Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
As we face significant planetary issues such as global warming, it is clear that the engineering profession has a significant part to play in affecting the future of our planet.
Globally, the construction industry is one of the main contributors to the depletion of natural resources and a major cause of unwanted side effects such as air and water pollution, solid waste, deforestation, health hazards, global warming, and other negative consequences.
In order to stay competitive and to meet upcoming stricter environmental regulations and customer requirements, designers have a key role in designing civil infrastructure so that it is environmentally sustainable. These and other factors have compelled the engineer to design with greater care and in more detail. The changing roles of engineers will be highlighted, in order to react to changes in climate.
The lack of appropriate tools and skills for sustainable deign was often quoted as a barrier to sustainable design (Richardson et al, 2005).
A systematic and iterative analysis of the environmental impact of various design solutions is commonly suggested for infrastructure projects, but rarely happens.
This paper focuses on the concept of eco-efficiency in Infrastructure Design and the establishment of use of the proposed green rating system on infrastructure projects.
Mainstreaming environmental aspects and incorporating the eco-efficiency concept into various stages of infrastructure development have not been considered as much as they should have been. Engineers need to look at greener technologies rather than just using traditional engineering solutions.