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Sauti Kuu Banda and Community Center

Building Occupancy / Site Capacity: 

Project Summary

YEI Learning Centre Goal (Phase I): To provide rural youth with a place-based centre which offers services that support their vocational, educational & recreational needs, including ICT and other income generating infrastructure.

Infrastructure is the critical gap in rural communities. Typically, rural youth do not have a place to meet nor build their skills outside of the formal school setting.

The site for the YEI Learning Centre is located in Nyang’oma Kogelo, one hour by car from Kisumu (a city in the west of Kenya and the third largest in Kenya).

The Sauti Kuu Banda Project was 95% complete by 7 June 2012. The Contractor delays meant that there are still elements of the project still under completion by this date but the works for completion were relatively minor in finishing. Final Completion expected by the end of June 2012.

An opening ceremony was performed on 7 June 2012 with local contributors, design team, clients and the Sauti Kuu Youth in attendance. The ceremony received special guests for the ribbon cutting: local elder Mama Sara Obama, the Village Chief and Local School Principal and Agricultural Council members - all who made speech contributions welcoming and praising the Banda center and the projects that Sauti Kuu is endeavoring to undertake with the youth over the next few years for the benefit of the wider community.

Milestones achieved include the testing and commissioning of the water filtration system - the project collected and stored rainwater from the two buildings and combining them in a gravity feed water system. Part of the supply was then diverted through four filtration units in a secure housing which delivered filtered drinking water throughout the project.

The project also made significant design improvements throughout the building process to improve durability and material longevity, protecting timber from termites and potential water damage. There were small on site celebrations for each of these construction milestones such as getting the steel and concrete columns built, the iron roof sheets installed, getting electricity and water supply installed and getting the windows and doors fixed in place and making the buildings secure.

Owner Participation was constant throughout with regular updates and site visits when possible from the client. The beneficiaries of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, the local youth known as the Sauti Kuu youth or SKY, were onsite throughout, making contributions to the building works where possible and keeping the site vegetation and planting maintained. They also participated in design workshops with the Architecture for Humanity Design Fellow, to design the next stage site features and proposed agricultural works.

The final Cost of the Project was approximately 7.5mil Kenyan Shillings, (approx 88,000 USD).

Architecture for Humanity - Gretchen Morkey, T. Luke Young, Triz Munoz and Matthew Hughes
ION Designs - Architect of Record Arthur Adeya
Structural Engineer - Edward Njoroge
Quantity Surveyor - Future Works
Sauti Kuu Foundation and Youth
Shiloh Foundation
Segal Family Foundation
Nobelity Project

Design Description
The Project consisted of two buildings on a rural block site in Alego Village Kenya. The first is an octagonal external pavilion with single pitch roof and the second is an associated office and guest quarters under a similar single pitch roof. The buildings are connected by an external walkway and a water collection, filtration and gravity feed system with electrical power and lighting.

The buildings are made from machine and hand cut Kenyan Stone, Concrete and custom Timber from suppliers around the region and country. The timber was a particular design feature which was cut specifically for the project. It consisted of oversize timber posts, beams and joists fixed together using custom steel plates. The longest single continuous spans were up to 9m or 30ft, made from 300x100 treated cypress timber joists.

The construction combination of large timbers, heavy massing stone and concrete was balanced with lighter modern finishes (tiles and slim concrete edges), decorative hardwood timber doors and jambs, modern lighting and kitchen fit out, plumbing fittings and telephone and internet connection (provisional).

The Pavilion is designed to accommodate the Sauti Kuu Youth in their daily meetings and operations. The facility accommodates space for up to 50-70 persons for presentations and roughly 20 or more persons comfortably for round table meetings. The undercover space has power and lighting supplied with secure vandal proof fittings and at one end there is a 2.5m (8ft) white wall for art projects and projector presentations. Behind the wall is the tank rainwater collection which is pumped through a centralized filtration system to provide drinking water for the Pavilion.

