Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North Constituency, Dr. Kwamena Minta Nyarku has outlined some policy and regulatory framework or standards for green building in Ghana.
In delivering his speech on the Policy and Regulatory Standards of Green Building in Ghana at the 2nd
Green Building Research Conference Held at University of Ghana, July 27th – 29th, 2023, he begun “Candidly, please allow me to congratulate the organisers of this conference for this topical theme – mobilise support for the roll-out of the science technology innovation for sustainable human settlement road map and advance an African Green Building and development Agenda”.
He underscored that the theme in his view, attempts to add to the changing narrative and paradigm regarding green building in Ghana, Africa and beyond.
In defining green building, the Cape Coast North MP averred “Green building refers to the design, construction, and operation of buildings with a focus on reducing their environmental impact and promoting resource efficiency.” He reiterates that, it goes beyond merely constructing structures; it involves creating living spaces that are energy-efficient, water-saving, and environmentally responsible.
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“By adopting green building practices, we can minimize the consumption of natural resources, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance the well-being of occupants. Green building practices have become paramount in addressing the environmental challenges of our time, and Ghana has taken significant strides towards promoting sustainable construction and development”, he indicated.
In touching on the policy guidelines, Ragga as he is commonly known shared that, he stands before the conference today to shed light on the policy and regulatory standards of green building in Ghana. “Through the implementation of policy frameworks and regulatory standards, Ghana aims
to create a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future for our nation”.
Dr. Minta Nyarku reckons that Ghana has recognized the significance of green building and has made commendable efforts to incorporate sustainability into its built environment. There have been government’s assurances to commit and implement measures to ensure the country’s building architecture meet green building standards.
To achieve this, according to Dr. Minta Nyarku, Ghana has established a robust set of policies and regulatory standards:
Firstly, Building Codes and Regulations: Ghana has implemented building codes and regulations
that promote energy efficiency, water conservation, and environmental sustainability in construction. These codes dictate the use of sustainable materials, energy-efficient designs,
and waste reduction practices.
This document was produced by the Ghana Standard Authority. Part 37 of the code focuses on green building requirements. These codes and
regulations will ensure that building designs conform to environmental sustainability and create the needed ecosystem for human health and comfort.
Secondly, National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Policy (NEECP): The NEECP aims to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in buildings through the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices. It encourages the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar power, and promotes the efficient use of electricity and other energy resources.
Thirdly, Sustainable Building Certification: Ghana has embraced international green building
certification systems, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).
These certifications recognize and reward buildings that meet stringent sustainability criteria, motivating developers and builders to prioritize green building practices.
Fourthly, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs): For large-scale development projects, EIAs are conducted to assess potential environmental impacts and recommend mitigation measures. This ensures that projects are planned and executed with consideration for ecological conservation and sustainability.
Fifthly, Research and Development: The government supports research and development initiatives to explore innovative green building technologies, materials, and methodologies.
This drives continuous improvement and fosters the integration of cutting-edge sustainability solutions into our building practices. By adhering to these policies and regulatory standards, Ghana is witnessing a transformation in its
building landscape, the rise of energy-efficient buildings, the adoption of renewable energy, the
use of sustainable materials, and the creation of healthy indoor environments for our citizens.
The Cape Coast North MP however, drew the attention of the audience to the fact that, “we must acknowledge that our journey towards a greener built environment is ongoing”, he emphasized.
He encouraged Ghanaians to continue to collaborate, innovate, and educate to further enhance our green building efforts. As citizens, developers, policymakers, and professionals in the construction industry, we all play a crucial role in making a positive impact on our environment.
According to him Ghana has initiated processes to establish the Ghana
Housing Authority with the mandate to regulate, plan, develop and manage housing developments.
This is an attempt to mitigate the climate change menace across the globe. He adds, Ghana has also taken steps to reduce carbon emissions on the environment, via the Zero Gas Flaring Policy. This policy
is to develop a Gas Master Plan to convert all thermal power generators from liquid fuel-based generation to natural gas, as well as pass the Renewable Energy Law.
“Let us work together to spread awareness about green building practices, advocate for stronger
policies, and embrace sustainable solutions. By doing so, we can pave the way for a more sustainable Ghana – a nation that cherishes its natural resources, reduces its ecological footprint, and provides a healthier and greener future for generations to come”.
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