Housing Minister Francis Asenso-Boakye has tasked the country’s engineers to come up with innovative technologies that would see to the production of cost-effective building materials.

He said this will go to support the government’s priority of heavily subsidising the provision of housing units to the citizenry.

With rising cost of building materials posing significant practical challenges to the achievement of government’s Affordable Housing Strategies, the Sector Minister believes such a move would go a long way to reduce the overall cost of safe, decent, and secured housing units for the low to middle earning Ghanaians while boosting the local economy.

Help develop cost-effective local materials – Asenso-Boakye to engineers

Speaking at the 2022 Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) Annual Conference and General Meeting today in Accra, Mr Asenso-Boakye said the sharp increases in the cost of building materials due to distortions in the global economy should present an enormous opportunity for Ghana Institution of Engineers and other professional bodies to develop sustainable homegrown solutions that will boost the building and construction sector and subsequently impact our national affordable housing agenda.

Government has recently initiated a move to commence a new affordable housing programme that seeks to provide safe, decent, and secure accommodation for the low to middle earning Ghanaians, by making available free unencumbered land, infrastructure, and tax incentives with the view to attracting private sector investments into the affordable housing space.

This strategy will ultimately cut the cost of owning a housing unit by up to 40%.

Help develop cost-effective local materials – Asenso-Boakye to engineers

The Works and Housing Minister, therefore, implored GhIE to look deeper and wider for engineering approaches that can churn out creative ideas and attractive designs using local building materials that meet best practices.

Asenso-Boakye said the use of local building materials such as burnt bricks & tiles, pozzolana cement, compressed earth blocks (CEB), bamboo, plastics, and others can be the catalyst to help build public interest and enhance the use of local materials in the building and construction industry and ultimately reduce the cost of building.

Help develop cost-effective local materials – Asenso-Boakye to engineers

“It is important for the GhIE, to understand that engineering and other related disciplines, can influence policy actions, and subsequently, generate methodologies for implementing initiatives aimed at achieving efficiency, increased affordability, and structural integrity of housing construction and infrastructure in the country,” he added.

Help develop cost-effective local materials – Asenso-Boakye to engineers

The President of GhIE, Charles Anum Adams commended government for the various infrastructural development undertaken in the country and called for more collaboration between the engineering body and the government to further drive the country’s structural growth.