Garden Cities green village will be a first
Top green building standards for new 417-housing estate
A GATED village of 417 houses, the first in South Africa to be measured and rated against the latest Green Building Council of South Africa’s ( GBCSA) Green Star Communities Rating Tool, will be built by Garden Cities in Sunningdale, the West Coast suburb launched 13 years ago, where over 3 000 homes have been built.
The entire village, which is still to be named, is likely to comfortably achieve a four Green Star rating, according to consultants.
Garden Cities chief executive, John Matthews, says the company declared its adherence to green building principles four years ago, with the drafting of its own specific Green Building Development Framework and Policy Guidelines based on the latest international and local sustainability frameworks, regulations and standards.
Now, its participation in a GBCSA communities pilot project, for which it has been chosen among five others in the country, takes Garden Cities to the next level of leadership in green building principles.
Marketing of the village is scheduled to begin in 2018.
The new village is considered particularly appropriate for the application of the new green community standards, because it incorporates a 7ha dune thicket that is marked for preservation.
The dune thicket buffers the Blaauwberg Conservation Area to the north, and was, in essence, the catalyst for the consideration of the green village concept. Garden Cities has donated 464ha of its land to the Blaauwberg Conservation area.
Matthews says that Garden Cities has always embraced and often exceeded the highest codes and standards in its building practice.
For example, new generation Garden Cities houses have already been built according to the new SANS 10400- XA Energy Efficiency regulations. And with the release of the new SANS National Building Regulations, Garden Cities was found to be compliant – with only minor items needing adjustment to ensure total compliance.
The green drive, in terms of Garden Cities’ internal policies and the bold step towards Community Green Star Rating, is aimed at reducing the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment.
The process involves integrating design and construction to mimic natural processes, with the ultimate goal of zero waste to landfill. In addition to the processes undertaken by Garden Cities to gradually achieve its goal, the Green Star Communities Rating will assist on a community level to achieve goals that include:
● Governance – sustainability awareness, community participation.
● Liveability – healthy and active living, community development, walkable access to amenities, safe places.
● Economic prosperity – community investment, education and skills development, digital infrastructure, electricity reduction.
● Environment – integrated water cycle, sustainable transport movement, sustainable sites, waste management, light pollution.
The private gated village being planned for Phase 13 will have some of the most soughtafter plots to be developed in Sunningdale, based on its location and the fact that it will be the furthest north, and best located for the views.
In line with the increased adoption of, and leadership in green building principles, Garden Cities has also released a new suppliers’ guide.
It addresses the issues of water, energy and materials management and is an overarching document guiding suppliers in terms of what the company aims to achieve.
In the guide, Garden Cities encourages its contractors and suppliers to use materials that have resulted in minimal waste during their production and those that will result in minimal waste during the construction, maintenance and demolition of developments.
Existing homes at Sunningdale, where Garden Cities will be building a new gated village of 417 houses, the first in South Africa to be measured and rated against the latest Green Building Council of South Africa’s (GBCSA) Green Star Communities Rating Tool.