Green Building Council South Africa wins award for Green Street initiative

Posted On Friday, 06 December 2013 07:42 Published by
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The Green Building Council of South Africa is the winner in the Community Category of this year's Eskom eta Awards for their Green Street initiative in Cato Manor, Durban.

Brian WilkinsonThe award ceremony took place on 04 December 2013.

For the past 23 years the eta Awards have been rewarding excellence and exceptional effort in the more efficient use of energy by individuals, students, companies or other institutions and this year the awards recognised the efforts of the GBCSA in the Community category.

The historic township of Cato Manor in Durban was the location for South Africa's first 'Green Street' upgrade in a low-income area. Completed ahead of the COP17 international climate change talks in late 2011, thirty low-cost houses in a small cul-de-sac road received a green upgrade, otherwise known as a retrofit. 26 more houses were completed after COP 17.

It was the first comprehensive green street 'retrofit' in a low-income housing area in South Africa. "We wanted to demonstrate how green houses can contribute to a better quality of life and we have achieved this," says Sarah Rushmere, Special Projects Manager at the GBCSA.

"Some of the highlights and positive outcomes from the project include residents having hot water on tap for the first time through solar water heating; a saving of up to 27% off the cost of electricity; access to water through rainwater harvesting - with a knock on effect of food security through irrigation; improved thermal comfort through better insulation and ventilation; and less need for heating fuels like paraffin, coal and wood, which means reduced health problems and fire safety risks for these homes," explains Rushmere .

These houses also received energy efficient lighting in the home and LED street lights, insulation roof paint and ceilings, heat insulation cookers and other green interventions.

Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA says that it is testament to the success of the project that it has been recognised and awarded by Eskom's eta Awards. "We are pleased and proud to receive this accolade alongside the Cato Manor Green Street community. South Africa must increasingly move towards more energy efficient and sustainable practises and the GBCSA will continue to strive for influence over the built environment."

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