Sustainability in building should include social and economic and environmental factors
THE GREEN Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), in conjunction with the World Green Building Council (WGBC) are developing a framework and new rating tool category for green buildings. The tool is meant to make green certification ratings even more relevant to the unique circumstances of developing countries.
The Social and Economic Development framework will feature an innovative set of benchmarks that, when applied primarily to the design and construction of green buildings in developing countries, will address societal challenges such as poverty, unemployment, inequality, lack of education and skills, and poor health. By expanding the focus of green buildings, the GBCSA and the WGBC hope to strengthen the relevance of a Green Star rated building in the context of development priorities.
The concept of sustainability usually spans three factors: social, economic and environmental. Most green building rating systems have mainly focused exclusively on environmental impacts so far, but there is an increasing interest in the inclusion of social and economic impacts as well – especially in developing countries which have to address issues of meeting fundamental needs.
The socio-economic framework to be created will concentrate on the factors that are seen as the biggest challenges in developing countries, and which can most readily be measured and included in rating tools.