KigaliThe city of Kigali in Rwanda two months ago hosted a regional workshop on energy efficiency in building codes.

The three days meeting passed a declaration on mainstreaming energy efficiency in codes, policies and building regulations.

During the three days, around 60 participants discussed building codes and existing regulations in the five East African countries Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

The workshop was held under the framework of the program “Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in East Africa” an initiative of UN-Habitat in collaboration with UNEP, GEF and the East African governments. It was a follow up of the review on existing building codes and regulations, and proposed recommendations towards mainstreaming energy efficiency in building codes in the five countries.

The event was organized by UN-Habitat and the Government of Rwanda, in partnership with The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the World Bank-Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme. The audience included government representatives and practitioners directly involved in the review or development of building codes and regulations, as well as representatives from Senegal, Cameroon and Nigeria. The participants learned about the integration of energy efficiency in building codes and best practices worldwide.

Working groups and experts discussed country issues and developed a roadmap for the transformation of the existing regulations into Resources Efficient Building codes. Efficient use of water, energy, local building material and land were important issues addressed.

Concluding, the government representatives drafted the “Kigali Declaration on Mainstreaming Energy Efficiency in Building Codes; Building Policies and Building Regulation”.

The Declaration dated on 26th of April 2013, calls upon:

Governments of the East African Countries to:

  1. Fully endorse and implement the concept of Energy Efficiency Building Codes (EEBC), and subsequently to review existing building codes, as well as guarantee the involvement and capacity building of relevant stakeholders in energy and resource efficiency requirements set by the new codes,
  2. Adopt and integrate measures of energy and resource efficiency as an essential element of the EEBC,
  3. Harmonize building codes, regulations and laws at the national and among the East African Community in order to achieve coherence,
  4. Create public awareness among all relevant stakeholders regarding the importance of energy efficiency in buildings, the required and available measures, its contribution to mitigate climatic change and the urgent need to make individual contributions,
  5. Identify and promote innovative approaches that demonstrate efficient use of energy and resources with particular emphasis to buildings (currently estimated to account for more than 40% of the available energy),
  6. Organize national and regional exhibitions and awards for the promotion of Energy and Resource Efficiency in Buildings,
  7. Establish a regular forum for networking and exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices which could lead to sustainable buildings,
  8. Actively participate in the collection and dissemination of the required data, especially climatic data that may lead to the successful implementation and recording of the effectiveness of the progress resulting from various initiatives under implementation,
  9. Create an enabling fiscal environment for adopting energy and resource efficient technologies by the private sector,

Development Partners in collaboration with the Governments to:

  1. Share experiences and resources to create both a knowledge pool and meaningful sustainable responses,
  2. Facilitate and support the development of local expertise and research capacity through knowledge sharing, exchange visits, and thematic workshops and training courses,

Training institutions to:

  1. Review and re-orient educational curricula to incorporate energy and resource efficiency as a theme to the benefit of various relevant stakeholders,
  2. Undertake action research on affordable and appropriate building materials, cost-benefit and life-cycle analyses of energy and resource efficient buildings,

The private sector to:

  1. Support and promote energy and resource efficient operations and lifestyle,
  2. Establish voluntary market-based performance-oriented Green Building Rating Systems and to support mandatory Energy Performance Certificates and Energy Savings Performance Contracts,
  3. Establish affordable and sustainable ‘Green Mortgage’ Scheme to support the implementation and scaling-up of energy and resource efficient building projects, and
  4. Develop and supply resource efficient building and construction materials and equipment.