Construction Trends 2020

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2019/2020 AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Awards open for entries

The South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) is calling for entries in its 2019/2020 AfriSam-SAIA Sustainable Design Awards. All architects, engineers, project managers and design practitioners are invited to enter projects with a harmonious vision of shaping communities for livable sustainability.
Previous winner: Vele Secondary School

The winner of the inaugural AfriSam Student Design Challenge, which calls on students to design with sustainable solutions for existing architecture and urban design, will also be announced as part of this initiative.

“We need to respond to the needs of our world by pursuing new methods of building that are economical and environmentally conscious. We need to find ways to improve material efficiency, design and the re-use of buildings. It is also our duty to revisit ancient best practices and knowledge systems that will set us on a new trajectory towards sustainability,” said Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa, president of SAIA.


  • Sustainable Architecture;
  • Research in Sustainability;
    Sustainable Products and Technology; and
  • Sustainable Social Programmes.

Going into detail about the categories, Dr Philippa Tumubweinee, practising professional architect and academic said: “Apart from recognising excellence in ‘sustainable architecture’ and ‘research in sustainability’, we also invite entries that make innovative contributions to the fields of ‘sustainable products and technology’ and ‘sustainable social programmes’.

“We encourage architects in Africa to look into their own history and heritage to produce architecture that is reflective of the regions in which buildings exist. Sustainability is not only about technology, but also about an integrated design approach – of relating to one’s self, other people and the environment.”

“It is as basic as understanding traditional building techniques and rebooting them to build spaces that respect the identity, climate and cultural history of our communities.”

Previous winner :Lebone II College

Said Mpahlwa, “We know that a more sustainable world is possible through multidisciplinary collaboration across all industries. By taking an integrated design approach to communities, planning, research, architecture, building practice, natural systems and technology we can create a world that benefits a more inclusive and sustainable society.”

More than one project may be submitted (separate entries for each) and entries are free. All 2019/2020 entries must be submitted online at before 31 March 2020.

Adjudicator panel for the 2019/2020 awards:

  • Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa, SAIA president, professional architect, and convener
  • Somers Govender, practising professional architect
  • Dr Gillian Adendorff, practising senior professional architect
    <>liDr Philippa Tumubweinee, practising professional architect, academic and expert in sustainable architecture;
  • Sphephelo Mhlongo, previous winner
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