A senior researcher at the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI), Dr. Joseph A. Danquah, has advocated using local building materials to reduce carbon emissions.
This, he said, would also boost the economy by reducing the country’s dependence on foreign imports and concrete products.
Dr Danquah, who is also Deputy Coordinator of the National Craftsmen Training Center (NATC), made the suggestion in an interview with the Daily Graphic during a visit to Jimam Company Limited, manufacturers of fired bricks and tiles in Ekumfi Akoti in the central region. .
The visit aimed to inspect the facility intended to serve as a training center for construction industry craftsmen for the Central, Western and Greater Accra regions to enhance their knowledge on the use of local building materials.
Reduce carbon emissions
Dr Danquah, also an architect, urged Ghanaians to start relying on local building materials such as fired bricks for the construction of their homes to help fight climate change and reduce over reliance on cement and its related products.
“Besides fired bricks, we can also explore hydroforms, compressed earth bricks or even Adobe bricks,” he said.
“In Ghana, when you go north, why don’t we use Adobe and compressed earth bricks which are plentiful and proven,” he wondered.
He cited South Africa as an example where they use local building materials a lot in their housing and asked, “why do we throw them away and still go for normal cement blocks”.
Dr Danquah noted that Ghanaian bricks, bamboo, compressed earth bricks and other local building materials are the way to go as now “we are talking about going back to green building materials”.
He stressed the need for continuous upgrading of the skills of professionals, especially architects and engineers, with regard to the use, design and construction of local raw materials.
Executive Director of Jimam company limited, Moyna Nyankah, thanked BRRI for partnering with the company to train artisans in the Central, Western and Greater Accra regions in the use of local building materials, especially the clay-fired bricks and the pozollana cement.
“Not only will the promotion of local building materials create many job opportunities, but also reduce the pressure on foreign currencies since the materials are all found in our local environment,” she said.
Ms Nyankah said training and certifying local craftsmen on the use of local materials was a big innovation in the construction industry.