Kenyan architects are involved with design and supervision of construction of buildings throughout the country and within the East African region. This is sure to be more apparent especially now that four members of the East African community have agreed to allow registered practitioners to practice all over the East African region. They therefore will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that buildings that are being constructed within the region comply with the goals set forth by international conventions as regards energy management and environmental conservation.


energy efficiency devices for kenyan architects

renewable energy sources

The built environment has a huge impact on the consumption of energy worldwide. Up to 40% of the world’s energy is expended within the built environment, in offices, homes, institutions and commercial facilities. Similarly, usage of water and natural resources that are raw materials for the built sector are consumed in large quantities within the building environment.   The Kenyan architect must take these characteristics into consideration when designing all manner of facilities.

The need for sustainable design by Kenyan architects

While buildings are such huge consumers of energy, they do generate incredible amounts of non-industrial waste throughout their lifetime right from construction to their lifespan’s end.  As it is, many buildings designed by Kenyan architects may not have previously considered environmentally sensitive design matters. As a result such buildings may have a high energy footprint as well as have high carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to the global warming challenges that we face today.

International conventions such as the Kyoto protocol have set up  goals and strategies for environmental care and sustainability that the nations of the world are to achieve by certain periods of time.  The objective of these statutes was to counter the negative effects of carbon dioxide emissions and green house gases which hitherto had been contributing to the deterioration of the environment through ozone depletion. The depletion of the ozone in turn leads to the green house effect phenomenon, which is contributing towards climate change and adverse effects on the lives of many as a result.

Kenyan architects must contribute responsibly to the built environment

The built environment that is constantly being shaped by Kenyan architects contributes a huge portion of carbon dioxide emissions in developed and developing countries, in addition to large amounts of solid and liquid waste. All these factors that degrade the environment need to be accounted for and appropriate environmentally sustainable practices be implemented as a regards building operations and maintenance.

The built environment that we work with as Kenyan architects today must be continuously renewed and adopted to environmentally sustainable paradigms. This means that our buildings need to be designed in a manner as to ensure

  • Reduction of levels of energy consumption
  • Reducing emissions of waste and harmful effluents.
  • Reducing their consumption of natural resources during construction and operations
  • Reduction of their carbon dioxide emissions.


The design of buildings which incorporate these broad elements of environmental care is called green design.

The terms green building and sustainable design are often used interchangeably to describe any building designed in an environmentally sensitive manner.

However, Sustainability calls for a whole systems approach to development that encompasses social, ethical and economic and community context of building.  In this regard, it takes care of a much broader perspective of the building, going beyond just the physical characteristics of the building. However it does include the aspect of green building as part of the broader building sustainability context.

Kenyan architects must design buildings that are are energy efficient.

Achieving energy sustainability is vital for buildings being designed by Kenyan architects today.  Buildings being constructed need to have the smallest energy footprint possible, and should strive to meet its energy needs through using renewable energy sources. It should maximize efficient usage of energy that has been received or generated by itself, as well as ensure there is no wastage in the same.

One of the challenges facing the building industry today is the fact that there are various activities competing for the same scarce natural resources. The building industry is competing for the same energy resources as the transport industry as well as a host of other processes that require energy for them to be sustained.

The onus is upon every member of the building industry to ensure that whatever contributions they make to the building process, must be highly sensitive to energy sustainability requirements. This process begins with Kenyan architects at the design level.