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Determining the effectiveness of buildings contribution to resource

efficiency at Mahikeng North West Province.



A masters research proposal submitted to the Department of Geography.

1. Introduction

Green buildings are structures of any usage category that subscribe to the principle of sustainable
development and requires the use of environmentally friendly building materials that do not put a
threat to the environment (Bauer et al., 2009). According to Hordeski, (2011) states that green
buildings can result in reduced operating cost, improved public and occupant health and reduced
environmental impacts. Approximately 40 percent of the total energy is consumed in both the
United States and Europe buildings (Hordeski, 2011). The World Green Building Council, which
was formed in 1999, and it was aimed at administrating the LEED approach in the international
context of green building technology by reducing the high rate of energy use. South Africa has
launched its first green building council in 2007 with a Green Star rating tool which was released
in 2008.

The North West Province is located in the north of South Africa near the Botswana border. The
area is surrounded/situated around the Kalahari desert in the west. Mahikeng is the capital town
of the North West province, which is comprised of various government departments. The types
of government and industrial buildings of the town are constructed of bricks, mud and are non-
green buildings.

The buildings legal, technological, architectural and economic landscape has been altered by the
universal environmental problems such as deforestation, climate change, loss of biodiversity and
unsustainable use of natural resources, etc. Due to such global environmental problems there has
been a vast exponential growth in green building movements that aimed at applying sustainable
principles into homes (Furr et al., 2009). A study by the has declared
how potential green buildings can be in the environment. In a study it was discovered that US
energy efficiency was through green buildings in order to avoid the combustion of 1.3 million
tons of coal for electricity (Makower & Greener World Media, 2009).

The rate of urbanization and building techniques in rural countries of Africa is growing rapidly
and it leaves the continent under particular pressure in terms of energy use. As such the building
operations in the Sub-Saharan Africa are reported to consume about 56 percent of energy use
(United Nations, 2010). The rural communities of Mahikeng North West Province natural
resource/energy consumption is expected to grow at a faster rate due to a high rate of population

1.2 Problem statement

The consideration of environmental resources-use when constructing buildings has increased

most developed countries like the United States of America, but in most African countries are
still using traditional methods (dont consider the environmental resource-use). Several studies
which have been conducted about green building technology and have shown how cost effective,
energy efficient and environmental friendly such practice can be (Hordeski, 2011). Green
building technology is a major practice not because of being environmentally friendly, but also
because of its marketing potential for both domestic and commercial, cost effective, better health
and long term role (Jones & Evans, 2008). Despite its potential, is a problem of implementation
in various rural communities of South Africa.


Very few studies have been conducted in South Africa and particularly on how effective are
buildings contributing to resource efficiency. In a recent study by Slabber (2013), concluded that
due to the fact that green building technology is a new development and more studies should be
carried out in South Africa. The study recommended that, upcoming studies should identify
suitable building materials to be implemented in the construction of various buildings. Most of
the studies that have been conducted contain data from countries abroad where green building
technology is more practiced. The study suggest that a research must be conducted on how
buildings contribute to energy efficiency. The study further proposes that local municipalities
must develop the necessary legal requirements that will enforce constructors to take initiatives to
contribute to buildings energy efficiency.

1.3 Aim of the study

The overall aim of the study is to determine the effectiveness of buildings contribution to
resource efficiency in the Mahikeng North West Province.
Specific objectives

To determine the buildings energy water performance.

To develop a grading criteria for buildings contribution to energy efficiency.
To recommend possible municipal policies inputs that contribute to energy efficiency.

1.4 Hypothesis

The implementation of green building technology has a great environmental potential in

developing residential cities.

1.5 Research questions

To determine the buildings energy water performance.

To develop a standard grading criteria for buildings contribution to energy efficiency.
To recommend possible municipal policies inputs that contribute to buildings energy

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