SUSTAINABILITY AND TECHNOLOGY: A CONNECTED FUTURE

SUSTAINABILITY AND TECHNOLOGY: A CONNECTED FUTURE

FROM THE CEO

The age of sustainability is here. It is accentuating the importance of technology. Sustainability and technology, both of which are mutually reinforcing, are now the most significant sources of revenue growth for businesses worldwide. They have created demand for new kinds of products, including electric cars, solar panels, energy saving bulbs, organic food products, digital finance, etc.

 

According to Investopedia, sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This concept is concerned with maintaining a balance between economic, social and environmental considerations – the three pillars of sustainability. Technology on the other hand is evolutionary. It has been with us forever, and through it, the world is now embracing efficiency, having the three pillars of sustainability in mind.

Sustainability and technology are forcing us to envision the future world. How are we going to share the workplace with robots? What are we going to do with our vehicles that are powered by fossil fuels, which pollute the environment and heat up the atmosphere, and are soon to be abandoned for cleaner transportation? And how do we ensure that housing is affordable and accessible to all, and does not use too much of the available resources? These and similar complex questions that require simple solutions are creating new business opportunities, but they also demand effective and coordinated policymaking for a sustainable future.

 

As more developed countries diffuse technological innovations with sustainability, the time has come when developing countries like Nigeria must shape our actions with transitions to more sustainable ways of living for future generations.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

Sustainability and technology are driving innovations across all sectors of the economy and society. The concept of sustainability has evolved over the past centuries. We could trace its roots to the industrial revolution in the 19th century, which brought about great advancement in technology and witnessed population boom, leading to increased consumption and generation of waste. Since then, the challenge and the opportunity are how to make things better and how to live in harmony with fellow humans, and the environment in a more prosperous world.

 

As has been realized, we were not doing well in maintaining the balance. Industrial advances meant a setback for the environment. Very few people have so much more than they need while many do not have basic necessities of life. The good news is that there is now an unprecedented global commitment to mitigating environmental degradation and social inequality. These efforts are taking places at supranational, regional, national and local levels. Big businesses, SMEs, and startups are part of the solutions, either by mitigating harmful practices or delivering innovative solutions that represent the vast opportunities in sustainability.

 

Unsurprisingly, the technology behemoth, Google became the first major company to become “carbon neutral” since 2007, first buying high-quality carbon offsets and later using renewable energy for its entire energy need. Google has also set an ambitious target of becoming “carbon free” by 2030. Its lead has inspired other big tech companies, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, to commit to carbon neutrality by 2040.

 

Nigerian companies, big and small, should also commit to sustainability and technological advancement. This is not only necessary to transform our economy, it is also vital to making the country a good place to live for our future generations.

 

Real Estate

 

“Going green’, ‘clean energy’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘future-proof’ are recurring motifs across all business sectors already, and they find particular resonance in real estate. Also, technology is being deployed to deliver these and other sustainability themes in real estate design, construction, material composition, safety, and management across both the residential and commercial market segments. Businesses such as Airbnb and WeWork have rapidly risen to prominence, thanks to groundbreaking technologies.

For sure, Nigeria is not without active participants in sustainable real estate. We are also entering an era in which policymakers are keen to drive the agenda in the sector. Bilaad Realty is proud of its commitment to sustainability in the real estate sector and its efforts to crowd-in future-proof practices through its advocacy.

 

Commitment to Innovation

 

Innovation is the link between sustainability and technology. There are ongoing efforts towards promoting an innovation economy in Africa, even if results are still underwhelming. ICT hubs and technology parks need to make more showing on the landscape. But two areas that the continent has made impressive advances on are financial technology and e-commerce. Nigeria is a signpost for some of the developments, with Jumia, InterSwitch and Flutterwave achieving unicorn status, i.e., a company or start-up with a valuation of over $1 billion.

