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Green building in SA highest of 13 countries surveyed

According to a recent US study, green building (designing buildings to limit their environmental impact) is making strong headway in the South African property market.

Environmental concerns are becoming an increasingly integrated concept in the South African property market.

The study estimated that roughly 41 percent of the country’s construction activity in 2015 was green, making it the highest of the 13 countries surveyed. The expectation is that by 2018 green building will have risen to more than 60 percent.

Higher than the UK and Germany

The survey included countries such as the UK and Germany, as well as countries with emerging markets like India and Colombia. The average level of green construction across all 13 countries was 24 percent.

Why South Africans are going green

solar power

The environment and their pockets

Conventional buildings make a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and can consume large volumes of water and electricity.

South Africans feel it’s the right thing to do and are subsequently requesting that green elements be incorporated into the design or retrofitting of buildings.

The experience of power outages, escalating electricity tariffs and water scarcity make green solutions such as solar power a practical solution for many South African property owners. Although greening a building can be expensive initially, the savings in future operational costs make the initial investment worthwhile.

Increased property value

Increased property value is another consideration driving the uptake of going green in South Africa. Green features can make a property vastly more attractive to buyers. What is considered green today will be standard in years to come.

Greening tips

Light bulbs


Switch from traditional incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)

Electrical appliances

Electrical appliances around the home account for a large part of electricity consumption. Save energy and money on your electricity bill by purchasing energy-efficient appliances, electronics and lighting when replacing existing ones.

Reusable shopping bags

use reusable bags

Replace plastic shopping bags with reusable shopping bags that are available at many local stores. Plastic is one of the biggest contributors to pollution on the planet. Save money and help save the planet.

Shop locally for food

Farmer's market in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NEW YORK.

The average meal travels about 1200 km from the farm to the plate. Food that is grown closer to home will therefore have fewer transportation emissions associated with it, and also be fresher as well as support local farmers. As the distance food travels decreases, so does the need for processing and refrigeration to reduce spoilage.

Reuse, reduce, recycle

reuse reduce recycle

The benefits of recycling include a cleaner environment, the safe disposal of hazardous materials, greater awareness of excess packaging and a careful approach to the use and re-use of materials.

Separate your domestic waste into categories: biodegradable – fruit, vegetables, egg shells etc. that can be used to make compost; recyclables – plastic, glass, aluminium cans and paper.

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