The Group CEO, Alpha Mead Development Company (AMDC), Mr. Femi Akintunde, has called on Nigerian real estate developers to embrace green building design and construction practices because they are good for the environment and make sound business sense.

Akintunde made the call recently, while sharing Alpha Mead’s experience as a green building pioneer at a cocktail event organised by IFC EDGE to celebrate early adopters of EDGE Certification in Nigeria.

The event which held in Lagos, had government leaders, housing development finance institutions, real estate developers, and a wide array of housing industry stakeholders in attendance.

Akintunde noted that although many think of climate change as something far away, the reality was that it poses a real and practical danger. He stressed that the Nigerian construction industry must embrace green buildings and sustainability as a strategic mitigation measure.

“We are all living witnesses to what we experienced in the last four to five years, especially in Lagos in terms of frequent flooding and heat. Per decade the global average temperature is increasing by point two degrees centigrade. The situation presents a real problem.

“Trust me; if we don’t all do something about this issue in our little ways in the construction industry, it’s going to get worse. And we may all leave this world worse than we met it. And that is not going to be good for the coming generation,” he said.

Akintunde said although the overall goal of green buildings was to lessen the negative impact of the construction industry on the environment, sustainable buildings also make sound business sense and deliver value to developers.

He noted that Alpha Mead was clear on building green’s ethical and business value when it decided to expand its operations from Facilities Management to include Real Estate Development while adding that its investment in building green is paying off.

“When we conceptualized our flagship real estate project, Lekki Pearl Estate, we were clear that we would build green. Our building design leverages innovative construction technology to build one house in twelve days.

“We plan to build 1000 over the next three years. I am pleased to note that the concept of green buildings, which we embraced, is paying off. We have realised that when we finish building and pass the message out, the first few units that we sell, those people living there, are the ones that end up selling the remaining units for us.

“The reason is that our EDGE-Certified green buildings are more comfortable than the conventionally built homes, the cost of living in them is significantly lower in terms of utilities such as water and energy. What that translates to when you look at the life cycle costs over ten to twenty years is that living in sustainable houses is far cheaper. You may pay more initially, but your long-term costs will be lower,” Akintunde added.

The Alpha Mead Group CEO urged Nigerian developers to embrace green buildings and EDGE certification because of the unique advantages to both the investors and the owners and tenants.