Winners: 2017/2018 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation

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WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES AND VIDEOS courtesy of AfriSam-SAIA


The winners of the 2017/2018 AfriSam-SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation were announced on 26 October 2018 at an awards ceremony in Cape Town.

The awards were judged by Maryke Cronje, 2018 President of the South African Institute of Architecture (SAIA); Dr Sechaba Maape (sustainability architecture academic and architect); Philippa Tumubweinee (academic and co-founder of IZUBA INafrica Architects); Dr Emmanuel Nkambule (academic with particular interest in the social environment); AfriSam Raw Materials and Sustainability Manager, Niraksha Singh and Richard Stretton (founder of architecture and furniture design studio Koop Design).

“The recipients of the various awards have demonstrated that if we each take responsibility in shifting our own behaviour, we can trigger the type of change that is necessary to achieve sustainability for human other organisms on our planet,” says Niraksha. “They have taught us that we can change our planet, our environment and our humanity every day, every year, every decade, and every millennium.”

Apart from the four buildings/structures chosen as winners in the Sustainable Architecture category, listed below, awards also went to the Gauteng City-Region Observatory in the Research in Sustainability category for its research into a framework for a green infrastructure planning approach in the area. In the Sustainable Products and Technology category, Use it Waste Beneficiation (RF) NBC, which developed a sustainable building product (called Rambrick) that only uses 5% cement and no water, was awarded, as well as hearScreen, a hearing screening solution created by hearX Group that makes use of a smartphone to test children’s hearing without the need for a health professional to be on site.

Silindokuhle Preschool by Colletif Saga, a winning project in the Sustainable Social Programs category, was built using sustainable, recycled materials by the community of Joe Slovo, with the aim to provide children with a better learning environment.

The Wilds was another winner in this category, that saw a 40-acre public space in Joburg transformed by artist James Delaney, together with a group of volunteers, into a beautiful park.

Below are the four buildings/structures that were awarded in the Sustainable Architecture category:

● House Burnett Prinsloo by architect Robert de Jager

Energy use, light and the relationship between humans and nature came to the fore during the seven-month design process of this Cape Town home.

● Fulham Heights by Local Studio (Pty) Ltd

Regeneration and the community were top of mind when it came to designing this mixed-use development in Brixton.

● House Gardiner by Simply Sustainable

Located on Monaghan Farm, this eco-estate made use of locally sourced, natural materials (including decomposed gravel found on site) during the construction process. The estate also promotes organic farming.

● RBDIZ Entrance Gate by architects Jeremy Steere and Sphelele Mhlongo

An environmentally sensitive entrance gate designed in partnership between architects Sphelele Mhlongo and Jeremy Steere in the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone.

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For more information, visit sustainabledesign.co.za. See this year’s full shortlist, here.