Shaping a Net-Zero future

Presented by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), the 2023 Advancing Net Zero (ANZ) Status Report highlights the collective efforts of 35 Green Building Councils, the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment signatories, partners and the wider GBC network to decarbonise the built environment.

The ANZ Status Report showcases examples of current industry collaboration and actions towards accelerating this objective at local, regional and global levels. In July, the UN High Level Climate Champions announced that a critical tipping point had been reached as 20% of key actors from the building and construction sector had joined the Race to Zero. Read more about this achievement at, and the fifth edition of the ANZ status report at

2023 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards

High-quality and sustainable infrastructure development is crucial for driving socioeconomic development in South Africa. Now in its 51st year, the Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Awards celebrate innovation, outstanding workmanship and professionalism in the consulting engineering industry. The winners were announced at a ceremony, hosted in partnership with sponsors Aon South Africa, on 16 August in Midrand.

Among those taking top honours were:
Projects with a Value Less Than R50 million category:
Naidu Consulting, MSW Consulting JV; Tongaat Water Treatment Works Emergency Remediation Works for eThekwini Municipality

Projects with a Value Between R50 million and R250 million category:
Zutari; Square Kilometre Array Meerkat Extension for the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)

Projects with a Value Between R250 million and R1 billion category:
KBK Engineers; N1 Musina Ring Road for the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral)
Business Excellence: BVi Consulting Engineers
Small/Medium Company of the Year: Koleko Solutions
Mentor of the Year: Herman Cronje, SMEC South Africa
Young Engineer of the Year: Mareli Botha, Zutari

Ground-breaking development

Merging sustainability with innovative design, Africa’s first biophilic building – in Cape Town’s Upper Bree Street – is set to undergo construction. The 24-storey mixed-use development, named The Fynbos, is currently undergoing Green Star accreditation.

As part of an innovative urban project conceptualised by the project’s developers, Lurra Capital, before becoming reclaimed building materials, the existing derelict building on site was given a new lease on life, and turned into Cape Town’s first-ever curated pop-up urban street art gallery, showcasing over 1 000 artworks by 120 invited graffiti artists.

According to development managers Gardner Property Solutions, who are working with Lurra Capital in the development of The Fynbos building, water conservation measures will include low-flow fittings, well-point filtration, and a sophisticated rainwater harvesting system, integrated into the unique, cantilevered balcony design. Integrated PV solar panels will generate double the electricity quota needed to power the common areas, and a central heated water system allows for economies of scale and avoids individual geysers. Expansive double-glazed windows and glass sliding doors will allow abundant natural light in, thus reducing the amount of energy spent on heating in winter.

The exterior of The Fynbos will be draped in a 1 200m2 vertical garden of indigenous trees and shrubs, offering a natural layer of insulation. Added to this, a waterfall at the front reception of the building will provide white noise for the building’s inhabitants. This circular waterfall, set amid the lush, flowing foliage of The Fynbos, is the starting point of a unique water feature that will run from Buitengracht to Bree Street.

Once complete, The Fynbos will feature residential apartments, a rooftop sunset terrace with a lap pool and co-working space, a rooftop fitness centre, and a ground-floor plant-based restaurant, tearoom and botanical bar. Visit for more.

The biophilic concept at The Fynbos integrates nature into its urban setting, benefiting both the external and internal environments.


According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a third of global food production depends on bees as pollinators – but they are increasingly threatened by human activity, habitat loss, pesticides, air pollution and climate change.

Since 2020, South African real estate investment trust Emira has installed 16 beehives at eight of its properties in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Emira CEO Ulana van Biljon says: “Our bee conservation project is a holistic approach to reducing the impact of environmental degradation, which goes beyond planting trees.”

The first hives were installed in 2020 in the heart of the Bryanston business node and Hyde Park Lane in Sandton, in locations with an abundance of flowering plants.

The beehives are managed in a safe, controlled environment, away from heavy foot traffic and clearly sign-posted, while beekeeping activities take place at night.

The honey collected from Emira’s various properties all taste unique.

Night-time beekeeping.

The beehives are clearly sign-posted.
Ulana van Biljon, Chief Operating Officer of Emira Property Fund.

Y/OUR Space

Africa’s leading green building gathering, the Green Building Convention brings together industry leaders, experts and change-makers in the field of sustainable development, all focused on creating a better future for people and planet.

Among this year’s line-up of esteemed plenary speakers, you can expect to see Marcela Guerrero Casas, Dr Stanley Liphadzi and Gabriel Klaasen.

Marcela Guerrero Casas, co-founder, Local South

Unlocking the Potential of Public Space

By providing green areas, essential amenities, trading opportunities and safe spaces for social interaction, public spaces serve as a catalyst for sustainable development.

Marcela Guerrero Casas is the co-founder of Local South, a dynamic social enterprise committed to building sustainable and liveable cities in the Global South. With her profound expertise and extensive experience, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the urban landscape in both her hometown of Bogotá, Colombia, and her current base in South Africa.

As part of her talk, Marcela will explore the various strategies and innovative interventions that can be employed to maximise the potential of public space, with a particular focus on working collaboratively with communities at the neighbourhood level.

Drawing from her extensive background in policy and advocacy, Marcela will share successful case studies that demonstrate the transformative power of neighbourhood-level engagement. From temporary road closures for economic activities to leveraging the value created through partnerships between local government and the private sector, her insights will empower attendees to take practical steps toward creating vibrant and inclusive urban environments.

Dr Stanley Liphadzi, Group Executive Manager, Water Research Commission

Improving Living Spaces Through Innovative Solutions in a Water-scarce Environment

Renowned expert in the field of water and sanitation, Dr Stanley Liphadzi brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as the Group Executive Manager of the Water Research Commission and Adjunct Professor at the University of Venda. With a focus on producing new knowledge and innovation for the water and sanitation sector, Dr Liphadzi has made significant contributions to improving living conditions in water-scarce environments.

During his presentation, Dr Liphadzi will discuss the pressing concerns of water and energy insecurity faced by communities and businesses in South Africa and other developing countries. Driven by a commitment to authentic and transformational leadership, he will shed light on the ground-breaking research and development efforts led by the Water Research Commission to address these challenges.

Gabriel Klaasen, Communications Co-ordinator, Project 90 by 2030

Engaging the Relationship Between People and Public Space

A passionate Intersectional Justice activist and a driving force in the realm of sustainable development, Gabriel Klaasen is the Communications Coordinator for Project 90 by 2030 and a Programme Manager for the African Climate Alliance.

Gabriel’s dedication to sustainable development is truly exceptional. Their recognition as one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2021, specifically in the Environmental category, underscores their influential contributions to our world.

In this session, Gabriel will unpack the intricate dynamics that define the relationship between people and public spaces in South Africa, delving into both historical context and present-day realities, and offering a comprehensive understanding of this ever-evolving relationship. Gabriel’s engaging talk will venture beyond analysis, exploring how collective efforts and collaborative thinking can reshape the design and purpose of public spaces.

Join the GBCSA’s 16th Green Building Convention, 15-17 November 2023, at Cape Town’s Century City Conference Centre.

Regular registration closes on 10 November 2023 – make sure to secure your space!