Saturday 19 October 2013

Are Sustainable Buildings a Constituitional Requirement?

The South African Constitution is widely recognised as one of the most progressive constitutions worldwide. It has a strong focus on human rights and the environment. This recognised through a requirement for reasonable legislation and other measures to be developed to ‘secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development’

This paper aims to understand the implications for the built environment of this statement through interpreting and expanding this into an explicit set of requirements for the built environment. The paper discusses these requirements in light of existing legislation and reflects on whether adequate measures are being taken in the built environment to implement and promote environmental aspects of the South African Constitution.

The review reveals that current building-related legislation only partially addresses the environmental and sustainability rights stated in the Constitution. The paper outlines a number of areas where legislation falls short of Constitutional requirements and makes some recommendations on how these gaps could be addressed.

Keywords: Built Environment, Constitution, Sustainability

Contact me for a copy of the paper.

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