The president of the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA), Richard Nii Dadey, has called for the passing of legislation in the West African country to make green buildings compulsory.
According to him, in the face of limited resources the country needs to enact such a law to save resources and costs.
The proposition, if accepted by the government, will make it required to design and construct sustainable buildings, that will be both more economical in the long run and have lower operational costs.
Better jobs will be created if green buildings are required because more Ghanaians would acquire technical skills for designing sustainably.
Speaking exclusively to News Ghana on the sidelines of a Ghana Green Building Code Masterclass training program organized by IFC and its partners recently, Nii Dadey said, “The benefit of green buildings is clear and it is something that we must mandate through legislation. It’s very relevant because we are faced with limited resources.”
The Ghana Institute of Architects President further emphasized that green buildings not only provide savings, but they have the additional advantage of protecting the environment.
“We realize that there are immense savings in operational costs. Typically, it may appear to cost a little more, a marginal 1-2% more, to design and construct a green building, but with the resource savings and improved comfort it creates a more valuable building over time.”
Section 37 of the Ghana Building Code addresses green buildings, so as the Legislative Instrument (L.I.) is passed a lot of estate developers, even individuals doing their own houses will be required to implement it. “This will be beneficial to the whole country by ensuring the protection of our environment,” Dadey remarked.
Charles Akrofi-Ansah, an Assistant Architect with the Adentan Municipal Assembly, shared his perspective.
He said: “We’re talking about creating habitats for people to thrive in, not just live in. This is about the efficiency of the space within which you live that will aid you not only to be productive but grow better and age with grace. I think if green buildings are implemented, they will be very good for the country as a whole.”
Notwithstanding the immense benefits that building sustainably offers, Akrofi-Ansah thinks the cost of construction initially will require for the government to assist the various partners to support green buildings in the country.
“The government should look at providing some form of support, particularly to start-ups,” said Akrofi-Ansah. “Once green buildings are the norm, the government will need to do very little to sustain them, as people will demand green buildings and help them to thrive. The government needs to support the implementing partners to help bring them to fruition.”