October 11, 2023
The President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), Ing. Kwabena Bempong has outlined alternative sustainable housing building technologies that is cost effective and give true meaning to affordable housing in Ghana.
He said, that as construction costs rise and urbanization accelerates, the housing market tends to cater primarily to the affluent, excluding individuals in the low to medium-income category from accessing suitable housing. He added that “housing is defined as unaffordable if more than 30% of the monthly or annual income of a household is spent on housing”.
The GhIE President said it is estimated that about 80% of Ghana’s building materials are imported, which are subject to global economic trends such as commodity pricing, high labor costs, geopolitical wars, and others.
He recommended the use of affordable building materials such as the use of Bio-based materials like Timber, Bamboo, and improvement on non-renewable building materials such as Green cement, Pulverized Fly Ash, Blast Furnace Slag, Calcined Clay, Burnt Rice Husk and Natural Pozzolans for the building of houses in Ghana.
He also recommended alternative building technologies such as Rammed Earth Building, Interlocking Bricks Construction, Reinforced Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Building Systems as well as Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum and Light Gauge Steel Framed Structures (LGFS).
Ing. Kwabena Bempong made these statements when he delivered his 52nd Presidential Address to Engineers of the Ghana Institution of Engineering on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at the Ghana Shippers Authority, Shippers House, North Ridge, Accra.
Speaking on the theme: “Sustainable Housing Supply with Alternative Building Technologies”, the President of GhIE said the government has no business building houses. Instead, the Government’s role is to provide the necessary policy and the right institutional framework and provide easy access to affordable lands, financing, building materials, and basic infrastructure. He added that governments should ensure that Social housing is pursued to ensure affordability for low-income workers.
The Chairman of the ceremony, Mr. Emmanuel Botchwey, Executive Chairman of Regimanuel Group said, that Ing. Bempong’s presentation has underscored the transformative power of embracing sustainable practices.
“The incorporation of alternative building technologies not only promises to mitigate environmental impact but also offers a pathway to more resilient, affordable, and inclusive housing options. The insights presented on alternative sustainable building technologies and the urgency of addressing the housing deficit underscore the need for collaborative efforts from all sectors”, Mr. Emmanuel Botchwey added.
In his welcome address, the Executive Director of the GhIE, Ing. David Kwatia Nyante explained that the GhIE’s Presidential Address is arguably the most significant event that transpires during the term of the President of the Institution. Each President of the Institution is required to deliver an Address concerning a subject within which or she is an authority. The preceding event for this year’s Presidential Address, which centers around “Sustainable Housing Supply with Alternative Building Technologies”, was a two-day exhibition of the said technologies that took place at the forecourts of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) from 27th January, to 28th January, 2024.
Present at the ceremony included the wife of the President of GhIE, ACP Priscilla Bempong; the Vice-President of GhIE, Ing. Sophia Abena Tijani; the President-Elect of GhIE, Ing. Ludwig Hesse; the Immediate Past President of GhIE, Ing. Rev. Prof. Charles Anum Adams, who joined the program online; Ing Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, Immediate Past President of Federation of African Engineering Organization (FAEO), Ing. Leslie Alex Ayeh, Immediate Past President of West African Federation of Engineering Organization (WAFEO); Council members of GhIE, Past Presidents of GhIE, Women in Engineering (WINE) and representatives of other Professional Bodies.
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