This year’s winners of the Greenovate Awards and the inaugural Greenovate Engineering Award have been announced. These awards, which recognise innovative solutions to environmental challenges for the property industry by students of the built environment, are a joint initiative by Growthpoint Properties and the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA).

A total of eight universities competed for both awards this year. Groups from each of the participating universities competed internally first, and the two top projects from each were chosen as finalists. This year the awards adjudicated a record 16 finalist teams.

Greenovate Award winnersNicholas Tennick, Daniel Navarro and Mark McCormick

The 2017 winner of the Greenovate Awards was a team from UCT. Mark McCormick, Daniel Navarro and Nicholas Tennick, supervised by Karen Le Jeune, were named the winners for their submission, titled “upgrading existing medium-density residential buildings with strategic green building features and initiatives holds the key to increasing affordable housing in Cape Town”. The winners took home R30,000 in prize money, as well numerous other rewards.

UCT also took second place, with team members Tarryn Coles, Anthony Testa and Gemma Watson investigating the viability of using self-sustaining shipping container homes as an affordable and sustainable approach to student housing.

Third place went to a team from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Thina Mangcu, Prudence Ndlovu and Yonwaba Mntonga, supervised by Dr Kola Ijasan, undertook a Johannesburg explorative study of a project manager’s skill and knowledge for green building construction.

UCT student Craig Peter Flanagan, supervised by Dr Dyllon Randall, won the Greenovate Engineering Award for the development of an on-site nutrient recovery urinal for buildings. The award came with a R30,000 prize.

North West University (NWU) was the runner up in the engineering category, with Reino von Wielligh, supervised by Dr Leenta Grobler and Dr Henri Marais, winning for his investigation of a solar powered parking bollard for parking space management. Third place went to Stellenbosch University student Petrus Johannes Stefanus Botes, with supervisor Prof Jan Andries Wium, who explored the development of sustainable construction systems in South Africa, specifically bamboo scaffolding.

“This awards programme is an excellent way for leading green corporates like Growthpoint to link to university students – the future leaders who will become champions of the sustainability movement. It closes the gap between what is learned at universities and the practical solutions that today’s businesses are seeking. The Greenovate Awards are producing revolutionary student projects backed by smart thinking. These young green trailblazers are discovering new ways to drive green building thinking forward, to ensure a better future,” says Remy Kloos, the driving force behind the Greenovate Awards.


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