Close this search box.

Why the focus on minimum requirements? By Dash Coville, GBCSA Technical Manager – Special Projects

What is a Green Building and do minimum requirements within the V2 Tool help to deliver on this?

A green building is defined as a building that is energy-efficient, resource-efficient, and environmentally responsible, incorporating design, construction, and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and occupants.

The Green Building Council  South Africa is currently underway with an update to the Green Star New Build rating tool. This new V2 Green Star tool aims to achieve this green building definition through introducing a wider range of minimum requirements, covering a variety of key elements that lead to a building being comprehensively green. These minimum requirements will help to establish a level of consistency in the markets understanding of green, ensuring that all buildings seeking certification meet a minimum level of environmental performance.

Further to the above, the planned minimum level of environmental performance the Tool aims to achieve will lead to a building that  –

  • is responsibly designed and constructed
  • prioritises operational performance
  • supports health and wellbeing of the users
  • protects and conserves ecological value

The upcoming V2 Tool has new categories which include Responsible, Healthy, Resilient, Positive Places, People, Nature, and Leadership. These categories cover the range of important aspects of sustainable building design that we are used to from the current New Build tools, including management, indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions, and innovation. The current tools only have two minimum requirements, one for Energy and the other for Land Use and Ecology. The new tool will cover minimum requirements within each new category.

As before, the minimum requirements are only the starting point for a project seeking certification. Following on from here, projects will be able to push their sustainability agenda further through the clear guidance and updated benchmarks based on global best practice that the Tool will offer.

Some examples of the minimum requirements within each category are –

  • Responsible
    • Commissioning, Metering, Environmental Management and Waste Management
  • Healthy
    • Clean Air, Quality Lighting (artificial and natural), Reduction of exposure to toxins
  • Resilience
    • Climate change resilience (consideration of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change)
  • Positive
    • Minimum energy and water performance, Upfront Carbon assessment
  • Places
    • Contribution of Place (building’s design and provision of appropriate spaces makes a positive contribution to the quality of the public environment. )
  • Nature
    • Impact on nature (the building does not significantly impact on a site with high ecological value)

The development of the new tool is based on the Green Building Council of Australia’s tool, but has been adapted to the South African context to ensure its applicability. Considerations that have been made during this process include applicability to the South African context, ease of use and implementation, cost implications, global trends, as well as the overarching need to drive market transformation. The minimum requirements will drive this transformation without leaving anyone behind.

In conclusion, it is essential that when a project achieves a Green Star certification that the market knows that at a minimum the project can be considered a Green Building. The minimum requirements aim to ensure that this goal is met. And that we are Transforming Tomorrow.

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


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