It is time for Pakistan to have a sound environment policy, said participants at a networking luncheon hosted by the Pakistan Green Building Council on Wednesday.
Lawyer Rafay Alam, an environmental activist, said over 50 per cent of the country’s energy, including electricity, was being used inside buildings – commercial or private.
“If we…use green energy technologies and materials while constructing the buildings, we could save electricity…I believe a mega watt saved is as good as a mega watt produced,” he said.
Alam said Pakistan Green Building Council had recently developed an environment friendly and energy sufficient housing society with rooftop gardens.
“They [the council] have even started environment friendliness certification on a voluntary basis…we all must benefit from it,” he added.
Junaid Qureshi, the Pakistan Green Building Council chairman, said “Most of Pakistan’s energy, water and air quality problems can be solved if we all make a conscious effort.”
He said “green” or sustainable development was a major consideration in many nations. “Unfortunately Pakistan is behind the curve in this area.”
Qureshi said the purpose of Pakistan Green Building Council was to promote green development. He said the council was committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through efficient green buildings and communities.
Architect Rashid Rasheed, a founding member of the council, said objective of the event was to bring together the building industry stakeholders on one platform to work towards the sustainably built environment movement in the country.
“The problem…is that we failed to make good energy by-laws and implement them,” he said.
Aqrab Ali Rana, the council’s CEO, said, “We are establishing an environment benchmark to adopt the green energy technologies in Pakistan with the help of United National Development Programme…we need suggestions from all stakeholders.”
Rescue 1122 Director General Rizwan Naseer said, it was about time a proper building control authority was developed to keep a check on the construction materials used in buildings.
He said, “Adoption of cost effective green technologies in buildings could help mitigate the energy crisis.”
“Many buildings catch fire because of the poor materials used to construct them,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2013.