Advice and Opinion

Green economy to be driven by FM Standard

National Convener, David Khasebe.
National Convener, David Khasebe.

South Africa will be a leader in the global green market in the next three years, according to the World Green Building Trends 2016. The new Facilities Management (FM) Standard, which will come into effect in December 2016, will be an additional trigger to realize this potential.

What does the Standard do to boost the Green Economy?

The Standard brings about new levels of planning and integration that organisations and FM/CRE professionals have to undertake. It standardises deep and broad planning which is expected to impact green economy positively.

How will that happen?

The Standard requires the development of multi-disciplinary Strategic FM and Operational Plans which include the green building programme for new and existing facilities. The Standard also requires that FM delivery integrates with SANS 14001 Environmental Management and SANS 50001 Energy Management, increasing focus on green building of existing facilities. Last but not least, SMART reporting on FM returns the focus on green building under the key performance area of Sustainability.

While earlier focus of the green building movement had been on new facilities, this new focus extends to the existing facilities. This presents the drive and growth of the green economy and will create jobs our economy needs.

What is this green building programme?

It is essentially any initiatives which aim to reduce carbon emissions by a building or facility.

GBCSA actually provides a technical definition which includes greening elements such as management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation. As can be seen, it has more to do with more than just energy and water consumption.

How will the new green work be funded?

The strategic and operational planning which includes individual business cases and pertinent investment ratios such as payback period, internal rate of return, net present value. Cost of operating facilities, especially energy and water costs, have been increasing at such alarming rate it is actually easier to make a financial and environmental business case.

It is recommended that strategic view is taken and green building programme is proposed alongside other FM strategies such as work space, service and maintenance, backlog management, disposal plans. This way a holistic view is taken and programs can subsidize each other if necessary.

GBCSA supports the FM Standard

Manfred Braune, GBCSA Chief Technical Officer, expressed support for the Standard:

“The GBCSA support the development and launch of the standard for strategic facilities management in South Africa – facilities management is a critical function in the successful operation of buildings, to ensure optimal performance of both hard and soft services. As a result, facilities managers play a key role in ensuring that the South African property sector can grow it’s green building take up in the existing building sector, both private and public. The GBCSA congratulates the SABS and this specific committee for launching a standard that will help achieve these objectives.”