Environmental innovation at SA's Greenovate Awards

08 December 2016 | Story by Newsroom
​​​​​​​Greenovate Award winners: Saul Nurick (supervisor), Cédric Fournier, Priscilla Nthai and Abby Street (supervisor).
​​​​​​​Greenovate Award winners: Saul Nurick (supervisor), Cédric Fournier, Priscilla Nthai and Abby Street (supervisor).

The Growthpoint Greenovate Awards recognise innovative solutions to environmental challenges in the property industry. Now in its second year, the awards programme is an initiative by Growthpoint Properties in association with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). It inspires and encourages students of the built environment to discover, explore and invent ways to live more sustainably.

This year's participants were from the University of Cape Town, the University of the Witwatersrand and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Students were challenged to come up with ideas for any property-related project that makes the way we live greener and our environmental footprint lighter. Groups from each of the participating universities competed internally first and the two top projects from each university were chosen as finalists.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner in Sandton Central. Keynote speaker, trend analyst Dion Chang of Flux Trends, warned: “If you don't take the time to think proactively, you will increasingly find yourself reacting to your environment rather than influencing it.”

The UCT team of Cédric Fournier and Priscilla Nthai, with supervisors Saul Nurick and Abby Street, were named the winners of the Greenovate Awards 2016. They focused on the perceptions of occupants in office buildings that contain green building features and initiatives.

This team of outstanding young green innovators took home R30 000 in prize money. They will also be fully sponsored to attend the GBCSA's Green Building Convention in Cape Town in 2017 where they will present their research to local and international property professionals and green leaders.

The University of the Witwatersrand team of Nthabiseng Makgabo and Bongiwe Dlamini, supervised by Samuel Azasu, scooped second place with their comparative analysis of the factors that influence the choice between green and conventional buildings in selected nodes in Gauteng. The team earned a prize of R15 000 for their insightful project and tickets to the Green Building Convention in 2017.

The third placed young green thinker came from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Lungelo Gcwabaza, supervised by Gerrit Crafford, investigated the obstacles to effective implementation of strategy within quantity surveying firms as a method for enhancing business sustainability. He won R10 000 and tickets to the Green Building Convention 2016.

Read the full press release from Growthpoint...

Story Mary Hilton. Photo Supplied.

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