The government in partnership with the Green Building Council of Zimbabwe (GBCZ) is developing green building standards for Zimbabwe as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions as well as to help mitigate the negative impact of climate change, Business Times can report.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality minister Mangaliso Ndlovu called on architects and other players in the built sector to contribute to the process of formulating the standards.
“The Ministry is currently working in partnership with the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities and the Ministry of Local governance and Public Works and the GBCZ to develop green building standards for the nation.
“The initiative aims to establish green building standards for Zimbabwe to decrease our carbon footprint and enhance our potential to reduce climate sensitiveness in our infrastructure down to household level,’’ Ndlovu said.
GBCZ chairman Mike Juru said his association will help come up with standards in order to help the government meet its target of mitigating climate change.
He said the overall objective was to support the achievement of targets set by the government under various Conventions through development of the green building standards for Zimbabwe which will ensure an environmentally responsible construction sector and buildings.
“The standards will also promote positive economic, environmental, health and social benefits through incorporating energy efficiency systems, efficient water systems and integrated waste management within the design and construction sector,’’ Juru said.
Standards Association of Zimbabwe director general Eve Gadzikwa said sustainable infrastructure was critical for socio economic development.
“The issues around the natural disasters that have been happening are also the reason why we need to talk about standards, as we want to reduce greenhouse gasses emissions,” Gadzikwa said.
She said buildings contribute to at least 40% of the greenhouse gases emission hence the need for “solid and sustainable standards”.
“We are ready to work with the Institute of Architects Zimbabwe and for those who are very technical please come and support our efforts to come up with the relevant standards that you require for your sector,’’ Gadzikwa said.
Zimbabwe has of late experienced extreme weather conditions ranging from droughts, cyclones and even hailstorms all attributed to climate change.
Climate change is also posing a threat to the country’s agriculture prospects and food security.
Local Governance and Public Works minister July Moyo said that greenhouse gas emissions from buildings must be reduced emphasising the importance of promoting infrastructure that mitigates climate change
“…The expected impact of climate change will have varying negative effects on buildings. To cope with these threats, greenhouse gas emissions from the construction sector must be reduced, stopped and reversed at the same time buildings must improve their capacity for resilience in the face of the expected effects of climate change. This is a great challenge for the construction industry,” Moyo said.