Submitted by Zainab Gaafar

Sudan’s First Sustainable Building Council gets International Recognition

Sudan Architecture News - Jul 15, 2018 - 05:50   17034 views

Sudan’s First Sustainable Building Council gets International Recognition

Sudan inaugurated its first Sustainable Building Council on the 7th of April, 2018 with the attendance of Sudan’s Presidential Aide, Minister for Physical Planning - State of Khartoum and the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development. The ceremony and Sudan’s efforts were recognized by the World Green Building Council, and the Regional Head of the Council, Jane Afrane, was invited to and attended the ceremony and spoke about the regional work in the field of green architecture, highlighting Rwanda’s experience and it’s government’s plan of turning all buildings into green buildings. Ms. Afrane also discussed the next steps needed to complete the registration of Sudan’s Sustainable Building Council at the World Green Building Council.

Image © Sudan Sustainable Building Council

His Excellency Mr. Abdelrahman Elsadig Elmahdi, Sudan’s Presidential Aide gives the opening remarks.

Joining the discussion were Dr. Mohammed Alhaj, CEO of the Green Quality Consulting Engineering Office – KSA, and Dr. Adil Sharag-Eldin, associate professor at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University.

The speakers talked about the importance of including governmental bodies in this early stage and how impressive it was that Sudan’s government has shown interest in supporting the council and collaborating with it. They also spoke about the coming phases and what to expect when working on establishing the council, and the technical knowledge found in the field of sustainable engineering.

Image © Sudan Sustainable Building Council

Green Buildings Councils around the world have gained popularity over the past few decades, due to the realization of their importance especially with the challenges seen with economic difficulties and climate change. The first green building council to be established was the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), co-founded by Mike Italiano, David Gottfried and Rick Fedrizzi in 1993.

There are currently 72 member Green Building Councils around the world, 8 of them in Africa.

Sudan’s Sustainable Building Council was established not just to follow an international trend, but because the team behind it truly believed that the time is ripe for such an establishment to be created, especially with the current local environmental situation and paucity in resources, as well as the economic crises Sudan is going through. The work on the council began in 2014. During this time the council held several events and started the conversation needed to promote sustainable buildings. Since its launch it has been working on completing all steps to gain full membership in the World Green Building Council, and has participated in the Africa Green Building Summit in 2018 to extend its international relations and appearance.

Image © Twitter vie Sudan Sustainable Building Council

The concept behind the Sudan Council was to care for both the built and natural environment, and to build a database for the local and valuable resources that can be used to support the local manufacturing industry, and therefore the country’s economy. The collected data will be made available for all sectors, as well as for individual members and researchers, so that more sustainable resources would be apprehended, as well as developing a rating system for building materials and construction methods. It is important to note that Sudan has been immensely affected by climate change, including natural hazards and rises in temperature, making this information invaluable for the country’s development.

After understanding how the construction industry in Sudan works and gaining a clear understanding of the local needs, as well as conducting research and consulting specialists from around the world, an equation is reached that dominates the local need for green codes and how to improve sustainability, with optimal use of what is available. Eventually, new building codes will be developed as a collaboration with governmental institutes to integrate green building guidelines with the current guidelines, and in the strategic plan.

Image © Sudan Sustainable Building Council

The Council’s short-term plan includes establishing its teams that will be working on different issues, especially raising awareness, research and resources, and public relations, in order to fulfill the council’s objectives. The first steps will revolve around raising public awareness on how sustainability is a need and not a luxury, and how sustainability is key for managing strained resources and supporting the economy. The council will also conduct workshops and lectures targeting recent graduates, professionals and institutes as well as students.

Full establishment of the council will take some time after fully running as an institute with fixed revenue streams and working staff, as well as showing a tangible impact on the community and the local environmental scene.

Top Image © Sudan Sustainable Building Council

Special thanks to Eng. Mai Yusuf

All information is taken from Sudan Sustainable Building Council members