Giving affordable housing the EDGE

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Leaders in providing affordable housing gathered on 11 August at Drivelines Studios in Maboneng, Johannesburg to share how they have incorporated green initiatives on their current developments and how going green is the future of affordable housing.

More than 80 CEOs and their management teams from South Africa’s finance and property development sectors attended a forum to share the business case for committing to design and certify their new homes with EDGE. Hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that focuses on the private sector

Lenore Cairncross, EDGE programme lead from the IFC stated that green initiatives in construction created a 20% save on water and electricity, therefore saving consumers from high utility costs. Through establishing EDGE certification for the affordable housing industry, green building is now available for all. IFC created EDGE to respond to the need for a measurable solution to prove the financial case for building green and help jumpstart green buildings. EDGE includes a voluntary certification system as well as complimentary online software to empower builders to quickly determine the most cost-effective ways to build green.

EDGE can also be used to streamline eligibility procedures and reporting for financial institutions as they transition to green investment portfolios, empowering the creation of such innovations as green mortgages and green bonds. Cairncross states that green mortgage bonds can have a preferential rate that is lower than the standard rate.

Speakers at the event included Harold Spies, CEO and founder of Similan Properties; Stephen Brookes, CEO and founder, Balwin Properties; Rob Wesselo, country director, International Housing Solutions; and John Schooling, managing director of STAG African. All speakers had developments that either have been certified or are undergoing certification.

Similan developed Fourleaf Estate, the first EDGE certified affordable housing project in Port Elizabeth. Spies stated that seeing the face of someone moving into a unit they’ve developed is what drives his involvement in the industry. He further states that building sustainably should become the preferential choice.

Author: Building Africa Online

Submitted 24 Aug 17 / Views 1328