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Pan Atlantic University unveils energy saving building

As part of its commitment to save the environment and the planet earth, an Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University (PAU), Ajah, Lagos, last week unveiled a three-storey green building, located within the institution’s campus.

The building, described as example of environmental sustainable building in Nigeria and West Africa consists of a 60-seater amphitheatre, 54-seater multi-purpose classroom, 50-seater innovation zone, digital boardroom, library, open bubbles/networking points, mini-accelerator, expert-in-residence offices, various ancillary units and offices.

Although, it is to aid acquisition of knowledge, the building occupying landmass within the Lagos Business School (LBS), saves about 40 per cent of energy when compared to building of similar size.

The purpose built 2,000 square meters ‘Green Building’ was designed to make learning integrated and enjoyable. Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, inaugurated the educational facility, completed in two years.

Aganga in his remark, recounted his first experience with EDC while working with the Goldman Sachs, USA in 2010. He commended the centre for its effort towards raising entrepreneurial leaders, who will impact the society and the Nigerian economy at large.

According to him, “EDC has proven its commitment to facilitate access to market for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the establishment of this magnificent building, EDC is indeed an inspiration.”

Earlier, Director of the Centre, Peter Bamkole said the EDC invested heavily in alternative energy to power the building, which was made possible by the support received from Small and Medium Enterprises and other private sector organisations within EDC network.

He said, “The EDC building, with three floors is significant in many ways. The first is that this building is a green building. As you walk into the main foyer of the building, there is an instant sense of light. We harvest at least 12 hours of natural light every day. From the design stage we wanted to save at least 40 per cent of energy usage when compared with similar buildings in Nigeria, and across the continent so we invested heavily in alternate energy.

“Embedded in the roof is 96 double length solar panel, that innovative produce enough energy to power all the street and perimeter lighting, all the access control, CCTV, internet, IP phones, the lighting in the main foyer, the general office and 50 per cent of the air conditioning in the general office.

“Every floor is equipped with an online inverter system that carries other sensitive training equipment, from 5pm to 8pm every day, on weekends and indeed at off peak periods. We run only on clean energy.”

Explaining that the building, which was conceived about three years ago, was built by the small and medium entrepreneurs of PAU, Bamkole said, “At the conception stage, we did not know what the building would look like. The architect, Jeff walked into my office and said kindly describe the kind of building you want, so that we can craft out how the building will look.”

According to him, “It was very difficult because I was not used to crafting out the nature of a building, I could tell you what I wanted but that was a new one for me. After a lot of persuasion we settled for a smart green building that will have a recognisable character that will instantly energise all those that enter it. A building where learners and visitors will express freedom, transparency, flexibility, innovation and loads of light.

He continued, “We wanted all the floors in the building to be visible and connected to one another. A sense of family between us and all those that we serve; we wanted their stay in the building to be, memorable and we wanted to leave a lasting impression on all those that enters the building.”

He added that one of their entrepreneurs installed the motion sensors in all common areas, while two others advised on how they can optimise their energy consumption in an energy report that was completed. “The EDC building is about possibilities, can-do spirit and enhanced commitment to the SME sector”.

EDC was set up as a direct response to providing a holistic business development and support services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. EDC provides capacity building programs and a variety of wrap around services such as advisory services, mentoring, experts-in-residence, network meetings, access to market & information, implementation of organizational plans and more.

This item featured originally on Guardian News

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