 

Nevertheless, the government needs to make the business environment more enabling for startups. One area of intervention is to improve access to electricity supply, and the other is to make broadband internet more available. A thriving startup ecosystem will be of immense benefit to the government. We are already seeing this on both sides of collecting public revenues and making payment, making more transparency and accountability possible, besides actually helping to increase revenue generation.

 

Although societies are now very much dependent on technology, we must thrive on making sustainability the mission, driven by technological innovation. Technology alone will not be enough, despite its essentiality. Developing countries like Nigeria must make practical commitments towards creating a future that is prosperous and socially and environmentally sustainable.

The Balance: Aesthetics and Sustainability

The Balance: Aesthetics and Sustainability

FROM THE CEO

“Sustainability and aesthetics in one building?” asked the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007.

Aesthetics is an age-old theory that shapes the definition of beauty and how it is perceived. In recent years, the emergence of new technologies, innovation and trends have seen industries use aesthetics as a weapon to drive value and remain relevant. The power of aesthetics may be most obvious in a competitive market, where this principle is used as a leverage to drive traffic and often is the defining factor that influences consumers’ purchasing decision.

While many consumers rely heavily on form (aesthetics) as a strategic way to differentiate product, it is imperative to recognize the impact of function (sustainability) and the potential it has to drive financial performance as well as contribute to the positive development of the environment and society. Individuals and industries need to reconsider their purposes –– can products be better for people? Can buildings be better for the planet? Can companies be environmentally responsible and still turn a profit? Addressing these questions will cause dramatic changes in every area of work and life.

Sustainability in relationship to aesthetics involves two things: first, the modification of aesthetic qualities of the objects surrounding us, and secondly, changes in the representations of meaning attached to the aesthetic qualities of our environment, including objects. It challenges many aesthetics conventions and social norms. For instance, from a sustainable perspective, the use of the ubiquitous lawn in residential areas is both highly wasteful and polluting. Consumers are now leaning more towards landscapes composed of native vegetations.

In these times of global change, where consumers’ expectations have evolved from searching for not just the appealing aspects of a product but for the ultimate experience along with the function, power, prestige and confidence associated with the product, the property sector needs to adopt the right balance between aesthetics and sustainability as they play a holistic approach in the durability and appeal of the built environment.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

Pollan writes: “Human desires form a part of natural history in the same way the hummingbird’s love of red does, or the ant’s taste for the aphid’s honeydew. I think of them as the human equivalent of nectar.” The fate of many things depends on whether they please people. Wolves might seem heartier than dogs, but there are over 20 million dogs in the world and only ten thousand wolves. Which has adapted better? This view of nature may give you pause–should other species exist just to please us? But as a principle for design, it is essential. If you want something to last, make it as lovable as a Labrador.

We are biased towards aesthetic forms –– we love looking at beautiful things and are drawn to “beautiful”, both in the bricks-and-mortar world and in the digital one. In the digital world for example, a more attractive website is just one click away. When users visit a website or even try a new app, they make quick decisions on whether to stay on that site/app or keep looking for another one. Much of that decision hinges on the aesthetic appeal of the web page’s design. People have always been attracted to beauty. We see people who dress appealingly, and we respond favorably. We see a Ferrari or a Porsche, and our attention is captured by such “head turners”.

For centuries, architecture has harnessed the understanding that beauty matters. Buildings are permanent landmarks, so it is important to enjoy them. Architects tend to design structures that appeal to those who live and work in them. Yes, there are always exceptions, but at least the monstrosities will remind us why getting it right is vital.

While architects, web designers and even fashion designers use the principle of attractiveness bias (physical attractiveness stereotype) to grab and hold the attention of users, using it as a marketing strategy, it is important to know that attractiveness bias is a short-lived effect. The most beautiful website cannot keep visitors without providing an equally attractive user experience. Once that “wow factor” dies down, it is the utility of a site that holds the attention.

