Something a bit different for this month’s Tech Spotlight. We came across BuildX Studio recently, an innovative architecture, engineering and construction company, founded in 2016 and based in Nairobi, Kenya.
BuildX Studio envisions a world made for people and planet by creating the buildings of a radically better tomorrow and has a clear mission:
- Develop exceptional design solutions which are founded on human-centred principles and prioritise environmental performance, functionality and local resources;
- Lead the way in trusted, transparent and efficient construction;
- Work with local people and materials, creating high quality and affordable buildings.
The company is the first architecture, engineering or construction company in Africa to become B Corp™ certified, has been renowned for its commitment to social and environmental impact. B Corps inspire all businesses to aspire not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. There are just over 3,000 Certified B Corporations in the world with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business.
Rapid population growth, urbanisation and a severe skills gap in the construction industry in East Africa are placing huge strain on our built environment and pose a major threat to the health of both people and planet. BuildX believe if they can design smart, centred on climate and human wellbeing, they can create towns and cities which are healthy today and for future generations.
How are they planning to do this:
- By taking a holistic approach to maximising impact;
- By considering climate change mitigation;
- By focussing on quality of life & wellbeing;
- With inclusive design & construction;
BuildX also will re-use, reduce and replace where possible. In terms of “Reduce”, they are focussed on more design, less material, for example, prefabrication and efficient structures. Many of the design decisions for Zima Homes, an affordable 137-unit housing development on the outskirts of Nairobi, have been driven by environmental performance targets. For example, BuildX are pioneering a vaulted block system that would reduce material volumes needed for blocks and beams by 30%. Zima Homes will be EDGE certified with about 60% embodied carbon efficiency.
You can see the many and varied projects that BuildX are involved with on their website.
One of the BuildX projects was showcased at the UN Climate Control Conference UK 2021 (COP26). BuildX and partners are pioneering mass timber in East Africa, the most promising opportunity for eliminating carbon in buildings on a global scale. Trees naturally sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is stored when used in durable products. By using sustainable wood products to construct buildings, carbon is locked away long-term, whilst also avoiding the high carbon emissions from using concrete or steel. To learn more about this specific project – check out the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion.
You can also find lots more information on the BuildX Studio website.
Images courtesy of BuildX Studio