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The value of certifying an interior fitout as a Green Star rated space

Roxanne Dovey is a Green Star Accredited Professional (AP) across all the tools offered by GBCSA, an assessor and a member of the GBCSA Academy. Roxanne shares her insight on the Green Star Interiors Tool and the value of getting an interior space Green Star rated.

We have all had to undergo changes to our daily life due to COVID-19. Some of the positive results of those changes, were remarkable improvements to our air quality, which illustrates that if we make changes in our way of working and living, we can yield great environmental impacts. BUT it requires a lot of work, which requires time – and time is money – and this is one of the reasons why we tend to see ‘sustainability’ being placed at the bottom of the priority list.

However, we are starting to see a shift in the way of thinking as the new generation considers where to work, shop and play based on the indoor environment and sustainability commitments of the building owner or tenant. They are seeking places that are designed with mindful use of limited resources or eventual reuse which reduces waste and the need for remodels.

More and more people are becoming aware of their surroundings and therefore are seeking places that protects their health and wellbeing through design that prevents indoor air pollution and is visually, thermally and acoustically comfortable to be in. Employees and business owners on the other hand want their employees, tenants or customers to be productive and healthy to ensure reduced sick days, longer rental agreements or continuous returns to their retail store.

There is increased pressure for building owners or tenants to demonstrate how they are contributing positively towards society and therefore they are becoming more conscious of the operational savings which benefit their investment and in turn benefit the environment. The latter may also assist with any sustainability reporting they may be required to do. When the latter objectives are required to be met, we tend to look to the experts who have done the extensive training and have the knowledge of why, how, who and what we need to achieve those positive impacts associated to the objectives.

Let’s take a quick high-level look at the why, what, who and how to achieve the sustainability objectives:

WHY?

This can be broken down into two parts:

  1. Why use a Rating Tool? The rating tool provides locally contextualised best practice standards that encourages the property industry to align with these standards.
  2. Why should the Interior fitout be rated? As with most things in life, consumers, employees, employers etc. want verification that you are qualified in what you do or want verification that your business is doing what it claims to be doing. Without certification, the property can say that they are ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’, but how does one verify that? This is where APs come in, as we guide the project team to ensure that the standards are met and that these standards are then independently verified and rated through the certification body that is the GBCSA.

WHAT?

This section addresses what information is available and what we can use to assist with achieving the objectives and ensuring that a benchmark is set. The Green Star Interiors Rating tool which addresses fundamental principles associated to the health and wellbeing of the occupants through indoor environmental quality, comfort (thermal, light, visual, acoustic, ergonomics), emissions, and addresses the operational efficiencies through resource management and conservation and material saving initiatives. It also addresses other principles such as knowledge transfer, connection to nature (indoor plants) and transport.

WHO?

The parties involved will be the client (tenant, developer, owner, etc.), the relevant professional(s) from the interiors fitout team and the APs. GBCSA is the independent certification body.

HOW?

The Green Star AP who has specialised in the Green Star Interiors Tool works with the Project Team and client to determine the Green Star Strategy to ensure that the fundamental principles are implemented and that an overall Green Star Rating of either a 4, 5 or 6 Star is achieved. Once this is done, the AP will then submit all the required evidence and documentation to GBCSA who will then issue it to an independent Auditor who will verify the achieved Green Star Rating.

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.

Organisational categories

As an organisational member, you will fall into one of the below categories, and be charged according to specific size indicators. Please reach out to us for any further clarity on which category is best for your organisation

Property Developers

Annual Turnover

Investors, Owners, Property Managers

Total Asset Value

Major Corporate Tenants & Retail

Annual Gross Rentals

Building Contractors

Annual Turnover

Building Product Manufacturers & Distributors

Annual Turnover

Professional Services: Architects, Designers, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, PM’s, Consultants, Legal

Number of employees

Research, Higher Education, NGO’S & Regulators

NGO or Research/Higher Education/ Regulators

Related Interests: Utilities, Financial, Insurance, etc.

Annual Turnover

Government

Local/ municipal/ provincial/ state 
Contact GBCSA to confirm your category