GBCSA accepted as full member of World Green Building Council
The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has been accepted as a full member of the World Green Building Council.

The World Green Building Council is a global non-profit organisation working to transform the global property industry towards sustainability. It works through its members, the country GBC’s, who are leading the movement to environmentally responsible building practices in their respective countries.

“The World GBC acts as a coordinating body for all the different national councils,” explains Bruce Kerswill, Executive Chairman of the GBCSA. There are 12 full members and 35 ‘emerging’ members.

“South Africa’s Green Building Council has just been accepted as the 13th full member to the World council – an achievement of which we are extremely proud. We are now full members alongside countries such as the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Brazil, India etc, proving that South Africa is by no means lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of green building. The World GBC gives us a fantastic network across developed and developing countries, and an opportunity to compare notes and learn from others’ experiences,” adds Kerswill.

Andrew Bowerbank, Executive Director of the WorldGBC explains that the council provides leadership and a global forum to accelerate market transformation from traditional, inefficient building practices to new generation high-performance buildings.

“This is a critical response strategy for cities and countries worldwide to their national and international commitments to reduce carbon emissions and redress other environmental impacts.”

“Buildings are responsible for around 23 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere. Global awareness of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental degradation is driving the need for rapid formation of Green Building Councils around the world.

“The South African Green Building Council has excelled in the short time since its inception and we are proud to welcome them as a full member of the WorldGBC,” concludes Bowerbank.

Spire Property Group is the first property management company in SA to have committed to exhibiting at the upcoming inaugural Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Convention & Exhibition 2008, which will be taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from the 2nd to the 4th of November 2008.

“We believe that green building is a logical evolution of the way building is done and that in the future, all buildings will be developed and operated on ‘green’ principles. We at Spire are equipping ourselves to be able to offer the necessary services and advice, and we are taking advantage of the GBCSA Exhibition to showcase our abilities”, says Rodney Squire-Howe, Chairman of the Spire Group.

“We believe that this event is set to make a huge impact on the South African property industry and we feel it is important for Spire to be part of it. It really is going to be an exceptional concentration of international and local knowledge and experience.”

The Green Building movement is gathering momentum as it sweeps the globe and since the inception of the GBCSA, South Africa has seen a huge surge of corporates, developers, major players, architects and private individuals becoming interested in, and making a commitment to green building.

Squire-Howe believes it is important for people to get behind the effort to combat global warming, but notes that green building will succeed because the business case is very strong. “As a company we are looking at our own operations and are committed to reducing our carbon footprint”, says Squire-Howe, “and we are increasingly introducing ‘green’ practices in the management of our clients’ properties”. He notes that green building also creates an improved indoor environment for users, “so, as opportunities arise, we look to upgrade or retrofit along “green lines” so that tenants and owners can enjoy the benefits”.

Spire is a ‘Founder Member’ of the GBCSA of and assisted in setting the Council up, its MD, Bruce Kerswill, is also Executive Chair of the Council.

“We’re looking forward to the Convention – a challenge that exists in SA is finding suppliers of ‘green’ products and services and we understand that a whole range of products and services will be on display.

”We are also keen to hear from some of the top people in the world, coming from places where green building has become the established norm”, says Squire-Howe.

Article by: