GBCSA reports on world-wide green building convention
The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) was represented at this years World Sustainable Building (SB08) Conference, which took place in Melbourne, Australia from the 21st to the 25th of September 2008.

Jason Buch, Technical Manager for the GBCSA who attended the conference, explains that the event brought together leading green building thinkers and practitioners from around the world to discuss best practices and the latest developments in green building technology, as well as assessment systems, economics, water and energy systems, integrated design and market transformation strategies.

“The Sustainable Building Conference, which is held every three years, is a specialist conference with a large international reach and is the summit gathering of the worlds leading technical experts and researchers on sustainable building with over 60 speakers, and more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers.”

“The biggest benefits gained from the conference are the contacts made and the insights into what other Green Building Councils are doing around the world,” says Buch. “I spoke a lot with the Australian and US Green Building Council technical staff about lessons learned with their rating systems and what assessment best practice issues they are working to address currently and in the near future.”

“One of the biggest insights gained is the fact that we are all dealing with similar issues and can benefit greatly with increased knowledge sharing.”

“Beneficial contacts were made with other GBC staff and practitioners and academics from around the world who are working on cutting edge green building issues, particularly materials life cycle assessment schemes.”

Buch also gathered invaluable information and contacts from people in Brazil and Mexico investigating the inclusion of more social issues in green building assessment methods.

“In addition, I was present at the World Green Building Council dinner in which the GBCSA was recognised as the 13th and newest full member of the World Green Building Council – a wonderful achievement.”

After the SB08 conference, Buch spent a week in Sydney at the GBC of Australia office meeting with all of their department heads on the technical side to discuss processes and lessons learned from their experience running the Green Star rating system there for the past five years. Buch also attended two of the courses to gain a better insight into how they are run.

“Jason’s trip to Australia for the SB08 Conference was extremely valuable as far as contacts made and information gathered. There would have been no better place in the world all year to gain that much knowledge”, says Nicola Douglas, CEO, of the GBCSA.

The GBCSA is holding its own conference in Cape Town from 2 – 4 November, and has secured 10 of the world’s top green building specialists to talk on a variety of different ‘green issues’. “We are expecting a big audience – it is going to be a stunning event,” concludes Kerswill.

Article by: