The process of building in Kenya has been fraught with numerous challenges in the last year, especially with regard to the energy sector. Possibly the greatest expense that buildings have had to incur has been dealing with the cost of energy.

 Creating Savings on Projects When Building In Kenya

building in kenya in nairobi

the nairobi cityscape

Various elements and processes of construction depend on energy for their successful execution when building in Kenya today. There may not be too many alternatives available for developers to harness when it comes to the energy requirements for day-to-day activities on the construction site. However the energy situation should call for stakeholders to consider new ways of doing things such that they are able to obtain better energy efficiency.


Building In Kenya Has Gotten More Expensive

We have watched with baited breath as the cost of tenders for projects needing planned for building in Kenya being opened in competitive bids in the course of this year have steadily increased in order for their building contracts be achievable within a profitable margin. Every element within the contract documents ranging from sub-structural works to fixing fittings and finishes has a major energy component attached to them. This does call for the developers of today to genuinely think about what ways to employ to reduce the loads that will be exerted.


Previously, simple processes of building such as excavation and carting away of materials was a relatively cheap expense in terms of the construction cost of a building. However today, this is no longer the case as simply the process of removing materials from site using fossil fuel dependent tools has caused this simple process to have be a major financial undertaking while building in Kenya. The fuel component has caused the expenditure required for a project in this manner to be greatly inflated.


For example, previously the cost of carting materials away from a site was previously about 150/- per cu meter of debris or material. However this has increased tenfold in the last couple of months and now disposal of excavated material is a real challenge for the developer to cope with as regards to substructure works. Smart building in Kenya would have it that one may rather look for means of minimizing this expense by looking for creative ways with which these materials can be used on the site rather than removing it completely.


Making use of excavated materials on site when building in Kenya

If the materials are firm enough to be employed on a given site, it is wise that the structural engineer attached to a project to inspect the materials properly and certify their strengths for whether they can be used within the building. If it is ascertained that the materials are usable for the purposes of building non-structural elements within the site, it is preferable then that these materials are stacked at one side of the site for them to be used later. Of course this is subject to the site constraints that a project may have as some sites for building in Kenya can be relatively tight and difficult to accommodate too many activities during construction.

Should it be verified that these materials are usable, various applications can be developed for them while building in Kenya. For example creation of boundary walls and other partitions that are non-structural can be constructed using some of these elements that would otherwise have been removed from the site. It is easy to see elements such as boundary walls being constructed using uncoursed stone or compacted blocks that have been formed from aggregates that have been excavated from the soil on site. In this way a project can save in a major way through the use of recycling materials on the site.


Making Use of Natural Materials When Building In Kenya

Another element that one can able to use with regard to recycling is the element of natural materials that are incident to the site. Of these materials the most common is trees that are on the site. Trees that have been on site and have matured adequately can provide plenty of raw timber for various applications that can be seen on the site when building in Kenya. Hardwood trees or firm softwoods can be used to create roof trusses that shall be fixed on the building to form the roof structure.

Small trees and saplings having reached a certain size can be utilised as props to form scaffolding for various applications during the construction process. All these are simple ideas that a developer can expound on to create more sustainable ways of building in Kenya.

The ability to save on expenses of bringing in and removing materials from the site, however small, can ultimately save a developer a substantial amount of money. As project consultants, architects, quantity surveyors and engineers are involved in the building process should be able to constantly look for means of creating these savings on the site. Projects that have such areas of savings will make the developers interested in building in Kenya smile that much more.