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GBCSA leads the way in the journey to net zero buildings

The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) yesterday announced the official launch of its Net Zero Programme and the certification of the first four projects under its Net Zero Pilot Certification scheme.

The GBCSA is one of 14 green building councils participating in the World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero project, which aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050.

Net zero carbon buildings are defined as highly energy efficient buildings, with remaining energy demand supplied by on-site and/or off-site renewable sources, or through offsets.

The GBCSA has gone a step further by launching its Net Zero Certification scheme, which rewards projects for completely neutralising (Net Zero) or positively redressing (Net Positive) their environmental impacts under four categories: carbon, water, waste and ecology . Net Zero certification is awarded over and above any Green Star certification a project already has.

The first four projects to be certified as Net Zero under the pilot programme in South Africa are the Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre in Midrand, Gauteng, which is net zero rated in both carbon and ecology; Estuaries Plaza in Century City, Cape Town, which is net zero water; and Greenfields Industrial Park in Cape Town and Two Dam Sustainable in Montagu in the Western Cape, which are both net zero carbon.

GBCSA CEO, Dorah Modise, says ”By launching the net zero programme, the GBCSA has set a new frontier for property owners and tenants to be rewarded for going even further along their sustainability journey – now property owners and investors can be recognised for being net zero or net positive carbon, water, waste and ecology. We are thrilled to already have four projects that have achieved certification under this new programme in the pilot phase.”

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “We’re excited to see GBC South Africa officially launch its Net Zero Programme, which includes certification, training and advocacy for net zero carbon, water, waste and ecology in buildings. The work our Green Building Councils are undertaking through the Advancing Net Zero project will change the way the world’s buildings perform”

“South Africa is one of the global leaders in green buildings, and this Net Zero Programme will certainly contribute to continuing this trajectory. We urge and challenge property owners and investors to reimagine how they design, build and operate their buildings by aiming to be net zero carbon, and working with the GBCSA to do so.”

All participating green building councils are creating specialised training for green building professionals and will be supporting the development of net zero carbon demonstration projects in their countries.

Training in South Africa kicked off in July and the recently certified Net Zero projects were showcased at the Green Building Convention taking place in Cape Town this week.

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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