Towards ensuring affordable and environmentally friendly living, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has called on private developers to build more green residential houses.

NMRC Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, who made the call at an event organised by International Finance Corporation (IFC) – EDGE to celebrate early adopters of Design for Greater Efficiency (EDGE) Certification in Lagos, said the company has been refinancing conventional mortgages since it commenced operations, but stands ready to refinance mortgages created for off-takers of green buildings.

“We have been refinancing conventional mortgages, but we have a few things that we are looking at on the green side. So, my advice to developers is to build more green buildings because when the mortgages are created, we stand ready to refinance them,” Ogundimu said.

He noted that NMRC is a cheerleader and pioneer advocate of EDGE, a global green building certification system. “We are so passionate about the EDGE certification because we see a direct connection between sustainability and affordability. We at NMRC are about how to make housing affordable. When you look at the long-term cost, it makes sense to build green.

“The initial cash outlay for a green building might appear to be higher, but when you look at the savings from energy, water, health benefits, the longevity of the houses, the fact that they have better resale value, when you look at the total costs, you see that it is actually much cheaper,” he said.

Ogundimu said the company supports EDGE-certified green buildings because they are sustainable and affordable. “We would get more people in their homes for a longer period than with conventional loans that are prevalent today. Let’s build more houses that are green, let’s put our people in houses that are more affordable in the long run, we will realise our dream of making housing more affordable and available,” he said.

Over the past four years, EDGE has supported several forward-looking pioneers of green buildings to lead a profitable transformation of the country’s real estate sector.

EDGE advocates are delivering greener and energy efficient buildings, ranging from residential accommodation, student housing, high performance office buildings and mass housing.

The EDGE platform allows design teams to quickly determine the optimum combination of building design strategies for the best return on investment. Within minutes, a building designer can determine the optimum combination of design strategies for the best return on investment.

The EDGE software discovers energy- and money-saving design opportunities through region-specific and use-based analysis. As a free design tool, EDGE presents incremental costs, savings, and payback periods for green building measures, helping developers and buildings make the business case for green building.

EDGE has three global levels of certification. The first requires that a building achieve a minimum projected reduction of 20 per cent in energy and water use, and embodied energy in materials as benchmarked against a standard building.

The second level is the EDGE Advanced certification that requires 40 per cent or more on-site energy savings. The third is the Zero Carbon certification, while 100 per cent renewables on-site or off-site or purchased carbon offsets to top off at 100per cent.

EDGE uses reputable independent third parties of EDGE certification to validate the green credentials of a building’s sustainable achievements at a modest cost for financial and community stakeholders.