Steps to make sectional title schemes and homeowners’ associations more environmentally friendly are not only necessary, in view of the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and to slow down global warming, but have long term benefits as they inevitably raise the value of all units in the scheme.
This is according to Johann le Roux, Executive Director of levy financing company Propell, who says they are involved in supplying funding to schemes for these kinds of projects.
“Such improvements reduce energy costs, make buildings healthier to live in and will usually pay for themselves within two to five years, after which owners will continue to enjoy reduced costs for years to come.”
Quoting Donné Putter of the Green Building Council of SA, Johann says there is already proven evidence that greening a building adds 3.5% to 7% to its value – and as these systems become more sophisticated, the likelihood that premium buyers will be prepared to pay for a “green compliant” building will increase in the future.
“We have to accept that the rulings adopted by the government to ensure that all new buildings achieve at least a four star rating will become mandatory on all buildings at some stage in the future,” says le Roux.
He says certain city councils are already running courses on how to green existing buildings and these changes are currently voluntary, but no doubt will soon be compulsory.
Trustees of bodies corporate or homeowners’ associations who would like to upgrade their buildings and who do not have the resources readily available to carry out such projects, can apply to Propell for a project loan.
Asked how Propell would assess such applications, Johann explains that a due diligence process would be carried out to ascertain whether the scheme met the criteria of the Propell credit policy, and should this be the case, would then advance the sum needed to complete the project. The loan would then be paid back in instalments over a period decided on by the trustees.
“Although an initial capital outlay would be involved, the long term benefits to the scheme would always, without question, be beneficial to all concerned,” says le Roux.