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Real Estate Developers Urged To Embrace Green Building

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Real Estate Developers and other Stakeholders in the construction industry have been advised to employ green building in their operations as it would help reduce the negative impact the buildings have on the natural environment.


Developers were urged to implement green building as the practice would aid reduce environmental degradation, pollution while improving indoor air quality.
The Deputy Director of Ministry of Works and Housing, Dr. Theresa Tufour, said building professionals have the responsibility to ensure the safety of the environment by using energy efficient materials in constructing buildings.

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 “The Ministry urges all developers and building professionals to use environmentally efficient materials to protect our environment,” she added.
Dr. Tufour said this at the Ghana Green Building Summit 2007 held at African Regent Hotel in Accra on Wednesday, urging developers to ensure sustainable construction practices since it would help minimize negative environmental impacts of buildings through efficient means in the use of materials, energy, development, space and ecosystem.


She said the Ministry had supported the training centres such as the Department of Rural Housing to train artisans and entrepreneurs in the production and use of local materials as well as cost saving construction techniques.


 In a speech by Mr Cyril Nii   Ayitey Tetteh, the Business Dev. & Marketing Manager of Emerald Properties Ltd., he noted that there was a gab in the building industry as there had been several conversation within the real estate sectors but none had delved into the potential and challenges in the green built environment, hence Emerald Properties deem it fit to organize a seminar to discuss and share ideas on the need for developers in Ghana to employ green building.


Mr Harry Quartey, the CEO of Emerald Properties in an interview with PE News also noted that the seminar was to share ideas on how they could ensure sustainable buildings in Ghana and how to make green building ideas cost effective.


In response to the notion that green buildings are expensive, Mr Quartey explained that although green building is expensive the cost of its maintenance in the long run is less expensive.


 “The cost of a housing is not just when it is done and handed over, over the life of that house you will spend money in maintaining it, so you may spend more money now but in the long run you would see that the maintenance cost is less,” he said.

The Green Building Summit was organized by Emerald Properties Limited with the support of Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) and Ghana Green Building Council. The seminar was held to; augment efforts aimed at reducing the negative impact of real estate on the environment, sensitize stakeholders on the importance and the need to incorporate green technology and how to implement it during the project life cycle and advocate for national policy: for instance, providing tax incentives for developers who adopt green building methods.

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According to the World Green Building Council, a green building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve natural resources and improve quality of life.


Features which can make a building green include: Efficient use of energy, water and other resources; Use of renewable energy, such as solar energy; Pollution and waste reduction measures, enabling of re-use and recycling; Good indoor environmental air quality; Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable; Consideration of the environment in design, construction and operation; Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design, construction and operation;  and a design that enables adaptation to a changing environment.


By Mercy Manukure PE






 

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