Stakeholders to architects: Design climate resilient buildings

Stakeholders have called on the architects to design buildings that will reduce the effects of climate change on Nigerians.
The stakeholders, who include the Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) Professor Mansur Matazu, that spoke at the 2022 Association of Consulting Architects of Nigeria (ACAN) symposium and business forum held in Lagos recently.
In his keynote address delivered virtually, Matazu explained that climate change was an existential threat to mankind globally and its effects were already evident in Nigeria, ranging from temperature increase, increased rainfall variability, sea level rise, flooding, drought and desertification.

The theme of the event was: ‘Rethinking Buildings For Climate Change.

He said: “Modern architectural slogan should be ‘designing for climate change’ as climate change would render most magnificent buildings a waste and inhabitable in future. Night temperatures hitherto known to be minimum are becoming high, making sleep difficult and uncomfortable in most houses”.

According to him, building operations are responsible for 27 per cent of Greenhouse Gasses (GHG) and the potential of the building sector as an effective GHG emission reduction agent is significant.

Matazu stated that the 2021 UNEP and Global Status report revealed that 27 per cent of building operations, 10 percent of building materials and construction, and 10 percent of other construction industry’s activities contributed to the annual global carbon dioxide emission.

He noted that buildings had relatively longer lifespans and action taken to reduce carbon footprint from design to construction would have the desired effect.

The professor said for climate resilient buildings, the number of hours air conditioners and bulbs were used must be reduced through the use of natural day light during the day.

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Watersmith Petroman Oil Ltd., Engr. Chikezie Nwosu, said architects must work towards designing buildings with less or zero carbon emission by considering the manufacturing process and certification of materials for buildings.

He called for a partnership between the energy and construction industries to ensure that sustainable and renewable energy was delivered into buildings.

“While the energy sector ensures that sustainable and renewable energy is delivered into buildings, architects must ensure that the buildings’ designs are in accordance with energy efficiency and conservative guidelines,” he said.