In tackling climate change, increasing focus is being given to the operation of the built environment, as it has become clear that improvements in the sustainability of buildings can have large effects on the greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency of the economy.

Buildings and their associated construction activities account for almost a third of world greenhouse gas emissions, and the construction and operation of buildings account for about 40% of worldwide consumption of raw materials and energy.
These statistics reveal that the built environment offers great potential for greenhouse gas abatement, and that small increases in the sustainability of buildings, especially in the energy efficiency of their design and construction, can have large effects on their current use of energy and on their life-cycle energy consumption.
As Africa moves forward to implement a more efficient and cleaner energy mix, architects, engineers, developers and construction companies are integrating green building elements into their new and existing projects.
South African and African building stakeholders will have the unique opportunity to interact with, and hear from, industry leaders in the green buildings environment at this year’s Green Buildings World Africa conference, taking place later this month, helping them to take advantage of the next big opportunity within the building sector.
The conference will showcase how to create sustainable innovation, design and implementation, discuss the key cost benefits of going green and enable local developers to leverage off successful African projects.
The conference will incorporate key note addresses from industry experts from around the world, covering a range of topics including: why we need green buildings; how to offset the cost of going green; the future of green buildings in Africa; building commercially viable sustainable cities; how to benefit from energy efficient designs and incentives, and case studies on existing successful green African projects.
Some of the guest speakers at the event include: principal at Organic Architect in the US, Eric Corey Freed; sustainability consultant for Gauge South Africa, Dr Jeremy Gibbered; director of Whole Earth Strategies, Chrisna du Plessis; and CEO of Bruce Clark Associate Architects, Bruce Clark.
Stakeholders at the event will learn how to reduce operational costs by using efficient products and design, how to deploy new technologies to improve infrastructure development, the effective use of carbon trading as a profitable revenue stream, using Africa’s natural resources to increase the bottom line, as well as how to overcome the challenges in the designing and implementation phases.
Delegates to the event will also have the opportunity to source products and solutions from the many exhibitors at the show, and interact with other industry players in generating leads and partnerships.
Delegates of Green Buildings World Africa 2011 will be awarded two Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points from the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) for attending the event.
The conference will be of benefit to architects, designers, property owners and estate planners, engineers and consultants, developers, contractors and project managers, as well as investors and building services managers.
Green Buildings World Africa 2011 forms part of Africa’s largest energy show, Power & Electricity World Africa 2011, and it will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on the 30 and 31 March.