The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has appointed Seana Nkhahle from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) as its new Chairman. Nkhahle, who is also a founding director of the GBCSA, takes over from Chairman Bruce Kerswill, who played a leading role in the formation of the council. The GBCSA was established in 2007 to promote green building development in the country. It is a member of the World Green Building Council (World GBC) and is today one of the most active councils worldwide.
Nkhahle is an Executive Director at the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), responsible for ‘Corporate Strategy and Research’. Prior to this he was the Executive Manager and National Programmes Co-ordinator at the South African Cities Network from 2005 to 2009. In both these roles he facilitated partnerships and support to selected municipalities to improve sustainability in their operations with particular emphasis on energy, water and land-use management. Until 2005, he was a managing Partner at Syn-Consult Africa, a consulting firm focusing mostly on sustainability in the built environment. As one of the founding members of the GBCSA board. He brings institutional memory of the organisation and some important insights into the industry.
Nkhahle holds a Bsc (Hons) Town and Regional Planning from Wits University and is currently undertaking an MSc Building Science, focusing on property development and management. In 2004 Nkhahle was recognised by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction for a toolkit he developed for assessing sustainability of housing projects. The toolkit formed the basis from which he was able to contribute towards the development of GBCSA’s rating tools.
“I want to draw on my experience in sustainable urban development and local government in taking the GBCSA into the next phase of its journey,” said Nkhahle. The council is at an important chapter, where green building is gradually gaining momentum. People, private companies and government are realising that managing climate change is becoming increasingly important and that green building is a crucial element to this effect. An important milestone in the green building industry and a departure from previous debate is that while green building is crucial for climate change mitigation, it is equally important for financial purposes as green buildings yield better economic returns while at the same time improved liveability bodes well socially”.
The new chairperson’s goals are to consolidate the solid foundation that has been built by his predecessor and to enhance the scope and reach of the council. This includes ensuring that more commercial buildings are supported to achieve good ratings, thus building on the momentum already seen in this category. Nkhahle anticipates supporting government and municipalities in particular to play a bigger role in facilitating sustainability in their respective built environments.
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/africa-middle-east/22012015/south-africas-green-building-council-appoints-new-chairman-183/