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Green Building Technology and Energy Efficiency: The Case of High-Rise Buildings in Karura Area in Westlands Constituency, Nairobi County, Kenya

Abstract: Construction industry is not only a leading consumer of energy for lighting, cooling and other purposes but also ranks among the largest sources of toxic gas emissions. This has raised the demand for energy efficient building with low utility bills, healthy indoor environmental quality, and minimal ecological footprints. So far, an increasing number of experts, policymakers, governments and multinational agencies led by the UN are advocating for adoption of green building technology. However, the shift to the environmentally-friendly building practices is relatively slower in Kenya as compared to other nations across the globe. This study, therefore, focussed on the adoption of green building technology (GBT) in one of Kenya’s high-end markets, Karura, Westlands Constituency, in Nairobi. The study’s main objective was to establish the correlation between GBT adoption and energy efficiency of the high-rise buildings in the area between 2013 and 2018. The specific goals of the study were to determine the factors affecting the adoption of the technologies, as well as, the challenges and strategies for addressing the obstacles to embracing GBT in the pursuit of socioeconomic benefits associated with energy efficient high-rise buildings. The study adopted descriptive research design. Digital and printed questionnaires were used to collect data from 350 out of the 4,392 industry stakeholders including surveyors, architects, house owners, engineers and real estate agents. Their input was analysed using SPSS V.26. It was found that, more than 298 of the respondents used various types of green building innovations such as eco-friendly materials, smart HVAC systems and renewable energy to improve the energy efficiency of their latest projects. While the factors affecting the adoption of the sustainable development concepts included costs savings associated with green building technology, level of awareness and lack of adequate support by the relevant governmental agencies. Consequently, the study recommends dissemination of information to the stakeholders via various awareness programs such as regular conferences, webinars, training programs, and trade shows and exhibitions. The policymakers should also move with speed in providing subsidies and related legal framework to hasten the shift to the green building innovations.

Key words: Green Building Technology, Energy Consumption, Energy Efficiency and Environment Quality


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