South Africa starts 'green building' construction

greem enviornment.gov.zaMinister of water and environmental affairs Edna Molewa (center) and other government officials at the 'green building' construction site. (Image source: www.environment.gov.za)Construction of a multi-billion rand ‘green building’ project to house South Africa's department of water affairs has begun in Pretoria

Environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa said, “Investment worth ZAR 8 billion (US$967.9 million) in the project is a bold step taken towards meeting our commitment to become a low-carbon economy.”

She claimed the office block would change the face of the construction industry in South Africa.

“Through this green building, we will set an example for other organisations and benefit the environment and future generations,” she said.

The building’s features will include rain water collectors made of recyclable materials, indigenous plants in the landscaping and occupants of the building will have direct access to sunlight and ventilation, thereby reducing the use of electricity and air conditioners.

Recent research has indicated that in South Africa, the building sector accounts for 23 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, while emissions from the manufacture of the major materials for the building sector amounted to around 18mt CO2 per year, or four per cent of total carbon emissions.

Imvelo Concession Company’s project leader Gugu Dingaan said the designers had paid attention to global trends to ensure that the building met all the requirements in terms of architectural design and landscape.

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