Green building materials available for residential houses in Kenya are as below.
1. Green roof. The roof can be designed to incorporate live plant material.
2. Green walls. The exterior walling and fencing can be designed to incorporate green plants such as creeping ivy.
Wall support for flower pots and planters can be introduced to various strategic positions along the wall.
3. Wall exterior renderings. These can incorporate cobble stones cladded on to machine cut walling to bring out the rustic looks.
4. Window and door frames. Natural wood can be used to make the frames. Off cut wooden planks can be joined together to form the doors in an organised design.
5. MDF and HDF block boards that contain cancer causing formaldehyde can be completely avoided.
6. Natural materials for roof such as clay tiles or wooden tiles can be used instead of manufacture roofing materials such as as stone coated roofing tiles, iron sheets which can contain paint chippings which contain Lead.Lead causes diseases such as High blood pressure in adults and brain malfunctions in children.
7.Timber trusses can be replaced with poles as opposed to sawn timber where possible.
8. Interior wall finishes. Instead of the usual plaster and paint, hand dressed natural stone and fired clay bricks can be used .
9. Floor finishes. Natural floor finishes such as mazeras stone and fired clay bricks can be used instead of the usual manufactured floor tiles .
10.Building orientation. The building can be oriented in such a way that natural light and ventilation is ble to flow in and out of the rooms.
11. The overall shape can be such that the inside is incorporated to the outside through creation of internal gardens complete with sky light views and introduction of water streams and ponds that link the inside with the outside.
Francis Gichuhi kamau, Architect.