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Coming soon: Manual for funding green buildings

By Nduku Muema | September 1st 2016
Strathmore University, a beneficiary of subsidised funding for green buildings. (Photo: Edward Kiplimo)

Banks and other financial institutions have been asked to provide incentives to green building developers in the country.

Goodman Kazoora, the regional project manager at UN-Habitat said such incentives would encourage and sustain the constructions of such buildings. He said UN-Habitat will soon unveil a manual aimed at helping banks in the East African region to deal with and attract green building clients.

“The manual will be ready in the next few months and will be a tool that banks can use to come up with incentives, special mortgages and other financially attractive offers for people who want to build or buy green buildings,” Kazoora said last week during the Kenya Green Buildings Society’s annual conference held at Strathmore Business School, Nairobi.

He said that they are researching and consulting widely with various stakeholders to come up with a manual that can be universally used, putting into consideration the interests of both the green building investors, clients and the banking fraternity.

A green building is one that is energy and resource efficient, as well as environmentally responsible. It enables the investor save on time and cost, and at the same time creating a more comfortable, more productive and healthier environment to live and work in. A green building is a big step forward in addressing climate change.

Responding to Kazoora’s plea, the corporate relationship manager at the Kenya Commercial Bank, George Pande, said that as financial institutions, their hands were tied, especially on matters of loan interests. However, he was quick to add that they are getting innovative and creative to give green building clients financially attractive offers. The three-day conference was attended by representatives from the government, private sector and green building enthusiasts from Kenya and the Green Buildings Council of South Africa.

The Kenya Green Buildings Society raises awareness on the benefits of green buildings and supports the government to lead by example, as well as legislate and facilitate the adoption of green building practices. It also recognises and awards industry leaders who excel in green building. Corporate members and partners of the society showcased various green building products and development projects.

Strathmore University is a beneficiary of subsidised funding for green buildings. The institution received a soft loan at an interest rate of 4.1 per cent from the French government through Cooperative Bank to fund its solar energy project. The project, one of its kind in Africa, boasts of over 2000 solar panels and is believed to be the continent’s largest rooftop solar plant.

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