REAL ESTATE MINUTE: With Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh
Recently we officially announced dates for the 4th Annual Ghana Green Building Summit, 23rd to 24th September 2021, and we have had quite a bit of enquiry about what green buildings and the summit is about. Today, I will attempt to give you a bit of clarity about the summit. We have extensively reviewed green buildings in this column, so for the uninitiated, we will do a quick overview before providing a snapshot about the Ghana Green Building Summit. Let’s go!
Overview of Green Buildings
A green building is one which uses less water, optimizes energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier space for occupants as compared to conventional buildings. According to Aalto yliopisto (2014), WorldGBC (2013), adoption of green build methods has the following benefits:
• Short sickness absences in offices can improve by about 35% with a good indoor air
• Good indoor air quality can improve productivity by 10%
• The control and guidance of technical building services can save 10- 20% of a property’s
energy consumption which would nationally amount to the energy production of 2-3
nuclear power stations.
• Decreased stressors at work and at home and decreased blood pressure, cortisol and
• Protect biodiversity and ecosystems
Challenges in Implementation
- Perception that green buildings are expensive
- Poor communication of advantages of green building to developers and end
users Developers focus on maximizing profit, disregarding end users’ comfort
- No effective enforcement by professionals and government by-laws
- Lack of stakeholders buy-in to the technology
Areas of Focus (How to mitigate the challenges)
- Environmental (prevent further degradation)
- Financial (make cost savings)
- Design (incorporate in architectural drawings)
- Engineering and Planning (Town and community integration)
- Certification (minimum standards and rating system applicable to Ghana)
What is the Summit about?
The Annual Ghana Green Building Summit (GGBS) was created in 2017 to evaluate Ghana’s Green Building needs and tailor local solutions in design, finance and policy. In the past three editions, prior speakers have included ministers of state, policy makers, international development agencies, and industry experts and professional associations. GGBS was awarded Green Event of the Year at the 2019 Ghana Property Awards.
Why a hybrid edition for 2021?
The saying “never waste a good crisis” best applies to our 2020 virtual edition, which though borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic, showed us that we could expand our outreach virtually. What was intended to be a Ghanaian and to some extent an African event extended far and beyond Africa as we were joined by attendees from as far as Australia through Japan, Bangladesh, Canada, USA to Zanzibar, a total of 27 countries joined the Summit in 2020. So, while we are now better equipped to manage an in-person event through stringent COVID 19 protocols, we will combine that with streaming to our international audience in our first hybrid event, offering a delightful experience to both audiences.
What are the themes?
While design seems to be the more fashionable element in the green building conversation and advocacy, the least talked about element: operations management is actually the key to enjoying the full green building experience and the benefits thereof.
At the Ghana Green Building Summit, we have had the opportunity to focus materials and design in past year summits and while these elements are key, we believe we need to explore and highlight the operational aspect of a building’s life cycle.
Studies show that the design and construction phase comprises only 10 to 20 per cent of a building’s life cycle costs while that of operations and maintenance make up 80 to 90 per cent.
It only thus makes sense that, for this year, GGBS 2021, we highlight and demonstrate an element that contributes to ensuring buildings provide optimum benefit in high levels of occupant comfort, high indoor air quality, energy and water management efficiency; a high performance building.
This has inspired this years’ theme on High Performance Buildings. While we will focus on water and energy as core areas, we will, as we do each year, also look at other relevant topics in the entire value chain.
Theme: Re-thinking Operations Management for High Performance Buildings
What is the agenda?
1 – Energy Efficiency & Renewables
Enabling Efficiency through Digitalization, Indigenous Technology and Innovation, Policy and Developmental Programs and Funding Renewable Energy.
2 – Water Efficiency
Water Resources Management and Planning, Ecological and Environmental Impact, Policy and Sustainable Water Development, New Technology for Efficient and Sustainable Water Management, Building Water-Efficient Cities, Water and Wastewater Treatment, Environmental Sustainability and Funding Sustainable Water.
3 – Other General Areas for Discussion
Retrofitting, Certification, Green Finance and Net Zero Buildings.
Why should I attend?
- Education – Learn the latest green build systems and design ideas of the future
- Engagement – Opportunity to connect with renowned thought leaders and share ideas
- Expo – Be exposed the latest green products and projects via live demonstrations
- Networking – Connect to industry leaders and experts while expanding your network
There you are folks, the effects of climate change and the movement towards climate action and green buildings in particular may seem like an advocacy far removed from you but we all have a role to play in our individual and corporate spaces and the summit offers great sensitization and a window into the possibilities of going green, For more information visit www.ghanagreenbuildingsummit.com
The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult
& Founder of Ghana Green Building Summit.
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh
YouTube: Real Estate Minute