With an extremely warm climate necessitating measures to help keep buildings comfortable, Kenya is joining the green building race.
Rather than relying on costly and cutting edge technology to green their buildings, however, the Kenyan construction and design industry is leaning heavily on the concept of natural green intervention.
In Nairobi, the practice of installing green roofing is catching on and is accomplishing more than simply helping to reduce reliance on grid power. In Kenya, green roofing actually works to replenish and rehabilitate the natural environment.
As Nairobi – and indeed, the surrounding municipalities and Kenya as a whole – has grown, forests have been clear-cut. Complicating the environmental picture further, the country has lagged compared to most western nations in terms of green building initiatives.
That is changing, and doing so in a way that is helping to stimulate construction in the African nation.
According to Nairobi science journalist Gitonga Njeru, the country’s move to implement more green roofs is helping Kenya both ecologically through providing insulation, cleaning the air and adding to the plant canopy and economically by driving industry.
It has made such a difference, in fact, that there is even a push among some Kenyan government officials to make green roofing even more commonplace, with talk of adding the practice to the political agenda.
If those officials have their way, green roofs would be most prevalent in housing developments, where they would become a standard feature in new residential builds. From there, the country will be able to investigate the use of green roofs on everything from public buildings to hotels to infrastructure.
Njeru noted that the Kenyan environmental ministry has gone so far as to draft up a law surrounding the implementation of green roofing policies, which is likely to be debated in the near-term.
Green roofs in a hot clime such as Kenya will have a strong environmental impact, as it is crucial to find ways to cool buildings virtually year-round and particularly in hotter months. Should green roofs become a common feature in new developments, it would make a significant difference in the amount of energy consumed.
While Kenya was not as quick to jump at green initiatives as many other countries, now that the nation has joined the green revolution, it is doing so in a way that fits in with both the country’s needs and its financial limitations.
Ensuring the initiatives being undertaken are both effective and attainable should make Kenya’s foray into green roofing a resounding success.