OPEN CALL: Sustainable Design Awards Call for Thinkers & Innovators

Since its inception in 2009, the AfriSam-SAIA Award has celebrated a decade of contributions to sustainable architecture and innovation. This has grown into South Africa’s most prestigious sustainability award, drawing an exciting range of entries, honoring outstanding achievements in sustainable architecture.

The AfriSam-SAIA Award supports a learning journey towards regenerative design with an emphasis on sustainability, innovation, transformation, and multidisciplinary efforts. “We need to respond to the needs of our world by pursuing new methods of building that are economical and environmentally conscious. We need to find ways to improve material efficiency, design and the re-use of buildings. It is also our duty to revisit ancient best practices and knowledge systems that will set us on a new trajectory towards sustainability,” said Dr. Luyanda Mpahlwa, President of SAIA.

“Leaders in the built environment will have an important role to play in creating new spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify and provide a better quality of life for everyone. Sustainability is not just about buildings, it’s about changing and improving lives,” added Dr. Philippa Tumubweinee, practicing professional architect and academic.

Entries for the Sustainable Design award are accepted in four categories: 

  1. Sustainable Architecture; 
  2. Research in Sustainability; 
  3. Sustainable Products and Technology; 
  4. Sustainable Social Programmes.

The South African Institute of Architects recognises the importance of “green” buildings and encourages its members to incorporate sustainability in building design at an early stage. 

AfriSam-SAIA is in search of architectural innovations that will reshape the country’s buildings both in look and in function. These entries must fight for the most innovative architecture achievements that will stand for a brighter, greener future.

Anyone looking to enter should get familiar with the category specifications before entering. More than one project may be submitted (separate entries for each) and entries are free. Both architects and non-architects, as well as students, are welcome to submit their designs (more than one is permitted).

All 2019/2020 entries must be submitted online at before 31 March 2020.

The prestigious adjudicator panel for the 2019/2020 include: 

  • Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa, our SAIA President, professional architect, and convener.
  • Somers Govender, practising professional architect.
  • Dr Gillian Adendorff, practising senior professional architect.
  • Dr Philippa Tumubweinee, practising professional architect, academic and expert in sustainable architecture.  
  • ( Previous winner) Sphephelo Mhlongo.

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