Aurum Zimbali is EDGE Certified

Green Building and EDGE Certification

Aurum Zimbali Lakes, KZN’s newest development featuring 6 high end homes registered for EDGE certification with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) that conserve energy, water, and embodied energy in the building materials used. EDGE certification is a mark of next generation living, and a prestigious accolade of attention to efficiency in energy, water and materials and a dedication to detail in the design and construction of these unique homes surrounded by nature and beauty. Aurum Zimbali Lakes stands out and includes measures such as Solar PV heated water, external retractable facades, and louvers to prevent solar heat gain, low flow water fixtures and sanware, renewable energy and passive design.

Edge certification is awarded if the required minimum 20% savings in operational energy, water and embodied energy in materials compared to the base case model are achieved. These efficiencies translate into a simple pass/fail system and indicate whether the building project has demonstrated the minimum efficiency. Actual percentage savings for each project can be seen on the EDGE certificate as well as on the EDGE App. Each stage consists of 2 round submission process to the GBCSA. Aurum is at Preliminary certification and has been award EDGE Advanced certification by the GBCSA, having achieved 60% savings in energy at preliminary design stage. After Preliminary certification post practical completion the project will be submitted for EDGE Certification with the Auditors, the project is recommended for certification to the GBCSA.

Nexxagen has EDGE Experts inhouse and entered a contract with the EDGE Auditor separately for the Design Audit (Preliminary Stage) and the Site Audit (Post Construction Stage). To initiate the process, Nexxagen applied for certification, and paid a non-refundable certification fee to the GBCSA according to the fees set out by the GBCSA.

For Preliminary Certification, at Design Stage, the EDGE Auditor confirms through a Design Audit that the building project design self-assessment meets the EDGE Standard at EDGE or EDGE Advanced level. This must be undertaken before the building project is complete. If the building is complete the client should proceed directly to the EDGE Certification. The EDGE Auditor shall review the self-assessment and any supporting documentation provided and make an assessment on whether or not the EDGE Client has correctly interpreted the requirements of the EDGE Standard at EDGE or EDGE Advanced level. The Auditor then submits a written assessment and recommendation to the GBCSA for Preliminary Certification at EDGE or EDGE Advanced level. The EDGE Auditor’s written assessment and Recommendation was subject to an independent quality check by the relevant GBCSA, to ensure it is complete and prepared as per standard. There are multiple quality checks along the way to certification with ensures a quality end product. A preliminary certificate is issued by the GBCSA at preliminary stage. A building achieves an EDGE Advanced certificate provided that the building has achieved 40% savings in energy as a minimum.

After Preliminary Certification, at post construction stage, when the building project is complete, the EDGE Auditor shall verify through a Site Audit that the building project meets the EDGE Standard at EDGE or EDGE Advanced level, in line with documentation and design details used to confirm compliance in the Design Audit. The Site Audit must take place within 12 months of the project practical completion date. At this stage the EDGE certificate (post construction) is issued by the GBCSA on recommendation from the EDGE Auditor.

Why EDGE Certification?

Ballito is notorious for extreme humid summers, temperate winters and golden sun kissed coastlines. The sun is the most powerful light source, and an inspiration of the name AURUM which means gold and the nexus between nature and luxury. The sun is also a source of significant heat gain which is great for our temperate winter months but not during our humid summer months. With this in mind Nexxagen has sought to capture the benefits of our natural light and use this for our client’s and planet’s advantage. The Design Team has modelled each home using simulations. EDGE certification begins during stage 0 of the project, in the design conceptualisation of the project and subsequently brought to life by the Design Team that is carefully selected at the start of the project. The Design Team is briefed about the level of EDGE certification aspired to, requirements, processes, and documentation required. It is vital to select the Design Team that is conscious of the planet and ready to act against climate change whilst being serious about reducing carbon emissions to meet the stringent standards required.

From this point forward the team sets out to achieve the highest certification within the budget constraints of a successful project.

It is important to balance lighting and ventilation benefits of glazing against the impacts of heat gain on cooling needs and/or passive heating. For example, heat is generally transmitted in the building at a higher rate through glass than through walls. The goal is to find the correct balance between the transparent (glass) and the opaque surface in the external façades helps to maximize daylight while minimizing unwanted heat transfer, resulting in reduced energy consumption. Nexxagen has had a design goal to maximise illumination levels without significantly exceeding the solar heat gains in our warm summers, as well as to making the most of passive heating in temperate wintertime.