Ultimately, long-term value is impossible without sensory appeal, because if design doesn’t inspire, it is destined to be discarded. “In the end,” writes Senegalese poet Baba Dioum, “we conserve only what we love.” We don’t love something because it’s nontoxic and biodegradable–we love it because it moves the head and the heart. If people don’t want something, it will not last, no matter how thrifty it is. And when our designs end up as litter or landfill, how prudent have we been?

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us,” wrote Rachel Carson half a century ago, “the less taste we shall have for destruction.” When we treasure something, we are less prone to kill it, so desire fuels preservation. Love it or lose it. Aesthetic attraction is not a superficial concern–it’s an environmental imperative.

As we enter a more environmentally-conscious age, we need to inevitably build more ecologically responsible and sustainable cities. Creating buildings with the lowest possible energy consumption and carbon emission production, while still being aesthetically pleasing, is a challenge that we at Bilaad Realty have always taken, because we understand that meeting our customers’ needs and desires is in the long term more important.

Preparing Young People Today for Tomorrow’s World

Preparing Young People Today for Tomorrow’s World

Pull Quote: Bilaad Realty’s “For Kids” approach to change involves organizing communities of industry leaders into self-led teams that, like the learning ecosystems we want to create, systemically plan, communicate, learn, and expose children to the unspoken career choices that exists, thereby distributing leadership of system change widely.

Preparing Today For Tomorrows World

PREPARING TODAY FOR TOMORROW’S WORLD

FROM THE CEO

We are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Prior to the nineteenth century, systematic investment in human capital was not considered especially important in any country. Expenditures on schooling, on-the-job training, and other similar forms of investment were quite small. This began to change radically during this century, as education, skills, and the acquisition of knowledge have become crucial determinants of a person’s and a nation’s productivity.

The industrial age taught us how to educate second-class robots, people who learn in standardized settings and become good at repeating what we tell them. In this age of accelerations, we need to think harder about what makes us first class humans, how we complement, not substitute, the artificial intelligence we have created in our computers, and how we build a culture that facilitates learning, unlearning and re-learning throughout life. The new generation of citizens require not just strong academic skills, but also curiosity, imagination, empathy, entrepreneurship and resilience.

Never before has effective career guidance been so important and never before has there been a greater onus on industries, especially the private sector, to step up and replicate positive benefits linked to first-hand exposure to the working world through programs of career development activities, providing the necessary platforms to help young children reflect on who they are, and to think critically about the relationships between their educational choices and future economic life.

We owe it to our children to ensure that they go through education blind, neither to the opportunities offered by the working world nor to its potential pitfalls. We owe it to our children to ensure that effective education systems will go beyond traditional teaching techniques that will provide learners with knowledge relevant to career development.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

Whether in a building or in an individual, the importance of a solid foundation cannot be over emphasized, as this lays the basis and sets the tone for the future. Studies have shown that aspirations are important, but also emphasized how the “early years of a child’s life are a key time in their formation and development” (Gutman & Akerman 2008). Introducing children to the world of work and learning about future jobs and careers in primary education is a resource which needs to be harnessed in the development of knowledge and skills and applied as a mechanism to influence the aspirations of children.

Across the world, young people who leave education today are, on average, more highly qualified than any preceding generation in history. They often enter the working world with considerably more years of schooling than their parents or grandparents. This is an enormous achievement of which the global education community can be truly proud. And yet, in spite of completing an unprecedented number of years of formal education, young people continue to struggle in the job market, and governments continue to worry about the mismatch between what societies and economies demand and education systems supply.

It is to this end that we must strive to:

Rethink the Education Model

The coexistence of unemployed university graduates and employers who say they cannot find people with the skills they need, shows that more education does not automatically mean better jobs and better lives. For many young people, academic success alone has proven an insufficient means of ensuring a smooth transition into the world of work.

