Last week I had the privilege to participate and to speak in the 7th Annual Green Building Convention organised and hosted by The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
It was my first trip to South Africa and I’m still enthusiastic about the warm welcome I received, the excellent line up of speakers I listened to and the people I met during the two days of the convention.
“It’s time” – Green Building Convention 2014
Under the motto “it’s time for Africa” and we are “bringing it home” the conference touched on prevailing and futuristic topics to better understand the opportunities created by change in the built environment. At this point it is impossible to mention all speakers, but the following four individuals were a great source of inspiration for me and I’m “bringing home” lots of food for thought for me personally and my colleagues at Interface:
- DION CHANG – Is an innovator, creative thinker, visionary and renowned trend analyst. Although his feet remain firmly planted on African soil, he uses a global perspective to source new ideas, gauge the zeitgeist and identify cutting edge trends. www.fluxtrends.co.za
- MICK PEARCE – Is a Zimbabwean architect. His models are drawn from nature from copying natural processes, which he studies through the new science of biomimicry. He believes architectural expression must construct a balance between the natural, social and economic environments in which a project is sited. He designs low maintenance buildings with low capital and running costs, using renewable energy systems of environmental control. www.mickpearce.com
- SIYABULELA XUZA – Mthatha-born scientist and innovator. Siya began experimenting with rocket fuels in his mother’s kitchen. This passion turned into a serious science project that culminated in him developing a cheaper and safer rocket fuel. He is often referred to as the new Mark Shuttleworth, has had a planet named after him and has garnered worldwide acclaim for having developed an alternative rocket fuel. He is now “bringing it home” and turning his attention to Africa’s energy problems. www.leadershiponline.co.za/
- VINCENT TRUTER – Is a cross disciplinary creative mind with a passion for sustainability. He is a gifted public speaker and facilitator that is passionate about making profit and purpose meet. He took me on a two-wheeled journey (see the picture below) that makes green mobility a reality for South Africans – something we take for granted in Europe. cycology.biz
After taking part in the Convention I can yet again argue that sustainable building is truly the future! The challenge will be to deliver practical tools, to use efficient building technologies, radical materials and intelligent products to deliver change to the ground. In this collaboration and knowledge, transfer is key.
Knowing that there are so many passionate people from local to global and global to local makes me think positively that (hopefully) very soon the built environment will be transforming towards a truly sustainable landscape, at home in Europe, in Africa and elsewhere.
Group picture in front of the Cape Town Stadium on our electric bicycle experience