Online entries for the 2015/2016 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation are now open. The bi-annual award recognises contributions that bring sustainable innovation to human living environments through an integrated approach to communities, planning, design, architecture, building practice, natural systems and technology.

This year two new award categories have been added, significantly expanding South Africa’s most important built environment sustainability awards. The two mainstay categories of Sustainable Architecture and Research in Sustainability are now joined by Sustainable Products and Technology and Sustainable Social Programmes. This means that a full scope of visionaries working in the field of sustainable architecture, construction and innovation will now be recognised by the prestigious award, presented bi-annually by AfriSam and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA).

“The inclusion of the two new award categories is a recognition of the way that individuals and communities experience sustainable innovation – and that is through the broad built environments in which they live, work, play, commute and learn,” comments AfriSam’s CEO Stephan Olivier.

“It is also a recognition of the fact that we are now fully in a new era that recognises that sustainable design has to be a non-negotiable, integral part of the building industry from the very start of a project.”

“The emphasis is no longer on just the architecture and building practice,” adds Kevin Bingham, Vice President of SAIA.

“It is now on the sustained collaboration and ongoing innovation of these two key stakeholders working with communities, natural systems, technology and planning across all levels. This is the only way to bring sustainable innovation to the inhabitable environments that all our communities find themselves in on a daily basis.”

The broadening of the scope of the 2015/2016 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation to four categories is in step with important advances both in South Africa and globally.

The Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF15) taking place in Paris in December will see cross-sector participants – from business, Government, finance, UN, NGO and civil society – gather to bolster business innovation and bring scale to the emerging green economy. The Forum is set to be the largest business focused event taking place at COP21, underscoring the crucial role of sustainable innovation in the global journey towards a universal climate agreement.

Both SAIA and AfriSam support this global shift: SAIA through encouraging its members to incorporate sustainability in building design at an early stage and AfriSam by its commitment to sustaining the environment through responsible manufacturing processes.

All four categories are geared towards the recognition of regenerative whole systems design. Project entries are required to demonstrate their positive impact through the embodiment of sound sustainable practices, carrying the hallmarks of great architectural or social design and demonstrating innovative thinking in the field of sustainability.

Enter the 2015/2016 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation

View the 2013/2014 submissions in Architecture and research.

View 2011/2012 submissions in Architecture and research.

View 2009/2010 submissions in Architecture and research.