Every day, teenagers make important decisions that are relevant to their future. The time and energy they dedicate to learning and the fields of study where they place their greatest efforts profoundly shape the opportunities they will have throughout their lives. A key source of motivation for students to study hard is to realize their dreams for work and life. Those dreams and aspirations, in turn, do not just depend on talents, but they can be hugely influenced by their personal background, families, as well as by the depth and breadth of their knowledge about the world of work.

 

In Nigeria today, it is easy to see why children choose occupations that they are more exposed to or occupations that society deems prestigious and offers financial success such as Engineering, Medicine and Law. Today’s young people must make more decisions about what, where and how hard they will study, and good schools and industries will respond by empowering them to become critical thinkers.

Make a Difference

The idea of empowering the whole person for the whole world is gaining momentum rapidly. But it requires complex change on a massive scale. It requires transforming existing education systems into new “learning ecosystems”—dynamic networks of educators and others who influence the experience of young people, working together to ensure that every child develops the knowledge, skills, and inclinations that are prerequisites to creating a better world.

Transforming education systems must begin with us. We cannot create learning ecosystems if we are not modeling them ourselves. That is why our (Bilaad Realty’s) “For kids” approach to change involves organizing communities of Industry Leaders into self-led teams that, like the learning ecosystems we want to create, plan systemically, communicate, learn, and expose children to the unspoken career choices that exists, distributing leadership of system change widely.

 

OUTLOOK OF POST-COVID-19 NIGERIAN REAL ESTATE SECTOR

OUTLOOK OF POST-COVID-19 NIGERIAN REAL ESTATE SECTOR

COVID-19 sent shockwaves throughout the global economy in 2020. Governments across the world responded with different policies to limit the human and economic impact of the pandemic. One year after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, nearly three million people had died from the disease globally, with more than 127 million cases recorded as of the end of March 2021.

Powering Innovation Through Sustainability

Powering Innovation Through Sustainability

FROM THE CEO

There is no alternative to sustainable development. We live in a time of technological advancement that is unprecedented in its pace, scope and depth of impact. Harnessing that change is the most secure path for the international community to deliver on the 2030 agenda for people, peace and prosperity. Frontier technologies hold the promise to revive productivity and make plentiful resources available to end poverty for good, enable more sustainable patterns of growth and mitigate or even reverse decades of environmental degradation. But technological change and innovation need to be directed towards inclusive and sustainable outcomes through purposeful efforts by governments, in collaboration with civil society, business and academia.

To develop innovations that yield sustainable results, leaders must question the implicit assumptions behind current practices. This is exactly what led to today’s industrial and services economy. Someone once asked: Can we create a carriage that moves without horses pulling it? Can we fly like birds? Can we dive like whales? By questioning the status quo, people and companies have changed it. In like vein, we must ask tough questions: Can we develop waterless detergents? Can we breed rice that grows without water? Can biodegradable packaging help seed the earth with plants and trees? Can I fold my house and move it to a new location? Or change the internal structure of my home without breaking any walls?

Indeed, the quest for sustainability is already starting to transform the competitive landscape, which will force companies to change the way they think about products, technologies, processes, and business models. The key to progress, particularly in times of economic crisis, is innovation. Just as some internet companies survived the bust in 2000 to challenge incumbents, so, too, will sustainable corporations emerge from today’s recession to defy the status quo. By treating sustainability as a goal today, early movers will develop competencies that rivals will be hard-pressed to match. That competitive advantage will offer superior corporate positioning, because sustainability will always be an integral part of development.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets ambitious global goals, demanding unprecedented actions and efforts across multiple interconnected social, economic and environmental issues. Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) must play a central role in the achievement of these goals. The process of creative destruction initiated by technological progress can help to transform economies and improve living standards, by increasing productivity, and reducing production costs and prices.

 

Sustainability assumes greater relevance in the context of innovation. While it is valid to discuss sustainability as an important driver in value creation, differentiation of products and services will ultimately play a greater role in shaping a company’s prospects in the market. Increasingly, that differentiation is the product of sustainability-driven innovation.

