In Africa, 75 percent of the buildings are yet to be constructed giving a chance to fix the wrongs in the built-up environment. A 3-day retreat from July 12 to 14, 2022 was organized to focus on how to improve the national building code to conform with the green building requirements.
The technical retreat was attended by building experts from the National Building Review Board (NBRB) and the Green Building Council Uganda.
The retreat was introduced by Dr. Ronald McGill, Project Lead – Greening Uganda’s Urbanisation and Industrialisation project, with techncical support from Arrabothu Dheeraj, Green Building Officer, Rwanda. It was led by George Asiimwe, the project’s Senior Urban Officer. In attendance were other GGGI team members. The GGGI team emphasized the importance of developing and localizing the green building code and presented local case studies for benchmarking.
Flavia Bwire, the executive secretary of NBRB chaired the first day, George, the second. Flavia suggested that the solution is to simplify the green building message for everyone to understand and appreciate it for compliance to the new codes. Uganda needs to design a specific rating tool for accessibility of green buildings. She added that Uganda already has an enabling environment where policies such as the Building Control Act, the National Environment Act, the Local Building Act, all provide for sustainable buildings and somehow provide for planning a better built-up area. However, there is lack of a compliance system, that needs to be worked on first.
The experts agreed that for green building codes adopted from outside Uganda should be localized for the Ugandan context. Behavioural change also plays a key role for a successful transition. This calls for more awareness of greener building designs, materials and construction practices, among both the practitioners and the general public.
The review exercise is implemented under the Greening Uganda’s Urbanisation and Industrialisation project funded by the European Union under the inclusive Green Economy Uptake Programme (GreenUP) program financed under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) from 2020 – 2023.
The project objective is “Uganda achieves strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth”; and fully aligned with the Uganda Vision 2040 goals, which is being implemented currently through the National Development Plan III FY2020/21 – 24/25; and the Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGGDS) aims to ensure that these goals are attained in a sustainable manner.