Lagos adopts IFC-EDGE’s green building initiative

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam

Determined to promote greenery and reduce carbon footprint, Lagos authorities have adopted the International Finance Corporation (IFC) green building initiative, which will ensure environment-friendly and sustainable buildings in the state.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, EDGE (“Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies”), provides market leaders with the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating their products and adding value to their customers.

Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, who spoke at a workshop for built environment professionals in his ministry and agencies on Lagos Green Building Initiative, said: “As a fast-rising city with a housing shortage of over 2.5million units, creating a system that encourages the built environment to embrace more sustainable design practices that would help us champion a new and more environmentally friendly future for the Lagos real estate market.”

Salako explained that the advantages of green buildings include its capacity to accelerate state’s agenda, adding that arrangements were in top gear to facilitate adoption of the concept by all stakeholders in the built environment.

He urged town planners, architects, builders, engineers and other professionals in government employment to be standard-bearers in the physical environment and take maximum advantage of the training to promote and facilitate design and construction of green buildings.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Abiola Kosegbe, an engineer, stated that buildings and construction constitute about 40 per cent of carbon emissions and the need for all staff to be conscious in playing their path in the reduction process. She added that at the end of this first phase, Lagos State would add a sizeable number of EDGE experts to the community.

The workshop is in line with IFC’s efforts to steer construction in Nigeria onto a more resource-efficient and lower carbon path through certified green buildings.

Participants at the Lagos State – IFC EDGE workshop included town planners, architects, quantity surveyors, engineers (civil, mech & elect) that play vital roles in designing and regulating the uses of spaces and environment in Lagos.

The workshop highlighted social, environmental, and sustainability benefits that would accrue to the Lagos State Government from adopting and implementing green building practices using EDGE.

Presentations emphasised that leveraging EDGE to promote widescale sustainable design and construction practices in Lagos would reduce carbon emissions from the building sector, conserve energy and water, and enhance public health by improving air and water quality while helping Lagos State to build a climate-resilient economy that is sustainable and smart.

The workshop anchored by IFC Green Buildings Market Transformation Programme contact in Nigeria, Temilola Sonola, enumerated on the operations and components of the EDGE software.

She introduced the system’s cloud-based platform that helps design teams calculate cost of going green and utility savings as well as state-of-the-art engine with a sophisticated set of city-based climate and cost data, consumption patterns, and algorithms for predicting most accurate performance results amongst several others.

“We believe that building the internal capacities of built professionals in relevant ministries that oversee the built sector is key to our work. This would help advance the transformation that we hope to see in Lagos state, and over time, across Nigeria,” says IFC’s Dennis Papa Odenyi Quansah, Green Building Lead, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

Some participants were selected to undergo a two-day training programme that would set them on a path to becoming EDGE experts.

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