GBCSA / Certify


Credible and objective measurement for green buildings in South Africa & Africa

The certification processes governed by the GBCSA involve certification of buildings using the Green Star, Net Zero, EWP, EDGE rating tools. Insight into this process is provided by the technical library.

Our suite of rating systems offer tools for almost any type of building. Certification creates a universal platform for credible and objective measurement of green buildings. Each tool recognises and rewards environmental leadership and is a recognised symbol of sustainability achievement.

The rating systems and tools create a common language and standard of measurement for green buildings, promoting integrated, whole-building design.

There is a rating tool for most projects, from precincts to homes to existing buildings and interior fit outs and more.

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How We Certify

Independent third party verification system

The GBCSA has invested and researched the development of each rating tool using market research and local context reports for each tool. Each tool is released in pilot form before becoming available as version one.

The certification process of each building is managed internally by a case manager and externally by the appointed assessors and/or moderators. Each certification is subject to these independent third party individuals who provide transparent feedback to the case manager and project team/accredited professional.

The certification period varies depending on the tool type (Green Star / EDGE / EWP etc) you are using.

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Why use a rating tool?


Why Use A Rating Tool

Agreed standards and independent benchmarks for green building allow investors to objectively assess just how “green” a building and portfolio is.


Establish a Common Rating Tool

Using one rating tool to certify green buildings allows for the establishment of a universal language and standard of measurement.

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Non-Profit Certifications

Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) is excited to announce that we now offer certification at a reduced fee to a limited number of non-profit organisations, the criteria is as follows:

  • This offer is made available to projects at the sole discretion of the GBCSA.
  • It is intended for buildings/fit-outs that are developed or operated by non-profits, where the project has quantifiable benefits to the public.
  • It is intended for use by non-profit organisations where 75% or less of their funding originates from a single external entity.
  • The rate will be influenced by whether or not the organisation holds GBCSA membership as member and non-member rates will be used to calculate the reduced fee.
  • This offer is applicable to two certifications per year.
  • The GBCSA cannot reduce the fee to be less than the costs incurred on the project.
  • The GBCSA is given permission to develop marketing and communication campaigns to assist in meeting CSI and PR goals related to the project.
  • Subject to the agreement of the non-profit organisation, the GBCSA is given permission to use the project site as a function venue at no cost.


This is another effort by the GBCSA’s to contribute to a more equitable South Africa where the benefits of green buildings are experienced by all members of society

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Green Star rating tools

Green Star rating tools are made up of the following focus areas:

  • Existing Building Performance
  • New Building & Major Refurbishments
  • Interiors
  • Sustainable Urban Precincts
  • Socio-Economic Category
  • Green Star Custom
  • Green Star Africa

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Other Ratings

The Net Zero rating tool is awarded to buildings that show they have no ecological impact in one or more of Water, Energy, Waste and Ecology

The EWP rating tool, makes up 40% of the EBP rating as it is focused on Electricity and Water Performance (EWP) mostly in existing building.

EDGE is a user-friendly Green Building Rating online software platform that offers a measurable way to reduce the resource intensity of residential buildings. The online tool is quickly able to determine the financial viability of including green aspects on your project.

The EDGE standard is set at a minimum of 20% reduction across the following categories:

  • Energy Consumption
  • Water
  • Embodied Energy

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Technical Library

Guidance relevant to product suppliers and manufacturers for current rating tools can be made available

Local context reports inform the green star and custom rating systems in South Africa and abroad to ensure the credits awarded in the pursuit of certification are relevant to the context of the project.

A catalogue of innovation credits scored in particular Green Star certification processes are available.

Green Star Technical Clarifications (TC), Credit Interpretation Request (CIR) Rulings and Errata are also part of the technical library for those interested in Green Star certification.

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