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Entries open for 2014 Sustainable architecture awards

by Tania Wannenburg
SAIA Jnl1.14

Entries are now open for the 2014 AfriSam SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture. This award programme recognises outstanding achievement in sustainable architecture as well as creating public awareness and debate on architectural issues.

The South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) and AfriSam announced that there will be two entry categories – one for works of social importance (including research) and one for built work. Four criteria will be used to evaluate entries, namely planet rejuvenation, placemaking performance, people upliftment, and harmonisation.

Entries by SAIA members only are eligible and are to be submitted for consideration for the awards by 6 March 2014. Architectural projects, research or works of social importance that fall in an area under the description of Sustainable Architecture and were completed and beneficially occupied by 3 March 2013 are eligible for entry.

Encouraging sustainable architecture

Stephan Olivier, Afrisam’s CEO, says that the company’s sponsorship of the awards is their way of encouraging established and emerging architects to focus on building in an authentically sustainable way.

The Dalton Compound, designed by Koop Design, won the first AfriSam SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2009/2010. The project not only culminated in a sustainable design, but also included a regime of participation by the local community.

Sindile Ngonyama, new president of SAIA and also one of the jurors for this year’s awards, says that there’s a noticeable move towards sustainable building in the commercial construction sector, but more can be done in the residential market.

“In South Africa the number of sustainable buildings going up is alarmingly low compared to the general number of buildings being erected. However in the corporate and commercial arena there is a noticeable move in this direction,” says Ngonyama.

“I am positive that, with teamwork amongst the trend setters in the built environment and with constant education, the next decade is going to show drastic changes in our landscape, leaning towards sustainable methods of design and construction, which will lead to delightful architecture,” says Ngonyama.

The awards also emphasises the need to change the mindset of the public as well as design professionals with regard to sustainable building. These paradigm shifts involve a long process of creating awareness of the range of benefits achieved initially quite easily and later with a more concerted effort.

“We are on the threshold of huge shifts in the way development works,” commented renowned sustainability thinker, and fellow juror, Gita Goven.

“These require us all to raise our awareness of both human development and settlement requirements and foster a deeper understanding of how the environment can be regenerated, rather than depleted or degraded, as we address our developmental needs,” said Goven.

Entry forms for the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture can be downloaded from www.4tmrw.co.za. Projects outside South Africa may be submitted.

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