Balwin Goes Green With International Finance Corporation’s Edge Certification
May 27, 2019
JSE listed Balwin Properties, South Africa’s largest turnkey sectional-title developer, today announced its commitment to help fight climate change through the mainstreaming of green lifestyle developments.
As an initial phase, Balwin pledged to have seven of its built-to-sell and three of its rental developments EDGE certified.
EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is an innovation by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that helps developers to build and brand green in a fast, easy and affordable way.
The rating process will cover 10 896 built-to-sell apartments and 4 688 rental apartments in developments across the country.
Steve Brookes, founder and CEO of Balwin, commented:
“Balwin has always been differentiated by its innovative approach to creating lifestyle developments for its clients. We were the first to offer energy efficient appliances as part of the purchase price of an apartment.
“This, over time, has developed to where we offer gas powered heating and cooking appliances, augmented by solar power.
“With EDGE’s complimentary software we now have a cost-effective planning tool that helps us to cost effectively build green based on occupant behaviour, building type and the local climate. Importantly, the certification provides our environmentally conscious buyers and tenants with assurance that they are minimising their own environmental footprint.”
An innovation of IFC, EDGE was created to respond to the need for a measurable solution to prove the financial case for building green, and to help jumpstart the proliferation of green buildings. The EDGE standard is set at a minimum of 20% reduction across energy consumption, water usage and embodied energy.
“Balwin has worked with some of the best in the industry to create lifestyle developments that inspire through innovative design that emphasizes environmental performance,” commented Alzbeta Klein, IFC’s director of Climate Change. “It is inspirational that South Africa’s largest sectional title developer has taken the leadership role in supporting IFC’s ambition to transform 20 percent of the construction market in priority countries with the support of industry leaders, governments and financial institutions.”
Solid Green Consulting was appointed to consolidate performance specifications for construction practices across the Balwin portfolio; to create an EDGE compliant standard specification; and to handle the EDGE certifications through the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). Chilufya Lombe, director at Solid Green, says, “It is encouraging to see such a large developer taking on the challenge of addressing climate change and we commend Balwin for its leadership in this sector. Sustainability making business sense is an important part of meeting the challenge. The stereotype of green buildings not being financially viable is being proven wrong, and the economy of scale of a standardised approach for a portfolio of this size is significant.”
The certification is expected to be completed over a period of six months.
Details of the developments to be certified are: