Eco-friendly construction, or green building, has been at the forefront of discussions and legislation around sustainability worldwide for quite some time now.

South Africa, in particular, is leading the efforts in this global narrative with 41% of its building activities being considered green in 2016. And that number has been growing year on year.

Since its establishment in 2007, the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has been driving the imperative of green practices and initiatives in the construction sector along with a rating system for commercial properties called the Green Star SA rating system.

This rating system takes the design, methods and practices, and management of construction project into consideration. All of these aspects combined are then assessed, analysed, and rated objectively.

Designers and architects in South Africa are also required to factor these green considerations into their work right from the beginning.

In more detail, these factors include:

Solar power and Eco-friendly Insulation

Energy saving design and construction methods are a key component of green building. More specifically, your draughtsman should already be incorporating solar power and natural lighting into the design phase of the project.

Not only will this assist in the building’s overall efficiency, which will save energy and money in the longer term, but it will also ensure that the building plans fulfil the approval requirements.

As with solar energy in a home, planning for insulation that harnesses a building’s inherent heating and cooling properties will also alleviate the need to generate energy artificially during seasonal weather changes.   

Sourcing Materials Locally

Sustainability is also directly related to a given project’s choice of building supplies. By sourcing materials and labour locally the collective impact on the environment is reduced.

In addition, this also boosts the local economy by reducing the need to outsource labour and plays a further role in motivating local building material resources to expand their scope to remain more competitive in an increasingly more informed market.

These material considerations can be applied to a building or home improvement project, regardless of its scale – it doesn’t only apply to commercial properties.

When comes to eco-friendly construction, it pays to be informed and by using a trusted network of contractors that are familiar with the regulatory requirements of green building, you ensure the longevity of the final project: your home.