Sustainability now a core value in construction

Jean-Marie Talbot was re-elected president of the MBSA for 2010-2011; he was inaugurated by past president Eunice Forbes. Sustainability in building was a key aspect of discussions at the recent Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) Congress – Beyond 2010 – held in Windhoek, Nambia.

Speaking on global sustainability issues at the congress, Roger Flanagan, professor of construction management at the University of Reading, UK, emphasised that sustainability in all aspects of building and construction had shifted from a peripheral requirement to a core value. “Sustainability is now non-negotiable. We need to think differently, think globally, and to incorporate profitability into the sustainability equation. Sustainability is here to stay,” he said.

On the practical side, Nedbank’s Ken Reynolds discussed details of the design and construction of the bank’s newly completed Green Star-rated head office in Sandton. Return on the estimated 2.5% ‘green’ overspend on the building is expected to be realised over a three-year period, Reynolds said. “Average overspend for green buildings is now around five to ten percent. In the near future, we can expect it to drop to around five percent,” he said.

In another address at the congress, political analyst, Gary van Staden provided the delegates with insight into new and different ways of looking at business expansion on the African continent, with reference to risk assessment on projects in other African countries.

Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry spoke on the importance of SADC countries working in harmony and Ronnie Khoza, CEO of South Africa’s Construction Industry Development Board, outlined strategies South Africa should adopt going forward and spoke on the challenges and opportunities facing the SADC.

Hans Schefferlie, executive director of the Association of Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers of South Africa (AAAMSA), discussed the changes in building regulations, focusing on energy efficiency and, in particular SANS 10400 part XA www.sabs.co.za.

Charlie Teuteberg-Kirk, a partner in Robertson Teuteberg-Kirk attorneys, briefed the congress on understanding and adjusting to the new Consumer Protection Act.

Professor Johann Coetzee, specialist in organisational psychology and wellness, highlighted another dimension of business – the importance of self-care and nurturing of the psyche in the current dynamic and stressful times.

The next MBSA Congress will be held in Cape Town in October 2011.

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