Building in Kenya is a rigorous process involving various disciplines and must meet various requirements. One of the key requirements in this regard is the issue of energy sustainability. A building must be sustainable with regard its usage of energy. Kenyan Architects must consider energy resources that are available to supply energy to any building facility and incorporate the most sustainable sources in their building designs.
Energy Efficiency for building in Kenya
Renewable energy sources are those sources of energy that are sustainable and do not diminish in their generation. A renewable source of energy is not dependent on a resource that is likely to be depleted over time, and there is little likelihood of it to exhaust. However, non-renewable resources are those which may be found in nature, but are not sustainable and are likely to be depleted in the future.
Fossil fuels are one of the most common nonrenewable energy resources that were formulated as a result of millions of years of compression and decomposition of organic matter to form the fuel we know today. The world has been dependent on fossil fuels such as oil and coal as its chief source of energy for many years. Fossil fuels have powered the world’s manufacturing and automotive industries through the industrial age to the present.
There is need for renewed thinking on energy while building in Kenya
However it is apparent that these resources are limited, despite their presence in large quantities within the crude oil basins and coal fields of the world. They are being vigorously harvested each day, and there is likelihood that they could be exhausted after a certain period of time. Their sustainability as an energy resource is limited to their existing quantities, and unless new oil fields are discovered it is possible that they can be exhausted.
Indeed in countries such as the UAE, there are deliberate attempts at diversification of their economy into industries such as real estate to reduce their reliance on crude oil exports as their main income earner. The emphasis on traditional fossil fuels is gradually being reduced as the world comes to terms with the need to seek cleaner energy that is sustainable. Pollution caused by engines and combustion of fossil fuels, especially soaring carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere needs to be controlled.
There is research that is being undertaken to explore new means of powering buildings and automotive industries around the world. There have emerged new technologies that harness energy that is either renewable or available in extremely large quantities and are not likely to be exhausted for a season of time. This sort of energy resources are cleaner and have less negative impacts on the environment in the course of energy production. They are also more likely to have greater energy output over time as technological advances increase.
The past twenty years have witnessed an increase in sustainable energy harnessing initiatives like no other time in man’s history. The onset of energy production using nuclear energy heralded a major milestone in creation of power for urban developments in sustainable energy. The challenge of controlling its impact on the environment is major but with proper controls developed nations have managed to create sustainable energy production plants through use of this power.
On the national level, use of hybrid engines that rely on other sources of energy apart from fossil fuels is an option that has also been undertaken. These use cleaner sources of energy like battery power, and have fewer emissions into the environment. Hydroelectric power plants were one major source of clean energy for developing nations and indeed many nations in Africa rely on hydroelectric power production.
Alternative energy sources for building in Kenya
Kenya today has invested in power production using geothermal energy. These sources of energy that do not emit pollution into the environment are green in that they do not have adverse environmental impacts. Wind farms in certain locations also contribute power to the country’s national grid.
At domestic scale, various options are available for the architect in Kenya to accommodate in their building projects. Building in Kenya has seen an increase in electrical installations that are smart and sustainable, having the ability to regulate energy consumption, as well as conserve power. Use of sustainable energy production methods at domestic level includes using solar energy panels with power inverters and batteries.
The fact of the matter is that it is important for developers and construction industry stakeholders to ensure their buildings are green and sustainable. Sustainable building in Kenya shall be enhanced as Kenyan architects include green energy design provisions in their projects.