Gar­den Cities green vil­lage will be a first

Top green build­ing stan­dards for new 417-hous­ing es­tate

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY - SATUR­DAY

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.

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