An app that assesses the relationship between green buildings and their occupants’ behaviour, and a greywater treatment and reuse vanity system for handwashing water, were the two pioneering submissions that won top honours at the Greenovate Property and Engineering Awards 2018.

Two first places
The University of Cape Town (UCT) team of Michael Inskip, Samantha Johnson and Morgan Knowles, supervised by Saul Nurick and Karen le Jeune, with their submission titled “Assessing the relationship between green buildings and their occupants’ green citizenship”, won R30 000 for their first place in the property stream of the awards.

Another UCT student, Chloe Bolton, supervised by Dr Dyllon Randall, with the submission titled “Greywater treatment and reuse: Wetland microbial fuel cell and sand filtration system for the on-site treatment and recycling of handwashing greywater”, also took home R30 000 for her first place in the engineering stream.

Both winners also earned the opportunity to present at GBCSA Conference 2019, local flights and accommodation included. This is the second year in a row that UCT has taken top honours in both awards.

Karen le Jeune, UCT supervisor, with Greenovate 2018 Property Award winners Michael Inskip, Morgan Knowles and Samantha Johnson, and Saul Nurick, UCT supervisor.

The awards
The Greenovate Awards is a joint venture initiative between Growthpoint Properties and the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), launched in 2015. This student programme aims to educate and reward the young minds and future leaders of South Africa for innovation and green building in the built environment.

The programme has two streams: The Greenovate Property Awards, offered for the fourth time in 2018, and the Greenovate Engineering Awards, now in its second year. A total of eight universities competed this year.

The second place in the property stream was claimed by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) team, made up of Rashid Bulbulia, Onneile Mfetane and Hitekani Mongwe, with their submission titled “Incorporating cow dung in modern acoustics”. Stuart Ray supervised the team.

The third place went to another Wits group: Kimera Ramruthan, Ziev Shani and Justin Watkins, supervised by Prisca Simbanegavi, with their submission titled “Investigating the possibility of making rental housing in the gap market more affordable through green building technology”.

In the engineering stream, North-West University (NWU) student Eben Schutte took second place with the submission “Investigating the suitability of electromagnetic water flow meters in a residential context”, supervised by Dr Henri Marais and Dr Leenta Grobler.

The Stellenbosch University (SU) team of Marchant van den Heever and Frederick Albrecht Bester, supervised by Prof GPAG van Zijl, was in the third place with their “3D-printed concrete” submission.

Mitesh Bhawan, head of sustainability and utilities at Growthpoint Properties, Chloe Bolton, Greenovate 2018 Engineering Award winner, and Manfred Braune, GBCSA executive director and managing executive for sector development and transformation.

Putting ideas to practice
Changing the built environment for the better, the innovative idea for an on-site nutrient recovery urinal by the winner of the Greenovate Engineering Award in 2017, Craig Peter Flanagan, who represented UCT, has been implemented by Growthpoint at its new head office development for Exxaro in Pretoria. By incorporating the fertiliser-producing urinal concept into a major commercial office, it has changed Growthpoint’s thinking on how it develops new buildings.

This practical example of the benefits of encouraging and enabling green building innovation is another reason why Growthpoint and the GBCSA have set their sights on continuing to grow the competition and programme to include more universities and a broader knowledge base of innovative solutions.

For more information on the awards, visit

“Over the years, Greenovate has provided a platform for students to deal with real-life green building research projects and solutions. The amazing energy that those students display, is inspiring and encourages us all to do more. The green building movement is in desperate need of vibrant young minds to take us to greater heights, and this is where it all begins.” – Dorah Modise, chief executive officer of the GBCSA

“We’re excited to see the interest in this programme growing, and that it is creating more awareness and solutions for global climate challenges.” – Werner van Antwerpen, corporate finance, Growthpoint Properties

“While innovation is often focused on technology, it is needed in all areas. More universities and students should get involved and share the same vision from a tertiary level to really implement innovation on a circular level.” – Mitesh Bhawan, head of sustainability and utilities, Growthpoint Properties

“Greenovate allows students to present their sustainability-related thesis project to industry leaders. It is a brilliant opportunity for exposure to potential employers looking for young graduates. We congratulate the students on their fantastic projects, and urge them to carry forward their passion for sustainability in the built environment into their future workplaces.” – Manfred Braune, GBCSA executive director and managing executive for sector development and transformation

“The Greenovate Awards have seen year-on-year growth in the sustainability centric innovation produced by students from across the country. The quality of entries has highlighted the incredible value that a new generation of engineering and property graduates brings to the market, with fresh direction and disruptive thinking.” – Mike Aldous, Greenovate Engineering Awards judge and associate for green building and sustainability services/BIM champion at Mott MacDonald

“The quality of submissions continues to improve and impress – we are always inspired by the effort of the students and their grasp of this critical area of study. We are indeed in good hands.” – Brian Wilkinson, Greenovate Property Awards judge, retired green building champion and chairman of HouseME








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