When architects in Kenya are dealing with the subject of green architecture, there are various areas of importance that influence the ability of a project to be sustainable. When projects apply these principles within them, they are considered green in their outlook and composition. Having a building that appropriately responds to the environment in which it has been built is a cornerstone of environmental design, which is in turn a pillar of green design.

The influence of landscape on green architecture for Architects in Kenya

plant design for architects in kenyaGreen design encompasses issues of design that have to do with landscape matters. Landscape design has to do with the design of external spaces and creating coherent spaces externally that will properly blend with indoor spaces.  When architects in Kenya are designing these spaces in their plans, there is an element of having to also conceive their adjoining external spaces to match the internal spaces within the building.

Having good landscape makes a building good in its outlook with regard to its external appearance. The most obvious element of sustainability is that a landscaped building will tend to look quite natural and well blended in with its surroundings. Having a lot of greenery around building makes it appear to be in one with nature. This is very desirable with regard to achieving sustainable projects being carried out by architects in Kenya.

Architects in Kenya should incorporate landscaping for environmental cooling of buildings

It is a given fact that in certain areas of the city, the microclimates experienced therein shall tend to vary with that of others. One will find that in areas which have less landscaping and vegetation, the weather conditions experienced will tend to feel warmer and drier than those in areas where trees and lush vegetation exists.

Trees assist in the cooling of buildings through the process of transpiration whereby they release water into the atmosphere from their leaves, after having absorbed it from the ground. This process of evaporation of water from the surface of tree leaves into the atmosphere has a cooling effect on the surroundings, similarly to the heat exchange process experienced in refrigeration machines. As a result, one will find that the immediate areas where trees are located in dense numbers shall experience moderately lower temperatures than those that are not.

In the process of planning sites, architects in Kenya should therefore seek to incorporate plenty of trees and general vegetation within the site plan to cater for this cooling element.

As trees and other forms of vegetation transpire, the minute water droplets that are emitted and released into the earth’s atmosphere are also blown by wind against the faces of buildings and this also creates a further cooling element on them. The process of this water droplets being blown through openings in buildings also creates a cooling effect within the interiors of rooms naturally.

Architects in Kenya should also seek to employ shading of trees as a means of controlling heat gains within buildings. This other more obvious way in which vegetation assists with enhancing the internal environmental quality of spaces around them works through providing shading from direct sun rays getting into the building. This is a win-win scenario for both the tree and the people being shaded, as the tree gets its nutrition from sunlight, while providing pleasant shade below, preventing harsh glare from the sun.

Strategically planted next to short and medium rise buildings, this can give good shading especially from harsh afternoon sunlight that comes into buildings from their western facades. This can be a simple design solution for architects in Kenya interested in creating solar buffers and shading for buildings in a manner that is cost effective and friendly to the environment, especially for buildings that may not be very tall in height.

Architects in Kenya should incorporate landscaping for better air quality

Incorporating landscaping within buildings is a smart move for architects in Kenya for the reason of enhancing the internal environmental quality of a space, specifically with regard to the quality of air in internal rooms.

One of the powerful ways in which plants and landscaping affects spaces occupied by humans is through their oxygen exchange process. During the day, plants release oxygen into the environment, and absorb carbon dioxide. This process is reversed at night.

This diurnal nature of how plants absorb and release oxygen can be harnessed in the creation of controlled internal air conditioning. This would be accomplished by ensuring that there are sufficient plants put in rooms where people are likely to inhabit in the course of the day, creating more fresh air for their use from plants. A freshness can be felt in spaces which have lots of plants incorporated within them. This also filters carbon dioxide out of the rooms where people are operating during the day.

The design of plant boxes and plant areas can be creatively incorporated within a room by architects in Kenya, creating lovely green patterns within. Examples of internationally reknown buildings that have used these principles include the Kommerzbank in Germany and the Swiss Re building in London which have created beautiful interior plant areas within the fabric of the building.

There are numerous ideas that one can use within residential or commercial buildings practically to enhance the quality of a building and specifically its sustainability. Creative use of landscaping can definitely assist architects in Kenya to implement green architecture.