SA Affordable Housing March / April 2018 // Issue: 69 - Page 22

FEATURES Efficiency – a reality or merely a trendy buzzword? Sustainability, efficiency and savings are words we use everyday. By Benjamin Brits A new build solution for cavity walls called DriTherm. A s we look at the dire situation in the Western Cape with the drought and the words everyone has already heard so many times – Day Zero – and we hear of a potential collapse of the state-owned enterprise responsible to deliver our electricity (followed by a R5-billion bailout), we really need to turn our attention to efficiency on all levels – and not on a superficial level. Surely the reality of South Africa – of no potable water or conventional electricity – should get everyone hot under the collar and urge us into finding ways and solutions to mitigate these risks through lateral innovations? Clearly South Africa has strained resources of the two major components needed to continue solving our housing backlog – water and electricity. There has already been warning of water scarcity spreading rapidly across other provinces and it is estimated that the economic hub of the country will face a similar fate to the Western Cape as soon as 2025 – a mere eight years away. I’m sure many of us have faced the situation of water cuts or having been left in the dark because of an 20 MARCH - APRIL 2018 AFFORDABLE SA HOUSING electricity outage, not having access to hot water or lights or the means to cook, but the reality is that we take on very little responsibility ourselves. We sit back and have the expectation that someone else needs to fix the problem and however educate ourselves, putting anything into practice is a real challenge, and it is so with the general population. The change of mindset is the biggest challenge that needs to be addressed. Suppliers and manufacturers, and ultimately developers and contractors, are left to implement strategies to manage or contain efficiency, especially related to the amended building standards. There are also so many new products on the market catering for efficiency from water regulators and metering to alternative energy sources in early development such as photovoltaic paints. Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) is a green building certification system that empowers the South African real estate market to build sustainably. An innovation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), EDGE makes it faster, easier and more affordable than ever before to build and brand green. The Green Building