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11.11.2008 Business & Finance

Ghana has no Building Codes -Experts

By Chris Twum - Ghanaian Chronicle

Even though, there are buildings springing up at all corners of the country, which suggests that, the economy is robust and resilient, experts in the building industry have observed that, most buildings erected in the country are not strong enough to withstand shake ups as well as having infective electric systems.

According to the experts, electrical systems such as air conditioners, lighting, heating and ventilation in homes and offices are not of required standard to conserve energy, but rather they consume beyond the required consumption of power.

The experts believe that this is as a result of the fact that there are no building codes to guide Engineers and Designers to enforce the right electrical equipment.

Information made available suggests that the country is wasting energy to the tune of 200 mega watts annually.

It would be recalled that in the year 2006, the country experienced power crisis with the economy recording power loss to the tune of 200 mega watts. Ironically, this is the same amount of power which is being wasted through obsolete electrical items in the country. Speaking at a seminar organized by the Energy Foundation (EF) in collaboration with Ministry of Energy, dubbed “Increasing Profitability through Energy Efficiency,” Mr. Andrew Lawson, an official of EF disclosed that 60 percent of the rain water annually goes to the Akosombo Dam for power generation in the country. On his part, the Technical Director of the EF, Mr. Kofi Asante said buildings in the country should be well structured to conserve energy, adding that “Every building should be built on the bases of an environmental comfort and energy efficiency.”

Mr. Asante suggested that lighting, ventilation, heating and air condition systems should be moved from manual control to an automated control with minimal human access to the systems within every building in the country. He called on the industry players in the country to enforce the use of power analyzers to be installed in every building to check the amount of power being consumed by the electrical appliances.

Mr. Asante urged tertiary institutions to harness the use of organic waste management in generating energy for use by Ghanaians.