SIM discusses the built environment in light of climate change

Written by  McDonald Chiwayula

Surveyors Institute of Malawi (SIM) Continous Professional Development (CPD) 2018 Annual Conference has kicked off in Mangochi with key speakers calling on the need for urgent paradigm shift in built environment in the wake of climate change.

Participants at SIM CPD 2018 Annual Conference Participants at SIM CPD 2018 Annual Conference

Coming out tops is the emphasis of constructing green buildings or structures that can be resilient enough to climatic shocks.

Speaking when officially opening the conference, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Jane Banda SC, hailed SIM for steady efforts and plausible contribution it is making to the development of the country. She however challenged the professional body and its members on the need to provide solutions to challenges the country is facing including unplanned developments, developments in Road reserves and open areas.

“The people in this in this conference including SIM as a professional body should reflect on why we still have unplanned developments why are people still building in dambos and open areas? Our Ministry would like to get feedback from you soon through your resolutions to contribute towards coordinating policies that will help to achieve sustainable growth and development in Malawi,” said Dr. Banda.

On her part President of SIM, Ellen Chapinduka Nyasulu said the built environment through the construction industry is one of the largest employers in the country via activities in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and other ministries like agriculture, forestry, and transport among others hence her plea to consider absorbing SIM professionals into these ministries.

Shayne Ayford of Optron Limited sharing a point with SIM president (Centre)

and Guest of Honour (Far right) during the conference

“The question is to what extent we harness the potential this industry has to create jobs and hence reduce poverty-which is Goal number one in the Sustainable Development Goals?” wondered Nyasulu.

She further articulated that SIM has participated actively on national issues such as enactment and passing of the land bills. However, it is limited to enforce and root out some malpractices in the industry as it has no legal authority.

She said,” We feel that we can make more impact if our association gets a legal status just like the other professional bodies. Madam PS we already submitted a recommendation for formation of SIMA which will be housing the three Registrations bodies (Quantity Surveyors, Land Economy and Land Surveyors) and make them more active. We need to act now for this legal status.”

Key in most presentations made is the issue of green buildings or structures that are resilient to absorb climatic shocks.

One of the presenters Rodrick Chilipunde, Dean of Faculty for Built Environment at University of Malawi, The Polytechnic, challenged the professionals that smart cities are possible.


Rodrick Chilipunde,delivering his presentation during the conference

“It’s just a question of changing the mindset.”


 He then called on for more innovative alternatives such us use of solar energy, eco friendly bricks and apt technologies to reduce acceleration of climate change through sustainable construction methods in various projects taking shape across the country.

It is expected that at the end of the two day conference, resolutions will be compiled to guide practitioners in the built environment.
This year’s SIM CPD Annual Conference is being held under the theme ‘The Built Environment, Climate Change and the role of the Built Environment Practitioner’.


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