Four Leaf Estate receives EDGE final certification, a first in Africa.

Fourleaf Estate residential development in Port Elizabeth is the first residential project in Africa to meet the EDGE resource-efficiency standard and receive EDGE final certification. 

Ecolution Consulting were the EDGE auditors for the Fourleaf project,  ensuring that all criteria were met in order to achieve certification. “We believe that EDGE will transform the residential market by embedding sustainability at its core,” says André Harms, director of Ecolution Consulting and EDGE accredited professional. “We are proud to have played a vital role in the first EDGE final certification in Africa.”

The development is led by property development and marketing company, Similan, and funded by the Housing Impact Fund of South Africa (HIFSA), managed by the Development Impact Funds team within Old Mutual Alternative Investments.

HIFSA has a pipeline of between 2 500 and 3 000 new housing units over the next two to three years that will be designed to meet the EDGE standard and achieve certification.

What is EDGE certification?

 EDGE (“Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies”) is a green building certification system for emerging markets. It was created by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. EDGE is a measurable way for residential developers to optimize the performance of their building design and be rewarded for resource efficiency through certification. The Green Building Council of South Africa is the exclusive certification services provider for IFC within the country.

The EDGE rating requires achieving savings of 20% in each of the three categories:

  • operational energy
  • water usage
  • reduction in the embodied energy* of materials used in the project’s construction

More about Four Leaf Estate

Fourleaf Estate delivers significant savings to its residents through practical solutions.

Such as:

  • Heat pumps for hot water
  • Low-flow taps
  • Installation of water-efficient fittings (i.e low-flow shower heads and dual-flush toilets)
  • Reduced window-to-wall ratios
  • Roof insulation ensure optimal energy efficiency
  • 34% and 43% savings in embodied energy respectively in each of the unit types by using cored bricks, cellulose roof insulation and clay roofing tiles on timber rafters, and other initiatives.

When operated by residents in the way intended, this combination of factors will translate into annual utility bill savings of around R1280 per unit.

 Grahame Cruickshanks, Managing Executive: Residential at the GBCSA, says that awarding the first EDGE final certification in South Africa is a significant milestone, not just for the GBCSA and its partners in the programme, but for the South African residential property sector and its journey towards becoming more sustainable.

“What sets EDGE apart is that it is comparatively simple to use and certification is affordable, making it invaluable to developers looking for smart and effective ways to differentiate their product in a tough economic climate. EDGE offers occupants utility cost savings, whilst also tackling important environmental issues.”

According to Similan, Fourleaf is predicted to realise annual savings of R414 000 by applying EDGE-certified energy and water efficiency measures.

This would translate into anticipated savings of approximately R1 280 in utility costs for each unit. “By using the EDGE App, annual savings of 123 230 kWH of electricity and more than 7 500 Kl of water have been projected for the Fourleaf project,” explains Pieter du Toit, Development Manager at Similan. 

Located in the Parsonsvlei suburb of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, the first phase of the Fourleaf Estate residential development brings 125 two and three-bedroom green homes to the South Africa property market, which range in size from 47m² to 90m².

Are you interested in pursuing EDGE certification for your residential development? Contact  for more information.