In spite of the huge environmental and energy problem in Nigeria, designers have not seen the need for a shift from their traditional method of designing buildings. Green building which is also known as sustainable buildings are buildings which represents friendly structures that have little or no impact on the environment. This study focuses on examining the level of awareness and practice of green construction in Lagos state with a view to improve the practice by assessing the benefits of green construction, factors hindering the practice and proffering possible solutions to these factors. A cross-sectional survey research design was adopted for the study. A structured questionnaire was used as the principal instrument for collecting data from respondents. Using convenience sampling technique, a total sample of seventy (70) was drawn from the collection of built environment professionals (including architects, builders, quantity surveyors, Engineers, Estate surveyors and town planners) in various types of organization, expert clients and government representatives, from various parts in Lagos state. Fifty five (55) were completed and returned representing a 79.00% response rate. The analyses of data generated were carried out with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20.0) Percentage and mean score were used. Analysis of variance was also used in testing the hypothesis. The study also reveals that natural lightening access in many part of the building is the most important factor that built environment professionals put into consideration when carrying out construction projects, energy efficiency is the most important factor considered by built environment professionals in achieving sustainable design and construction. The conviction that green building costs higher is seen to be the greatest barrier that hinders built environment professional from regularly incorporating sustainable strategies into their work. This study further recommends that there should be education, training and seminars on green construction for project stakeholders involved in the design process including the client, developpers, project managers, architects, engineers, consultants, suppliers and contractors so as to convince them about the value of building green to the environment and to change their perceptions that green building cost higher than conventional method of construction as well as give the knowledge required to include green building technology into a project. It is also suggested that the government should provide incentives for stakeholders willing to build green and loan should be provided for sustainable projects. Finally, when carrying out construction projects, this study recommends that built environment professionals should put into consideration; natural access in many part of the building, use of large windows that maximizes the amount of light admitted into the building and vegetation around the building.
1.1 Background to study.
Green or Sustainable buildings are the future and will over the next few decades be more common Nigeria. The demand for high performance buildings is gradually becoming a trend in the Nigerian building industry. The main objectives of sustainable construction activities are to avoid resource depletion of energy, water, and raw materials and to prevent environmental degradation caused by facilities and infrastructure throughout their life cycle (Nordic Research Institute, 2014).
According Nwokoro and Onukwube (2011) the application of efficient waste management system, the use of renewable construction materials and effective use of project design facilities will facilitate the attainment of biophysical sustainability in Nigeria. To pursue sustainable construction, the industry is expected to evolve its processes of creating the built environment. Building construction has greatly increased and has been said to account for nearly half of all the greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumed owing largely to the energy used in the production and transportation of materials to building construction sites, and energy used to operate these buildings (Adegbile, 2013).
The built environment accounts for a large quota of material and energy consumption, biodiversity loss, pollution and waste generation (Afolabi, 2013). Design for flexibility, durability, adaptability and quality are essential factors necessary for the attainment of technical sustainability in construction (Nwokoro, 2011).
The building industry is a significant contributor to a majority of environmental issues (Celik, 2013). Green architecture ensures that no part or component of the building poses a threat to the surrounding environment. This requires the use of natural building materials with organic compounds like wood, bricks, or other elements rather than synthetics (Daramola, Adebayo & Alabi, 2012). Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (United Nations, 1987).
Nduka and Ogunsanmi (2015) study on Adoptability of Green Building Practices in Construction Projects in Nigeria states that, Professional bodies should train and educate their members on green principles to ensure awareness and knowledge of the practice. To maintain effective sustainable practice on projects, professionals need to attend seminars, conferences and training programmes to improve their knowledge of green design, construction, methods and techniques. Embracing green or sustainable concept in design is aimed at reducing energy, operation and maintenance cost, reduced building related illness, increase the productivity and comfort of building occupants; reduce waste and pollution and increase building and component durability and flexibility. It is important that the focus of green concept be embraced from the early stages of building design, planning and construction. There is need to reduce the need for energy in building and create more awareness to ensure the efficient use of available energy (Malina, 2013).
