Property developers in Ghana say that IFC’s EDGE certification has given them greater international visibility in marketing their properties.
Developers who have already certified their buildings with EDGE report that certification has allowed their businesses to compete with multinational companies. EDGE has not only given these developers an advantage with clients, but has enabled them to build higher quality buildings that will be sustainable over their lifetimes.
Located in Airport City in Accra, Atlantic Tower is the first EDGE-certified building for commercial use in Ghana. Developer Radwan Dakmak, CEO for the Meridian Group, shared his experience, “If a client is buying an apartment or renting an office space and knows that you have an EDGE-certified building, you can explain how much they will save on utility consumption, and this alone is a big marketing advantage. When you apply to a bank for financing with a project that is EDGE certified, there is an international body behind you with independent certification that backs the claim.”
Atlantic Tower has a total floor space of nearly 58,000 square meters with a projected 282 total carbon dioxide savings for a year. Savings of 46 percent in energy and 56 percent in water are estimated, with 49 percent less energy in the making of construction materials.
Mr. Dakmak urged developers to commit to EDGE certification. “EDGE helps guide you to select better systems and solutions for your particular building. The Meridian Group’s vision was always to build sustainably and EDGE helped us make it happen.”
Mr. Dakmak’s view is shared by International Housing Solutions (IHS) in South Africa.
“We worked with IFC on certifying our residential developments with EDGE,” said Graham Kusano, the Senior Development Asset Manager for IHS. “As of today, we’ve certified 7,000 units. We already have three developments that deliver data on the properties’ energy and water performance. We’ve been able to demonstrate the advantage of green homes to tenants through EDGE. ”
Fuseina Abu, the Managing Director of Goldkey Properties, believes that EDGE is a major opportunity for Ghana to attract multinational firms.
“In the long term, if you want to be a Grade A developer of office buildings and attract important clients, it’s better to adopt EDGE early and be at the forefront rather than to cut yourself out from future opportunities,” she said. “Among Grade A developers, EDGE will become a necessity; something which you’re not going to be able to sell your building without.”
Ms. Abu shared in the argument by Atlantic Towers developer, Mr. Dakmak, that building green is cost-effective in the long term.
“Building green doesn’t have to be more expensive, so with better design there is no reason why you can’t build a green building for the same or even less,” she said. “If operational costs are lower, you’re going to attract tenants because it will be more cost-effective for them. It’s about the business proposition for the long term.”
Goldkey Properties is currently in the process of certifying two major commercial properties in Cantonments City in Accra.