Efforts to drive innovation can either be sustaining, providing an incremental advantage within the current competitive landscape, or they can be disruptive. Both types of innovation are important because they add value to a company, but disruptive innovation opens up new roads that organizations may not have considered. Either type may be driven by sustainability concerns.

Because innovation in business is generally intended to confer an advantage, it can be useful to view innovation in terms of those advantages—foremost among which are cost leadership, quality/performance and speed to market.

Some examples:

-Cost leadership: Calling cards are an example of a sustaining innovation that increased the convenience associated with making long distance or international calls. However, Internet telephony is a disruptive innovation that is redefining the cost equation for the entire telecommunications industry.

-Quality/performance: Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are an incremental innovation that use less energy than traditional light bulbs. But new light emitting diode (LED) bulbs are a more significant sustaining innovation. They are even more energy efficient than CFLs, deliver higher-quality illumination, last much longer, are cooler to the touch and contain no mercury.

-Speed to market: DVD-by-mail was disruptive, increasing competitive pressures on local video stores through the creation of a new channel (or, perhaps more accurately, repurposing a channel that dates back to the 1840s). Now on-demand streaming video is giving DVD-by-mail a taste of its own medicine, being disruptive both to DVD-by-mail and the video store models.

Sustainability-driven innovation goes beyond designing green products and packaging solely on their inherent virtue. It entails improving business operations and processes to become more efficient, with a goal of dramatically reducing costs and waste. It’s also about insulating a business from the risk of resource price shocks and shortages. When considered together, these enhancements can deliver business benefits that go beyond the bottom line—whether it’s improving overall carbon footprint, enhancing brand image or engaging employees in a more profound way.

 

In a constantly evolving world, even a traditional sector such as real estate changes and innovates. In our view, the future of real estate is directly linked with innovation. The startups of today are the potential industry leaders of tomorrow. Traditional approaches to business will collapse, and companies will have to develop innovative solutions. That will happen only when executives recognize a simple truth: Sustainability = Innovation.

Agenda for sustainability in Nigerian real estate sector

AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN NIGERIAN REAL ESTATE SECTOR

The global real estate industry contributes significantly to the gross domestic product (GDP) of many developing and developed nations. However, residential, commercial and industrial buildings are responsible for 20 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These buildings are sources of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, due to the huge amount of natural resources they consume and waste they generate. Real estate consumes over 40 per cent of global energy annually; 30 per cent of raw materials and 12 per cent of drinking water. The industry accounts for 25-40 per cent of solid waste.

Building SustainABLE Communities

Building SustainABLE Communities

FROM THE CEO

The demand for value-led, people-oriented, and sustainable development is arguably the most significant shift across property, architecture and design. The world around our homes is changing rapidly. The role of the cities and our place within them are being rethought. More than ever, we are becoming more aware of the significance of creating a healthy and nurturing environment for us to withdraw and recuperate.

Cities are the focal points and drivers of societal development in all countries. They are responsible for many significant environmental challenges, considering they are the largest consumers of natural resources and, among the largest sources of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. Thus, there is a need for a notable shift in designing our cities to overcome all of these problems. Starting with the communities, we design and the connections we build.

It is no coincidence that as our cities get ever bigger, people long for more meaningful connections with those around them. People want more thana place to live – they want to belong. Much-lauded projects such as The Commons (Brunswick and now Hobart) and Nightingale align affordability and sustainability, and in doing so naturally, attract a community of like-minded people.

A sustainable community is far more than an eco-friendly one. It is one where everyone can thrive and flourish – they are vibrant, inclusive and support our individual and collective sense of wellbeing. It is about people, places and the relationships between them.  Since our inception, the question of how best to design a sustainable community is one that we have continuously explored to ensure a sustainable lifestyle for all.

 

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

Technology has seeped into virtually every aspect of the human experience, and the sharing economy is just one manifestation of its impact. Tech startups like Uber and Airbnb represent the vanguard, reshaping the way we spend our vacation or simply travel across town.

