The recent 2016 World Green Building Week (26 September – 2 October) highlighted the importance of green buildings as a means to achieve environmental, social and economic goals.
The Green Building Council of South Africa entered its 10th year of operation, on a high note, with a milestone 200 buildings rated with Green Star SA certifications. This bodes well for the property industry, and also marks the amount of work that remains to be done.
According to Mduduzi Ngwenya, Director of eProperty News, “Green building is no longer a new phenomenon – it now forms part of every CEO’s KPI and plays a significant role when it comes to receiving a positive rating from shareholders.” Ngwenya notes that different entities with different shareholder profiles and ROIs tend to have varied expectations and strategies when it comes to going green.
eProperty News spoke to Scott Field, CEO of Fieldspace Property Management (Fieldspace) to find out if the green in their logo represented their green conscience, and what initiatives they have taken to comply with green building requirements.
The logo celebrates the birth of Fieldspace as an independent commercial, industrial and retail property owner and manager. “The green in our logo is aesthetically pleasing but it is also a statement about the green element to the work that we do – which is becoming an increasingly strong focus” says Field.
Field predicts that in the next 2 or 3 years the price of solar technology will be very affordable, “We have been looking into solar for the better part of 5 years and have seen the price drop by half over the past 2 years.”
For various reasons, including the impact of cloudy days, Field does not foresee a complete break away from Eskom – companies are likely to be making use of both conventional and solar power in order to provide tenants with the best results.
The upfront cost of green initiatives has been of some concern. However, according to Field, it is well worth it, “You have to invest a fair amount of capital to start the project but monthly cost immediately drops” says Field.
Fieldspace is currently looking to turn a piece of land in Kempton Park into a recreational park. Field believes such initiatives are essential, “Companies need to play a bigger role in ensuring the sustainability of the local communities in which they operate.”
With air pollution and global warming making themselves felt in every country around the world, Field says that there is an urgent need to address these issues through green technology, “Fieldspace is committed to investing in green initiatives – we are not only looking at now, we are looking at future generations and the kind of planet they will inherit.”
Fieldspace owns and manages a diversified portfolio to the value of R2bn.