Fourleaf Estate became the first residential development in Africa to receive certification for achieving the EDGE resource-efficiency standard in May this year. Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) handed over the certificate to Similan, the property developer for Fourleaf, at a ceremony at Mutual Park, Pinelands.
The Fourleaf residential estate in Port Elizabeth is leading the way in the residential development sector by demonstrating that it is possible to achieve green building efficiencies as well as meeting the demand for affordable housing.
Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) is a green building certification system developed for emerging markets by the International Finance Corporate (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. Homes built according to EDGE principles are designed to use 20% less water, 20% less electricity and 20% less energy embodied energy in the materials used in construction.
Fourleaf developers achieved savings of up to 25% more water efficient, and 29% more electricity efficient. Fourleaf was able to achieve savings of up to 43% in the embodied energy in the construction materials by using cored bricks, cellulose roof insulation and clay roofing tiles on timber rafters, and other initiatives. These resource efficiencies make the Fourleaf homes more affordable in utility usage than conventional houses with potential annual savings for homeowners of R 1 280 per unit per annum.
Ecolution Consulting, the EDGE auditors for the Fourleaf project, ensured that all criteria were met to achieve certification. The development is led by property development and marketing company, Similan, and funded by the Housing Impact Fund of South Africa (HIFSA), managed by the Development Impact Funds team within Old Mutual Alternative Investments.