In recent years, the concept of utilising shared resources has gained traction in the housing market. Targeting cities where demand for rental properties have prompted a spike in prices, communal living has emerged as a cost-effective alternative. The rise of communal living is an attempt to fill a gap in the residential marketplace. However, the issue for real estate developers is whether it is a trend that is both sustainable and powerful enough to transcend beyond a small market niche.

The word ‘community’ resonates throughout our lives. Community embraces a quality of life that seems universally valued. Whilst many of us may disagree on its definition, we all have a sense of when it is absent or present. In recent decades there has been a growing sense that much of the development – emerging urban sprawl – on the fringes of Australian cities does not adequately support or encourage the development of community.

This mounting concern for community, combined with the rise of sustainability – environmental, economic and social – as a core component in urban development, has led to the emergence of an increasing number of master-planned communities that seek to offer residents’ sustainable’ communities, ‘vibrant’ communities, ‘liveable’ communities and so on. Whilst some of these offers are little more than enticing marketing campaigns, others are based on genuine attempts to encourage the growth and emergence of ‘sustainable’ communities.

Bilaad Realty’s approach to sustainability

In their attempts to create ‘sustainable’ communities, developers have focused their attention on how appropriate housing, public spaces and community facilities within the physical design can provide a basic platform that gives residents the best opportunities to build community. They have also broadened their focus beyond the physical environment to develop networks, relationships, capacities and possibilities for social interaction.

Social wellbeing arises from a sense of security, belonging, familiarity, support, neighbourliness, cohesion and integration of different social groups, based on respect for different cultures, traditions and backgrounds. The measures of sustainable communities are not exhaustive or mutually exclusive. Rather they are mutually reinforcing and overlapping. We have divided them into four to simplify the process of measuring how sustainable a community is.

A sustainable community involves minimal ecological impact, minimal waste or pollution and maximum recycling, protection and enhancement of the natural environment, so that all may enjoy environmental benefits such as greenery, careful planning for physical and social well-being, space to walk, cycle, refresh and relax.

Community organisation and neighbourhood management are essential to social networks and urban viability, ensuring well maintained and secured conditions which are the prerequisite of stable, long-term, participative and cohesive communities; e.g. neighbourhood management organisations can transform basic street conditions, community safety and security, social contact and youth engagement, by acting as a local conduit for decisions, coordinating supervision and frontline service delivery.

As a priority, sustainable communities utilise cutting edge technology in the provision of home-specific and communal security systems. In many cases, remote closed-circuit television surveillance (CCTV) systems are developed to cater to the safety of people who live within.

Minimizing energy use and environmental impact contributes to sustainability, helps combat global warming and encourages long-term stewardship of communities. An essential part of sustainable communities is the utilization of energy-efficient appliances supported by renewable, clean energy (solar or wind); offering residents long term cost saving.

At Bilaad Realty, we are conversant with the fact that today’s world is fast-paced, full of people who increasingly seek authentic experiences from places where they live, work and interact. Looking forward, today’s housing environments are not only about the residential surroundings but about delivering functionality and shaping lives.

Sustainable Construction II: What Does It Really Mean?

Sustainable Construction II: What Does It Really Mean?

CEO’s MESSAGE

Since time immemorial, homes have provided that sense of belonging, making them subjects of many a famous creative endeavor around the world. Given that it evokes such deep emotion in us, it is easy to forgo pragmatism while buying a new home.

As more businesses are starting to realize the weight of customer satisfaction, its impact has become a widely discussed topic, yet reports on poor construction quality in the real estate sector are frequently talked about. This may be attributed to several reasons such as unskilled construction workers, inexperienced site supervisors, substandard materials, disorganized and labor-intensive construction works.

