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GBCSA Academy AP Spotlight: Lizeri van der Berg

Lizeri van der Berg works for Rabie Property Group as a Junior Project Manager. She recently achieved her status as a Green Star New Buildings and Major Refurbishments Accredited Professional and completed the EDGE Expert training with the GBCSA Academy.

She holds a BSc Honours degree in Construction Management and a BSc in Construction from the University of Cape Town.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I love the fact that every day is different. Being a project manager means you have new ‘problems’ to solve on a daily basis, and you deal with a multitude of people.

The best is when you can stand back at the end of a project and be able to say, ‘I was part of THAT’.

Which projects are you most proud of working on?

This is a tricky question considering my short time as a working professional (not considering my work during my student years).

Currently, I would say the main two developments I am working on – PineworX and the recently launched Nine Palms. It has been amazing seeing PineworX rise out of the ground (it’s currently under construction) and I cannot wait to see the individual units taking shape. Nine Palms will start construction towards the latter part of 2022 and we are rounding off the design stage. I am extremely excited to be working on Nine Palms as we are aiming to achieve EDGE accreditation, giving me first-hand experience in the process.

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

This is a tricky question as my professional career started a mere 6 months ago. That being said, I am extremely proud of how I’ve grown as a project manager and the experience I’ve gained under Rabie. I am also really proud that I am continuing to pursue my studies and qualifications in the sustainable sector of the construction industry.

What set you on your current career path? 

I remember sitting in the UCT lecture room listening to the open-day presentation for the BSc Construction Studies course, and it just felt right (after joining that presentation session on a random suggestion). I didn’t understand it, but I knew it was meant to be.

Later I came to realise that my parents had a big influence due to my upbringing. I love to say I grew up in 3 places, the kitchen, the garden, and the garage. My parents taught me to use my hands, whether cooking or using power tools. I was never held back due to my age or gender. This gave me a deep love of seeing things being made out of nothing. I always knew I needed to do something that embodied this.

I ended up doing engineering and graphic design (EDG) at school which taught me to read architectural drawings and the deeper workings of residential structures. The EDG came naturally to me and ended up helping immensely in my first year at varsity.

Once I reached my 3rd year at UCT we started exploring sustainability in construction. That sparked a flame in me and I ended up doing everything I could to learn more to carve my path in construction sustainably.

Who or what have been the strongest influences guiding your professional life?

Ann-Marie Ellmann was one of my lecturers at UCT and the person who introduced me to sustainability in construction.

Which has been more valuable in your career, your education, or your experience and why?

I can honestly say there is no choice as my education was such a strong springboard for my career path. It set the foundations for me to be able to obtain my current position. My experience is also invaluable as it is moulding me into the professional I want to be.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your professional career?

I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint one big lesson. I am a sponge, trying to soak up any and all information, knowledge, and lessons from everyone I work with. Suffice it to say, every day is a new lesson. You are never too old or experienced to learn.

How has the industry changed since you started?

Without sounding like a broken record, I must say Covid had a big impact. I am however extremely excited to see how the industry is adapting to incorporate the lessons learned during the pandemic.

What do you think are the changes needed for the industry to reach its sustainability goals?

Everyone should endeavour to pursue sustainability. The industry needs to have a mental shift away from the traditional way of thinking and staring into the brick wall which is money. There are so many solutions available, all it takes is a little bit of ‘out-of-the-box thinking. If everyone does their individual part, the impact will compound and grow exponentially.

What advice do you have for someone new to the green sustainable built environment sector?

I would like to point out that this sector is open to everyone. So many people have the capability to contribute to making the industry more sustainable.

Take the leap, join the sector, and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of this industry to change it for the better.

Individual Membership

Designed for professionals acting in their individual capacity, including single consultant-businesses.

Organisational Membership

Ideal for companies, government departments, and organisations.

  • Total Employees: 1 - 5 Employees - R 4080.00
  • Total Employees: 6 - 20 Employees - R 12570.00
  • Total Employees: 21 - 50 Employees - R 24690.00
  • Total Employees: 51 Plus Employees - R 43840.00

Lisa Reynolds

Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Lisa Reynolds is the CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa.

Lisa was the driver for the drafting of Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations for Buildings and has been involved in Energy Efficiency since 2003. She serves on many committees in the SABS and within the energy management professionals’ space. She was President of the SAEEC from 2016 to 2019 and was the previous President of the ESCo (Energy Services Companies) Association. Lisa was instrumental in the formation of SAFEE (Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency) within SAEEC.

She has assisted the South African Government with its Green Building Framework policies, Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives and Energy Efficiency Strategies

Her passion for the “Green space” started with the birth of the Green Building Council in 2007. Lisa served on the Board and the Technical Committee of the GBCSA, as well as on several Technical Working Groups for Rating Tools and Criteria. Lisa. became CEO in June 2020.

Lisa has a BSc, an MBA and a CEM. Lisa’s awards include the 2007 ETA Award for Women, 2008 Individual Energy (SAEE), 2012 SABS Standards Writer Award; the 2014 Women in Energy (SAWIEN); and the 2016 Ian Lane Hall of Fame award.

Lisa is committed to growing the Green Economy within a Green Recovery.

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