NMRC, IFC launch EDGE green building certification system
To encourage companies to invest in sustainably-designed buildings, Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have launched the EDGE green building certification system in Nigeria to jumpstart the mainstreaming of resource-efficient buildings across the country in a fast, simple and affordable way.
An innovation of IFC, EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is a certification system for new residential and commercial buildings that enables design teams and project owners to assess the most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options in their buildings.
Until now, going green in the building business seemed a luxury for the wealthy or for select multinational companies looking to make a branding statement. Today however, middle- and low-income buildings can also adopt environmentally sound designs.
Senior IFC officials say, going green in the building sector can save investors serious money through lower energy and water bills. In fact, both investors and policymakers alike are recognizing that greener buildings can provide multiple benefits such as saving operating costs by boosting efficiency.
EDGE includes complementary software to empower building professionals to quickly and easily determine the most cost-effective ways to build green based on occupant behavior, building type and the local climate.
The system also empowers builders to choose technical solutions while capturing costs and projected operational savings. The drivers behind EDGE are financial but the results are environmental—EDGE helps mitigate climate change by encouraging resource-efficient development.
Last week, NMRC and IFC, along with the consortium of thinkstep-SGS, the certification provider for EDGE in Nigeria, held meetings in Lagos and Abuja recently about EDGE adoption and implementation.
According to Dr. Chii Akporji, NMRC’s Executive Director for Policy, Partnerships and Business Development, “NMRC and IFC share a common aspiration to move the building construction industry on to a lower carbon, more resource-efficient path.”
She explained: “Through the partnership, the entities will work together to promote sustainable design practices in Nigeria. This will include NMRC recommending EDGE certification to clients to increase the value of their green properties.”
Under the programme, IFC aims to transform 20 per cent of the construction market in rapidly industrializing countries with the support of industry leaders, governments and financial institutions.
Resource-efficient buildings provide a tangible value that can be passed from property developers to their customers through utility savings.
Green buildings also have less negative impact on the environment and reinforce a more sustainable corporate brand. They also enable homebuyers to make a difference through choosing green homes for their families, which have the potential for higher re-sale values.
“Going green and affordability are not mutually exclusive – both are possible. We know from our global experience that we do not have to give up one to achieve the other.
“What we need is a way to put buildings onto a greener path with solutions that are sensible in the Nigerian context. EDGE can help accomplish that,” remarked Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager, Nigeria.
IFC has a green building investment portfolio of more than $3 billion, which includes its own direct investments and mobilized financing.
Ghana Green Building Program Lead, IFC, Mr. Dennis Quansah said that EDGE takes this movement a step further by encouraging more affordable green housing in high urban growth markets, helping build sustainable cities at a time when resources are getting increasingly harder to secure.