The National Construction Authority (NCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS) to leverage on mutually beneficial partnerships that will result in a more environmentally conscious and sustainable construction industry.
The signing ceremony, which took place at the NCA offices in Upper Hill, now formalizes the working relationship the two institutions hope to have, and outlines a framework for collaboration.
KGBS is an independent, non-profit, non-political society that was formed to lead the transformation of the Kenyan property industry to environmental sustainability. The organization’s aim is to ensure all buildings are designed, built and operated in an environmentally sustainable way, allowing Kenyans to live and work in healthy, efficient and productive environments. One of the 90 members of the World Green Building Council, KGBS aims to green the built environment through promotion and advocacy, developing a Green Star SA – Kenya Rating tool as well as through education and training.
There is currently no substantive law requiring buildings to adopt green or sustainable technology and practices, although many players in the industry have now started incorporating greening elements such as natural ventilation and solar powered lighting and heating within construction. NCA recognizes the importance of a sustainable built environment, not only when it comes to buildings but spilling over into other areas in construction as well, such as roads, bridges and dams.
The MOU was signed by NCA Executive Director Arch. Daniel Manduku and KGBS Chairperson Elizabeth Chege. Also representing the Authority was Eng. Maurice Akech, the General Manager, Research, Training and Capacity Building, Ag. Finance and Administration General Manager Christine Kirimi, Corporate Communications Manager, Wangui Kabala and Corporation Secretary Samson Lukoba. KGBS Board Members Boniface Chege and Muddy Ramrakha, as well as CEO Tariq Hussein made up the rest of the KGBS team.
Arch. Manduku stressed on the importance of sustainable construction. “Construction is without a doubt the cornerstone of development in any country, moreso in developing countries. With the rapid rate of expansion of the real estate and infrastructure in Kenya, we need to green our construction in order to ensure we keep up with global standards of excellence.”
The MOU will cover several areas of cooperation. KGBS will invite and train NCA staff on sustainable construction and design strategies and share its global resource base on the same. NCA will support policy advocacy in green building design, practices and technologies in order to enhance the construction industry in Kenya as well as endorse and adopt green building rating systems and standards as facilitated by KGBS. The Authority will also contribute to the knowledge and establishment of policies in sustainable practices by partnering with KGBS as a knowledge partner and promote training in green building design and practices as well as sustainable business.
KGBS Chair Elizabeth Chege welcomed the MOU. “It is on the premise of mutual objectives that NCA and KGBS enter into this MOU for Kenya to adopt and deliver climate friendly, energy efficient, water efficient and healthy buildings to the people of Kenya, as each and every Kenyan deserves to be part of the solution in regards to climate change. KGBS will be the central source of all Green building information, technology, practices and training for NCA and their respective contractors and artisans through the green building accreditation training that KGBS offers.”
The Authority is established by the National Construction Authority Act No. 41 of 2011, which came into effect on the 8th of June 2012. The Authority’s operations commenced thereafter. The object for which the Authority is established is to oversee the construction industry and coordinate its development.
As per Section 5 of the said Act, the Authority is mandated to regulate the construction industry through the following functions;
- To promote and stimulate the development of the construction industry to enable it to meet development aspirations of Kenya and to facilitate its competitiveness in the region through the exportation of construction services;
- To register and regulate the performance of local and foreign contractors and accredit skilled construction workers and site supervisors;
- To encourage the standardization and improvement of construction techniques and materials;
- To promote and coordinate training programmes in the construction industry organized by accredited public and private training institutions and also, to provide consultancy and advisory services;
- To coordinate research in the construction industry, disseminate research findings and establish a construction industry information system; and
- To promote quality assurance and develop and publish a code of conduct for the construction industry.
The Authority’s Mandate
The Authority’s mandate is geared towards streamlining, overhauling and regulating an industry that has for many years suffered poor legislative framework and been dominated by unqualified persons whilst simultaneously facilitating a capacity building culture for the benefit of the industry’s stakeholders and the promotion of best practices of international repute and standard in the local construction industry through its core functions.
The Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS), is an independent, non-political, non-profit organization that was formed in 2012 to lead the greening of Kenya’s built environment. It is the Kenyan chapter of the World Green Building Council. Our core activities include advocacy, education and rating of green buildings using the Kenya GreenStar rating system. We provide the tools, training, knowledge and networks to promote green building practices across the country and build a national movement that will change the way we build. The Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS) has been at the fore front of the transformation of building practices in Kenya to a sustainable future, promoting healthy and sustainable environment for the nation.