The GBCSA is pleased to announce that André Theys has been appointed deputy chairman ofthe board. Andre is the Executive Manager: Operations at the V&A Waterfront and has served on the board of the GBCSA since 2017. “André is a board stalwart and always raises his hand first when practical support for GBCSA is requested. He has demonstrated keen strategic insight and a strong commitment to the sustainability agenda, on the board and through his work,” says Lisa Reynolds, GBCSA CEO. With Theys in this important role, the GBCSA looks forward to making great green strides toward transforming the built environment for people and planet to thrive.
Tétris Design and Build South Africa has formalised a new executive team to lead the growth of the global interior architecture firm in its Sub-Saharan African operations. Emma Luyt, founder of Tétris, has moved into a position on
the global board and will now manage a hub that includes the Netherlands, UK, Brazil, Morocco and South Africa. Sarene Nel is the new Managing Director.
EAPs REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED
Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAPs) have been granted an extension to 8 August 2022 to register with the
Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa. After the deadline, unregistered EAPs will not
be permitted to hold primary responsibility for the planning, management, co-ordination or review of environmental
impact assessments and environmental management programmes.
AIR QUALITY IN 2022
According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is one of the biggest threats to human health next to climate change. In September 2021, the global organisation revised its air quality guidelines, reducing levels of key pollutants, warning that exceeding the new air quality guidelines is associated with “significant risk to health”.
“We associate South Africa with beautiful, clear air, but the fact is that many of us are going to work every day and breathing in air that is unsafe. Building regulations are designed to minimum standards, but employers should be looking to maximise the air quality, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because of the very clear benefits that come with improved air quality,” says Edward Hector, MD at SFI Group.
SUSTAINABILITY GROWS IN EAST AFRICA
The focus on sustainability in building design and construction is set to become sharper over the next 12 months, according to leading East African architecture and engineering practice FBW Group. FBW is calling for more work to create the circular economy in Africa and says that the issue will have an increasing impact on building design and construction, not just regionally but globally. The Group believes a continuing focus on sustainable design and the increased use of locally sourced African materials is vital moving forward.
The African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) have approved a combined-equity
investment of $20-million in the AfricaGoGreen Fund. It is a debt fund established to promote private investments
in energy-efficient technologies and business models. The new investments come on top of a $11.5-million equity contribution approved by the Nordic Development Fund at the end of last year.
It has also been reported that Rwanda is to receive a $12.5-million grant from Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), a German development agency, to support its Kigali Green City project. The sustainable urban development project will be built on land near the Rwandan capital. FBW is a major player in the region’s construction sector. It has operated in East Africa for more than 25 years, working on high-profile infrastructure projects enabled and driven by international investment. MD Paul Moores says: “When it comes to the circular economy, in construction that means a focus on more reliable, locally sourced products, created out of natural and traditional African materials. Apart from clay and stone products these could be bioplastics or natural fibre boards.
“Added to that is the need to drive the industry towards recycling products on a larger scale, even including something as basic as using reclaimed products in concrete.” He believes the will is there to do better and adds: “Businesses want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment and the construction sector must rise to that challenge.
“It means a continuing emphasis on sustainable design and construction strategies. The challenge begins during
the design stage and the work needed to reduce embodied carbon in buildings.” FBW Group is committed to sustainability and ecological considerations in its building designs. It has gained a wealth of practical experience in the design and delivery of sustainable building solutions and is a member of the Kenyan Green Building Society, which is part of the World Green Building Council.
It is also a champion of the EDGE green building certification system. The Kenyan government has declared that all affordable housing development projects under the nation’s “Big Four” agenda must meet the EDGE standard. FBW’s work to create a green campus for the International School of Kigali in Rwanda is an example of that sustainable approach – from its natural ventilation to the products used in construction.
The project will use locally made, eco-friendly brickwork, fired through a low embodied carbon technique.
35TH COROBRIK STUDENT REGIONAL WINNER
A thesis that centres around how humanity has positioned itself with modern technology and how this manifests through the typology of the power station has seen Enrico Pescivolo from the University of the Witwatersrand declared a regional winner in the 2022 Corobrik Student Architecture Awards. Entitled “Obsoles[s]ence: Recharting humanity’s
relationship with technology through the adaptive reuse of the Kelvin Power Station”, Pescivolo’s thesis aims to transform the symbolism of the power station from “that of environmental destruction and the flawed modern technological attitude towards a symbol of innovation and recharted technological attitudes for the future, building off of the errors of the past”. This idea is reinforced dealing with decommissioned power stations, when considering their adaptive reuse as the end of an era of obsolete technology and attitudes birthing the beginning of a new.