AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Award entries now open

AfriSam and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) calls on all practitioners – architects, engineers, project managers and designers of sustainable solutions – to enter the AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Award, South Africa’s most prestigious sustainability award.

Sustainable school building local community built

SAIA President, Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa, says adjudicators are looking forward to entries for the annual awards that reflect forward-thinking designs that have a better future for all in mind. “We believe sustainability should be the baseline in all design, and social inclusion should be a defining feature of South African architecture. We need to respond to the needs of our world by pursuing new methods of building that are economical and environmentally conscious. We need to find ways to improve material efficiency, design and the re-use of buildings. It is also our duty to revisit ancient best practices and knowledge systems that will set us on a new trajectory towards sustainability,” he adds.

Introduced a decade ago, the AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Award has attracted an exciting range of entries and honoured outstanding achievements in sustainable architecture as well as creative design entries that display sustainability at their core.

The award programme supports a learning journey towards regenerative design with an emphasis on sustainability, innovation, transformation and multidisciplinary efforts and the 2019/2020 award recipients will undoubtedly showcase the nexus between innovation, lifestyle and technology in the built environment.

sustain-ably built school South Africa

Practising professional architect and academic, Dr Philippa Tumubweinee, believes leaders in the built environment have an important role to play in creating new spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify and provide a better quality of life for everyone. “Sustainability is not just about buildings; it is about changing and improving lives.”

Entries for the AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design award will be accepted in four categories:

  1. Sustainable Design
  2. Research in Sustainability
  3. Sustainable Products and Technology
  4. Sustainable Social Programmes

“In the architecture categories, we encourage practitioners in Africa to look into their own history and heritage to produce architecture that is reflective of the regions in which buildings exist. Sustainability is not only about technology, but also about an integrated design approach – of relating to one’s self, other people and the environment,” adds Tumubweinee.

sustainable school construction award with Afrisam

The prestigious adjudicator panel for the 2019/2020 award programme includes:

Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa, SAIA President, professional architect and convener

Somers Govender, practising professional architect

Dr Gillian Adendorff, practising senior professional architect

Dr Philippa Tumubweinee, practising professional architect, academic and expert in sustainable architecture

Sphephelo Mhlongo, previously awarded recipient and professional architect at the Department of Public Works

Nkosinathi Manzana, professional engineer and Chair of the Green Building Council South Africa Board

Those looking to enter, are urged to familiarise themselves with the criteria and category specifications before entering. Submissions are free, and more than one project may be entered, however separate entries are required.

AfriSam and SAIA welcome all designers and practitioners in the built environment to submit their work. All 2019/2020 entries must be submitted online at  before 31 March 2020.

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