Encourage green building initiatives - Malik | Sunday Observer

Encourage green building initiatives - Malik

The government is promoting sustainable development and considers the construction industry to play an important role in this regard. The green building initiatives are encouraged to preserve the environment and have been given a prominent place in the country’s development agenda, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema said, speaking at the 7th World Construction Symposium in Colombo last week.

Sri Lanka has a unique opportunity to do things better and do things right in this growth trajectory. However, changing weather conditions have become a hindrance with regard to the construction industry’s upward move.

This has slowed down progress. We need to make a significant shift from traditional methods to modern procedures to meet these challenges, he said.

This year’s theme of the symposium was “Built asset sustainability; Rethinking design, construction and operation” which will be concluded today, July 1.

“The government no longer can engage in non-productive infrastructure development projects due to difficulty in finding the required funding. As Sri Lanka is a middle income country, it has not been possible to attract funding that is provided for the under-developed countries. Therefore, it is important to forge public private partnerships (PPPs) to generate funds locally to engage in mega projects,” he said.

“With climate change which affects the construction industry, new innovations to promote entrepreneurs in the sector is necessary. It is important to address construction management problems resolving the socio-economic issue simultaneously promoting built environment to fuel the growth in the industry,” Prof. Peter McBermott said.

The potential of establishing infrastructure which could drive profitability is necessary and the social aspect of sustainability is the key for the construction industry. The infrastructure has to be on mission driven approach and successfully driven mission has been the key to successful projects. A close alignment between clients and the industry is needed for better results and the industry needed a strategy to drive growth, he said.

“Projects undertaken give an opportunity to improve productivity which is a driving force in the industry. Less waste, less duplication, local engagement and greater efficiency will lead to enhance social value which also promotes equality and diversity. It is extremely important that the modernization of the construction industry takes place,” he said.

The World Construction Symposium is an annual international industry event taking place in Sri Lanka focusing on sustainable construction. The symposium provides a special platform for researchers and practitioners in the area of sustainable construction worldwide to exchange information on creating a sustainable built environment and thus advancing, sustainable development. The first world symposium was held in 2012. The World Construction Symposium is jointly organized by the Ceylon Institute of Builders and Building Economics Management and Research Unit of the Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa. Prof. McBermott was the keynote speaker at the symposium.