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UCT takes top honours in 2018 Greenovate Property, Engineering Awards

For the second year in a row, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has taken top honours in both the Greenovate Property Awards and the Greenovate Engineering Awards 2018.
L-R: Karen Le Jeune (UCT supervisor), Michael Inskip, Morgan Knowles and Samantha Johnson - Greenovate 2018 Property Award winners, and Saul Nurick (UCT supervisor)


The Greenovate Awards is a joint venture initiative between Growthpoint Properties and the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) launched in 2015. This student programme aims to educate and reward the young minds and future leaders of South Africa for innovation and green building in the built environment.

The programme has two streams: the Greenovate Property Awards, offered for the fourth time in 2018, and the Greenovate Engineering Awards, now in its second year.

A total of eight universities competed again this year. Only UCT and University of Johannesburg (UJ) competed in both award streams. This year, 16 finalists were adjudicated.

The pioneering submissions varied from exciting ideas for green building materials, methods and management to alternative sources of energy and water used within buildings, extracting valuable by-products that buildings generate, the most efficient ways to heat and cool buildings, the positive impacts of green buildings on the people who build and use them, and the accessibility of the public spaces between buildings.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner in Sandton Central with international keynote speaker and business strategist Zipho Sikhakhane.

Greenovate Property Awards 2018:


1. Winners: The UCT team of Michael Inskip, Samantha Johnson and Morgan Knowles, supervised by Saul Nurick and Karen Le Jeune, with their submission titled, “Assessing the relationship between green buildings and their occupants' green citizenship”. The team won R30,000 as well as the opportunity to present at GBCSA Conference 2019, local flights and accommodation included.

2. Second place: The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) team made up of Rashid Bulbulia, Onneile Mfetane, Hitekani, Mongwe, with their submission titled, “Incorporating cow dung in modern acoustics”. Stuart Ray supervised the team. The team won R15,000 as well as GBCSA Convention 2019 tickets.

3. Third place: The Wits team of Kimera Ramruthan, Ziev Shani and Justin Watkins, supervised by Prisca Simbanegavi, with their submission titled, “Investigating the possibility of making rental housing in the gap market more affordable through green building technology”. The team won R10,000 and GBCSA Convention 2019 tickets.

Greenovate Engineering Awards 2018:


1. Winners: UCT student Chloe Bolton, supervised Dr Dyllon Randall, with the submission titled, “Greywater treatment and reuse: wetland microbial fuel cell and sand filtration system for the on-site treatment and recycling of handwashing greywater”. The student took home R30,000 and earned the opportunity to present at GBCSA Conference 2019, local flights and accommodation included.

L-R: Mitesh Bhawan, head of sustainability and utilities at Growthpoint Properties; Chloe Bolton, Greenovate 2018 Engineering Award winner; and Manfred Braune, GBCSA managing executive: sector development & transformation and executive director

2. Second place: North West University (NWU) student Eben Schutte with the submission, “Investigating the suitability of electromagnetic water flow meters in a residential context”. Dr Henri Marais and Dr Leenta Grobler supervised the team. The student won R15,000 as well as GBCSA Convention 2019 tickets.

3. Third place: The Stellenbosch University (SUN) team of Marchant van den Heever and Frederick Albrecht Bester, supervised by Prof GPAG Van Zijl, with their “3D printed concrete” submission. The team won R10,000 and GBCSA Convention 2019 tickets.

Changing our built environment for the better


The innovative idea for an on-site nutrient recovery urinal by winner of the Greenovate Engineering Award in 2017, Craig Peter Flanagan who represented UCT, has been implemented by Growthpoint at its new head office development for Exxaro in Pretoria. By incorporating the fertiliser producing urinal concept into a major commercial office, it has changed Growthpoint’s thinking on how it develops new buildings.

This practical example of the benefits of encouraging and enabling green building innovation is another reason that Growthpoint and GBCSA have set their sights on continuing to grow the competition and programme to include more universities and a broader knowledge base of innovative solutions.

“Greenovate has, over the years, provided a platform for students to deal with real-life green building research projects and solutions. The amazing energy these students display is inspiring and encourages us all to do more. The green building movement is in desperate need of vibrant young minds to take us to greater heights, and this is where it all begins,” said Dorah Modise, CEO of GBCSA.
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