In March 2008, Arup was commissioned by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) to carry out research and benchmarking for the customisation of the Australian Green Star Offices Tool for use in South Africa.
The Green Star SA rating system provides the commercial property industry with an objective measurement standard for green buildings. Buildings are scored on a range of measures, from transport and emissions to land and water use.
"The water category rewards the reuse and cycling of grey and black water, and encourages rainwater harvesting." - Stenford Mutaringe
A team from Arup's offices in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Gaborone was responsible for the entire scope of the project, including research into many aspects of commercial property design. Management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation were all considered.
This research informed the development of the tool and the addition of categories recognising important aspects of commercial building design in South Africa. For example, Arup stressed the importance of awarding points for 'local sourcing' – rewarding the use of local expertise and materials.
By including a local sourcing credit, we address the social side of sustainability as well as fulfilling the environmental brief. ” Lee-Zane Greyling
Following the 2008 launch of the Green Star SA tool, Arup's Jacob Knight, Stenford Mutaringe and Susan Snaddon were invited by the GBCSA to act as assessors – assisting the GBCSA in reviewing project submissions for Green Star SA ratings.
The Green Star SA Offices Tool version 1 tool spreadsheet is freely available for download from the GBCSA website, where the accompanying technical manual is also available for purchase.