The South African Constitution
Are sustainable buildings mandatory?
The South African Constitution is widely recognized as one of the most progressive constitutions worldwide. The constitution has a strong focus on human rights and the environment. This recognized 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.