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GBCSA gears up to do green building rating assessments

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is currently laying the groundwork in order to commence the rating of buildings in terms of its Green Star SA rating system.

“The Green Star SA ‘Office’ rating tool aims to be finalised by November, and people wishing to have their buildings rated for Green Star SA certification will then be able to submit applications to the GBCSA,” says Bruce Kerswill, Executive Chair.  “The ratings are a strictly objective, transparent process, and are conducted by independent assessors.  Applicants will submit detailed documentation according to requirements set out in a Technical Manual.”

“The GBCSA will appoint two or three independent assessors to conduct each assessment, with an independent Chair to oversee the process.  The assessors have been selected for their knowledge of Green Star SA.”

“We have generally invited individuals who participated in the Technical Working Group which developed the tool, and they will be trained in doing assessments during September by a team which includes the National Technical Manager for the Green Building Council of Australia, Elena Bondereva.”

“From November, the GBCSA will also be running Green Star SA Accredited Professional Courses,” says Nicola Douglas, CEO of the GBCSA, who further explains that these courses, which will be available from November once the final version of the Green Star SA Office tool is launched, are designed to increase understanding of the Green Star SA system and enable course graduates to take a place on a consulting team and give guidance on how to achieve a Green Star SA rating. “They will be run by GBCSA staff and local experts, and Elena will also assist with training the course facilitators.”

“The first two courses, set for the 5th of November were fully booked three months in advance.  We will, however, be running additional courses regularly in the major centres around SA.”

Douglas noted that the GBCSA had received excellent support from the Australian GBC.  “The Green Star SA office tool is based upon the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star system and has been customised for the South African context,” she explains, “and they have supported us all along the way.  Elena is currently providing invaluable assistance in training the assessors and course facilitators.”

The GBCSA will be holding a major green building conference in Cape Town from 2 to 4 November.  

“This is going to be an amazing event - we’ve got an unbelievable line-up of speakers, including 10 international leaders in different areas of green building who will cover topics right across the field.  The final office rating tool and the first courses will be launched at the conference.  We really want to encourage anyone with an interest in green building to attend, as it will be on a par with the best international conferences,” says Kerswill.

Green Star SA is a voluntary green building rating system under which developers may apply to have their projects rated and certified by the GBCSA, and there has been enormous interest from the commercial property industry.

For more information about Green Star SA, certification and professional accreditation, please visit or email

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