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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Climate change: Minister tasks architects on green architecture

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, on Thursday, October 28, 2021 urged architects in Nigeria to adopt the “green architecture” to mitigate the impact of the climate change on the environment.

Key players in the architectural sector at the 2021 ACAN symposium and business forum in Lagos

Adegbite made the call at the opening of a two-day 2021 symposium and business forum of the Association of Consulting Architects Nigeria (ACAN) in Lagos.

The theme of the symposium is: “A New Order”.

He noted that, with buildings consuming 36 per cent of the world energy and cement accounting for 8 per cent of global emissions, the architectural community should be more active in the global climate change agenda and its mitigation.

The minister described green architecture as an evolving method of minimising the negative effects built structures have on their environment.

“A 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that global warming could hit the dreaded 1.5°C threshold as early as 2030.

“The consequence of such a milestone would be very grave for our planet, engendering more extreme weather and temperatures around the world with the attendant devastation.

“For those of us involved in the design of buildings and cities, there is a deep responsibility to be aware of this impact,” he said.

According to him, architecture is the interplay of man, resources and material, adding that architects manipulate the relationships between and among man, environment, space, light, climate and materials.

The minister, therefore, called on the architects to promote a key mitigation solutions – the green architecture.

Adegbite described the green architecture as a philosophy that draws on the environment as inspiration to deliver low-impact, adaptable and healthy spaces.

The minister noted that climate change had become the 21st century’s most serious environmental hazard and a major cause of concern for engineers, architects and world leaders.

“It is the number one topic on the global political agenda, which has been made more prominent by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Climate change indeed appears to have a chicken-and-egg relationship with the field of architecture.

“Despite the fact that architecture contributes to climate change, it is also impacted by it. In this regard, building construction is a major culprit,” he said.

Adegbite stated that climate change’s repercussions and effects are already evident in our lives, with the earth becoming warmer each passing year.

According to the minister, the impact of climate change in Nigeria is becoming more visible by the day, as drought, floods, erosion and desertification are worsening as a result of the global phenomenon.

The minister decried that the Nigerian economy had also not been spared, with the agricultural sector being the most affected, leading to reduced productivity.

He said the green architecture essentially minimised the harmful effects of construction projects on human health and the environment.

Adegbite says the “green architect” or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth, by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices.

In his address, Mr Ayoola Onajide, President, ACAN, said there was a new order, adding that the symposium was organised to explain the ramifications of the new world we found ourselves.

Onajide stated that the symposium was organised, in furtherance to the objective of the association to promote architectural practice at its highest level.

“The association strives to build competency and raise the quality of our service offerings. We also strive to protect the society from quacks and undesirable unregistered and unqualified architects and firms,” he said.

ACAN is the professional body representing consultant architects in private practice in Nigeria.

The association was established in 2004 to advance the practice of architecture in Nigeria, in partnership with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON).

By Rukayat Adeyemi

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