The Kenyan construction industry in 2015 grew rapidly towards modern concepts.
As predicted in 2014 on the concept of REITS coming in, this happened in 2015, with Kenya being among the 1st African countries to have the legal framework for REITS.
We expect 2016 to have a couple more REITS and a few more laws to streamline and smoothen REIT operations.
On the concept of Joint Venture financing, 2015 has had numerous projects financed this way such as Four Ways Junction, Runda Royale, Parklands heights and may more. Previously, the Joint Venture financing model was rare in Kenya and projects financed this way were very few. Now, most land owners are familiar with this concept and are willing to enter into Joint Venture agreements with financiers. Our courts by now have a vew precedents to use as guidance in arbitrating and litigating Joint Venture financing issues.
The concept of crowd funding, with was initially introduced by a4architect.com on the ‘buy a hotel room’ concept, became more and more common, with a few property dealers along Thika road and Thimbigua using it to fund huge apartment projects.
As predicted in 2014, the concept of themed cities took shape in 2015, with Tatu city borrowing this concept to move towards an industrialised theme as opposed to a residential theme. We also have a new industrialized/warehouse type theme along Eastern bypass.
In 2016, such themes in the construction industry will dot the landscape, away from the usual residential house theme where most buildings were constructied for residences. The shopping mall theme has already set in and its now just a matter of time for large international shopping mall anchor tenants such as South African GAME to check in and push the game to a higher level. I foresee a 2016 where we will have expansive malls that even have space for vehicle show rooms inside, sort of a mini town within one building.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN STYLES.
In terms of architectural design styles, i predict that with the new awareness of how awesome and elegant 1st to 15th century African was, more and more developers will veer off from the usual modern European architecture style towards African styles e.g Sudano-Sahelian architecture.
In terms of construction materials and technology, in 2014 we predicted more of Pre Engineered Steel buildings and prefab construction. Alot of players came in for the prefab technology construction, offering a wide array of panels such as straw board panels, foam concrete panels etc. In terms of pre engineered steel construction, we are yet to see inroads towards this, apart from the Hurlingham high-rise structure now complete, and a few offices next to City Morgue and opposite Nairobi Baptist church, this has not been used alot as expected. We hope that in 2016, such new technologies will seep in from the rest of the world to shape our built environment on Kenya.
Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau.