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Lagos to see more green buildings?

The rapid growth of Lagos, while a great reason to get involved with the Nigerian construction industry, is causing harm to the environment. Roughly 12 per cent of Nigeria's population - which has more than doubled in the last 30 years -  lives in the city, and this expansion has taken its toll on the Earth.

This is understandable, and the case in many nations that have seen high levels of growth. However, Nigeria has elected to do something about it, particularly in Lagos State. The region's government recently held its seventh Climate Change Summit to discuss these issues, and any potential solutions to them.

One key way Nigeria's problems could be solved is through the construction of more green buildings. With so many new structures being constructed, especially in Lagos, it is considered necessary for the nation to plan for the future by reducing the environmental impact of its buildings.


A green economy

Lagos State's Climate Change Summit came to the conclusion that while climate change was a global issue, which needs addressing by a large portion of nations, it has local ramifications that can be tackled by Nigeria. In particular, it noted that because Lagos lies on the coast it is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

However, the summit identified a number of steps that can be taken to prevent these issues. While steps such as tree planting and climate-proofing agriculture were discussed, one of the main issues is Nigeria's construction industry. The summit concluded that changes needed to be made in this area.

This is something Nigeria is prepared for, and the Climate Change Summit found that focusing on a 'green economy' would be beneficial to the wider economy. It recommended the government of Lagos State invest in environmentally friendly improvements, which would include green buildings.


Green buildings in Lagos

Nigeria is currently undergoing a drive to promote green buildings across the nation. This will be piloted in Abuja, specifically in the districts of Central Area, Maitama and Asokoro (Guzape), but authorities expect it to be rolled out to other areas in the near future. The drive will see new regulations brought into effect surrounding how buildings are constructed.

For example, new structures will be required to utilise natural light as much as possible to save on electric lighting. Mallam Yahaya Yusuf, the director of the development control department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), added to this, saying to Leadership : "If they do not have enough ventilation we’ll insist on it by providing additional guides.

"If the type of energy they’re trying to have is not efficient enough we'll also make suggestions; if the internal water supply facility leads to more consumption of water than is required we'll give ideas as to what fittings they can have to minimize supply. All buildings that are being submitted by corporate bodies and companies, we insist they should go green."

In order to prevent environmental damage in Lagos, these plans will need to be rolled out in the city. However, some non-green buildings are already helping to offset the damage that could be caused by climate change.


Eko Atlantic City

One of the largest projects currently ongoing in Nigeria is Eko Atlantic City, an offshore development built on 10 sq km of land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. At the Climate Change Summit, Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola said that the project was conceived as a method of tackling the effects of climate change.
The scheme includes shoreline protection, drainage construction and dredging, all of which will protect Lagos from the some of the damage that could be caused by rising sea levels. The project itself has been embracing the use of eco-friendly materials and technologies during its construction, according to its official website.

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