The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) and the Ghana Green Building Council (GhGBC), organized a training program 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 be educated on Section 37 of the Ghana Building Code, which highlights green building. The training event took place October 15 at the World Bank’s office in Accra.
The aim was to encourage the participants, who are major stakeholders in the building industry in the country, to incorporate the concept of designing sustainable buildings in their various fields of endeavor.
Among topics discussed at the intensive training program were requirements for building envelopes, HVAC, indoor environmental air quality, lighting and controls, renewable energy, water efficiency, and waste management.
Marloes Reinink, Director of Solid Green Consulting in South Africa, who was the facilitator for the Ghana Green Building Code Masterclass, explained to News Ghana that the rationale for the training program was to bring attention to the importance of 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.
Reinink emphasized the environmental benefits of the new Ghana Building Code. “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 savings overall.
Reinink further advised that through the new code, it will 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.”
Seth Bright Attipoe-Denyah, the Chairman of the Ghana Building Code (who is also the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Consultant for Appro-Plan Consult), shed more light on the country’s new building code with News Ghana.
“The green building code will help discipline those who design buildings to save energy and water. This is particularly important as energy has become not only expensive but at times difficult to get. In Ghana, we have experienced ‘Dumsor’ [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 becomes enforced.