Africa’s Increasing Investment in Sustainable Construction

Africa's Increasing Investment in Sustainable Construction

Quick Summary

RiA-ders, in line with a previous article promoting sustainable cities,  RiA article today is exploring investment in Sustainable Construction. Here are the key points:

1. Adapting to change.

2. A Spike in Green Materials.

3. Certification and Recognition.

4. A New Economy.


With sub-Saharan Africa expected to boost its population by an astounding 800 million people in the next 30 years, the building industry in Africa is opening up to, and investing in, the revolution that is sustainable technology and building construction. These new building methods extend to both green commercial building and residential construction. These changing attitudes have been spreading throughout multiple countries, and it seems likely that a large portion of the continent’s inhabitants will soon become attracted to the financial and environmental benefits that sustainable building can bring.

Adapting to Change

The large and diverse continent of Africa will need to create countless new structures to house and accommodate the population growth over the coming decades. Looking to that growth, many leaders have seen a chance to start from scratch and build with the long-term in mind. By using advanced, sustainable technologies, African construction companies can ease the financial burden of maintaining a building without putting any undue strain on the environment.

A Spike in Green Materials

One of the strongest sectors in green technology in the global realm appears to be green cement. Projected to hit $38.1 billion in 2024 from less than $15 billion in 2015, the building industry can use green cement to reduce their carbon footprint while increasing energy efficiency. However, the local building industries are starting to learn more about how they can better use materials they can find in their own backyard. Recently, the architect Nina Moritz spoke in Namibia about how they can utilize clay and sandbags to create more comfortable and practical environments for inhabitants.

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Sustainable Construction in Africa

Certifications and Recognition

A Green Star recognition may not have been as ubiquitous in Africa a decade ago, but it’s becoming an important way to distinguish businesses and property owners who have a concern for the environmental future. For example, just 100 Green Star buildings can save more than 130 million kWh of electricity and more than 170 million Kiloliters of drinkable water. So while the government may be in theoretical support of green technology, a Green Star certification can provide even more incentive for property owners to either build with green technology or rely on sustainable alternatives to upgrade their current structures.

A New Economy

The green construction industry has the potential to transform an entire industry and boost local economies everywhere. The influx of new buildings construction will require a large workforce trained in green technology, which will in turn provide jobs and opportunities for young people across the continent. In fact, Green Building Services is already running a program to inform children and their parents of the benefits of adopting green technology.

The sustainable construction industry across the world is driven by financial and practical considerations alike. Instead of looking at older, obsolete technologies that other countries may have used in the past, Africa is looking forward. Looking forward means understanding how the building industry can use readily available resources to change the landscape of both residential and commercial buildings. With an ever-increasing population across the world, the need for sustainable technology and building methods has never been as apparent. As these methods become more streamlined and accessible, more and more construction companies will incorporate them into their processes.

Author: Gary Ashton

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Gary Ashton is the CEO and owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage. His real estate team is #1 in Tennessee, Nashville and now #4 in the world.


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