BusinessDay

NGO mulls reduction of building resource content to achieve greener future

Green Building Council Nigeria, (GBCN), a non-governmental organisation, (NGO) leading the transformation of the built environment to create buildings and communities that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy to live in, has disclosed plans to contribute to reducing the resource content extracted from the ground to build so as to reduce pollution and achieve healthier living.

The GBCN said this goal would be achieved through advocacy, education, deployment of a local green building standard and rating system and providing designers and developers with objective recognition of the greenness of their design and/or building.

Speaking during the GBCN Cocktails and Meet event held at the Radisson Blu Anchorage, Lagos, Danjuma Waniko, president, of GBCN said the built environment consumes up to 50 percent of natural resources, which means half of all natural resources that are extracted in the world.

Waniko said the initiative of Green building is about reducing the resource content of buildings so that builders use less. “The more resources are used, the more the environments are degraded, the more pollution happens.

“When building, you have to dig the resources out of the ground, cut down trees and clear forests and in this process of extracting the resources, water runs off and pollutes the rivers. So, the ambition is to reduce demand for these resources and by doing that, we have less pollution,” the GBCN president said.

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According to him, there is a need for builders to be more resource-efficient in the buildings, to design their buildings to use less energy and less water.

He said Nigeria has a population of over 200 million and there are projections that in 2050, there will be 400 million people in Nigeria and these people need homes, offices, places to shop, schools and so on, which points to the fact that builders and developers have to build.

He however, stressed that we cannot continue building the way we do now because it would have a serious impact on the environment and on the planet.

“So, our goal is to engage with our professional colleagues in the industry and encourage them to build more sustainably and smarter,” he added.

“GBCN is relatively young and we felt that we needed to engage with our stakeholders and partners in an environment such as this, so we can talk to them about who we are and what we are doing, so that they can also talk to us and tell us what they need us to do and how we can collaborate to transform Nigeria’s built environment,” Waniko said.

Adelaja Adekanmbi, the general secretary of Nigerian Institute of Building who also spoke at the event said the Green building initiative is new in Nigeria but has been adopted in developed countries and acceptability is key to making this achievable in Nigeria.

“In developed countries, you see trees covering the houses and that is why they hardly fall sick because the trees will help absorb all the carbon monoxide that would have come into the premises. So, we need to have trees around the environment. Government needs to buy into this initiative,” Adekanmbi said.

He said the initiative will also reduce the cost of building as people would have to seek other options.

“These days it is difficult to get complete wood in the market to buy. This shows that we are cutting them at a young age and so, we can’t get complete wood to buy. In developed countries, trees are not cut down. They have a system to uproot from one place and plant them in another place,” he added.

Segun Abolaji, managing director, CEO of Leisure Court Ltd said green building is the future and something everyone needs to embrace to help check environmental degradation.

“It is like going back to the days when people live under vegetation. The advent of civilisation and industrialisation has changed our world and has affected the health of mankind. So what GBCN is trying to do is to reintroduce us back to the era where things are done properly. We are here to support them,” Abolaji said.

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