Greening the Construction Industry in Zimbabwe
The chapter sought to evaluate the implementation of green construction in the construction industry in Zimbabwe and its contribution towards enhancing sustainability in construction practice. It also highlights the concepts/principles of green construction and how they are applied in Zimbabwe and assesses the challenges hindering its implementation in the country’s construction industry. To achieve these objectives, the study mainly focused on small to large construction companies and relevant practitioners within the construction industry. The study employs a descriptive and analytical effort and uses both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. To acquire this data, the study used questionnaires distributed to target respondents as well as interviews carried out with professionals from The Green Building Council of Zimbabwe, Environmental Management Agency and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Evidence drawn from literature highlights that even though sustainable development is placed high on many developing countries’ agenda; very little effort has been made towards its implementation (Adebayo, 2014). Reviews of green construction within Zimbabwe have found that only a small proportion of buildings can claim to be green. Despite the availability of a number of policies and guidance on sustainable construction, the adoption of this concept and its achievement is not happening fast enough. The study reveals that, although the concept of green construction is still very low in Zimbabwe, the country is a pioneer in the use of green building technologies. The concept of green design and construction was used exclusively in the construction of Batanai Gardens, Hurudza House, Chinhoyi Hospital and Eastgate Centre in Harare, amongst others. A lot of regeneration of buildings has been noted in Harare CBD as owners are moving slowly towards greening of existing buildings, through the use of modern and more durable materials. However, the concept has proved to grow on a slow scale in Zimbabwe’s construction industry as a whole as the continued use of conventional methods and materials is persistent among contractors and owners. Among the challenges facing the implementation of green construction are lack of financial capital, lack of green culture in the Zimbabwean construction industry and low commitment by top management officials and clients, among others. The study also highlights that there is a lack of appropriate tools and methods to evaluate the sustainability of buildings that are being constructed.