The programme for this year’s AfriSam-South African Institute of Architects (Saia) Award for Sustainable Architecture and Innovation will now include two new categories, namely Sustainable Products & Technology and Sustainable Social Programmes, which join the mainstay categories of Sustainable Architecture and Research in Sustainability, to ensure that the full spectrum of design, innovation and sustainability is covered by the award categories.
The biennial AfriSam-Saia awards acknowledged and showcased buildings and projects that were the result of an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They recognised contributions that brought sustainable innovation to human living environments through an integrated approach to communities, planning, design, architecture, building practice, natural systems and technology.
The awards also aimed to highlight that South Africa was at the forefront of sustainable and innovative design and that sustainability, in particular, was part of the country’s design culture.
The Alexander Forbes headquarters in Sandton, Johannesburg, designed by Paragon Architects and Paragon Interface, took top honours in the built work category at the 2014 AfriSam-Saia Award. The 4-Star Green Star-rated building was designed to maximise the efficiency of water, energy and waste systems, resulting in 70% less water used, 50% less waste generated and 40% less energy consumed.
ONLINE ENTRY SYSTEM
This year, the AfriSam-Saia awards organisers received a record 47 entries across four award categories, which could be attributed to the introduction of a new online entry system. This not only dovetailed with the tech savvy nature of a modern architect, but also cut costs by reducing the amount of print material required, as well as the time it would take to courier large quantities of printed material to nominees.
Real-time support from the agency offices also ensured that any missing documentation could be quickly and conveniently submitted in hours rather than days.
Entries closed on March 24 and the adjudication panel was now assessing the list of entries, deciding on a qualifying shortlist of projects which would then be visited and assessed on location before the announcement of the final results at an awards event in October.
The adjudicators for the awards included convener Kevin Bingham along with sustainable architecture academic Daniel Irurah, sustainable architect from the CSIR Llewellyn van Wyk, AfriSam representative Sebasti Badenhorst, Architecture for a Sustainable Future director Eric Noir, and architect and furniture designer Richard Stretton.