Research scientist advocates the use of local building materials

The eminent research scientist at the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI), Dr. Joseph A. Dankoh, to the use of local building materials to reduce carbon emissions.

It would also boost the economy by reducing the country’s dependence on foreign imports and concrete products, he said.

Dr Danquah, who is also the Deputy Coordinator of the National Craftsmen Training Center (NATC), made the proposal in an interview with the Daily Graphic during a visit to Jimam Company Limited, manufacturers of burnt bricks and tiles at Ekumfi Akoti in the Central Region.

The visit was to inspect the facility designated as a training center for craftsmen in the construction industry in the Central, Western and Greater Accra regions to raise their level of knowledge using local building materials.

Reduce carbon emissions

Dr Dankoh, also an architect, urged Ghanaians to start relying on local building materials such as burnt bricks to build their homes as a way to help combat climate change and reduce over-reliance on cement and related products.

“Aside from burnt bricks, we can also explore watercolors, pressed earth bricks or even bricks made of bricks,” he said.

“In Ghana, when you go north, why don’t we use Adobe and the compact earthen bricks that are abundant and installed,” he asked.

He cited South Africa as an example where they use local building materials a lot in their dwellings and wondered, “Why are we getting rid of them and still opting for regular cement blocks?”

Dunkwah noted that Ghanaian bricks, bamboo, pressed earth bricks and other local building materials are the way to go because now “we’re talking about going back to green building materials.”

He stressed the need for continuous development of the skills of professionals, especially architects and engineers, when it comes to the use, design and construction of local raw materials.

Jimam Limited CEO, Moyna Nyankah, appreciated BRRI for their partnership with the company to train artisans in the Greater Central, Western and Accra regions in the use of local building materials, particularly fired bricks and pozzolana cement.

“Promoting local building materials will not only create many jobs, but also reduce pressure on foreign exchange because the materials are all in our local environment,” she said.

Ms. Nyanka said that training and accrediting local craftsmen to use local materials was a brilliant innovation in the construction industry.

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