Leading the Green Recovery with Green Building Council South Africa

Lisa Reynolds is the Chief Executive Officer of the Green Building Council South Africa. We explore her background, how she is leading the GBCSA in challenging times, the Green Recovery and why it is important, trends and opportunities for cities, legislation she would change with her magic wand, the Green Building Convention 2020, advice for woman in the built environment and words of encouragement.

Key Takeaways


  • Lisa drove the writing of the energy efficiency standards for buildings and worked on the regulatory advisory group.
  • She also worked on water standards, energy performance certificate standards, ISO 50001, and more.
  • She was approached even before the start of the Green Building Council of South Africa 9GBCSA) 2006 before the conception of GBCSA to about energy efficiency.
  • Lisa explains how she got involved in working with the GBCSA and her vision for the GBCSA going forward.

How she is leading the GBCSA in these challenging times

  • Lisa expands on offering value to members.
  • Changing education offering, making it interactive and putting g it online.
  • Let’s not go back to how things were before, let’s make it a Green Recovery.
  • Going green makes business sense. If you save energy or water you save costs.
  • We always spoke about green buildings being healthier buildings, now it is real with tangible benefits.
  • Green principals work for healthy buildings.

The business case for Green Buildings

  • The business case is not fully understood, GBCSA has a role to play.
  • Benefits are in the Return on Investment.
  • What does it mean to you as a tenant or building owner more than simply ROI?
  • GBCSA can and will do more to educate the market and the wider public.

Green Recovery and stakeholder collaboration

  • People are looking for solutions and are more open to innovation and collaboration.
  • Lisa explains a hybrid type of approach going forward.
  • South Africans are very innovative and we should be looking for opportunities

Trends and Opportunities for Cities

  • Water is the biggest challenge to cities, Lisa explains why.
  • Let’s analyse the city as a whole and ask how we can make it flow and have safe water and safe spaces.
  • Tackle it precinct by precinct.
  • Lisa explains her views on rejuvenating suburbs and cities.

Legislation Lisa would change if she had a magic wand

  • Take the fundamentals of Green Living and make it the norm for everyone.
  • Lisa explains why.

Advice for woman in the Built Environment

  • The green space is optimal for women-led companies, Lisa explains.
  • 4/5 of staff at GBCSA are female.
  • There are a lot of opportunities for women to get involved in the industry, especially in retrofitting.

Green Building Convention 2020 going digital

  • 28 -30 October. Exciting virtual experience.
  • Fully immersive program.
  • Virtual exhibition. As you walk past some their names are above their avatar and you can engage with them.
  • Lisa explains the benefits and how networking will take place in the virtual environment.
  • There are different tracks with great speakers on important subject matters.
  • It’s a bit like playing The Sims.

Words of encouragement

  • Don’t get too pessimistic.
  • There are opportunities to recover, we have to go for it.
  • Let’s recover in a green manner.
  • All is not lost, it really isn’t.

About Lisa Reynolds
Lisa Reynolds is the CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). She is a long-time champion of sustainable, green building practices and has a proven track record with GBCSA, which includes serving on the Technical Working Group for the first Green Star SA rating tool, as well as on the Board of Directors. Beyond her qualifications, which include a BSc (Chemistry), CEM, and an MBA, Reynolds was the co-founder of the Green Building Design Group, the Sustainability Development Executive at Saint-Gobain and Chair of the SANS Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings initiative. She is currently also serving as immediate Past President of the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation.

About Green Building Council South Africa
The GBCSA works with its membership community to inspire a built environment in which people and planet thrive.

We are passionate, collaborative planet shapers that operate across the commercial, residential, and public sectors to ensure that buildings and homes are designed, built, and operated in an environmentally sustainable way. Our combined influence drives competitive, viable, and professional membership advantages. GBCSA’s affiliations enable access to a community of experts at home and abroad.

The GBCSA is one of about 75 members of the World Green Building Council.
Together we create a platform for advocacy, training, and certification.

Visit https://gbcsa.org.za/

About Green Building Convention
As we adapt to our new ways of living, we challenge ourselves to new ways of thinking. The built environment and community is taking strain, however, we cannot let this stop us from learning, growing, and navigating our way to a better, more sustainable future. With new technologies and brilliant minds hard at work, we have created an exciting, immersive virtual experience that is taking the GBCSA Convention online.

The virtual environment will make you feel like you are really there with hyper-realistic real-life environments that you can navigate around and interact with. Connect with an engaged and influential green building community and the best local and international sustainability thought leaders at the 13thGreen Building VIRTUAL Convention.

More info and register here: https://gbcsa.org.za/gbcsa-convention/

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