Great innovation launched on the SA stage

Great innovation launched on the SA stage

Zama Zaca, head of new business development at design and build company Tétris South Africa, has launched a Sustainability Code developed by the company to help drive sustainable thinking, action and innovation throughout the design and build cycle of all its projects.

She gave a presentation at the Green Building Convention, hosted by the Green Building Council of South Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from November 2 to 4, on practical ways to deliver sustainable workspaces.

Instrumental in developing and implementing business growth for Tétris, Zaca is inspired by the continuous evolution of the design and construction industry as it grapples with climate change and the requirements of new generations of workers. Her talk, titled “Moving from BLAH, BLAH, BLAH – to DO, DO, DO”, went to the heart of the company’s intent.

“This global launch of the Tétris Sustainability Code on the South African stage is the group’s commitment across 840 employees and 34 offices in 18 countries working on approximately 4 000 interior projects a year to put practical, measurable and sustainable actions in place to ensure that projects move through sustainable intent and concepts to sustainability delivered,” she said. “This is important, as projects can inevitably shift from what was intended through budget and delivery pressures to possibly not delivering the best sustainable result against the environment, social and governance (ESG) pillars.”

ESG principles are currently the key drivers shaping real estate and workspace decisions, and it is therefore now the responsibility of every business leader to help shape the future. “The pandemic has shifted the expectations of our workspace and our work life. There’s a growth in resignations as people renegotiate their relationship with work and employment,” Zama noted.

JLL Global Research shows that, increasingly, companies will need to ensure that the culture they create and the brands they build demonstrate a real commitment to ESGs. “People feel more comfortable knowing that their company cares – about them, the community and the planet – and office spaces will have to visibly demonstrate that these concerns are being taken seriously by the company.”

How the Sustainability Code works

The Sustainability Code enables Tétris’s clients to demonstrate to their employees their seriousness about sustainable workspaces. After registering the client’s initial desire for sustainable design features at the beginning of a project, the Tétris team then records the actual features delivered in the completed built space on completion of the project. The score given measures the gap between what the team aimed for and what they have achieved.

Benefits of the Code

  • It gives a better understanding of design challenges. By tracking the gap between a project’s sustainable features at concept versus realised build, the Tétris group can start to understand where the challenges for sustainable project delivery occur.
  • It measures the improvement of the designed space. The Code measures how much the Tétris intervention has improved the space. This means that every project strives for increased application of sustainable measures in materials, furniture, air, light, water, comfort and nature.
  • It engenders a culture of innovation. An understanding of sustainable applications at every stage of a project offers the opportunity for trying different ways to do things better. In this way, a culture of innovation is created on sustainability measures.
  • It raises awareness of sustainable design globally. By working across 18 countries on an annual average of about 4 000 projects globally, the Tétris group can make a significant impact.
  • It puts ideas into practice. With the Code, the responsibility for green design and practice becomes every team member’s responsibility. It goes beyond a response to a client’s brief, becoming a lived practice rather than a reaction to market drivers.
  • It enables productive dialogues. Because value is placed on closing the gap between design concept and delivered project, the Code enables productive dialogues with clients around budget and potential cost-cutting versus the future value of having measurably sustainable design features.

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