A tool developed by the CSIR will be used to assess the sustainability of building projects on Gauteng's first environmentally friendly and ecosensitively planned light industrial development. Situated north-west of Johannesburg, adjacent to Lanseria Airport, the Lanseria Corporate Estate (LCE) represents a new concept in the development of industrial parks in South Africa, with the emphasis on aesthetic beauty and environmental sustainability. The estate covers 90 ha of land, and 169 industrial stands.
According to an article published in Engineering News recently, the sustainability of the industrial park will be boosted by a decision that requires developers and investors to submit their building plans to the CSIR for assessment. Dr Jeremy Gibberd, a research group leader at CSIR Built Environment, explains that his team will compile a report for the developer, using the sustainable building assessment tool (SBAT). "We are amending the existing SBAT framework for application to a light industrial development, as the LCE is the first industrial park to request information on the sustainability of light industrial operations," he says.
The SBAT supports the implementation of more sustainable practices, such as local procurement, using environment-friendly materials, increasing energy efficiency and lowering noise pollution, in the South African building and construction industry, and includes socio-economic as well as environmental aspects. The tool, which is currently used as an indicative guide to the performance of buildings in terms of sustainability, suggests a framework whereby property owners and designers assess the sustainability of their projects.
The article quotes Jurgen Erhart from the LCE as saying, "We couldn't impose strict rules on developers in terms of sustainability, but, at least this way, by making them submit plans and giving them feedback, we can make them aware of things they should be doing and what they could work on. I believe that it will encourage people to think of the sustainability of their developments; it is, of course, up to them whether they implement the advice or not."