Yecham Property Consult in conjunction with the IFC –EDGE Program and supported by the Embassy of Denmark, hosted a virtual edition of the Ghana Green Building Summit from July 23rd to 24th July, 2020 at the head office of CalBank.
The iconic tower, which was the perfect setting to host the Summit, is a green building and depends mainly on renewable solar power generated in-house and complemented by the national grid whiles the water system for the building is from harvested rain and underground water.
The Summit, the very first virtual edition, an adaptation in response to COVID-19 limitations on in-person gatherings, witnessed a world-wide patronage of over 500 attendees as well as expert speakers including Ghana’s Minister of Works and Housing, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, the Mayor of Accra, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah as well as many other experts from Denmark, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK who discussed various relevant issues under the theme, BEYOND COVID-19: Is pandemic-proof architecture a reality? The theme was inspired by the need to reflect on and reassess our living, work and public spaces in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The keynote address was delivered by the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea who disclosed that the Ministry has reviewed the LI 1630 building regulations, which has been amended to align with the new building code. The new code has a whole section on green building requirements. This LI will empower the MMDAs to enforce the stipulations in the new building code. This is currently being reviewed at the Office of the Attorney General for consideration and drafting and subsequent presentation for approval by parliament. Hon. Atta Akyea reiterated that, the ministry continues to welcome input by all stakeholders in the real estate space ahead of the presentation to parliament.
Under the theme, creation of pandemic resilient cities, the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah outlined Accra’s Resilience Strategy Actions, made up of Three Pillars & Twenty-Seven Actions; An Integrated Approach To Infrastructure Planning & Service Provision; Design and adapt infrastructure to maximize co-benefits (address flooding, waste, sanitation & climate challenges); Incentivize energy efficient and renewable energy generation (sustainability focus) in an expansive presentation on making Accra a resilient city.
Major Summit partner, International Finance Corporation (IFC), also made an extensive presentation of their EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Program. The Program lead in Ghana, Dennis Papa Odenyi Quansah intimated that EDGE is a global innovation by the World Bank Group and its subsidiary, the IFC. EDGE offers a faster, easier, and more affordable way to build and brand green. It includes a software that helps to identify the most practical ways to build green. For the first time, a developer can see, online, the extra cost to build green and the time it takes to pay back through lower utility bills. To achieve EDGE certification, a building must perform 20% better than a typical building in three categories: energy, water, and materials.
There were several other thought provoking discussions on indigenous or tropical architecture as well as funding options available under the green finance session. Justina Laing, Group Head, Corporate – CalBank reiterated the bank’s commitment in supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Ghana. Frank Oppong – Yeboah, Manager in-charge of Mortgage Business at Republic Bank Ghana Limited, also revealed that they are designing a new product to finance green projects in Ghana.
At the end of the Summit, stakeholders reiterated the need to obtain commitment from green finance organizations to provide access to qualified Ghanaian suppliers and developers who adopt green built methods as well as cooperation agreement from governmental, non-governmental agencies to provide incentives to promote green buildings and sustainable and resilient cities.
The Executive Director of Yecham Property Consult and Summit Convenor, Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh reaffirmed his organization’s commitment to sustaining the dialogue through this and other new and innovative interventions. He is confident that these platforms will contribute to meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ghana.