Going Green in Public Health Facilities Conference | Western Cape Government

Speeches

Going Green in Public Health Facilities Conference

17 September 2015

Speech by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works

  • Programme Director.
  • Representatives of various Western Cape Government departments.
  • Representatives of various public health facilities.
  • Representatives of various international organisations.
  • Event sponsors.
  • Invited guests.
  • Ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning, goeie môre, molweni

The Western Cape Government is pleased to host the third annual Going Green in Public Health Facilities Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is The Technical Groundbreaking of Healthcare Facilities Design. Yesterday and today, participants have been seeking green design solutions for infrastructural development in a time of big needs and small budgets.

Our involvement in this conference aims to ensure that the provincial government’s 110% Green initiative is considered seriously at all levels. We want to move South Africa towards a greener, cleaner and more sustainable future. In order to make this a reality, we are challenging all government structures and organisations to commit themselves to developing the green economy. This requires a paradigm shift; a shift in the way we treat our planet so that we can protect our environment. It represents a meaningful response to climate change.

In 2010, the province established GreenCape as a special purpose vehicle to unlock opportunities to promote the green economy and support businesses to improve their utilisation of resources, reduce their carbon intensity, and build the resilience of the regional economy. The green economy is new and is developing fast. Business opportunities may be constrained by such issues as inappropriate or out-of-date legislation and policy, a lack of credible information, limited market awareness, limited demand, and a shortage of business finance and skills. GreenCape’s team of sector experts make it their business to understand these shifting dynamics fully so they can provide useful and relevant support to existing and potential green businesses.

The Department of Transport and Public Works provides infrastructural services to our communities in the form of education and health facilities, general infrastructure and road infrastructure. Obviously the way in which we deliver our services has an impact on the environment.

We are taking steps to mitigate our negative impact on the environment and to improve the well-being of all by encouraging the built environment and construction industries to adopt greener approaches to design and construction.

The new R113 million Karl Bremer Hospital office block commissioned by the Department is a good example. The project, which is expected to be completed in January 2016, has received two prestigious design awards. The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) awarded the building a Green Five Star Office Design Certification. The Council also awarded the project a Green Star in the Socio-Economic Pilot Category, the first time this award has been made. 

The GBCSA awards offer independent recognition of the progress that the Western Cape Government is making in its “Green is Smart” strategy. The aim of this strategy is to promote green investments in living and working environments, ecosystems, energy, infrastructure, and agriculture.

Through this project, we are 110% committed to ensuring that what we build is in line with the 110% Green initiative. We aim to provide a platform that stimulates people and organisations to build an innovative and dynamic green economy. This project is an example of our commitment.

The Khayelitsha District Hospital, built at a total cost of R632 million, is another example of how the Department of Transport and Public Works incorporates energy saving and environmentally friendly design into its buildings. The hospital has 240 beds, a 24 hour emergency centre, and will cater for up to 1,5 million patients a year. Some of the green features of this groundbreaking facility include:

  • Extensive use of passive design features to reduce reliance on artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation.
  • A renewable energy system comprising a 25 kWh solar photovoltaic (PV) system and a 2 kWh wind turbine.
  • The use of low energy artificial lighting – light-emitting diodes (LEDs), compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) etc.
  • The use of heat pumps and positioning of mechanical plant at the main kitchen to optimise energy savings.
  • The use of clean water from autoclaves for re-use in toilets and water features.
  • Reducing exposure to volatile organic compounds by minimising the use of products such as adhesives, solvent-based finishes and paints.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The expected outcome of this conference is a proposed building efficiency standard practices document that will allow us to take a step closer to fulfilling our 110% Green vision for the built environment sector. We are expecting that participants will conclude in-depth discussions on standard practices with respect to:

  • energy efficiency.
  • waste efficiency.
  • water efficiency.
  • life cycle costing.

We in the Western Cape Government are striving to ensure that we deliver infrastructural services that protect the environment and benefit our communities. May this conference succeed in adding value by helping us further develop our green approach to infrastructure development for the benefit of all.  

I thank you.

Media Enquiries: 

Siphesihle Dube
Spokesperson for Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 483 8954
Cell: 084 233 3811
E-mail: siphesihle.dube@westerncape.gov.za 

You can follow the Department of Transport and Public Works on Twitter: @WCGovTPW