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New rating tool for educational buildings

The latest green building rating tool launched by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), the Green Star SA - PEB (version 1) Rating Tool, was first put through its paces in an extensive pilot project carried out on a number of public buildings in South Africa. The Green Star SA PEB tool is now freely available online and the supporting Technical Manual is now featured digitally.

Funded by the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb), an agency of the National Department of Public works (DPW), this latest tool enables the GBCSA to rate public spaces, such as community centres, libraries, museums, places of worship, indoor sports centres, entertainment, exhibition and convention centres and public transport terminal buildings, regardless of whether these buildings are publicly or privately owned. The rating tool extends to Education buildings such as schools and tertiary education facilities.

“What’s exciting about the Public & Education Building rating tool in particular, is that we are now seeing a move into a much broader range of buildings, where government will play a significant role,” says Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA

From a Museum to a University

Prior to the launch of this latest tool, the GBCSA  put the PILOT version of the Public & Education Building rating tool through its paces on a few projects across the country in order to improve and streamline it for the South African market. These projects emanate from both the public and private sector. One such pilot project was the Grahamstown National English Literary Museum (NELM).

Another building that took part in the Pilot period was the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School.

Andy Kopelowitz, an engineer from Arup, handled the pilot project for NMMU and explains that going through a pilot process is not vastly different to pursuing a Green Star SA rating under a finalised tool. “There is the constant management of the Green Star SA process during the design stages, and specialist input into specifications and design items to ensure that the intention of the project to meet the Green Star SA requirements is achieved.”


Some green initiatives at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School:

  • Rain water is harvested and used for 100% of toilet and urinal flushing, and allowance for irrigation
  • Major materials are being sourced locally (concrete and masonry)
  • A minimum of 70% of waste generated during construction is being sent for recycling or being re-used
  • Bicycle facilities are being provided for staff and students
  • Topsoil is being preserved for re-introduction on site once construction is completed
  • Low-VOC paints, carpets and adhesives have been specified to reduce indoor pollutants

Access everything online

The Public & Education Building (version 1) rating tool Technical Manual is available for the first time in digital format and as a free download to GBCSA members and students.  Non-members can anticipate paying R700 for the manual. The rating tool itself and related documents are freely available to the public on the GBCSA website.

Green Star SA - PEB v1: Fact sheet


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