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11.c Sustainable buildings

Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

11.c Women at Land Share Site 3, Borei Keila, Cambodia,© Suzi Mutter 2005Indicator 11.c.1 Number of jobs in the construction industry of LDCs involved in the manufacture of local building materials, out of the total number of jobs in the construction industry

The performance of the construction sector is important for the economic health of a country, and particularly relevant for enhancing resilience, sustainability and inclusiveness in Least Developed Countries. In addition, the use of local building materials can make a substantial contribution to a building’s sustainability, both in terms of embodied energy , resource-use and other life-cycle impacts.

Local building materials can be defined as materials of which the entire life cycle (extraction, manufacturing, sale, use and recycling) is tied to the same geographic region.The number of jobs in the manufacture of local building materials can indicate the share of green construction jobs that contribute to sustainable cities and human settlements and, by inference, the sustainability of the building sector as a whole. Often in LDCs, the construction industry is heavily dependent on the informal sector, making-up a substantial proportion of a country’s total output; both formal and informal jobs should therefore be taken into consideration.

The use of local building materials can reduce construction costs by 20-30%, can exhibit greatly reduced embodied energy and thus reduce CO2 emissions. The informal labour sector often makes up a substantial proportion of a country’s total output (50% of non-agricultural Gross Value Added in Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance). For every job in the construction industry it is estimated that an additional 3-5 jobs are generated in the local economy associated to this sector.

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