Green building technology saves water, electricity consumption

24Nov 2017
Francis Kajubi
The Guardian
Green building technology saves water, electricity consumption

Developers in the country have been advised to adopt green building technology because it is efficient and less polluting to the environment while saving huge sums of money in the long run.

An artist impression of NHC’s Victoria Place in Dar es Salaam. File photo.

Former Tanzania Green Building Council president Ngwisa Mpembe said developers in the country should emulate National Housing Corporation for employing the technology in the construction of its new projects countrywide including NHC Place in Dar es Salaam.

Mpembe told Property Watch that most developers shy away from green building technology because of fears of upfront investment which is normally sizeable but is gradually recovered through savings made thereafter,

“Sustainability is not just about technology, it has to make business, economic as well as social and environmental sense. Being green directly improves long term property value because of durability,” Mpembe argued.

He expressed frustrations that since 2012 when the technology was adopted globally, locally it has made lackluster progress because only NHC is a major developer making use of it practically.

“NHC has been the leader in this country is adopting this technology which has a lot of benefits,” said Mpembe who is currently president of the Institution of Engineers in Tanzania,

The IET president named some of NHC’s major projects which have used green building technology as Victoria Place in Dar es Salaam, saying developers should know and understand that the technology is here to stay.

“Developers must consider different issues when undertaking their projects such as improved air quality, electrical safety and efficiency, ergonomics, less water usage, all of which are green building tenets,” he pointed out.

Other green building technology projects in the country include: Kigamboni Housing Estate also of NHC, Bank of Tanzania twin towers and ECO Residence apartments all in Dar es Salaam.

He said still there is lack of awareness to developers, the government and the public in general in the importance of green building technology hence the need for sensitisation.

Tanzania Green Building Council came into being after signing a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Green Building Council in 2014 and officially started 2015.

Mike T’chawi who is vice president of Architect Association of Tanzania, said the majority of modern buildings in Sub-Saharan Africa replicate designs in the Western world.

“As a result, inefficient designs plus construction using inadequate materials combined with poor understanding of the subject has led to tremendous energy wastage and furthermore, high electricity bills. Green buildings are designed to lower maintenance costs such as water and electricity bills,” said T’chawi.

He also singled out lack of regulations requiring developers to use green building technology in the construction of structures because such property is environmentally friendly. T’chawi advised the government to adopt a building code which should incorporated green building technology requirements.

“In the Policy, we expect through input of various stakeholders, to include specific elements supporting green building technology and application. Thereafter laws and regulations shall come into force defining the implementation of green building as a sustainable way of erecting structures,” argued T’chawi.

Ipyana Moses, Deputy Executive Secretary of IET, warned that Dar es Salaam is losing a lot by not enforcing green building technology which saves energy and water consumption in addition to fighting climate change.

 “20 percent of energy in form of electricity is produced to run cooling system of poorly designed buildings due to use of poor insulation materials, wrong glass materials for window panels, and poor lightning and thus causing thermal discomfort. Besides other physical losses, approximately 30 percent of water consumed in Dar es Salaam is lost through poor fitted and oversized toilet cisterns and showers,” argued Moses.

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