AECOM Maximizes “Green Gold” for Job Creation in South Africa

Dec 1, 2014 9:05 AM ET

Managing complexity, building better lives.

AECOM's work developing a sustainable waste drop-off center in South Africa incorporates a systems-based approach, including water and energy conservation, education and job creation.

As the first of its kind in South Africa, the Strumosa Urban Agriculture and Waste Drop-off Centre in Rustenberg Local Municipality maximizes resources such as “green gold” (waste) and water through reuse, recirculation, biofiltration, hydroponics, composting and green waste diversion. AECOM’s project team developed a systems-based approach, which includes growing freshwater crayfish, cultivating vegetables and cut flowers in water rather than soil, selling compost made on site, and developing innovative projects such as vertical gardens. The entire operation runs on solar power and includes two living walls and artificial shade sails — eliminating the need for an active ventilation system. 
“Among a number of sustainability innovations, our main focus was to design a skills-development hub focused on education and continuous high-revenue job creation," said Mike Howard, AECOM executive technical manager, environment, South Africa. "Community members are educated on the importance of waste and employees remain for one year before they’re supported to establish their own businesses.”
UPDATE: Design for the Strumosa project has been completed and construction will commence shortly with hopes of breaking ground in early 2015. To research the concept, the team is also constructing a pilot plan with completion expected by the end of 2014.

With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in more than 150 countries around the world following the acquisition of URS, AECOM is a premier, fully integrated infrastructure and support services firm. AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings. The company is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments. A Fortune 500 company, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, had revenue of approximately $19.5 billion during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2014. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at

AECOM Technology Corporation
Ed Mayer, +1.732.564.3380
Director, Corporate Communications