform for architecture students to share their inspired ideas beyond the realm of academia.

The finalists for the 36th Corobrik Student Architecture Awards have been selected from South Africa’s eight major universities, based on their Architectural Master’s theses from the class of 2022. They are:

Francois Luc Groenewald, Tshwane University of Technology
Francois’ thesis ‘The Design of an Exploratorium at the Swartkop Air Force Base, Valhalla, South Africa’, sheds light on the unrecognised and forgotten narratives of our aviation history.

Cindy Langa, University of Johannesburg
Cindy’s project, ‘Broken Narratives and Blurred Recollections: [Re]Constructing Sharpeville’s Broken Memorial Landscape’, critiques the memorialisation of the Sharpeville massacre.

Kreolin Lyle Naicker, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Kreolin’s research, ‘An Exploration of Water Security through Architecture: Towards a Learning Centre in Durban’, aims to change our perception of water by means of a multisensory experience of the treatment process.

Luzuko Funda, Nelson Mandela University
Luzuko’s thesis, ‘The Design of Buildings for the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Fort Hare in East London’, aims to revitalise the city surrounding the campus.

Ané Meyer, University of the Free State
Ané’s project, ‘Ephemeral Skin: Towards a Reparational, Relational, and Respectful Engagement with the Temporal Environment’, explores the design of an algae research and manufacturing institute at Hartbeespoort Dam, which focuses on permanence and temporality in nature and the built form, growing and decaying with the landscape.

Katherine van Wyngaarden, University of Cape Town
Katherine’s thesis ‘Playful architecture – Constructing Sociality’ examines themes of playful architecture and how activated, adaptable and dynamic spaces are created by embracing the inherent instability of social space.

Melicia van Loggerenberg, University of Pretoria
Melicia’s mini-dissertation ‘Environment as a Cognitive Prosthesis’ highlights the lack of age-inclusive interventions in public and social environments, specifically pertaining to the growing elderly demographic.

Mia Pulles, University of the Witwatersrand
Mia’s project ‘Igniting the Heart(h): Resuscitating the Heritage of the Melville Koppies through Earth and
Fire Craft Production’ engages with the conservation and resuscitation of the Melville Koppies site in Johannesburg.

“We are very excited to celebrate the 36th edition of the awards. It has been an incredibly exciting and richly fulfilling journey,” says Corobrik Marketing Support Manager Thilo Sidambaram.

This year’s finalists will each receive a R10 000 prize and a chance to compete for the top title, plus a R70 000 grand prize, at an invitation-only event on Tuesday, 16 May 2023 at Langhams in Fourways, Johannesburg. To view the winning regional projects and to watch the awards live online on 16 May, visit

Making the world a better home

A leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain is striving to become carbon neutral by 2050. With the aim of sharing knowledge and accelerating global transformation in the construction sector, the company recently launched the Sustainable Construction Observatory.

A key component of the observatory is the first International Sustainable Construction Barometer – a study conducted by the CSA Institute with more than 800 participants (sector professionals, public officials, associations and students) from 10 countries.

The research results provides an overview of how sustainable construction is perceived worldwide in regard to global warming, the need to preserve natural resources, the demographic explosion and increasing urbanisation.

“The good news is that the first results show that sustainable construction is considered a priority by all parties in the main regions of the world. But we note that the full benefits of sustainable construction are not always considered and that the sector is not always clearly understood. We also identify the educational efforts to be made, the evidence to be provided and the action levers to be applied to convince the entire value chain of the need to accelerate,” explains Benoit Bazin, CEO of Saint-Gobain.

All the barometer findings can be found at

Shining example

Real Estate Investment Trust, Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), is committed to ensuring that around a quarter of its property portfolio’s total energy consumption comes from renewable sources by 2025.
In pursuit of this goal, L2D plans to increase solar capacity at Sandton City mall via a 1 MW installation, with another 0,3 MW PV addition destined for Nelson Mandela Square.

“Solar is a reliable, clean source of energy and a critical component to our Net Zero carbon 2030 strategy as well as our Good Spaces strategy,” says Brian Unsted, Asset Management Executive at Liberty 2 Degrees.

Currently, L2D is placing 4MW and 4.3MW solar power projects at Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg’s Eastgate Shopping Centre, respectively. These are predicted to reduce the properties’ environmental impact by 7 405 and 9 076 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

“Once the solar systems have been installed, operational costs will also be much lower compared to other forms of power generation,” says Unsted. “While the installation of solar power will not remove these two retail assets from the Eskom grid completely, it will reduce their reliance on the coal-generated electricity supply by a projected 36% for Midlands and 32% for Eastgate, simultaneously reducing exposure to above-inflationary increasing electricity tariffs.”

A section of the solar installation on the roof of Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg, currently underway.

GBCSA Workshop

EDGE Expert – Live Online

An EDGE Expert influences a client’s decision to design and build green, working closely with or within the design team. By using the EDGE software, an EDGE Expert provides a cost-benefit analysis of green concepts, systems and solutions that best match the client’s aspirations.

This one-day introduction to the EDGE tool and the benefits of EDGE certification teaches participants to quantify the value of passive and active design elements, determine which energy and water-saving systems and solutions are best for a particular location and climate, and measure the collective impact of design decisions on a project.

The live online workshop on 25 May 2023 offers access to the EDGE Expert accreditation with the IFC. After attending, participants receive a code that allows them access to the Prometric EDGE Expert exam and ultimately registration with the IFC. Anyone involved in the design and construction of South African residential projects should attend.

Visit for more.

Explorer Robert Swan is a plenary speaker at the 16th Green Building Convention on 15-17 November.

Leadership on the edge

The first person to have walked to the North and South poles, Robert Swan is an explorer, a leader in energy innovation, and founder of the 2041 Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preserving Antarctica as a natural reserve, a land for science and peace.

Swan has co-authored four books and has been a keynote speaker at all of the UN World Summits for Sustainable Development, the World Economic Forum, TED and the Corporate Eco Forum.

His contribution to education, energy innovation and environmental action has been recognised by the United Nations through his appointment as UNEP Goodwill Ambassador for Youth, Special Envoy to the Director General of UNESCO and a recipient of the UN Humanitarian Innovation Award.

Having experienced leadership and team cooperation in some of the world’s most hostile environments, Swan applies the leadership lessons he has learned to inspire bold management practices and effective communication styles.

Join our plenary speaker Robert Swan at the 16th Green Building Convention, 15-17 November 2023, at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town for his inspiring talk, ‘Leadership on the Edge’.