Local EDGE rating certification a go

by Darren
Local edge rating certification GBCSA

Following a successful pilot phase during which three housing projects received EDGE certifications, the GBCSA will roll out the rating across South Africa’s residential property sector.

The Ravenswood affordable housing development of 188 two-bedroom green homes in Boksburg, Gauteng, is the first residential project in Africa to achieve an EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Design Certification as part of the Green Building Council of South Africa’s (GBCSA’s) piloting of the residential green building tool.

Led by affordable housing fund, International Housing Solutions (IHS), the development is projected to save almost R600 000 a year by applying EDGE-certified energy-efficiency measures, which means savings of about R3 200 in utility costs for each unit.

Energy usage will be maximised at Ravenswood through the use of solar hot water collectors, reduced window-to-wall ratios and roof insulation, while efficient water usage will be facilitated through the installation of smart meters and low-flow bathroom and kitchen fittings.
“Total savings annually of 250 000kWH of electricity and more than 10 000Kl of water have been demonstrated in the EDGE design rating of the Ravenswood project. EDGE helped us crunch the numbers to reveal the most affordable path to building green,” explains IHS dealmaker, Myles Kritzinger.

The EDGE certification process involves two steps: Preliminary design certification of the design, followed by as-built certification. According to Graham Cruickshanks, EDGE technical manager, IHS will work with the GBCSA to also achieve an EDGE as-built certification for the development.

The EDGE rating was created by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that focuses on the private sector, and launched in South Africa at the GBCSA’s 7th annual Green Building Convention in September 2014.

Globally, IFC’s aim is to transform 20% of new residential and commercial buildings in rapidly-industrialising countries within the next seven years, led by local green building councils and global certification providers.

Cruickshanks highlights that the EDGE rating tool is comparatively simple and inexpensive to use, making it invaluable to developers looking for smart ways to differentiate their product in a tough economic climate, whilst also tackling important environmental issues.

Roll-out in SA
Besides the first certification of the Ravenswood development, two other projects have also since secured EDGE certification during the pilot phase. Subsequently, the GBCSA has started a full roll-out of EDGE to residential developments across South Africa with training for EDGE accredited professionals having kicked off in November 2015.

“EDGE-certified homes will attract prospective buyers who understand the long-term value of their investment in a green home, with its lower utility bills and higher re-sale price. This is the message we will be communicating to the residential property sector,” adds GBCSA chief executive officer, Brian Wilkinson.

For more information or to register for EDGE certification, go to www.gbcsa.org.za.

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