Minister urges GIA to collaborate to provide low-cost designs

Accra, May 26, GNA- The Government has called on the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) to collaborate with the Ministry of Works and Housing in providing designs and construction methods to help reduce the cost of construction.

The Government is also calling on the Colleges of Art and the built environment and the School of Engineering to collaborate with the Ministry to develop sustainable planning schemes and designs to maximise spaces, leading to the reduction in the cost of construction.

The Minister said this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the Institute's Annual General Meeting in Accra, as part of activities to mark its 60th anniversary on the theme: “Ghanaian Architecture-The Past, The Present, and the Future”

The Minister was confident that the Institute would develop a system, to make the role of architecture and planning more functional, in ensuring a better and inclusive future for all in line with the Sustainable Development Goals nine and 11 that enjoin all to “Make Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable”.

According to the United Nations Population Fund Agency, in 2008 more than half of the World’s population lived in cities. Ghana’s urban population currently stands at 57 per cent with an annual urbanization rate of 5.8 percent.

Mr Asenso-Boakye stated that, high cost of building materials was one of the striking reasons governments had not provided housing at an affordable rate for a significant grouping of the urban population, adding that most of the building materials used in the country were imported.

He emphasized the need to develop home grown solutions to address the challenges, and requested for collaboration to research into the right quality local building materials that will help develop the building industry.

The Minister said the Ministry through its relevant stakeholders finalized, gazetted and launched the Ghana Building Code in 2018.

“In a bid to efficiently operationalize the Code, it became necessary to review the current Building Regulations LI 1630 (1996) to reflect all aspects of the Building Code. Thankfully, the Building Regulations are currently before parliament for consideration and approval,” he said.

Mr William desBordes Albert-Viala, former President, Ghana Consulting Engineering Association advised Architects to consider the environment in designing any architectural work for clients.

He called for effective collaboration with stakeholders in the built environment to maximise the land space because most people build without engaging the services of professional Architects.

Mr Viala called on the leadership of GIA to take advantage of technology and build the capacities of members for continuous professional development.

Mr S.M Quartey, the President, GIA said in addition to the country’s historical, traditional and modern heritage buildings, architectural expressions in the country’s cities were a mix of universal contemporary styles for the wealthy and people who could afford.

The future of architecture, he said was in the new directions in architectural education and knowledge, creativity, the convergence of innovative ideas and a new technology that directed the profession to a sustainable future.