Georgia Sustainable Construction
Boosted by structural economic reforms and incoming foreign investments, the Georgian construction sector has enjoyed high rates of growth over the past decade and shows great resilience amid the global crisis.
The high level of activity in the sector between 2003 and 2009 led to a 462% increase in the production of construction materials, for which the country has significant local raw materials (perlite, basalt, pumice, slate, tuff, etc.). The “green” segment remains underdeveloped and offers great potential.
In a country where 40% of total energy consumption is used for heating and lighting buildings, the use of energy-efficient materials would significantly reduce construction costs and energy-related expenditures. Domestic demand for such materials has shown strong growth over the recent years. With its abundant raw materials, Georgia has moreover the potential to supply the region with some sustainable construction materials.
Strategic direction/ specific schemes and incentives
The sustainable construction sector is supported by Georgian authorities and several international organisations:
Energy Efficiency Centre established in 1998 under the EU-funded TACIS programme and merged in 2005 with the Energy Efficiency and Cleaner Production Centre
: energy audits, monitoring, training, preparation of business plans and investment projects, etc.;
Energy Saving Initiative in the Building sector (ESIB
), under the EU-funded Inogate
project: policy advice, technical assistance, capacity building, support to demonstration projects, expertise, etc.;
New Applied Technology Efficiency and Lighting Initiative (NATELI), funded by USAID and implemented by Winrock International: promotion of energy efficiency in residential and higher education facilities through energy audits, renovation of lighting and heating systems, etc.;
Establishment of a Sustainable Architecture and Engineering Consulting Centre under discussion.
Development of green building:
Transfer of designs and methods following green building standards to local firms;
Development of smart complexes, including housing, offices, shopping centres, etc.
Production and/ or distribution of sustainable construction systems and materials:
Thermal insulation materials: perlite, polystyrene, glass wool, stone wool, sandwich panels;
Light construction materials: pumice blocks, perlite blocks/ bricks, airocrete;
Efficient lighting: fluorescent bulbs, etc.;
Solar water heating systems.
Some success stories
Wood Service, founded in 1999 in Tbilisi, is a Georgian distribution company specialising in sustainable construction technologies and products. The group was named Green Business of the year by Mercury Awards in 2011.
Knauf (Germany) is a multinational producer of building materials based on gypsum, which is regarded as an environment-friendly material. The group has a sales office in Tbilisi. In 2008, KNAUF purchased a cardboard pile manufacturing factory in Tbilisi and reconstructed it for a total investment of about EUR 20 million. Another EUR 9 million gypsum manufacturing factory is under construction.
The Georgian Reconstruction and Development Company is the developer of the Green Building project, which encompasses the construction, refurbishment and operation of 2 office buildings, a shopping centre and a train station in Tbilisi. In 2007, the company received an equity investment from EBRD to co-finance these projects.