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The Greenovate Awards Programme, which aims to get students of the built environment to find more sustainable ways of living, has created a new category: Engineering. The competition is now open to students of the electric, electronic, mechanical, and civil engineering fields.

Greenovate Awards engineering categoryFounded by Growthpoint Properties with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), the Greenovate Awards programmeis in its third year. The University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, and University of Pretoria piloted the programme for the built environment in 2015 in the property studies and construction faculties of these universities. Last year, students of these faculties at University of Free State and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University joined the pursuit to find new ways to support more sustainable living.

Eight South African universities are contending in the Greenovate Awards this year, including Stellenbosch University and the University of the North West at its Potchefstroom Campus, both from the engineering faculties. The University of Cape Town will now also compete in the engineering category.

“We see the Greenovate Programme as a source for potential Growthpoint graduates and internships, as well as opening up doors to many of the other business leaders attending the awards dinner and the GBCSA Convention. It supports Growthpoint’s recruitment of students who have a good understanding of sustainability, which is a priority for us,” says Werner van Antwerpen, head of sustainability at Growthpoint Properties.

The awards programme is based on final-year and honours university students coming up with ideas that result in a research project that promotes a more sustainable built environment. “It can be any idea that makes the way we live greener and our environmental footprint lighter. These ideas can apply to any aspect of a building - design, development, planning, construction, materials, or a collaboration across different areas,” the website says. The same applies for the engineering awards.

Each university’s panel selects the top two projects submitted by individual students or groups. The shortlisted students interact with professional mentors before being evaluated by the judges.

The winning team from each of the two streams – property and construction studies, and engineering – will take home R30 000. The winners will also present their research to leading built environment professionals at the annual GBCSA Green Building Convention. Second and third prizes for both streams are R15 000 and R10 000 respectively, along with tickets to the GBCSA Convention.

Image credit: Copyright: a4ndi / 123RF Stock Photo

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