Panellists at a two-day conference in Lagos on Monday called for education of Nigerians to understand and embrace green construction culture toward mitigating climate change and enhancing health.
The panellists at the 10th Unite Leading ESG real estate event in Africa Summit with the theme: “Towards a Sustainable Culture’’, said green construction would safeguard health, environment and socioeconomic well-being.
Speaking on the topic, “Sustainable Building – Land Use, Regulations, Design, Planning, Construction, Technology and Materials” the panellists emphasised how all factors must interplay for green construction efficiency.
Obas Ebohon, a Professor of Sustainability and Environmental Law, London South Bank University (LSBU), called on governments to come up with standard policies for sustainability in construction.
Ebohon stressed the need for cultural re-orientation to help Nigerians understand the need for green buildings toward environmental sustainability to safeguard citizens’ health while also protecting the environment.
The Managing Director/Co-Founder Alitheia Capital, Jumoke Akinwunmi said that government participation alone could not achieve adoption of the method except with the active support of the private sector.
She explained that most laudable innovations were usually achieved by the private sector.
Speaking on the high cost of construction of green houses, Akinwunmi stressed the need to look out for the long-term goal, saying that future maintenance could be cheaper.
Mr Temitope Runsewe, Managing Director. Dutum Construction Ltd., said that the government must ensure adequate regulation of stakeholders in the construction sector toward achieving environmental sustainability.
Runsewe advised that experts and the academia must collaborate to equip students on the modern and advanced technology and skills needed for a greener environment.
The Founder and Managing Director, Landwey, Mr Olawale Ayilara, stressed the need for project designs to factor in all the variables needed for sustainability in building.
“It’s all about being deliberate about each project and how it affects the future”, he said.
The Managing Director, Misa Group, Mr Muritala Ibrahim, called for regulation of settlements saying that “overdevelopment of any portion of land would always affect the settlement”.
“There is rampant sand filling and nobody is asking where is all the water going,” Ibrahim said.
He said that before building high-rise anywhere, there was supposed to be traffic impact analysis to know how the project would affect congestion and before sand filling, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be carried out.
Ibrahim said there must be deliberate policies to ensure education of local communities on the impact of their actions and inactions toward embracing sustainability culture.
“If we don’t, we would all suffer for it,” he said.
The Managing Director, Master Builders, Jumoke Adegunle, called for popularisation of use of advanced chemicals as additives to help reduce health danger posed by use of cement.
She said as sustainable as cement was for construction, it had no alternatives but its use was responsible for nine per cent of green house emissions.
She said the advanced chemicals helped in three D construction; reduced use of water in cement and enabled environment- friendly buildings.
Adegunle said that sustainable cement had been discovered for over 10 years but nobody was using it.