Green Building Council South Africa Makes Stakeholder Announcement in Response to Controversial Article

  • The GBCSA has responded through a stakeholder announcement to a controversial article published by us – Green Building Africa.
  • The article lays claim to a system of patriarchy amongst GBCSA sponsor members and the resultant marginalisation of those that do not.
  • The article also raises issues regarding impartiality and credibility of the GBCSA green star rated buildings as a result of the patriarchy amongst sponsors.

The GBCSA stakeholder announcement reads ‘GBCSA’s attention has been drawn to a publication impugning the credibility and integrity of the GBCSA, it’s supporters and members, and that of the South African green building movement at large.  The GBCSA is procuring legal advice on the matter.  In the interim, it wishes to allay any concerns that may have arisen as a result of the publication, which is entirely baseless’. Read full announcement.

The article titled Green Building Council South Africa’s Green Star Accreditation System Exposed as a Sham was written by Bryan Groenendaal, himself an accredited green star professional through the GBCSA. The article raises sensitive issues regarding a system of patriarchy amongst sponsors of the GBCSA in relation to consultancy work involved with green star accreditation and the resultant marginalisation of up and coming green building specialist. The article further questions the impartiality and credibility of the green star accreditation itself.

Groenendaal comments ‘the article certainly disturbed a hornet’s nest. My inbox has been filled with messages (51 so far) of support and more information. There is clearly a massive undercurrent in the country when comes to sentiment on the subject. Perhaps it is because climate change events are upon us and the public want answers’.

Groenendaal adds ‘what is clear to everyone is that the GBCSA model, in its current form, has its flaws – the GBCSA will be the first to admit this. It can be argued that as an NPO, the GBCSA have allowed their sponsors to get to close to their day to operations and functions. It does not mean they do not do good work and cannot self-correct – this will be up to the current leadership which is extremely competent under Dora Modise. GBC’s around the world are going through or have gone through similar transitions.

Disturbingly, however, are allegations made from a number of respondents of alleged kickbacks in the form of commision received by green building consultants from building contractors and suppliers. The allegations refer to both LEED and Green Star accreditation service providers. This can have a direct effect on building performance and will be further investigated’.              

It is clear that all is not well in the green building movement in South Africa. It comes at a time when climate change events are upon us. The GBCSA stakeholder announcement concludes quite aptly, together we can make a difference.

GBA News Desk

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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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