Climate change: NiMet DG lists factors to consider in resilient building designs

Prof. Mansur Matazu, DG, NiMet



…says climate change could render most modern buildings useless if…


Posted by Sade Williams


The Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Professor Mansur Matazu, has urged stakeholders in the building and construction sectors, especially Architects to consider the challenge and impact of climate change when creating concept and designing contemporary buildings.

Speaking virtually as the Keynote speaker at a two-day forum organized by the Association of Consulting Architects, Nigeria (ACAN) with the theme: Rethinking Buildings for Climate Change: Why it Matters for Architectural Industry Players, he said climate change is an existential threat to mankind, adding that modern Architectural slogan should be “Designing for Climate Change”, in order to achieve resilient buildings.

According to him, ‘Climate change will render most present day astonishing, magnificent buildings a waste and inhabitable in future’, because most of them are not built to be low-carbon, energy and climate resilient.

He said a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Alliance for Building and Construction) Status Report in 202, shows that building operations are responsible for 27 percent of Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) emissions, adding that countries that will meet Paris Agreement (PA) emission reduction targets are countries that will support energy efficient building sector.

‘’Night temperatures hitherto known to be minimum are becoming high making sleep difficult and uncomfortable in most houses primarily designed for comfort. Buildings have relatively long lifespan and action taken reduce to reduce their carbon footprint from design to construction will have long term reduction effects’’, he said.

He is of the opinion that government, through policy and regulation can emphasise and approve only Climate Smart Designs and Climate Smart Housing Estates (CSHE).

While noting that different agroclimatic zones possess unique weather hazards to buildings, Matazu listed climate variables to consider in designing resilient buildings to include: Wind speed, frequency and direction; Soil temperature; Rainfall; Temperature; Sunlight, angle and intensity of sunlight.

He urged the members of ACAN to also consider reducing number of hours of Air Conditioning and electric bulbs that are needed through natural day light for lighting inside during the day.

He said there is need to consider cross ventilation/ natural air to cool the house most times to reduce energy while also adding that there must be resilient roof to withstand and cope with annual high intensity rainfall.

Prof. Matazu also asked stakeholders to limit designing houses for floodplains and “Reclaimed” waterways and initiate research into low-input technology/materials to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

‘’There could be advocacy to community and individuals to rethink importation of foreign designs to tropical climate and consider trade-off between climate resilient buildings and climate risk fanciful buildings’’, he added.

While charging stakeholders to take advantage of NiMet Climate Products and Services to Architectural and Construction Sector, he said with the new Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) Mobile App, members will be able to get instant information about Onset Dates, Cessation Dates, Specific Crop Calendar, Seasonal Rainfall Amount and lots more.

Others are Weather Broadcast; Wind forecast (helps in construction of sky scrape buildings to prevent damage to equipment and personnel) and Wind Rose: a climate product and service to architectural & construction industry.

‘’Early warning and detection mechanisms have proven to be the only dependable solution to the hazards of weather and climate. In NiMet we work round the clock to provide continuous weather information. These weather information are perishable and must be consumed at the right time.

‘’NiMet is the custodian of Historical Climatic data which has provided confirmation of local changing climate. We therefore encourage all our stakeholders including ACANigeria, to take advantage of our products and services and maximise the attendant benefits.’’, he added.