Public Talk by the Green Building Council of Namibia 

On the 12th of May 2016, the Scientific Society hosted a public talk organised by the Green Building Council of Namibia (GBCNA) themed ‘Show me the Green’. The event was attended by architects, engineers, construction managers, representatives of non-profit organisations, scientists and students. The public talk was geared to help explain what green building actually means and also whether it is expensive to build green. Furthermore, the talk was aimed to give clarity on how to make your property certified green and the different sustainable strategies that exist for green building as well as to dispel the myth that green building can’t be cost effective. 

The participants were welcomed by Waltraut Fritzsche who is the CEO of the Namibian Scientific Society. Nina Maritz who is one of the premier architects involved with sustainability in Namibia lead the public talk by presenting about the importance of green building to ensure the sustainability of our natural resources. Glenn Howard from EMCON continued the talk by sharing how they have incorporated green building techniques in the EMCON building situated in Klein Windhoek, Namibia. Other presentations also included the green building initiatives used in the newly built FNB main branch building in Windhoek and lastly Frederick Muketi, the Chairperson of the GBCNA spoke about green building initiatives further afield on the African continent.

The public talk sought to answer compelling questions such as ‘what does green building really mean?’, ‘isnt building green expensive?’ and ‘what does a green building look like?’ The crux of the answers to these difficult questions centres on green building being a matter of design and that it does not only take into consideration the building at hand but the entire neighbourhood and urban environment in which the building is situated. Furthermore, the participants learnt about two highly ranked green buildings in Namibia and the conclusion was that the green elements of their construction and maintenance are to a large extent not visible but rather very well integrated into the building.

In conclusion, buildings consume a considerable amount of energy through cooling, heating, lighting and other supporting services. Greening the built environment is therefore a necessity, not only to attain energy efficiency but to reduce energy-related carbon emissions.

For more information, visit the GBCNA website: www.gbcna.org