Accra, Dec 6, GNA - The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), says the city’s caveat to redevelopment for ‘sustainable Sekondi’ and ‘transformative Takoradi’ is that all building replacements and renovation must at least meet requirements as stipulated in the Ghana Building Code.
Mr Anthony K.K. Sam, Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of STMA noted that this would help the population to live in comfortable proximity to their workplace.
“It will not only save government the cost of unending infrastructure in new areas but reduce the carbon footprint in the city since the largest portion of greenhouse-gas emissions comes from energy use in residential and commercial buildings, as well as transportation”, he added.
Mr Sam said this in his remarks during a stakeholder engagement on green building, dubbed: “Build and Brand Green with Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE): A Bruch with Your Peers”.
It was hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; and supported by SGS Ghana.
EDGE, an innovation of IFC, is a green building certification system focused on making new residential buildings more resource-efficient. It comprises of a web-based software application, a universal standard and a certification system.
EDGE aims to help developers reduce their buildings’ energy and water consumption by 20 percent while lowering greenhouse-gas emissions.
Mr Sam noted that with public finances under stress worldwide, one thing is certain; allocating funds to continuously expand energy, water and roads separately was not just ineffective- it is simply unaffordable.
He said the contribution of the design, construction and use of buildings in the city could do more than help reduce government expenditure, they could help cities become simultaneously healthier and more livable while limiting carbon emissions.
Mr Sam recounted that, the twin city on the 13th November, 2019, instituted a new city policy of a 30 percent reduction in building permit fees for all developments that are certified with EDGE.
He stressed that unfortunately, the Takoradi mall which meets all the requirements of a green building and certified by EDGE did not benefit from this recent policy.
“However, as a practical example, its tailored in our marketing plan which will soon be vigorously being pursued and the intention is to help encourage the resource-efficient development of the property sector in the city”, he added.
The Mayor of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, said effectively, the Assembly had sanction that almost all new municipal projects be it schools, clinics, markets, offices or public toilets must conform to the EDGE standard.
Mr Richard Dade, President of the Ghana Institute of Architects, also noted that buildings have a life cycle; from planning, design, construction, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.
He emphasized that at all stages for this life cycle of building, there was a need to ensure they were maintaining the efficiency of resources, and that they respond at all times to the environment.
Mr Dade stressed that, this was where EDGE comes to play, describing it as a tool that enables “you to objectively establish how ‘responsive’ you are in the environment; it allows you to change your building materials to attain the required standard”.
Mr Foster Osae Akonnor, Lead Founder, Ghana Green Building Council, said in 2015 countries signed up to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it was interesting to note that buildings could be used to achieve over 70 percent of these goals.
He said how would Ghana achieve quality education, which is SDG 4, when buildings in which pupils and students study, are not good, adding that “when it rains pupils have to vacate or they can’t hear whatever the teacher is saying, and we can use green buildings to achieve this”.GNA