Sustainability statement
The project tried to source material from within a 100km radius but supply for some of the more unique items had to come from further afield. The construction materials were all from Kenyan manufacturers and suppliers. The blue/grey stone and white chalk stone came from Nairobi, the timber was sourced from Nakuru and the concrete, aggregate and sand from Kisumu. The timber and concrete was treated for termite protect for 10 years, but design improvements were made to increase this protection for as long as possible, estimated at approx. 50 years min.

The buildings use natural ventilation, keeping building width below 8m for cross ventilation, and providing regular openings at high and low levels for air movement. The stone also acts as massing to control the temperature, ensuring cool conditions against the high external temperatures. The roof overhangs also ensure the walls massing can remain shaded and cool.

High level windows to the East ensures consistent natural lighting is provided throughout the day, and a 2.5m meter cantilevered overhang to the west ensures protection from the hot afternoon sun. The Pavilion has a high roof line and good cover for shading with high level battens to the North ensuring added sun and wind driven rain protection.

The single pitch roofs are designed to maximize the rainwater collection from both structures and collect them into a central system for use in the project. An electric pump on a float switch ensures the header tank remains consistently full to activate the passive gravity feed delivery throughout while not using much energy. The gravity system delivers water to two bathrooms, a kitchen and to the pavilion, providing drinking water through a four filter inline system. Electricity is from a grid connection metered through a voltage regulator which protects the system against surges and damage to the light or powered fittings.

- Testimonials/quotes of clients/beneficiaries

Thank you to the Architect of Record, Arthur Adeya, for his continued support and local expertise. Arthur has been instrumental in managing a difficult local Contractor and providing steady support for the Design Fellow while in Kenya.
Thank you also to Dan Joshua from Sauti Kuu who acted as local representative for the foundation and assisted the project works. Engineer Edward Njoroge and Quantity Surveyor Gyavira from Future Works were also consistent supporters of the work providing technical and local expertise for material and construction advise.

Thank you to the Construction team on site worked hard with very limited resources to achieve the project goals - almost everything was done without the assistance of power tools.

The built works are approximately 270m2 (two buildings) to accommodate up to 100 persons and facilitate the use of the site for agricultural demonstration, sporting and region development projects. The main beneficiaries will be the Sauti Kuu Foundation Youth who can finally operate with independence from the local school who has provided support with a place for youth meetings to date. The facility will provide a 1 acre site for agricultural demonstration and research to assist in diversifying the agricultural practices of the community at large. The facility will also be open to work and education programs in the future for youth and women's groups.


Nyang’oma Kogelo


Project Details

NAME: Sauti Kuu Banda and Community Center
PROJECT LEAD: Architecture for Humanity
LOCATION: Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya
START DATE: April 06, 2011
CURRENT PHASE: Construction complete
COST: $88000 USD (Unspecified)
SIZE: 270 sq. m
PROJECT TYPE: Education Facility - Training Center
FUNDING: Shiloh Foundation, Segal Family Foundation, Benneton, Nobelity Project, Sauti Kuu Foundation, Architecture for Humanity
DESIGN FELLOW: Triz Muñoz, Matthew Hughes
SURVEYOR: Future Works
CONTRACTOR(S): Nyatieko Construction
BENEFICIARIES: Sauti Kuu Foundation supported Youth Group (SKY) will use the site to facilitate their community projects starting with an agricultural research farm, exploring poly-use farming techniques, water storage and site management, crop diversity, animal husbandry and bee keeping. The project's goal is to reinvest in a 'local' quality life rather than loosing educated youth to the larger urban areas.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: This is a low energy building with the majority of the work being completed by hand. Mechanical assistance has only come from delivery vehicles and the use of a concrete mixer for the footings (which were extensive). The project uses a majority of natural materials (timber and stone), with some concrete, steel and iron. the project is passively cooled and uses rainwater harvesting for tank supply to all the house fittings, and filtered water for drinking use.