Training Workshops in Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda

According to UN-Habitat “energy used in buildings accounts for a significant percentage of national energy consumption. What is more is that over 50 per cent of the total energy generated in developing countries is used in urban buildings alone, consuming more energy than the transport or the industrial sectors. The building sector accounts for 38 per cent of greenhouse gas emission worldwide, contributing significantly to climate change.”

In addition, most new buildings in Sub Saharan Africa are replicas of buildings designed in developed world and do not take into consideration climatic differences. Inefficient design and construction using energy intensive materials, combined with poor understanding of building physics, thermal comfort, passive building principles and energy conscious behavior, have led to energy wastage in buildings. As a result, buildings are heavily reliant on artificial means for indoor comfort: lighting, ventilation, cooling and to some extent heating. With the demand for electricity increasing more rapidly than the supply and generation capacity in Africa, higher energy prices are coinciding with tremendous inefficiency in the use of energy, particularly in the housing sector. This tendency has led to energy becoming the limiting factor for sustainable development and economic growth in the recent years.

UN-Habitat’s project “Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in East Africa” in collaboration with Kenya Property Developers Association (KPDA), The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) and Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS) held a 3-day training on Green Buildings in promoting energy conservation to be held at the Apollo Center, Nairobi from 14th -16th July 2014.

A similar 3 –day training was held from the 17th – 19th July 2014 at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala in collaboration with Association of Real Estates Agents Uganda (AREA). The objectives of the hands on training were to:

  1. provide the participants with useful technical tools for sustainable building design in Uganda applicable to other Tropical countries. The core of the course will be passive building design, which minimizes energy demand.
  2. advice practitioners on how to incorporate energy efficiency into some of their design projects, through a hands-on studio session.

The trainings were jointly facilitated by experts from UN-Habitat and the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. These trainings were aimed at building practitioners, consultants, designers and contractors. Over 60 participants that included architects, engineers, surveyors, real estate developers, site managers and building technicians were in attendance over the 6 days. Major stakeholders from line ministries and housing corporations also attended.

The course provided technical information and tools for sustainable buildings design in tropical climates and encompassed the following subjects:

  • Principles of thermal, visual and acoustic comfort
  • Designing with the local climate: application of climatic data in building design
  • Solar geometry: sun charts, shadow masks and software tools
  • Passive design (site and building layout and planning, shading, natural ventilation, natural cooling), focused on Kenyan climatic zones
  • Windows design, daylight enhancement,
  • Appropriate use of local building materials

Furthermore, advisory sessions were given where participants brought projects for review and received feedback from the team of experts.