Howard Humphreys (East Africa) Limited

Sustainability in Engineering: Understanding EDGE Green Building Certification

Patrick Gitee, Senior Structural Engineer at Howard Humphreys (East Africa) limited

In our ongoing series themed ‘Sustainability in Engineering’ the iHub talks to Patrick Gitee, a structural engineer at Howard Humphreys (East Africa) about his experience in becoming a certified green building expert.

  1. What is EDGE and what motivated you to become an IFC EDGE Green Building Expert

In the last decade, climate change adaptation has emerged as a more proactive solution across different sectors of the economy with particular focus on the construction industry, which contributes the largest share of the Global Carbon footprint.

EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is a green building certification system developed by the International Finance Corporation, with a goal of reducing the environmental impact of buildings in direct energy consumption, water consumption, and the energy footprint of construction materials.

To better provide Sustainable and Eco-friendly solutions to our clients, I had to adapt my way of practicing, and EDGE really proved to be the best fit solution at the most optimal time.

2. Could you tell us what was involved in the certification process

To attain my Edge Expert certification, I had to attend the EDGE Expert technical training workshop, which was a 2-day session by the IFC EDGE local partner, the Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS), and facilitated by Howard Humphreys.

The sessions were quite an eye opener into sustainability practices and were quite hands on in terms of the approach. After the training, I registered and did my EDGE Expert exams.

3. What does this EDGE certification mean to you as a professional engineer?

Apart from the excitement, certification means professional growth and visibility at an individual level and to Howard Humphreys it translates to enhanced brand visibility, better response to customer/ market needs, positive business potential as first movers and Environmental responsibility in our final outputs.

4. How will the EDGE certification improve your ability to contribute to more sustainable projects?

Edge Certification has added an extra dimension to how I now view my projects. By considering the post-construction carbon footprint at the preliminary design stage, I can align project delivery towards ensuring desirable outcomes and value addition to our clients as H.H and the environment on a macro scale.

5. How are you going to use the knowledge from edge training in your day-to-day work as a professional engineer

Edge expert training and Certification has been an eye opener and a game changer at a professional level. It has led a radical shift in my way of design approach in the endeavor to promote sustainable practices to ensure eco-friendly outcomes.

6. What other professionals can be certified in EDGE and what advice would you give them on their journey to becoming an Edge Expert?

Edge certification is open for all built industry professionals and once they embark on the journey, they should be ready for the endless possibilities that come because of the shift in way of sustainable thinking and practice.