The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) and the Ghana Green Building Council (GhGBC), has organized a training programme for stakeholders on the new Ghana Building Code.
The Ghana Green Building Code Masterclass brought together architects, engineers, urban planners, property owners, members from the Ghana Green Building Council, and the Architect and Engineering Institutes to discuss Section 37 of the Ghana Building Code, which highlights green building.
The training aimed to encourage the participants, who were major stakeholders in the building industry, to incorporate the concept of designing sustainable buildings in their various fields of endeavour.
Among topics discussed at the intensive training programme were requirements for building envelopes, indoor environmental air quality, lighting and controls, renewable energy, water efficiency, and waste management.
Ms Marloes Reinink, Director of Solid Green Consulting in South Africa, who was the facilitator for the Ghana Green Building Code Masterclass, said the rationale for the training programme was to bring attention of the built environment professionals to Section 37 of the Ghana Code.
“Building professionals need to understand the code on green building and its requirements so they will know how to apply it,” she remarked.
Mr Reinink emphasized the environmental benefits of the new Ghana Building Code, saying, we need to change the way we build to prevent climate change.
“It’s beneficial from the social point of view as the new code provides a better quality environment for people working or living in the building, and it’s beneficial from an economic point of view for building managers due to reduced operational savings over time.”
The incorporation of IFC’s EDGE green buildings software into the code verification process makes it easy for everyone to understand what kind of interventions positively affect their buildings.
The EDGE software is freely available for professionals to determine how the different interventions impact overall savings.
Mr Reinink further advised that the new code would be possible for governments, real estate developers, property owners, architects and engineers to “build sustainable, sensible buildings; buildings that are adjusted to the climate and location that they are found.”
Mr Seth Bright Attipoe-Denyah, the Chairman of the Ghana Green Building Code, said “the green building code would help instill discipline in the design of buildings to save energy and water.
“This is particularly important, as energy has become not only expensive but also at times difficult to get. In Ghana, we have experienced erratic power supply because energy consumption is rising and we cannot meet the demand.”
The Ghana Building Code was officially established on August 31 and is now being rolled out by educating building designers and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
It is expected that the various designers and local assemblies would have an in-depth understanding of the new building code before it is enforced.