GBCSA, ASAQS and UP launch the 2019 edition of Green Building in South Africa: Guide to Costs & Trends

GBCSA, ASAQS and UP launch the 2019 edition of Green Building in South Africa: Guide to Costs & Trends

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS), and the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology recently launched the 2019 edition of Green Building in South Africa: Guide to Costs & Trends. It is the second publication following the 1st edition that was issued in 2016. The document provides interesting trends and valuable insights about the influence of green design and construction on both capital and operational costs.

The guide is available in electronic format and it will be of great benefit to the built environment. The thorough, peer-reviewed research and presentation of the results make it a one-of-a-kind publication on an international level,” says Karl Trusler, Edutech Director at ASAQS.

Challenging the notion of the ‘green cost premium’

With increased awareness and education in the built environment regarding the green building movement, a perception that green building attracts a significant cost premium when compared to conventional construction emerged. To address this concern, The Cost of Green Building Study Committee was established in 2014. The 2019 edition includes the Committee’s convincing results regarding the business case for green building.

The green cost premium appears to be progressively diminishing over time, largely because of growing maturity in the industry,” says Danie Hoffman, Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Construction Economics who is the lead researcher on the project.

Size and location matters

The report also confirmed the 2016 finding of a strong negative correlation between green cost premium and construction size. The larger projects managed to achieve a Green Star certification at a much lower average green cost premium when compared to smaller projects.

The data however also confirmed that the cost premium for buildings smaller than 5 000 m2 has reduced significantly from 9,3% (2009/14 data) to 4,6% (2015/18 data).

Office buildings that were developed for single corporate tenants had initially attracted much higher green cost premiums compared to buildings developed for a multi-tenant mix. Since 2015, this gap has been closed,” says Hoffman.

He adds that the business case for a comprehensive investment decision should include both the cost premium of constructing the building and the financial performance of the building in operation.

MSCI data confirmed that Green Star certified prime and A-grade offices produced a total return of 11,6% in 2017 versus 8,0% for non-green certified prime and A-grade offices. Better work environments and a lower impact on the environment have led many developers to achieve a significant return on their green building investments. “We hope the report will help guide future real estate decision making towards more sustainable, future-ready buildings in South Africa,” concludes Hoffman.

Clay brick graces world’s fourth Radisson RED

Corobrik’s face brick, contributed to the 5  Star Green Star rating awarded to the Radisson RED hotel in Cape Town

Clay brick graces world’s fourth Radisson RED

The world’s fourth Radisson RED hotel is a vibrant addition to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront with construction of the seven-storey building including one of Corobrik’s popular face brick range. The use of natural materials, such as Corobrik’s clay product, contributed towards the 5  Star Green Star rating awarded to the Radisson RED hotel building (Silo 6) – the first ever Green Star Custom Hotel rating for ‘new build’.

“The incorporation of Corobrik’s face brick into this artistically-designed hotel façade proves the incredible diversity of the product,” said Christie van Niekerk, Corobrik Manager for the Western Cape. “From schools and medical centres situated in rural settings to upmarket residential developments and hotels in prominent tourist sites such as this, face brick has proven its worth consistently. We are really honoured that Corobrik’s range forms part of this magnificent structure.”

The world’s fourth Radisson RED hotel is a vibrant addition to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront

The Radisson RED is the first hotel, countrywide, to receive an outstanding 5 Star Green Star Custom Hotel design rating for a new build, setting the benchmark for other hotel design and construction projects. Taking into consideration the use of natural building materials and energy-efficient design in its ratings, the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) evaluates nine impact categories before issuing a certification. These include management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land-use and ecology, emissions and innovation. The rating system recognises green buildings, such as Radisson RED, and encourages the property industry to adopt sustainable development practices.

Manfred Braune, executive director: Certifications at the GBCSA, said that this is an exciting moment for green building in South Africa, signalling the move of green buildings into the hospitality sector. “This is not just about doing the right thing, although that is, of course, vital in the face of our local and global environmental challenges. It also makes good business sense to build green and, going forward, we look forward to further green transformation in the hospitality sector in South Africa. Hotels such as Hotel Verde and DoubleTree have achieved Green Star ratings for their existing operations, and now the Radisson RED is the first hotel to receive a Green Star rating for its design and construction – hospitality is definitely going green.”

The 252-room hotel is located in the recently completed Silo district – a modern, semi-industrial space on the V&A Waterfront set to become Cape Town’s newest art, culture and design district. The hotel consists of four event rooms, a ground-floor double volume restaurant, and a rooftop swimming pool and bar overlooking the stunning waterfront with views of the iconic Table Mountain. The playfully artful interior includes a combination of face bricks creating a rich façade, all of which corresponds with the newly-opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa within the grain silo building, adjacent to the hotel.


Completed in September 2017 after 18 months of construction, the Radisson RED hotel was built using around 160 000 Corobrik De Hoop Red Smooth Blended face bricks for the exterior

Completed in September 2017 after 18 months of construction, the Radisson RED hotel was built using around 160 000 Corobrik De Hoop Red Smooth Blended face bricks for the exterior. Selected for its extreme durability, heat resistance and sound insulation properties, the clay brick is ideally suited to the harsh micro-climate and harbour conditions experienced on the V&A Waterfront.

Architectural firms, DesignSpaceAfrica and Peerutin Architects, opted for ‘second grade’ De Hoop bricks because of the imperfections that would achieve the weathered look they desired. This particular Corobrik product is zoned for use in these unique circumstances with this project requiring second grade bricks with clean lines. Because of the hotel’s location within the Silo district, architects wanted to create a robust building with industrial character suited to its surrounds while providing a unique aesthetic presence which has an impact.

“The industrial character we wanted was achieved by the irregular brick coursing as opposed to the typical, clean face brick coursing,” explained Luyanda Mpahlwa lead architect on the project and director of DesignSpaceAfrica. “The imperfections of this brick were ideal for this, and mortar was laid flush with the brick to create a more coherent but textured façade finish. The industrially-produced, dark-stained and sleek aluminium window pop-outs provide an interesting contrast to the light grey-coloured random face brick coursing. This contrast makes the façade unique, with the pop-outs also provide sun shading during the peak hours of hot sun early morning and midday.”

However, the architects wanted a more toned-down hue than the red of the De Hoop so they selected Keim, an external wall finish that allowed them their colour of choice with the silver wash. Keim is a naturally-based organic and durable paint application which can be applied with a render and weather-protective layer to improve the quality of the mortar to the same standard as the face brick, all while preventing moisture penetration. The final effect is subtle light grey finish with a silver, metallic wash which gives the façade a special shimmer when sunlight plays on it.

Andrew McLachlan, Senior Vice-President, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean for The Rezidor Hotel Group said the design, incorporating Corobrik’s De Hoop Smooth Blended face bricks is both inspiring and functional.

“This is a really stunning hotel which is thanks to the efforts of all involved, and we look forward to offering our guests a new type of experience in a hotel which embraces freedom, flexibility and fun,” said McLachlan.