Nairobi, 8 September 2014: Architecture students from Kenya received comments on their latest designs from a technical team at UN-Habitat.

In the first of three parallel comprehensive design and construction studio courses in Nairobi, Kigali and Kampala, third year students of architecture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) presented their first cycle of studio course design work and received input from the guest critics of representatives of partner institutions.

The competition is part of the project Joint development of courses for energy efficient and sustainable housing in Africa (JENGA) which is in partnership with UN-Habitat through the project Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in East Africa (EEBEA). This partnership is aimed at promoting academic capacity building and knowledge transfer for energy access, efficiency and low-carbon technologies in the field of sustainable housing.

These design projects by the three participating universities, addressing housing solutions for densely populated areas in Nairobi, sloping sites in Kigali and high water flood areas near Lake Victoria in Kampala, will culminate in the realisation of full-scale prototype buildings that will be showcased as part of the pilot projects within EEBEA project as best practices for energy-efficiency and appropriate local building technologies.

Students from Uganda Martyrs University and University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology are scheduled to present their projects in October 2014.

The 3 year JENGA project (2013-2016) is set to introduce a design-build teaching method into the existing curricula of the three participating schools of architecture in East Africa.

Architecture students in the region will also benefit from Technical Notes addressing various aspects of passive building design and a handbook on Sustainable Building Design for Tropical Climates that are being prepared by UN-Habitat’s project Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in East Africa (EEBEA).

A key output of the JENGA project will be the publication of a manual for Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Construction. Input to this publication will be compiled, drawn and written by academics from all participating institutions.