Some would argue that the Greenbuild Conference is about motivation, more than education, and we were happy to see that the inspiration was coming from different parts of the world. While it is undeniable that the discussion about sustainable development and green building design should be a global one, one of the education sessions offered this year, LEED-ND and Sustainable Urban Development in Africa, provided valuable insights and tips for architects involved in international projects.
Two real-life examples were presented to describe the challenges and opportunities to use LEED for neighborhood development in international projects: Ville Verte Mohammmed VI, an urban and environmental concept for the expansion of Ben Guérir in Morocco, and Menlyn Maine, a mixed-use development in the suburbs of Pretoria, South Africa. These projects were also a good illustration of the need for a customization of the tools (unit conversion tools and regional priority credits) in regions usually characterized by a weaker regulatory environment. The other key takeaway of the discussion was the importance of a third party to certify exemplary development projects. We loved to see the commitment of these pioneering project teams and encourage all the architects dedicated to make this world a better one!
Menlyn Maine, a 135 000m² area created for people to work, play and live within walkable distances thus creating a new city node away from the centre of Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Menlyn Maine