Stakeholders push for adoption of ‘green-build’ methods in construction

A house made of plastic bottles

Players in the real estate sector have called for the adoption and application of green-build methods in the construction of buildings to ensure safety of lives and the environment.

The concern was raised during the Ghana Green Building Summit, organised in Accra by Emerald Properties to engage stakeholders on the need to adopt innovative ways in construction works to protect the environment and ensure human safety.

A green building is one that in its design and construction uses environmentally preferable technology to reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the climate and natural environment.

Features that make a building ‘green’ include the use of renewable energy such as solar energy; using materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable; efficient use of water and other resources; pollution and waste-reduction measures; and good indoor ventilation, among others.

Addressing a session of the media at the event, the Business Development and Marketing Manager of Emerald Properties, Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh, said the real estate sector lacks discussions around the adoption of green buildings – which, according to him, is not best for the country.

He further indicated that the innovation, when embraced, will allow the country to conserve energy as it will reduce pressure on the national grid.

“We realised that there was gap in the industry and nobody was really having a conversation or discussion on green buildings – which are essentially energy and resource efficient, and the need for it cannot be overemphasised considering its impact on our personal health and on nation in general as well.

“The more solar-inclined we are, it will have energy savings and place less stress on the national grid as well as on the environment.

“We hope that there will be commitment from government and non-governmental agencies to fashion-out policies and incentives that can promote green building methods,” Mr. Tetteh added.

Speaking on behalf of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), Samuel Tenkorang expressed displeasure at the delay in implementing the National Housing Policy, which according to him contains very good recommendations to improve the housing sector.

“Government has a good policy, generally, on housing; and also captures a lot of green planning initiatives. But then, it is all about implementation.

“As far as housing is concerned, we have very good policies; but the laws need to be put in place in terms of Legislative Instruments to support implementation of the policy,” he submitted.

Deputy Director at the Ministry of Works and Housing, Theresa Tuffour, in her speech said that the ministry is undertaking some initiatives to curb issues of uncontrolled development and flouting planning laws and building regulations in the country.

“The activities and programmes that are on-going in the ministry can maintain consistency in our action plans to enable us contribute positively toward achieving human settlement development,” she said, urging developers and building professionals to use environmentally efficient materials in their work.

By Rashidatu Ibrahim l thebftonline.com l Ghana