This project is a winner in the 2019 AIA COTE Top 10 Awards
FROM AIA: This is the story of a community imagining a different future for themselves and the path they took to realize it. It began with seeking peace in the region through access to clean water, then enhancing educational opportunities for primary school graduates. Located in remote northwest Kenya – within a community of subsistence farmers and pastoralists – classrooms, offices, dormitories, and teacher housing form its core. Environmental conditions include dry seasons with harsh equatorial sun and wet seasons with pronounced rainstorms eroding sparsely-planted land. Design opportunities emerge from the place: zero net energy and water, emphasis on local materials and labor, and community engagement ensuring generational success.
Structural Engineer: Tipping Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: KPFF Civil Engineers
General Contractor: Kennedy Matini, Watsan Construction
Owner: Asilong Christian High School
Location: Asilong, West Pokot, Kenya
Project site: Greenfield (Previously undeveloped land)
Community engagement: A partnership was formed with stakeholders to share in the decision-making process including development of alternatives and identification of the preferred solution.
Walk score: N/A; the walk score is not supported in this community. Primary transportation in this community is by walking. If a longer distance is required there are motorbikes for transport, the local form of public transportation.
Estimated occupants who commute via alternative transportation (biking, walking, mass transit): 70 percent
Estimated annual carbon emissions associated with the transportation of those coming to or returning from the building: 2,146 lbs CO₂/yr
Percentage of the site area designed to support vegetation: 88.7 percent
Percentage of site area supporting vegetation before project began: 100 percent
Percentage of landscaped areas covered by native or climate appropriate plants supporting native or migratory animals: 100 percent
Predicted annual consumption of potable water for all uses, excluding process water: In this region, water is a precious resource, and as such is carefully managed by all. Although annual consumption was not predicted prior to construction, the size of pump and storage capacity is a direct result of daily water needs on site, and is constantly monitored to ensure no water is being wasted or put to unnecessary uses. Because of sporadic rainfall, it is not possible to determine percentage of water consumed on site from rainwater capture. Though rainfall is constantly changing, when the rain barrels contain water they are used for irrigation, dishes and laundry over the use of potable water.
Is potable water used for irrigation? Yes
Actual annual consumption of potable water for all uses: 8,184 gals/person/yr; This is for all water used onsite, including irrigation.
Is rainwater captured for use by the project? Yes
Is greywater or blackwater captured for re-use? No
Percent of rainwater that can be managed on site: 100 percent
Cost per square foot: $21.8
Comparable cost per square foot for other, similar buildings in the region: $5.45; This data comes from a new dorm recently constructed on the primary school site.
Cost of a building per person on site (students, faculty, staff): $983/person
Estimated annual operating cost reduction (identify baseline): 100 percent reduction based on any school building that has an operating cost. The buildings on this campus have no operating cost.
Life Cycle Analysis of the costs associated with measures taken to improve performance: Based on location of the site, operating the school completely off the grid is the only feasible option negating any potential Life Cycle Analysis of costs associated with improved performance.
Predicted consumed energy use intensity (EUI): Although no simulation was performed to predict Site EUI, the on site photovoltaic capacity was derived by an understanding of all predicted loads on site. A 2kW photovoltaic system with battery backup was installed. 75 percent of the capacity is used each day.
- lighting: 30 percent
- computers/tablets: 30 percent
- printer 30 percent
- TV and cell phones: 10 percent
Energy use intensity (EUI) refers to total energy use by the facility including energy purchased from utilities and provided by on-site renewable sources.
Predicted Net EUI: 0 kBtu/sq ft/yr
Predicted Net carbon emissions: 0 lb/sq ft/yr
Predicted reduction from national average EUI for building type: 100 percent
Predicted lighting power density: 0.04 W/sq ft
Actual Consumed Energy Use Intensity (Site EUI): 0.9 kBtu/sq ft/yr
Actual net EUI: 0 kBtu/sq ft/yr
Actual net carbon emissions: 0 lb/sq ft/yr
Actual reduction from national average EUI for building type: 100 percent
Percentage of floor area or percentage of occupant work stations with direct views of the outdoors: 100 percent
Percentage of floor area or percentage of occupant work stations within 30 feet of operable windows: 100 percent
Percentage of floor area or percentage of occupant work stations achieving adequate light levels without the use of artificial lighting: 95 percent >300 lux at 3pm March 21
Peak measured CO₂ levels during full occupancy: Although peak CO₂ levels have not been measured, based on integrated passive design strategies and natural ventilation, CO₂ levels are expected to fall within typical outdoor air ranges.
Peak measured VOC levels during full occupancy: Although peak VOC levels have not been measured, the only products used that contain VOC’s are the paint on the louvered windows and the finish on the papyrus ceilings. Finishes were given adequate time to dry prior to building occupation. Given the buildings’ passive design strategies and natural ventilation, VOC levels are expected to be negligible.
Annual daylighting performance: 95 of regularly occupied area achieving at least 300 lux at least 50 percent of the annual occupied hours.
CO₂ intensity: Using the simple Construction Carbon Calculator, our estimated carbon emissions is 58 lbs/sf, which is a 39 percent reduction from a baseline education building. Because this tool is simulated for typical US based construction sites, we believe the carbon emissions from construction on site to be significantly less than the estimated values. All work on site is done manually, without heavy use of machinery and equipment.
Estimated carbon emissions associated with building construction: 58 lbs/ sq ft
Percentage of project floor area, if any, that represents adapting existing buildings: 0
Anticipated number of days the project can maintain function without utility power: Indefinitely
Percentage of power needs supportable by onsite power generation: 133
Post-occupancy evaluation summary: The design team sits on weekly calls with school administration regarding daily operations and building use. These Skype calls act as live post-occupancy surveys providing a continual feedback loop for improved design.