Cost per m2 of construction in Kenya is determined by various factors as described below and varies from a low of kes 15,000 to a high of kes 70,000 per m2.
Location and target clientele.
Where the building is located, if its a low, middle or high class neighborhood, this will determine where the cost per m2 lies within the graph of between kes 18,000 to kes 70,000 per m2.
Buildings located in low income neighborhoods eg Kayole cost on average around Kes 15,000 per m2 .
Buildings located in middle class neighborhoods eg Kitengela, Buruburu cost around kes 30,000 per m2.
Buildings located in high clas neighborhoods such as Westlands and Upper hill cost around kes 70,000 per m2 to construct.
Height and storeys.
Buildings that are only 1 storey high, eg bungalows, warehouses etc cost less since there is minimal use of steel and concrete for reinforcement compared to buildings that are several storeys high.
Bungalows usually have the main stone structure walling as the roof support hence cheaper to construct. High rise structures usually have complex foundation types eg raft foundations which are expensive to build.
High rise structures also have concrete columns, and deep beams for support, costing much more than low rise structures.
Cost engineering and Architectural design.
Buildings can be architecturally designed to cost less whereby the architect deliberately carefully selects and analyses various building materials and building technologies to save on cost.
A building like the above hotel, which looks elegant and expensive, will cost the same or less as the one below, which looks cheap.
The Eka hotel exterior walls are rendered using textured paints, which costs around kes 400 to kes 800 per m2.
The lower hotel in Buruburu has walls rendered in clay bricks, which cost more, at around kes 1200 per m2.
The main stone wall costs the same for both.
The reason that one looks more elegant than the other is due to architectural design and cost engineering, whereby the Eka hotel shape has been carefully designed so as to look appealing to the eye, look balanced, less busy without color clashing, thereby unleashing the Feng Shui positive energies within.
The other Buruburu hotel has not been architecturally analysed, whereby we have window shapes clashing, hence looking unbalanced, with some windows having arches while others are rectangular. The top roof line is also unbalanced.
The end result is that one developer has used more money to build, which has not fully brought about aesthetic appeal, hence commanding less revenue compared to the other developer who has used less money but more of architectural cost engineering design, hence commanding higher revenues.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.