Decarbonization of the construction sector, a major ecological challenge

2023-07-27 22:14:40

Among the challenges of the fight against global warming, the decarbonization of the construction sector, including in Africa. On the continent, the population growth requires the construction of a large number of dwellings and infrastructures. It is therefore urgent to change practices. Some construction companies present on the continent have embarked on this approach.

The announcement was made at the Africa CEO Forum, an annual meeting of the private sector in Abidjan. The international finance company, a subsidiary of the World Bank dedicated to business investment, releases an envelope of 500 million dollars for the benefit of BUA Group. The Nigerian cement giant promises to use cleaner fuels. His boss Abdul Samad Rabiu explains: “ This is a project that will ultimately use liquefied natural gas, a greener energy. We are very happy with this funding. It’s going to take time, but in Nigeria we’re producing this energy that adds value, at a much lower cost than if you were using fossil fuels. »

Towards a change of material?

Greening cement production, a major challenge and Guillaume Habert’s job. Materials engineer, professor of sustainable construction at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He conducts research for more ecological production, including in Africa: “ To reduce CO2 emissions, we can actually try to increase the efficiency of cement works, that is to say that instead of burning oil, we will burn waste. To reduce the second 50% of emissions, on the other hand, the only technique that exists is to trap CO2 at the outlet of the cement plant and inject it into the ground, which is called “carbon capture and storage”. It is an extremely expensive technology that is still just at the prototype stage. So, do we want to continue to use cement and build as before? Or do we say to ourselves that we can try to build with other materials, naturally, without carbon, such as earth, which could replace some of the cement? »

« Reduce energy consumption »

Put an end to all concrete, convince that earth is not the material of the poor, and invent new methods in the building itself. Laurent Germain is the Managing Director of Egis, an international consulting, construction engineering and operating group, present in 25 countries in Africa: “ The use of wood makes it possible both to reduce carbon emissions and also to build structures that reduce energy consumption. We work on hospital projects, stadium projects, we also do it in residential matters. It is very important that we regulate and that we can apply regulations, in particular the “Edge” regulations which make it possible to guarantee that the techniques which are used maximize the impact on sustainability. »

And this is another central issue: unifying the regulations between the different African countries, despite the sometimes very different climatic conditions.

Read alsoEco-responsible houses [1/4]: In Senegal, the challenge of bioclimatic construction

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