To find what makes us human is not a deeper search within ourselves, it is found in how we sit in relationship to nature. To me nature is a language of God, we care for it because God cares for it.




Marc Sherratt, Sustainability Architects

Marc Sherratt, 33, started his practice, Marc Sherratt, Sustainability Architects (MSSA), in January 2017. Over the past seven years, he has grown his practice into an industry leader that has completed some of the most pioneering green buildings in South Africa.

Just to list a few accomplishments, MSSA designed the first triple net zero building for the categories of carbon (no carbon emissions in building operations), ecology (regenerating the locally extinct landscape of the site) and water (all water consumed is on renewable sources) in South Africa, independently certified by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

They also built the first GBCSA-certified net positive construction waste project for the country, which used more than 60 tonnes of waste that would have gone to landfill in its construction. Marc has become a thought leader in the construction industry and was invited to be part of the faculty of the GBCSA where he teaches the net zero accredited professional programme.

He was also invited to be part of the technical team updating the New Build Green Star SA tool, which over the past decade has become the best practice standard for green buildings in Africa. Recently he was appointed by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Council to design the government’s first net zero carbon operational building, a standardised design for a clinic to be implemented across the country.

  • Provisionally accepted to study at the University of Cambridge, Institute of Sustainability Leadership, to complete an MSt in interdisciplinary design for the built environment
  • MTech Arch Tech, University of Johannesburg (UJ) 
  • BTech Arch Tech, UJ 
  • Invitational Small Business Boost Programme, sponsored by JPMorgan, GIBS Business School, University of Pretoria
  • Net Zero Accredited Professional, Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) 
  • Greenstar SA new buildings accredited professional, GBCSA
  • Professional architect, South African Council for the Architectural Profession

  • Designed South Africa’s first net zero operational carbon public building, a standardised clinic for the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Council, recently renamed Infrastructure South Africa 
  • Built the first net positive construction waste project for South Africa, independently certified by the Green Council of South Africa (GBCSA) 
  • Designed the first triple net zero (in categories of carbon, water and ecology) development in South Africa, independently certified by the GBCSA 
  • Only architectural practice to date to have certified projects in all four GBCSA net zero categories 
  • Appointed by the GBCSA as a technical expert in the development of version two of the Green Star New Building Rating Tool for South Africa 
  • First architectural practice to publicly pledge to be Net Zero GHG by 2030 as part of the Alliances for Climate Action South Africa facilitated by C40, NBI, and the WWF.  
  • Winner of the 2020 Net Zero Innovation Project of the year (runner up), awarded by the GBCSA.
  • Winner of the 2018 et Zero Innovation Project  of the year (runner up), awarded by the GBCSA. 
  • Master’s dissertation published in 10 years 100 Projects — Architecture in a Democratic South Africa, highlighting the best architectural dissertations produced over the last decade.

I was heavily bullied at school. I know what it feels like to eat your lunch alone. Yet the very things I was bullied and teased for — my deep love for nature, my intense emotional capacity and my creativity — is what have made me the designer I am today.

Be patient, life is a difficult journey for most. Protect your enthusiasm. It is what adults need to see to remind them that there is still so much good in the world that is worth fighting for. 

I would like the walls to come down. We are the rainbow nation yet we continue to build higher walls between the colours. Mental walls are more difficult to break down than physical ones, and without walls, we feel naked and vulnerable to attack. Yet the cost of the wall is a deliberate disconnection with society, which leaves less to be learned and less help to be given. There is a prevalent fear and general ignorance that continues in my culture regarding learning the cultural riches that exist in our country. I would like to see our people re-engaging with cultures different from theirs, greeting them in their languages, seeking to learn from each other, and finding solutions together that bring the walls of fear down.

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