Windows are usually the weakest link in the building envelope as glass has much lower resistance to heat flow than other building materials. Nexxagen has considered this during the design phase of these homes. Heat flows out through a glazed window more than 10 times faster than it does through a well-insulated wall. While glazed areas are desirable to admit solar radiation in cold winter condition during the day, windows in warmer summer conditions can significantly increase the building’s cooling loads. The design team has selected the most balanced green measures to reduce the flow of energy between the building and surrounds.

Why Water Efficiency

Current technologies exist that reduce the water demand in the development as well as recycling water and harvesting rainwater for watering plants, swimming pools, and washing cars. There is a strong nexus between water and energy use. Energy is used to pump water, purify water to water fixtures such as taps and faucets. Energy is also used to heat water. More heated water requires more energy. When efficient low flow shower heads and facets are installed, there is an overall reduction in energy consumption. Water efficient fixtures and water conservation measures typically have short payback period and mitigate against the effect of climate change whilst future proofing the development against the impacts of water shortages and the demand on potable water. The rainwater storage systems combine captured water for later use, using rainwater reservoirs in underground tanks.

Why Efficiency in Embodied Energy of Materials

The Design Team has meticulously selected materials that are sustainable, for example fly ash or slag in concrete, having the environmental impact in front of mind and that reduce the associated carbon emissions and energy use. Building lifecycle energy impacts have been considered. Currently embodied energy is of relative insignificance however as energy consumption is driven down, the relative importance of embodied energy increases and thus this consideration is important to future proof the development for the benefit of the next generation. Design modelling and simulation have assisted in controlling the form and surface areas of the building to make the most of natural sunlight, natural ventilation, and reduce the embodied energy in the homes.

Can Buyers Measure the Benefits of Certification?

An EDGE Zero Carbon Certificate is available in the operations phase, for clients that wish to achieve this rating, provided that the building has achieved an EDGE Advanced status as a prerequisite. Clients can now enjoy the benefits of certified green buildings with incentives that allow for rebates in rates and taxes linked to the level of EDGE certification achieved over the next few years, as well as reduced carbon taxes. Smart meters throughout the homes will provide homeowners with measurable indicators of energy and water usage and how best to save energy and water.

The Benefits of Green Buildings and EDGE Certification

  • Offset energy and water costs with the ability to sell energy into the grid, to reduce energy costs.
  • Improved and consistent indoor air quality.
  • Improved occupant health, comfort and wellbeing in the homes.
  • Higher sales and rental prices (home buyers are willing to pay more for efficient homes with lower bills).
  • Higher Resale Values.
  • Quick payback period for green measures.
  • Quicker sales (certified green can differentiate buildings in the market).
  • Reduced maintenance costs because of better-quality construction.
  • Improved occupancy rates.
  • Lower utility bills which can be used to offset the ever-rising costs of levies, rates, and taxes.
  • Green mortgages can minimise upfront costs and lower interest rates as financial institutions lower default interest rates.
  • Owners have more options to access funding and finance as more and more financial institutions are investing in green buildings.
  • Reduced mortgage cost can finance the green measures.
  • Innovative models can be explored to install green measures without placing a financial burden on the owner or buyer, such as, the cost of the green measure built into the mortgage. The savings in monthly loan repayment over time is greater than the costs of the green measures installed.
  • Certification provides quality insurance (documentation and rigorous certification process ensures quality is achieved).
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Extended equipment life due to less demand on the HVAC system and other appliances.
  • Capex costs are lower through the passive design of EDGE certified homes.
  • A well-designed green home will keep homeowners comfortable even during power cuts and water shortages.
  • Passive designs have negligible costs but enhance the net positive benefits.

Aurum homes are future ready and future proof to meet the demands of the next generation. Nexxagen is proud to bring you the first high end EDGE Advanced certified homes to the KZN shores. I look forward to meeting you to discuss the process of EDGE registration and EDGE certification.

For more information, please contact Dean Young on (+27) 83 378 5438 or visit our website at or

Eco Estate Ballito