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How Greener Homes Can Save Money

In today’s real estate market, sustainable design can significantly increase the value of a property so it’s good news that local homeowners can now build new green-certified sustainable homes. The non-profit Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) certified three local housing developments in a pilot phase, using the EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) online building tool. It’s now being rolled out for wider use.

The EDGE certification process effectively greens a new building in practical ways, using energy-efficient materials and equipment. A developer or architect uses the EDGE system so homes can be green-certified, passing on the energy-saving benefits to the homeowner. The process involves two energy-saving steps: preliminary design certification, and as-built certification. EDGE introduces a minimum 20% saving on current national building regulation requirements, which is an attractive proposition for potential homeowners and tenants.

Ravenswood in Boksburg is the first local residential development to secure EDGE green certification, with planned occupation in July 2016. The development has 188 two-bedroom and one-bathroom sectional title low-to-middle income homes. International Housing Solutions (IHS) partnered with GBSCA and IFC to provide equity finance for the project. IHS acquired the Ravenswood homes as rental stock for the affordable housing market.

“According to IHS, the Ravenswood development is predicted to realise a saving of almost R600,000 a year by applying EDGE-certified energy efficiency measures,” says Graham Cruickshanks, EDGE Technical Manager. “This would translate into an anticipated saving of about R3,200 in utility costs for each unit.”

GBCSA CEO Brian Wilkinson says the tool can now be used for new freestanding homes, flats or townhouses. “For a home occupier it provides an assurance that the building has been constructed with energy efficiency, water efficiency and material efficiency in mind. If I’m paying less for electricity and water, it means I have more disposable income.”

Find the EDGE green building tool at


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