Green Building Council expert to mentor regional winner in RICS global future cities competition.

The Heat Island team (from left) Negin Ghorbani, Brian Hoy, Sash Scott, Joseph Augustin, Sean Holden and Christopher Burman (absent: Alistair Shaw and Luke Jones). Credit: GBCSA

Sian Cohen, business development manager and key account specialist of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), will mentor the African winner and global finalist in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) Cities for our Future competition in their effort to take home the top prize of £50 000.

Run by RICS, in partnership with the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the competition aims to encourage young people around the globe to think about the challenges facing the world’s cities and to draw upon their imagination and innovative ideas to create real, practical solutions that global cities can implement.

From the 1 200 entries initially submitted from around the world, 12 finalists are now developing their ideas, under the tutelage of industry experts to vie for first place in the competition, and global recognition.

The winner for Africa, Heat Island, a new design studio from the United Kingdom, who will be mentored by Cohen, designed an innovative building cooling technology to address the rapidly escalating energy demands required for air-conditioning in hot arid climates.

Some experts estimate that by 2050, over 50% of global electricity consumption may come from building cooling as temperatures rise as a result of climate change.

“Competitions like this highlight the opportunity for global talent to address our shared climate change concerns. Never has it been more imperative that buildings the world over are environmentally responsible, and constructed with maximum energy and resource efficiency top of mind,” Says Cohen.

She continues, “Heat Island’s concept perfectly combines future thinking tech opportunities with traditional building systems to address the core issue of rapidly urbanising African cities. As a result, I am excited to be involved in assisting them in exploring the potential to further their project.”

The winner of the competition will be announced in November 2018.