The Qualification Liaison Manager for the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in sub-Saharan Africa, Ntando Teddy Khuzwayo, has reaffirmed the institute’s commitment to promoting sustainable construction development in the continent.

Speaking at a symposium organised by CIOB Tomorrows Leaders in Ghana, Mr Khuzwayo said with the institute’s aim to be the catalyst for such transformative change in the construction industry, its members would endeavour to go beyond their qualifications to make this vision materialise.

In outlining the institute’s dedication to being at the forefront of driving the change, the Laison Manager said the CIOB's vision is centered on creating a construction industry that is fundamentally sustainable.

“The CIOB strives to lead the way in fostering a construction industry that is not only efficient and innovative but most importantly sustainable,” he said on Friday.

Mr Khuzwayo further urged professionals and organisations to join hands in this transformative journey.

He encouraged members to form strategic partnerships to actively shape the construction landscape towards sustainability.

“As we embark on this journey together, let us seize the opportunity to exchange ideas, share experiences, and forge partnerships that will propel us forward to a more sustainable and resilient future,” he urged.

The Laison Manager was optimistic that the interactions and brainstorming at the event would become the paradigm shift needed to ensure a more sustainable and eco-friendly construction environment.

Taking his turn, Principal Architect at Design Protocol, Arch Laud Affotey, cited a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) research which indicated that the construction industry contributes 37 percent of the global carbon footprint.

According to him, acknowledging this will be the first step the industry can take in rectifying the issue and adopting a more sustainable means of building.

“If we cultivate a mentality that everything we do has an effect on the environment that alone will be a starting point... We should be able to measure our carbon footprint and that is the only way we can say to ourselves, ‘What can be done about it?’” he said.

The Architect further indicated some eco-friendly practices, such as the reusing of materials available, reducing the importation of materials, and bringing back the timber industry to conserve and protect the environment.

“Being sustainable does not mean don’t build. It means, let’s build in a way that we can have all the pleasures that we want and still be able to preserve the community, and environment that we have for the next generation.

“We can do this,” he said.

The head of the Civil Engineering Department, Dr Elijah Boadu, on his part, called on the government to enact laws that would compel builders to incorporate sustainability in their works, thereby, ensuring that all major projects constructed in the country will have little negative effect on the environment.

He also believed that when such laws are passed, there will be an increase in demand for such jobs, thus, academia will also review its curriculum to respond to it.

The Director for SKOL Consult Limited, Samuel Newlove Bonney, also observed that surveyors are “too static” with the way they operate and, called for a review of operations that would be environmentally sustainable.

Mr Bonney further cited buildings such as the World Bank Office, Ecobank Head Office among others as projects in Ghana that are eco-friendly and should be emulated by professionals.

Since 1834, the CIOB has been dedicated to advancing the science and practice of building and construction for the betterment of society.

The symposium brought together professionals, students and academics to explore and champion sustainability in construction practices.

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