We see clients increasingly becoming aware of the cost associated with purchasing poorly built structures. Apart from the consequences of potential collapse, rework is always more expensive than implementing it the right way, the first time. Therefore, as real estate developers, we must hold ourselves accountable through sustainable partnerships in the provision of optimum value across installations to the benefits of clients.

Delivering quality and designing a satisfactory home buying experience for clients is at the core of everything we do. For us at Bilaad Realty, relationship with the buyer does not end after sales but begins the very moment the client makes the purchase and thus becomes part of its growing family.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

One of the factors one looks for while purchasing a home today, is quality construction. A home buyer wants to ensure that the home will:

Be safe and sound for its inhabitants.

 Usable for a maximum possible number of years.

 Will not develop problems over time.

 Have good resale value if one decides to sell it.

These aspects are next to impossible to judge when a residential project is new or only a couple of years old. Naturally, most property developers will ensure that everything looks ship-shape on the surface even if they do not necessarily follow quality construction norms.

It has become a common marketing practice for developers to claim that their projects are of high-grade construction, with the current owners of resale flats undertaking cosmetic touch-ups to make their properties look as new and unflawed as possible.

Those who do so without justification are aware that most home buyers are not equipped to make valuable judgement on such claims, because home buyers often select properties on the basis of location advantages such as access to public transportation, shopping malls and hospitals.

However, buyers must do more to educate themselves on the market, as a lot of regrets can be avoided by approaching a property purchase decision with sufficient personal research and pre-meditation. In that respect, the concept of due diligence must necessarily transcend the usual sense of ‘legal health check-up’.

There are various ways in which a home buyer can check on the general quality of construction:

Foundation

Patched cracks in a building’s exterior can be an indicator that the project has a faulty foundation. Other signs to look for are small cracks in walls, creaking or sticking doors and windows and improperly aligned or uneven floor, bathroom and kitchen tiles.

Design

A quality construction project is designed in such a way that the weight of the overall structure is evenly and scientifically distributed. Also, a developer focused on quality will not spare costs when it comes to providing detailed finishing and intricate detailing, both in the building’s common areas and within the residential units themselves.

Fixtures

Developers who pride themselves on the use of quality construction materials do not allow cheap, low quality fittings by their contractors. Likewise, common facilities such as elevators will be by established manufacturing brands and will be under a maintenance contract by a reputable facilities management agency. Any evidence of obscure, unfamiliar brands should be viewed with suspicion.

“Fresh” Paint

Fresh paint looks great when you’re moving into a new home. Unfortunately, it’s also really good at covering up watermarks, wood rot, stains or mold. Ask what areas received a coat of fresh paint and be extra vigilant when inspecting for signs of water or mold damage.

Concrete Quality

The quality of the concrete used in a building depends on what grade of concrete has been used, what the concrete/sand ratio is and whether the concrete was allowed to cure for a sufficient amount of time. One rule of thumb is that it should not be too easy to drive a nail into the walls.

Look up

No matter how thoroughly you ogle the kitchen and closet, don’t forget to also look up. Inspect the ceiling for water stains, which are signs of a leaky roof.

With the excitement of buying a new home, it’s easy to overlook important factors that can make or break the experience. Our adoption of sustainable construction methods are deliberate; we are conscious of advancements made in developed countries where alternative building materials are utilized in construction; however, we understand the current state of awareness and cultural acceptability of our market. The concept remains the same, but its integration across different locations will be specific to our needs in a progressive manner. We are certain that sustainable construction is here to stay.

SUSTAINABLE VALUES

SUSTAINABLE VALUES

CEO’s MESSAGE

Business and society, in the past year have been faced with multiple challenges: the coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a wider economic crisis; and a deeper, longer-term sustainability crisis caused by pollution, resource depletion, burgeoning global population, and unsustainable production and consumption. These crises intensify what was already an emerging debate about the purpose and benefits of sustainable value in business.

