Online learning system to boost green building education

by Darren

The GBCSA is launching an online system to increase the availability of green building courses.


The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has launched a new online education system which will host several new programmes, as well as existing green building courses that have been upgraded.

The course platform includes the Council’s core educational offering, the Green Star SA (GSSA) Accredited Professional (AP) Programme for New Buildings that teaches the background, theory and detail of the application of the Green Star SA Design and As Built rating system for new buildings and major refurbishments. Two more specialised programmes, namely the upgraded Project Certification Workshop and the Simulations and Submissions Course, are also available online.

“Apart from upgrades to the course material, the major change is the shift away from the presentation of the courses as live hosted, single-day courses presented for 50 delegates at a time in the three major urban centres in South Africa, to an accredited professional syllabus or set of parts that together make up the GSSA AP Programme for New Buildings,” explains Donne Putter, education and training manager at the GBCSA. 

“This new AP Programme is made up of a comprehensive, in-depth course hosted online in 13 distinct modules that cover the theoretical aspects of the tool, followed by an interactive workshop hosted in an actual Green Star SA building, where learners are able to experience the building, interact with their peers and apply their learning from the first part of the course. This would then be followed by an online exam.”

Putter explains that the online format in combination with classroom style learning enables independent learning, while face-to-face time can be used for quality engagement with experts. Reduced travel time is also a benefit and participants from all across South Africa can be reached.

Two new AP Programmes, for the Interiors Tool and the Existing Building Performance Tool respectively, are also offered online in parallel with the pre-existing qualification and teaches the application of the two new Green Star SA tools. According to Putter, these programmes consist of three parts: online courses followed by in-person workshops and finally an online exam.

In addition, the GBCSA will also introduce two new in-person courses, one which introduces Green Star for contractors and another which explains the drawing up of a green lease between tenant and landlord.

The half-day Green Star for Contractors course was developed and sponsored by Saint Gobain in response to the need for contractors to better understand the impact of the application of the Green Star SA rating system on their construction projects. The course covers key areas of the tool that would impact on tenders and subsequently site management of a project aiming for a rating, and empowers contractors to play a key role in obtaining the highest possible rating on time and within budget.

The Economics of Green Building course will continue to be offered as a live in-person programme. This course sets out to demonstrate the financial motivation for green building and explores the discussions and debate around the perceived costs of green building. It covers the benefits and obligations of property stakeholders, as well as the property value proposition and the financial case for green building.

For more information on the new and existing education courses, please visit www.gbcsa.org.za/gbcsa-education.

Green Building Council of South Africa
Tel: 0861 042 272
Website: www.gbcsa.org.za

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