Sustainable construction usually begins with public or non-profit initiatives (as Terristorias covered with its report about Ecobatiment) and is then geared towards private investments and projects. However, in Nairobi the green building movement began with Coca-Cola.
In 2008, the East African Coca-Cola company built its headquarters in the Kenyan capital. AllAfrica.com reports it as “one of the most expensive buildings in all Africa.”
One of its distinguishing features is its green roof, which serves as an energy source, a water management tool and a heat minimizer. While each square footage of roof costs between 15 and 20 US dollars, in the long run they return their costs and more. The water bills at the headquarters have been consistently reduced by 30%, and 95% of the rainwater is absorbed which in turn eliminates irrigation needs. The collected water is recycled, kept in mini-storage tanks, and then distributed to various sections of the building for shower and bathroom use in particular. Because they require minimal treatment, green roofs “can increase a building’s value by up to 25%” according to its architectural consultant Francis Gichuhi.
East African Coca-Cola’s success has inspired the Kenyan government to consider adding green roofing to its building legislation and incorporating it in construction initiatives. A new law on these sustainable innovations is to be passed through parliament this month. Regardless of legal stature, several other Nairobi projects are integrating green roofs, including Tattoo City and Konza City.
Read here the full report (source):
"Kenya: Nairobi's Green Roofs Save On Energy, Water Use"
A "Reuters’ AlertNet" published on AllAfrica.com by Gitonga Njeru - May 7, 2012