Values are increasingly becoming the focus of public discussion, yet their role in our lives and their importance for our wellbeing are not always fully understood. Values are what we consider excellent, useful, or desirable, they are what we praise and hold in high esteem. They are a fundamental part of how we define ourselves, our culture and our society. They are generally enshrined in our conception of the world, our definition of a human being, our ideology. As a result, they are often unconscious and unquestioned.

With 2021 finally here, now is the time to lay the foundation for a successful year –– sustainable values. If there’s anything we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that there’s no predicting what might unfold with a new year. We can, however, set ourselves up to be more equipped, adaptable and resilient. The path forward into the new year for any individual, group, or organization should be prioritized around nurturing and sustaining a vibrant and strong internal culture to fuel the health, well-being, and productivity of your people. This investment will pay even more dividends in 2021 and years beyond.

Happy New Year.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

The success of economic growth is dependent on a healthy and stable society. In an age when information is shared almost instantly, corporate supply chains and their effect on the local populous, no matter where in the world, is constantly being assessed for social license. Within an organization, the social side includes contributing to employee health and well-being, value flowing back through improved productivity.

The current placing of sustainability is supported by the strategic shift in the way organizations’ performance is evaluated. Profit with purpose is set to become the new norm as leaders, today are giving a new, more profound meaning to the word ‘Sustainable Value’, regarding it not just as the profitable or right thing to do, but an essential component of growth.

After a year of uncertainty, chaos, and social unrest, how companies function internally not only has a profound impact on employees and corporate reputations, but it directly affects organizational growth, society, and influences every aspect of business. Despite the great unknowns, there’s one critical action that should guide every leader’s vision in the new year: prioritizing internal culture.

While many businesses have designed and implemented all kinds of operational efficiency measures and have saved money doing it, the pathway to capturing more sustainable value from sustainability is still not widely understood or pursued. The opportunity cost of stopping at operational efficiency can be significant because diving more deeply into Sustainable Value opportunities almost always translates to higher beneficial impact on business performance.

Fostering innovation 

in sustainability often leads to redesigning more socially and environmentally responsible products and services. This focus inevitably brings new business opportunities. Nike, for instance, embedded sustainable values into its product design process and created the Flyknit line, a specialized yarn system which requires minimal labor and brings large profit margins. Launched in 2012, this system is reported to reduce footwear waste by 80% (3.5 million pounds). 

Building loyalty from customers. 

Many of today’s customers expect transparency and tangible local and global impact from companies they support. Several studies have showed that nearly two-thirds of consumers across six international markets think they have a “responsibility to purchase products and services that are good for the environment and society” (82% in emerging markets and 42% in developed markets).

 

Companies who embed sustainable values in their core business are more likely to treat employees as critical stakeholders. These organizations tend to create desirable organizational cultures that are sought by talented recruits, as they exhibit a deeper focus on purpose, making employees feel they are part of a broader set of objectives and actions. One study found that morale was 55% higher in companies with more robust sustainability programs, compared to those with much less apparent ones, and employee loyalty was rated 38% higher as well. These conditions translate into improved productivity and reduced absenteeism.

 

We need to restructure the economic and social institutions of our society to reflect a similar set of values enhancing sustainability. Just as an individual should see work as a form of service, so should businesses and governmental bodies be reoriented to be of service to the whole society, and not just a favored part. A business enterprise should be legally responsible for providing a good or service in the best way possible. Profit should be one measure of the efficiency with which the service is performed, rather than an end in itself.

At Bilaad Realty, our four corporate values of Integrity, Efficiency, Excellence, and Ethics drive every business decision, helping us to better tailor our services for a productive year.

Copyright © 2019. Bilaad Realty. All Rights Reserved. [elfsight_whatsapp_chat id=”1″]
Location
Suite 205 Shashilga Court 
Plot 111 &112 Wing A Jahi, Abuja.
 
Contact Us

Phone : 0700 222 2111

Email : info@bilaadnigeria.com

SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS

COPYRIGHT © 2021. BILAAD REALTY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.