On August 21st, my thesis group and I had a long chat to local economist and UCT lecturer Francois Viruly about the prospects for sustainable development. Whilst explaining the model we have adapted in our thesis, we came across a very interesting topic that requires more research in the future. The topic related to green precincts and green buildings and how at the moment, there only exists a rating for green buildings. It therefore warrants a discussion on whether or not a non green building can exist in a precinct which is considered green, or if by implication the non green building becomes green just by being located in the green precinct.
Additionally, is it really true to deem a building green, if it only considers ecologically friendly initiatives. Should green buildings not include the benefits to society as a whole? Personally, I believe that green buildings should include all aspects of sustainability e.g socio economic, political and biophysical sustainability and that ratings should reflect such principles. Furthermore, how green is the construction of a new green building? In my opinion, a true 6 star rated building would have to be a refurbished or retro fitted building and not a brand new build.
In retrospect, I think I would have loved the opportunity to research this topic and it could be an area that interests me when and if I decide to do my Masters.
About the Author
Jessica is a 4th year Property Studies Honours student at the University of Cape Town . She is very interested in sustainability which is evident in the thesis she is currently writing with two of her class mates. This thesis investigates Urban Facilities Management at the V&A Waterfront and the principles that create a sustainable urban precinct. She looks forward to developing her passion for property further by starting her career in the commercial or retail property sector in 2014.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Property Wheel