Technical Clarification
Watercourse Management Plan - exclusions

Technical Clarification Number


The following guidance applies to projects that are required under the Green Star SA – Office v1 Eco-Conditional Requirement of April 2010 to complete the ‘Watercourse Protection Measures’:

For project sites that are not immediately adjacent to a site on which a watercourse is located, do not have a watercourse located on their site, and are not adjacent to previously undeveloped land adjoining a watercourse, the requirement for a site-specific Watercourse Management Plan need not be satisfied.

All other requirements of the Watercourse Protection Measures outlined in the Green Star SA – Office v1 Eco-Conditional Requirement of April 2010 must still however be complied with (i.e. that all points are achieved for the Emi-5 and Emi-7 credits) and that all measures in any relevant Environmental Impact Assessments must be abided by.

Thus for example, in the case of a project where the development footprint falls within 100m of a watercourse, but the project’s site is separated from the watercourse by another fully developed site, a Watercourse Management Plan need not produced, exhibited or implemented, provided that all other requirements under the Green Star SA – Office v1 Eco-Conditional Requirement of April 2010 are satisfied.


Technical Clarification

Eligibility link with EMI-5 Watercourse Pollution

Technical Clarification Number


Following extensive feedback from the South African market on the issued Emi-05 Watercourse Pollution PILOT Credit, the GBCSA has published the new revised Emi-5 Watercourse Pollution (November 2012) credit for the Green Star SA Office and Retail Centre v1 rating tools (EMI5-E-OB1-0520). The GBCSA is currently reviewing the link between Emi-5 and Eco-00 Eligibility, where it is required that all 3 points are achieved for project footprints that fall within 100m of a watercourse and until this review has been concluded, please see guidance below for projects that are within 100m of a watercourse.

The requirements set out in the revised Emi-5 credit dated November 2012 are intended to represent best practice in South Africa with regards to urban stormwater management. The GBCSA acknowledges however that the applicable stormwater management solutions on each site may vary significantly with regards to site conditions, the extent of the development, off-site infrastructure in place, etc.

Currently, in complying with the Eco-00 Conditional requirement, where a project’s development footprint falls within 100m of a watercourse, the Eco-00 Conditional Requirement requires watercourse protection measures to be put in place and the project achieve all points in Emi-5 Watercourse Pollution. Projects may in the interim until the review of the link between Emi-5 and Eco-00 is concluded, propose through an Eligibility Ruling Request sent to the GBCSA, an alternative means of meeting eligibility by showing compliance with recognised best practice urban stormwater management standards. Thus projects are no longer requires to meet all 3 points as set out in credit Emi-5 Watercourse Pollution for eligibility purposes until further notice.

Below are examples of urban stormwater management standards that the GBCSA recognise as representing best practice nationally and internationally. Projects teams may also put forward other standards that represent equivalent best practice in this regard.

• City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality Stormwater Management By-Laws - 2009
• City of Cape Town Management of Urban Stormwater Impacts Policy – Version 1.1, 2009
• Georgia Stormwater Management Manual – First Edition, 2001

Please note the following with regards to submission of an Eligibility Ruling Request as per the above:

• The Eligibility Ruling Request must clearly motivate how the stormwater management solutions on site are in line with best practice referencing relevant best practice standards.
• Where standards other than those listed above are referenced, it must be clearly motivated why these standards can be considered as current best practice in relation to other best practice standards such as those listed above.
• Extracts from the relevant standards referenced should be provided along with the submission which correlates with the project team’s proposal.

Note that the guidance provided above relates to ECO-00 eligibility compliance only and not to achieving points within the Emi-5 credit. Compliance with the Emi-5 credit must be demonstrated as per the criteria set out in the Emi-5 credit itself. Note that this guidance can be applied by both projects registered before and after the date of issue of this clarification.


Technical Clarification

Floodplain criteria

Technical Clarification Number


Delete the words:

The project development footprint must not fall within the 100 year floodplain.

Such that the first sub-bullet of the fourth bullet point will read as:

The project development footprint must not fall within the 100 year floodplain. Refurbishments/redevelopments that remain within the existing development footprint are exempt from this criterion.


Technical Clarification

Ecologist confirmation - exclusions

Technical Clarification Number


If the project is a refurbishment/redevelopment that remains within the existing development footprint (and providing it is outside the required buffers of watercourses), there is no need to include confirmation from a registered ecologist. Confirmation is required and it could simply be included within the Short Report prepared by a suitably qualified professional with reference to supporting evidence (e.g. aerial photos, Google images)

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