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Oil city cuts building permit fees by 30% for EDGE-certified projects

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Authorities in the western port city of Sekondi-Takoradi have cut building permit fees by 30 percent for projects that are certified with IFC’s EDGE.

The Mayor of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), the Honorable Anthony K.K. Sam, announced that city authorities have also directed that all projects of the local authority must conform to the EDGE standard, which is a minimum of 20 percent savings in energy, water and embodied energy in materials. This includes schools, hospital clinics, retail buildings, and offices.

The move will help to improve the thermal comfort of buildings in the country’s oil-rich city, which is characterised by high temperatures, high humidity and abundant rainfall. The policy was developed to enhance people’s lives while lessening pressure on natural resources.

On December 4, an event was held at the forecourt of Atlantic Tower in Airport Square in Accra, the first EDGE-certified building in Ghana, to convene stakeholders and celebrate the successes of those who have already adopted EDGE. At the event, STMA Mayor Anthony Sam announced the 30 percent cut in building permit fees for all EDGE-certified projects going forward.

He said, “Ghana’s oil production in commercial quantities in the Western Region, coupled with the expansion of Takoradi Harbour, has set the city of Sekondi-Takoradi on an economic development path. Such growth must be carefully managed to ensure the sustainable use of limited resources. The STMA must play a decisive role in managing energy and water use as the city develops. To walk this narrative, the twin city instituted a reduction in building permit fees for all projects that are EDGE certified. The intention is to encourage resource-efficient development.”

STMA Mayor Anthony Sam explained a caveat has been introduced to ensure all developments in the area meet green building requirements as contained in the Ghana Building Code.

“To re-develop and revitalize Sekondi-Takoradi, all building replacement and renovation must meet green requirements as stipulated in the Ghana Building Code,” stated Anthony Sam. “This will not only save the government the cost of on-going infrastructure, but will also reduce the carbon footprint in the city, since the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions comes from the energy used in residential and commercial buildings, as well as transportation.”

Anthony Sam also announced that the STMA was working with IFC in building competence in green buildings with the introduction of “Development Control Week” to encourage the re-shaping of housing markets through more sustainable design practices.

Anthony Sam commended IFC and its partners for introducing EDGE. He said that EDGE provides the quickest and easiest financial calculator for assessing the cost-effectiveness of green buildings, as well as making it faster and easier than ever before to certify green.

Funding for EDGE has been provided by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland, among other donors.

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