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Aurecon wins top achievements at recent Green Building Convention

Aurecon claimed the top spot for the consulting company with the highest number of Green Star Rated Buildings in South Africa.

Aurecon received multiple recognitions at the recent Green Building Convention

01 November 2017 - Aurecon claimed the top spot for the consulting company with the highest number of Green Star Rated Buildings in South Africa.

This was announced at the recent 10th Annual Green Building Convention, which took place from 9 to 11 October in Cape Town, South Africa. Aurecon has provided Environmental Sustainable Design (ESD) and related engineering solutions for 45 buildings each over the past decade. WSP was also announced as the joint winner of this award, having also certified 45 buildings.

Aurecon Environmental Sustainable Design Specialist, Kyra Rautenbach, was also announced as the Runner Up for the Accredited Professional with the Best Quality submission for Wierda Gables, a commercial office development in Sandton, Gauteng.

“Aurecon provides the full gamut of ESD and engineering services and has worked on iconic green projects throughout South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. The success of Aurecon’s ESD team, which consists of individuals with diverse qualifications and experience in the building industry, can be attributed to a deep understanding of the technical requirements of various rating tools, the processes involved in seamlessly embedding sustainable strategies, and a commitment to helping clients drive their sustainability agendas,” says Rautenbach.

“Aurecon has developed tools and quality systems to ensure submissions are optimised and delivered for our clients. As a silver founding member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), we have a deep knowledge of the meticulous preparation of design documentation that need to be submitted to the Council. We work closely with our clients’ project teams to look at ways that value can be added at every opportunity. A holistic approach to understanding the problem from multiple angles, as well as from both the occupant and stakeholder perspectives, is what helps us design future-proofed, sustainable buildings.”

Trends in and insights on the future of green buildings

Aurecon was awarded the top spot for the consulting company with the highest number of Green Star Rated Buildings in South Africa

Martin Smith Technical Director and National Green Building Design Leader and Yovka Raytcheva-Schaap, an Associate from Aurecon’s Buildings Unit accepted the award for the highest number of Green Star Rated Buildings in South Africa on behalf of Aurecon’s ESD team. Raytcheva-Schaap says that engineering consultancies will have to approach ESD from a much broader viewpoint than the traditional goal of environmental protection to stay relevant in today’s marketplace.

“For many property developers and tenants, sustainability encapsulates much more than green building initiatives. A truly sustainable building must extend to address social responsibility and equity, as well as commercial and economic performance. The future of green buildings rests in designs and changes that clients can’t afford not to implement,” says Raytcheva-Schaap.

Technology, big data, and the growth of the millennial workforce are also impacting the trends in green buildings. The industry is currently moving towards the regenerative paradigm where people are seen as an integral part of nature and not just users of various ecosystem services.ESD consultants also have to ensure that there is technological alignment that supports the environmental targets of sustainable buildings.

Smart buildings have sensors and digital infrastructure that provides real-time data about changes in utilities and even the comfort levels of occupants. This puts building owners and facilities managers in a proactive position by having access to the insights they need to continually optimise their building’s performance. ESD consultants will increasingly have to consider these needs and appropriate tools during the concept phase of a project,” says Raytcheva-Schaap.

Martin Smith, Technical Director - Buildings, Gauteng, says that another trend is influenced by millennials’ inspired attention towards health and wellness, which creates an environment that is ripe for research and innovation. 

“Certifications that are focused on encouraging initiatives to prioritise health and wellness in their facility investments is a major trend at the moment. The new Discovery head office in Sandton is a great example of what can be achieved when occupant wellbeing is at the heart of sustainable design,” says Smith.

Looking towards nature as a ‘mentor, model and measure’

The regenerative approach that is used in designing sustainable buildings and cities is rooted in an overarching strategy that looks towards nature as a ‘mentor, model and measure’. This approach continues to gain momentum in the industry and can be seen in a number of certification initiatives and performance standards, including the Net Zero Pilot certification that was recently launched by the GBCSA, the Living Building Challenge, and the permaculture design approach, which are all largely focused on the integration and mimicking of natural processes.

“Staying ahead of the curve in terms of trends, changes in consumer demands and digital technology has helped Aurecon to continue to provide world-class, award-winning solutions. As a company, we have been involved in GBCSA certifications for 10 years and it was rewarding to learn that we were involved in so many of South Africa’s Green Star Rated buildings. We would also like to congratulate the visionary clients that we’ve partnered with to achieve these great results,” comments Phil Hendriks, Aurecon Managing Director - Clients, Africa.

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