23rd April 2015
What is sustainability?, many have had different opinions on the subject of sustainability and sustainable development. As defined by scientists sustainability is the taking or consumption of resources and services currently, without reducing the ability of future generations from enjoying the same privileges. An activity that is sustainable should be able to continue for ever.
The environment where we derive our livelihood from is important in keeping the current generation, as well and future generations. this can only be possible if current generations are sustainable. The current generation has had its fair share of unsustainable practices, for example energy consumption and resource utilization. This was summarized by the intergovernmental panel on climate change on its current report fifth assessment report that the earth is warming and changing rapidly, and the main causes are the human induced changes also known as the anthropogenic causes of climate change.
Does sustainable architecture mean anything to the Kenyan country as a whole. I sometimes beg to disagree on the energy policy of the country. Kenya is keen on increasing the use of fossil fuels, when other countries are cutting it back for environmental reasons, especially climate change. During the energy conference in March 2015, Kenya hopes to add 5000 megawatts of energy to the national grid. Nuclear energy is being pursued as a solution to the energy demands when many countries are cutting back the same due to the toxic nuclear wastes and the deadly accidents in case of nuclear leakages. As we seek county based energy options in coals and oil and gas resources that are already an environmental threat. Of course, we will argue on the issue of development and efficient, cheap energy and transport is based on the mining of non-renewable energy options.
A reinforcement of solar energy plenty at the coast and geothermal sources should be included in the national grid as positive step towards sustainability as a country. An important milestone, of which Kenya has the capacity. Green design and architecture are yet another important way of adapting to the changing and extreme climates.
Climate change ever, since it was reported by scientists that it was changing, has produced a roller coaster on climate adaptations mitigation. Several professional have included climate-related changes to the use and consumption of resources. The climate change debate has led to increased environmental friendly architectural designs especially for the urban areas to facilitate less energy consumption and reduce the cost of food production and consumption through green architecture. A well-received concept in the developed world, for example Apple building is coverting the title of the most green building in the world in 2015, as other technological companies are also loathing for that title. In the developing countries for example in Kenya the concept, is gaining root especially energy efficient designs as well as green infrastructure. A few designs that have won accolades in Kenya include the CUEA library building as a green infrastructure in 2014. Among other buildings in Kenya.
The coastal regions had a few buildings featured in the top ten include the makuti basic houses in Lamu and Manda islands. The current buildings drawn and executed by serious institutions at the coast like the Technical University of Mombasa and the Pwani University buildings and architectural designs are nowhere in the categories. One begs the main questions the institutions of higher learning need to be an example in the green design categories, but as usual the little political fights and inept administrators seemly don’t understand the relationship between environment sustainability and architecture.
Will the coastal areas and islands in this countries who are at more risk to climate related disasters include in the plans concepts of green and Eco efficient urban designs for posterity. As I would say we are a mile away as compared to our African friends who are embracing changes.