Hence it is of great importance to encourage green construction, and ensure that it is incorporated at the building’s design stage. Public awareness about green construction in Lagos is limited due to the fact that there is lack of institutional structures promoting green buildings, lack of adequate resources to promote green construction, little or no incentives from the government to promote green construction, limited professional capacity to integrate green building into construction and also there is little or no encouragement from the government in initiating green construction. This research is aimed at evaluating the factors restraining the practice of green construction in Lagos state
1.2 Statement of the Research problem.
In Nigeria, Green concept, sustainability and environmental issues are hardly put into
Consideration when designing a new building or renovating an old one. These results in a short fall in user satisfaction, functional space planning and service type (Otegulu, 2011).
In spite of the huge environmental and energy problem in Nigeria, designers have not seen the need for a shift from their traditional method of designing buildings. The level of awareness of the development of green building in Nigeria is extremely low. Only few housing developments are going green. Victoria Garden City (VGC) and Crown Estate both in Lagos State are among few housing estates to have incorporated some elements of green building in their design. The reasons could be traced to the assumption that it costs more to build green, the lack of awareness of the market, the knowledge, the research, and resources, steep learning for professionals, outdated planning and building codes, poor government policies with respect to built environment, shortage of engineers with experience of operating green building systems and lack of incentives for owner investors as opposed to owner-occupants (Udechuwku & Johnson, 2008).
It is equally very surprising that some buildings in Environmental science faculties of some universities are not given the touch of green or ecological sustainability in their design and construction(Otegulu, 2011). Lagos state being the most populous city in Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 40% of the total fuel consumption in Nigeria (Taiwo, 2005). Household activities within a mega city of about 18 million people living in over 3million houses no doubt constitute a significant quota of carbon emissions in Lagos state (Lagos State Ministry of Housing, 2009)
In evaluating the level of awareness and practice of green construction in Lagos state, This research aims at addressing the problems limiting the practice of green construction in Lagos state which includesLack of adequate resources to promote the construction of green buildings, Limited professional capacity to integrate green designs into construction, Lack of institutional structures to promote green construction, little or no incentives from the government to promote green construction and so on.
Sustainability can be achieved through reduction in energy, encouraging recycling and reuse of materials. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the problems limiting the practice of green construction in Lagos state and proffer possible solutions to encourage green construction. Hence before implementing any green construction, the general public and the professionals must realize what green building is clearly.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of research.
This research is aimed at evaluating the awareness and practice of green or sustainable construction in Lagos state, with a view to improving the practice.
The objectives are to:
1) To investigate the level of awareness of green construction in Lagos state.
2) To identify the benefits of green construction in Lagos state.
3) To identify the factors limiting the practice of green construction.
4) To investigate solutions proffered to the factors limiting the practice of green construction.
1.4 Statement of Research questions.
The following are the research questions:
1) What is the level of awareness of green construction in Lagos State?
2) What are the benefits of practicing green construction in Lagos state?
3) What are the factors limiting the practice of green construction in Lagos state?
4) What are the solutions proffered to the factors limiting the practice of green construction?
1.5 Hypotheses of study.
In order to achieve the objectives of this study, the following hypotheses are postulated and are to be tested in this study:
1. There is no significant awareness of green construction practice in Lagos State.
2. There is no significant difference among construction professionals on the perceived benefits of green construction in Lagos State.
1.6 Scope of study/ Delimitation of the study.
This study focuses on examining the level of awareness and practice of green construction, evaluating the benefits, the factors limiting the practice and proffering possible solutions to these problems. This research focuses on Lagos state.
1.7 Significance of the study.
The outcome of this study should assisting in highlighting the benefits and advantages of green construction in Lagos state, by examining the factors limiting the practice and awareness and proffering possible solutions and recommendations to achieve environmental sustainability , encourage recycling and reduce wastage.
1.8 Definition of key terms.
1. Environmental sustainability: This involves making decisions and taking action that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with particular emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support human life.
2. Environment: The sum total of all surroundings of a living organism, including natural forces and other living things, which provide conditions for development and growth as well as of danger and damage.
3. Green buildings or Green construction: this refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource - efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. Green construction means that a building uses less energy, conserves renewable resources and contains fewer toxic materials.