Globalisation and rapid urbanisation are taking over cities across the world, which is resulting in threatened infrastructure, energy shortages, waste accumulation, water insecurity and air pollution to name a few. The need for greener, more sustainable buildings to combat the ill effects of such growth, however, is increasing. Through green building tools such as EDGE, buildings can be transformed into change agents and help combat greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprints and better the communities around them through greener design considerations.
What is EDGE?
EDGE, which stands for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, is a Green Building Rating tool that is focused on increasing the resource efficiency for several building types, especially in the context of homes and large-scale residential buildings in South Africa. The certification requires achieving a minimum saving of 20% in the three categories: operational energy, water usage and reduction in embodied energy.
The EDGE certification results in residential developments that are:
The GBCSA (Green Building Council of South Africa) launched the EDGE rating system in South Africa in September 2014 to be utilised in the improvement of residential homes. With EDGE now being available in South Africa, it means that green residential developments now have a verified tool and certification to guide the design and construction process to be sustainable, as well as be recognised for their efforts. It also means that South Africa will be better equipped to benchmark itself against its international counterparts. At Ecolution Consulting, we were responsible for guiding the first EDGE project in Africa to receive a final certification. We are also currently involved in several other EDGE projects at varying stages of completion.
Four leaf Estate
Based in Port Elizabeth, Four Leaf Estate is the first residential project in Africa to meet the EDGE resource-efficiency standard and receive EDGE final certification. Some of the savings for residents include: heat pumps for hot water, water-efficient fittings, reduced window-to-wall ratios as well as roof insulation to ensure optimal energy efficiency.
Achieved average savings: energy (27%), water (25%), and less embodied energy in materials (40%).
The Urbika Urban Lifestyle Estate is a new development by Similan and funded by the Housing Impact Fund of South Africa, within Old Mutual Alternative Investments. The estate will comprise 1 099 units, including flats to rent and homes to buy – all of which will be situated in a secure estate to be constructed next to the Cinderella Dam on Rondebult Road in Parkdene in Gauteng province. A private school, clubhouse with amphitheatre, parks, walkways and other recreational facilities will form part of the development.
Predicted savings: energy (35%), water (27%), and less embodied energy in materials (25%).
Ascot was Renico Construction’s first affordable housing development in Crystal Park, Benoni. The residential estate comprises of 202 face brick simplex homes for the rental market. It is made up of a number of 2 bed, 1 bath simplexes as well as numerous 3 bed, 1 bath units, all fitted with a number of energy and water saving features and pre-paid electricity to help curb ever-rising energy costs. The security complex was completed during April 2017 with the first tenants taking occupation from the 1st of May.
Predicted savings: energy (21%), water (22%), and less embodied energy in materials (36%)
Lucca Lifestyle Estate
Lucca Lifestyle Estate is situated next to the Tuscany Ridge Lifestyle Estate in Potchefstroom. The sectional title development is made up of 29 simplex units and 60 apartments. All offer 2 carpeted bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with main-en-suite, a tiled lounge area adjoining a spacious open plan kitchen and either a covered patio or balcony. Each unit has an allocated carport. The homes were designed with a number of energy and water saving features.
Predicted savings: energy (21%), water (22%), and less embodied energy in materials (31%)
Construction of the Kingswood residential development in Randpark Ridge, Randburg was completed during July 2017. The residential complex offers 151 North facing apartments, all of which will be let to tenants. All units within the development offer two spacious bedrooms, two bathrooms, generous lounge areas and ergonomically designed kitchens. The significant energy saving initiatives as well as the water reduction measures will greatly contribute to the overall cost of living in these homes.
Predicted savings: energy (40%), water (21%), and less embodied energy in materials (26%)
The Brentwood security complex is an affordable Housing Development in Cosmo City by Renico Construction and offers 176 North facing apartments. The fully tiled units offer 2 bedrooms, bathroom, lounge with open plan kitchens. The complex is situated on South African Drive with quick access to public transport. All units are being let to tenants from the 1st of August 2017.
Predicted savings: energy (20%), water (22%), and less embodied energy in materials (32%)
The Moorgate development in Randpark Ridge by Renico Construction comprises of 94 units with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms each. The complex once again has a number of energy and water saving features incorporated into the design and each home. All 94 units will be let to tenants from the 1st of December 2017.
Predicted savings: energy (35%), water (21%), and less embodied energy in materials (34%)
Ecolution Consulting. (2017). Four Leaf Estate – Ecolution Consulting. [online] Available at: http://www.ecolution.co.za/four-leaf-estate/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2017].
Edgebuildings.com. (2017). EDGE | EDGE Buildings. [online] Available at: https://www.edgebuildings.com/about/edge-ifc/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2017].
Gbcsa.org.za. (2017). EDGE | GBCSA. [online] Available at: https://www.gbcsa.org.za/residential-tools/edge/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2017].
GBCI. (2016). About EDGE | GBCI. [online] Available at: http://www.gbci.org/press-kit-edge [Accessed 13 Nov. 2017].