New green building regulations to boost manufacturing sector

The new Energy Efficiency (EE) building regulations that come into effect next month will boost the manufacturing sector as well as the economy, says the minister of trade and industry Rob Davies.

Speaking at the South African Bureau of Standard (SABS) Convention held in Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand  yesterday, Davies said the EE regulations are the first for South Africa and require that all new buildings, whether it is homes, industrial buildings, hotels and schools will have to meet minimum energy efficiency requirements. The energy efficiency regulations are in line with the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act.

“The EE building regulations requirements include that new buildings will have to have solar water heaters, heat pumps, or similar technologies. Ceilings, walls, windows, will have to meet minimum requirements for preventing heat loss (in winter) or heat gain (in summer) in order to meet the energy efficient targets. Buildings will also have to be fitted with energy efficient heating, air conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems” said Davies.

He added that the Energy Efficiency regulations will contribute positively towards government’s goal of creating five million jobs by 2020.

“Opportunities will be created in the manufacturing sector as well as the installation services when we produce and install one million solar water heaters by the 2014/15. If we achieve this, the estimation is that we can create around 18 000-jobs,” said Davies.

According to Davies, the EE building regulations will contribute to the drive to use electricity in a more sustainable manner, to encourage industrial development through sectoral support and ultimately to create more jobs. It will also contribute to South Africa’s green industry and climate change mitigation initiatives.

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