According to the report, high energy consumption, low operating costs and environmental stewardship are among the leading reasons which have made South Africa a favourable place to construct green buildings.
Arthur Chien, vice president of Talesun Energy, said that environmentally-friendly buildings are rapidly gaining popularity in the country as the industry has begun to recognise that this is key to environmental sustainability and lower operational costs.
“In South Africa, the benefits of adopting energy efficiency initiatives are even higher in comparison to other regions due to the massive impending hikes in electricity tariffs. This has also had an impact on the development of green buildings, which we believe could soon become standard practice in the country and contribute positively towards the environment.”
The use of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on larger rooftop systems of commercial buildings, parking garages, warehouses and retail stores is popular in South Africa. These PV panels allow buildings to harvest the sun’s free, clean energy to power the building, while lowering electricity costs and impact to the environment.
Now, 28 per cent of architects, engineers, contractors, building owners and consultants globally are focusing on sustainable design and construction, and ensuring that at least 60 per cent of their projects are green, stated the report. “A remarkable finding in this report is that green buildings are by no means a trend growing in developed countries only. The report stipulated that from 2012 to 2015, industry players are expecting that their work on green projects will more than triple in South Africa,” added Chien.