The Greenovate Awards programme aims to stimulate “green building thinking” amongst built environment students. Here are the top student innovators for 2016.The University of Cape Town’s Cédric Fournier and Priscilla Nthai were named winners of the Greenovate Awards 2016 and awarded R30 000 in prize money for their research on the perceptions of occupants in office buildings that contain green building features and initiatives, under the supervision of Saul Nurick and Abby Street.

They will also present their research to local and international property professionals and green leaders at the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Green Building Convention in Cape Town in 2017.

In the second place, the duo of Nthabiseng Makgabo and Bongiwe Dlamini from the University of the Witwatersrand, supervised by Samuel Azasu, did a comparative analysis of the factors that influence the choice between green and conventional buildings in selected nodes in Gauteng. The team earned a prize of R15 000 and tickets to the Green Building Convention in 2017.

The third place went to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Lungela Gcwabaza. Supervised by Gerrit Crafford, he investigated the obstacles to the effective implementation of strategy within quantity surveying firms as a method for enhancing business sustainability in the long run. He won R10 000 and tickets to the Green Building Convention 2017.

The Greenovate Awards
An initiative by Growthpoint Properties in association with the GBCSA, the Greenovate Awards programme encourages students of the built environment to discover, explore and invent solutions for the property industry to address environmental challenges.

“By nurturing innovation for a greener, healthier, more sustainable environment, everyone wins,” explains Werner van Antwerpen, head of sustainability at Growthpoint Properties. “The Greenovate Awards are producing pioneering student projects that show new ways to drive green building thinking forward, to ensure a better, greener future.”

Van Antwerpen adds that ultimately, the Greenovate Awards programme will be made available to all universities in the country with the appropriate built environment faculties. “In addition, in 2017, it will be adapted and expanded to selected engineering faculties too, to recognise and encourage environmentally innovative thinking among even more of South Africa’s future leaders,” he says.

Discounted training
In 2013, the GBCSA started offering discounted accredited professional training at one university to 45 property studies students. Since then, it has expanded to five universities and over 250 students in property, construction management, architecture, interior design and quantity surveying in 2016.

The Greenovate Awards introduce students to “green building thinking”. – Werner van Antwerpen

Brian Wilkinson, GBCSA CEO, says: “GBCSA is thrilled to partner with Growthpoint for the second consecutive year on the prestigious Greenovate student awards. They recognise and reward some of South Africa’s top students, who are the future green leaders and innovators in South Africa and are set to change the way the world is designed, built and operated for the sake of our environment and future generations to come.”

Growthpoint Properties
Tel: 011 944 6598

Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA)
Tel: 021 486 7914

Caption: Werner van Antwerpen, head of sustainability at Growthpoint Properties, Cédric Fournier and Priscilla Nthai, winners of the Greenovate Awards 2016, and Manfred Braune, GBCSA chief technical officer and executive director.