Residential Property News South Africa

Six-star green neighbourhood, Newinbosch, ticks all the boxes

Newinbosch Neighbourhood Estate in Stellenbosch recently received a Six Star Green Star Sustainable Precincts rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) – a first for South Africa and Africa.
Source: Supplied.
Source: Supplied.

“Although only three other precincts have achieved four-star ratings in the past, it is the first time a precinct in South Africa has received the Six Star Green Star,” says Harold Spies, chief executive of Similan, the development company at Newinbosch.

“The rating is significant for a number of reasons – not least of which is that all except one of the major banks offer substantially reduced interest rates on home loans for Green Star-rated properties.”

According to a recent Pam Golding Properties Green Survey, 68.8% of home buyers are prepared to pay a premium for homes with green features.

“Newinbosch ticks all the sustainability boxes that buyers are looking for,” says Louise Varga, area manager for Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay at Pam Golding Properties, the marketing agency for Newinbosch.

“The entire precinct has been methodically designed to encourage a live-work-play way lifestyle that enhances residents’ quality of life. The design places pedestrians first, with interconnected walkways and cycling routes and community amenities easily accessible.”

Newinbosch has also earned its Edge Advanced certification, ensuring that homes are at least 40% more energy efficient and 20% more water and material-efficient than the norm. In addition to qualifying owners for better bond rates, this also significantly lowers running costs.

Other noteworthy advantages for residents include the absence of load shedding up to Stage 3, and guaranteeing uninterrupted limited power from Stage 4 to Stage 8. The remarkably efficient renewable energy system combines solar power, municipal grid supply, batteries, - and possibly generators - to supply power to the Newinbosch Microgrid.

This grid will distribute energy to homes through smart meters. In the event of Stage 4 load shedding or higher, the Newinbosch Energy system will remotely turn off non-essential equipment like geysers, stoves, ovens and air conditioners to balance the load. This will ensure that essential installations like plug points, lights and Wi-Fi remain powered.

Newinbosch development's future plans

Says Varga: “Sales have surpassed half a billion rand since the launch in March 2023, with 325 units sold. Phase one, comprising 200 homes, is fully sold out, and resales are already underway. In addition, the 136 Bosk apartments are now 93% sold. Construction is well under way and several homes are ready for occupation. Work has also started on the Newinbosch Square Shopping Centre.

Source: Supplied.
Source: Supplied.

“Phase two - consisting of 106 townhouses, courtyard homes and homestead units - is due to be launched in the next few weeks. Demand for these homes is very high, with many requests pouring in and the waiting list growing daily.”

“The recent awarding of the Six Star Green Star Sustainable Precinct rating is a significant achievement, and we expect it to have a marked impact on the ongoing success of the neighbourhood,” adds Varga.

Green building certifications

From the start of the project, Newinbosch was enrolled for five prominent green building certifications through the GBCSA.

Edge (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency) – offers a measurable way to cut back on resource intensity of residential buildings. This certification was recently awarded.

GBCSA Net Zero Ecology is awarded to projects that go beyond the partial reduction recognised in GBCSA tools. Credits are awarded for enhancing biodiversity, habitat and quality of green spaces.

Sustainable Precincts Green Star rating is a tool that was developed to influence and incentivise the creation and use of good design to enhance community and environmental outcomes.

It evaluates environmental performance in the planning, design and construction phases of precincts and neighbourhoods, rather than issues specific to buildings.

The tool credits measure the processes for site selection, analysis and layout and include benchmarks for engaging with stakeholders in site planning. Site-wide green infrastructure works - hard and soft - are also encouraged. Newinbosch has achieved a Six Star Green Star rating.

Five Star Green Star: The social hub of Newinbosch, The Grappa Shed, will pursue this certification with its specific focus on water efficiency, indoor quality, sustainable materials and innovative design.

Newinbosch is also setting its sight on GBCSA Net Zero Carbon certification for the Grappa Shed. This certification which will recognise the neighbourhood’s commitment to energy efficiency, guaranteeing that the building’s operation energy is sourced from renewable resources.

In addition, Newinbosch features a series of innovative solutions that drive efficient use of natural resources and reduces carbon footprint. These include:

  • New-generation waste management systems.
  • Green infrastructure.
  • Sustainable landscaping - restoring local fauna and flora habitats and planting pocket forests providing ecosystems that purify the air.
  • A not-for-profit urban farm.
  • Water efficiency using stormwater and grey water for irrigation.

“Our aim is to create the greenest neighbourhood in South Africa - and maybe even in Africa,” says Spies.

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