The 7th Annual Green Building Convention set to take place in Cape Town

Posted On Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:28 Published by
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The leading green building event in South Africa - the 7th Annual Green Building Convention brought to you by the Green Building Council of South Africa - is set to take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 10 – 12 September 2014.

Michael Pearce

2013 saw the world coming to Cape Town for the 6th Annual Green Building Convention, this year the GBCSA are focusing on Africa - bringing it home.

The aim is to highlight the richness and potential of the African continent and bring you speakers of South African origin who are pioneering the world in their own way as well as those who are working in this space on greater African soils.

One of the highlights on the South African property and sustainability calendar – the Green Building Convention, sponsored by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, is highly regarded for delivering an engaging programme by securing thought leaders from around the globe who deliver inspiration and insight into the latest green building and sustainability trends.

Already confirmed in this year's speaker line-up, and in keeping with the theme of focusing on our own continent, is Zimbabwean Architect Michael Pearce.

Committed to creating architecture that is appropriate to its surrounding environment and climate, Michael Pearce was the project architect on the well-known Eastgate development in Harare.

Completed in 1996, this major office and retail centre is entirely cooled by natural systems and makes fantastic use of passive design, a bold step away from the all-glass high-rise that is unsuitable to warm, tropical climates.

He has spent his career specialising in buildings which have low maintenance, low capital and running costs and make use of renewable energy systems, taking most of his inspiration from nature.

With Eastgate, Pearce looked to the termite mounds that dot the savannah of Zimbabwe. Like offices, these mud masterpieces have to maintain a certain constant temperature range throughout the day.

They do this by both exhausting hot air through the "chimneys" and simultaneously allowing cooler air to filter through the elevations and sink to the base of the mounds. Eastgate was, and still is, a fantastic success and set Pearce on a passionate architectural journey to enhance sustainability and diversity in the built environment.

Pearce then moved to Melbourne where he became city architect and led the design for the Council House Two (CH2) building, the Municipal Offices for Melbourne City Council.

Completed in 2006 and located in the central business district, the city wanted to showcase its agenda on sustainability by building and exemplar green building.

Following on from principles formed at Eastgate, the building responds to the natural, socio-cultural and economic environment of its specific location, mimicking the way nature's ecosystems are embedded and symbiotic with its surrounds.

The building was Australia's first 6 star Green Star rated building and is always held up as an iconic and pioneering green building. Pearce has now moved back to Harare, bringing his talent back home to African soils.

The 2014 programme will offer two days of selected keynote presentations and panel discussions. The successful Brainwave Stage from last year's convention is back, and will host short, TED-like presentations from the green building community.

This will all be enriched by an exhibition - created to encourage business to business opportunity, stimulate the green economy and inspire both our local and international colleagues.

The convention also offers optional pre-conference education courses and programmes as well as building tours of Green Star SA certified buildings. In addition, there are a number of social events surrounding the convention that are not to be missed.

The Green Building Convention provides outstanding networking opportunities with key decision-makers and industry professionals. Registration for this not-to-be-missed event is expected to open during the month of March.

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