Winners of ABSA International Innovative and Sustainable Housing Competition to be announced in March

Sustainable Housing Design in Action
Sustainable housing is an increasingly relevant topic in South Africa. We continue to struggle with an ongoing energy crisis whereby we are unable to generate enough electricity for the entire country to operate. A recent initiative by ABSA Bank promises to gain the interest of many local and international folk involved in sustainable house design. The first ever ABSA International Innovative and Sustainable Housing Competition was launched in March last year and is drawing to a close next month when the winners of the competition will be announced. The competition is aimed at raising awareness of a very serious worldwide situation, as well as gaining important knowledge and ideas for building sustainable houses in future. The winners in the major categories of the competition will be awarded R250 000 which is sponsored by ABSA. Regular brick and mortar construction is not allowed to be used in the sustainable house design of the competition entrants. The idea is to create affordable and viable alternative methods of design that can be implemented by the general public in future. Some of the most important criteria that the Sustainable Houses will be marked on are: - Durability - Architectural quality - Cost and value for money - Speed of construction - Energy efficiency - Social acceptance of the design and use of energy - Bank acceptance of the proposed designs The University of Pretoria will be acting as the analysts who will be analyzing the energy efficiency of all the sustainable housing that is entered into the competition. The project is aimed at a global market and not just South Africa. Sustainable housing experts from around the world have entered, including countries such as: Kuwait, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Namibia. Luthando Vutula, the Managing Executive of Absa Home Loans had the following to say about the competition: "Absa is committed to supporting the credo of the Minister of Human Settlements Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlement - that every South African has access to permanent housing that provides secure tenure, privacy, protection from the elements, and access to basic services. Due to the energy crisis facing South Africa, there is a need to test and showcase new energy technologies. Accordingly Absa has added "energy efficiency" as a second dimension to the competition” This is a stunning effort by ABSA it has to be said and is fully supported by Sustainable Goods. We will be sure to keep you updated on the winners and some of the Sustainable housing designs that emerge as a result of this competition.