Kenya to get green building rating system by next year

Emma Miloyo, new AAK president.
Kenya could have its own green buildings rating tool as early as next year.

This came out at the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) Annual Convention held in Mombasa.

“We want to have our own solution that will take care of our homemade matters by giving a rating of houses within our country. Especially with matters concerning climate, ours is unique and there is a need for a rating tool that reflects what we have in our own environment. It will also be used to reflect our own aspirations as a country,” said Gideon Olawo, the Environmental Design chapter chairman.

Kenya has been using foreign based green building certification tools like Green Star Rating System, American Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Environmental Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE).

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Owalo said they are looking at launching it in the first quarter of next year.

The tool, he said, would have seven areas that cover water conservation, energy conservation, planning areas, design areas, innovation, use of local materials and buildings with historical value.

Few architecture schools

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At the same time, the convention heard that Kenya and other Commonwealth countries face a huge shortage of architects thanks to few universities teaching the profession.

“There is need for the Government to increase our institutions that teach architecture to meet the high demand, to design our cities and ensure the services are available to our people and ensure no collapse of houses,” said Emma Miloyo (pictured below) the immediate former AAK president.

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A survey by the Commonwealth Association of Architects, CAA survey of the architectural Profession in the Commonwealth, shows that there is critical lack of capacity in a number of commonwealth countries, “many of which are rapidly urbanising and are among the most vulnerable.”

“There is a corresponding lack of educational and institutional capacity to grow the profession fast enough in a number of commonwealth countries,” said the report. Kenya has only two accredited universities offering architectural courses; these are the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the University of Nairobi.

AAK President Mugure Njendu, however, said Kenya is not badly off. “We have enough professional architects but the issue is that most people do not engage the professionals. I think the greater action needed is sensitising the public of about why it’s important to use professionals because when you look at the number of development projects here versus architects as compared to the same ratio in developed nations, we are not badly off,” she said. 

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