The 5th Ghana Green Building Summit organised by Yecham Property Consult was held from October 5-6, 2022 at the green-certified CalBank Head Office in Accra, and opened by its MD, Mr. Philip Owiredu.
For the second year running, the summit followed a hybrid style that attracted 204 in-person delegates and 1,415 online users who participated virtually from over 30 countries. There was also participation from 35 partner organisations and 27 speakers from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Finland, Australia, Singapore, USA and the UK.
Being a landmark 5th anniversary, there were a few exciting additions this year. During the summit, an EXPO was held wherein organisations showcased their green innovations, products and services. The summit concluded with a Gala Dinner Awards Night held at Labadi Beach Hotel to acknowledge key stakeholders and recognise key facilities in the green building space.
While awareness and interest in green buildings have increased steadily in the last few years as a result of this particular advocacy, affordability and other community issues like absence of green social spaces, reliable transportation, robust infrastructure, increased traffic and pollution have been some of the impediments to holistic development of green buildings and creation of livable cities. Providing practical solutions is what inspired the summit’s theme: Re-imagining affordable housing and livable cities through green solutions.
This theme cut across many insightful discussions and presentations as speakers re-imagined building materials, construction methods and funding options. There was also a mayors’ roundtable that addressed the challenges and opportunities in creating livable cities. That panel included Jaewon Peter Chun, President at World Smart Cities Forum (WSCF); Abdallah Mtinika, Mayor-Temeke municipality, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Prof. Manuel Antonio Alculete Lopes de Araújo, the Mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, revealed that an Energy Performance Certification Scheme is being developed for public buildings by using their specific energy consumption (KWh/m2). “A tool for the assessment and certification in this respect is being developed. Measures are also being put in place to train the professionals needed for assessments.” the minister emphasised.
He also pointed out there are seventeen (17) new energy efficiency standards and labelling regulations for appliances -including those commonly used in buildings such as electric kettles, Television sets/Monitors, Clothes Washing Machines, Rice Cookers. These regulations will be ready for enforcement soon.
The British High Commissioner to Ghana, HE Harriet Thompson – who was the Guest of Honour, reiterated the High Commission’s commitment to addressing climate change and reducing emissions through UK Aid’s funding for the IFC’s EDGE certificate for green buildings. She also highlighted key contributions of the High Commission in providing solutions at the city level through partnerships.
“We are working to address broader challenges in the built environment, through partnerships with the cities of Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi to identify urban flooding hotspots, and model damage from floods which are being increasingly caused by changing weather patterns and intense rainfall.
“I am pleased to say we recently launched a second phase of this project and will be working with both cities to identify specific solutions to flooding issues – a very live issue given how much rain we have been having,” HE Thompson expressed further.
Representing the substantive Minister of Works and Housing, Deputy Minister Hon. Abdulai Abanga noted that the ministry has also initiated the process to establish the Ghana Housing Authority, which will have the mandate to regulate, plan, develop and manage housing developments in Ghana.
The Executive Director of Yecham Property Consult and Summit Convenor, Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh, recounted a few of his organisation’s notable milestones over the last five years of advocacy. Some of these include a capacity building programme, under which 30 facility managers have been trained to equip them with modern facility management skills to enable high performance and resource efficient buildings; a scale-up programme that has just been established with an identification of 5 green start-ups that will form the first cohort of an accelerator programme to ready them for market. “We have partnered with IFC EDGE to organise a Green Building Challenge; one meant to build capacity and empower the youth with building and design tools like the EDGE App,” Mr. Tetteh shared.
The 5th anniversary celebrations were climaxed with a gala dinner awards night, where the first Lady HE Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo as well other key personalities and organisations were recognised for their contributions to growth of the green building sector.
The Summit was supported by the IFC EDGE Programme, CalBank, Echostone, Letshego, Saint Gobain, Lakeside Estate, She Grows It (SGI), Business and Financial Times, Joy FM, GhanaWeb, Meqasa, Global Media Alliance and Perception Management Institution (PMI).