With a record number of entries received for the biannual AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture and Innovation, the top achievers among architects and researchers in terms of sustainable design will once again be recognised for their attainments.
Founded by AfriSam and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), the award focuses on the importance of green building and includes categories for sustainable architecture and research in sustainability.

“For AfriSam, the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture and Innovation speaks to our ethos of ‘Creating concrete possibilities’,” says Richard Tomes, sales and marketing executive at AfriSam. “It also highlights the company’s general belief in a higher purpose and its ambitions as an organisation.”

Previous winners
•    DEA building
In the sustainable architecture category of the last round of awards – for the years 2015 to 2016 – the winners included Boogertman+Partners Architects for their design of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) building in the City of Tshwane. The building’s design reflects what the DEA stands for in terms of purpose, beliefs and service, and the project achieved a six-star green office v1 design rating.

•    Gorgeous Green House
Sagnelli Associate Architects were recognised for their Gorgeous Green House project in Durban, which incorporated many sustainable features from roof-top gardens and evaporative cooling ponds to water harvesting, storage and recycling – while also making use of environmentally friendly materials like bamboo, recycled carpets and kitchen countertops.

•    The Oudebosch Camp
The Oudebosch Camp in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve of the Western Cape won an award for the Architecture Coop, which developed buildings that were modestly scaled, lightweight, stilted, basket-like, with roofs planted, and set on banded stone bases. Situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the buildings employ natural, local, renewable, low-embodied energy, non-toxic materials and components to achieve low-impact sustainable qualities.

•    Pathways to regenerative sustainability
In the award category for research in sustainability, the accolade went to Dominique Hes and Chrisna du Plessis for a research collaboration between the University of Pretoria and the University of Melbourne. Entitled “Designing for hope: Pathways to regenerative sustainability”, the publication presented a number of theoretical approaches, supported by case studies, that describe working from an ecological paradigm in the built environment.

The winners for the 2017 to 2018 period will be announced later this year.

Acknowledgement is given to AfriSam for the information and photos provided.

Caption main image:
The Department of Environmental Affairs building in Tshwane.

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