Developing a sustainability benchmarking system : a case study of the provincial government Western Cape’s immovable asset assessment pilot project

Meiring, Casper Johannes Knoetze (2014-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Building structures have a major impact on the quality of the macro-climates of the world, in particular in terms of pollution and environmental costs associated with their creation, operation and maintenance. Emerging global trends to make buildings more efficient, effective and sustainable, led to the question can one establish how sustainable existing buildings are? Building rating tools like LEED, BREEAM and Green Star, can already be used to rate and certify buildings in terms of their environmental performance and sustainability, but seem to fall short of establishing true overall building performance sustainability. As an architect, the researcher was involved in a project to develop a process for the Provincial Government Western Cape to comply with the Government Immovable Asset Management Act, Act no.19 of 2007 (GIAMA). The problem statement of this study links to the objective to comply with GIAMA, which requires that all government buildings be assessed in terms of their sustainability. This led to a number of research questions being asked. The first of these questions are what can be learnt from currently available rating systems and would it be possible to track and monitor the sustainability performance of a building over time. This triggered a series of related questions: What role can benchmarking play in establishing and tracking a building’s sustainability over time? How can benchmarking help to identify which part of a building’s overall sustainability is most in need of resourcing, to bring it closer to overall sustainability? How can capital and maintenance expense budgets associated with the building life-cycle be effectively utilised to bring buildings closer to overall sustainability? How can the availability of detailed information pertaining to the costs and benefits of green investments in existing buildings help building owners to identify the best initiatives to invest in? The methodology used in this study to answer the above questions is based on two research approaches. The first part made use of a literature review to establish and define the knowledge framework to be used in the second case study portion of the study. The methodology used for the case study was based on applied research, where the real life problems associated with the development of a suitability benchmarking process for the PGWC was documented and assessed. The results of the study found that there exist a missing link between theoretical knowledge of sustainability benchmarking and the legislative requirement of GIAMA and that this missing link is the standardised accurate and verifiable data required for the benchmarking process. In addition to this it was also found that the social aspects of buildings are generally neglected. A universal standard for collection of the required data is also needed. The study also highlighted that a general misperception exist that Environmental Sustainability is synonymous with the Sustainability paradigm.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Bou strukture het 'n groot impak op die gehalte van die makro-streke van die wêreld. Veral in terme van besoedeling en die ekologiese koste wat verband hou met die ontwikkeling, werking en onderhoud daarvan. Globale opkomende tendense om geboue meer doeltreffend en volhoubaar te maak, het gelei tot die vraag: Hoe kan 'n mens die volhoubaarheid van 'n bestaande gebou vasstel? 'n Aantal bou-graderings-stelsels, soos LEED, BREEAM en Green Star, kan reeds gebruik word om geboue te gradeer en sertifiseer in terme van hul omgewingsvolhoubaarheid, maar skiet te kort ten opsigte van algehele volhoubaarheid van ʼn gebou. As ʼn argitek was die navorser betrokke by ʼn projek om ʼn proses te ontwikkel vir die Provinsiale Regering van die Wes-Kaap (PGWK) om te voldoen aan die Wet op die Bestuur van Onroerende Regeringsbates, Wet no. 19 van 2007. Die probleemstelling van hierdie studie koppel aan die vereiste om te voldoen aan Wet 19 van 2007, wat vereis dat alle regeringsgeboue geassesseer word ingevolge hul volboubaarheid . Dit het gelei tot 'n aantal navorsingsvrae: Eerstens, watter lesse kan geleer word uit die bestaande bou-graderings-stelsels en tweedens, is dit moontlik om op die volhoubaarheid van 'n gebou te monitor en gradeer oor tyd? Dit het tot verwante vrae gelei, naamlik: Watter rol die stel van maatstawe kan speel om die volhoubaarheid van ʼn gebou te monitor? Hoe kan die stel van maatstawe bepaal watter aspekte van 'n gebou die meeste hulpbronne benodig, ten einde dit nader aan algehele volhoubaarheid te bring? Kan die kapitaal- en instandhoudingsbegrotings, wat verband hou met die lewens-siklus van die gebou, effektief gebruik word om ʼn gebou nader aan volhoubaarheid te bring? Hoe kan die beskikbaarheid van inligting met betrekking tot die koste en voordele van groen beleggings van bestaande geboue, gebou-eienaars help om die beste inisiatiewe te identifiseer om in te belê? Die metode wat in hierdie studie gebruik is om bogenoemde vrae te antwoord, is gebaseer op twee navorsings benaderings. Die eerste deel van hierdie studie het gebruik gemaak van 'n literatuuroorsig om ʼn kennisraamwerk te definieer en te vestig, wat dan in die tweede deel van die studie, ʼn gevallestudie, gebruik word. Die metode wat gebruik is vir die gevalle studie is gebaseer op toegepaste navorsing, waar die werklike probleme wat verband hou met die ontwikkeling van 'n geskikte volhoubaarheid maatstawings proses vir die PRWK gedokumenteer en geassesseer is. Die resultate van die studie was die bevinding dat daar 'n vermiste skakel bestaan tussen die teoretiese kennis ten opsigte van ‘n maatstawings stelsel vir volhoubaarheid en die wetlike vereiste van Wet 19 van 2007. Die vermiste skakel is dat gestandariseerde, accurate en verifieerbare data bemodig word vir die maatstawings proses. Daar is ook gevind dat die sosiale impakte van geboue verwaarloos word. Die studie stel voor dat ʼn universele standaard benodig word vir die versameling van die vereiste data. Die studie het ook n belangrike observasie gemaak dat daar 'n algemene wanopvatting in die industrie bestaan dat Omgewingsvolhoubaarheid sinoniem is met die Volhoubaarheid paradigma.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86437
This item appears in the following collections: