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Affordable Housing in Kenya:
A Performance-Based Analysis of Available Technologies in Kenya and Abroad

This research project was conducted with Engineering For Change in partnership with UN-Habitat.  Motivated by the president’s goal to provide “Affordable and Dignified Housing for All” and the unofficial promise to build five million homes in four years, the Kenyan government requested a “snapshot” of available construction technologies to guide policy makers.

Drawing upon lessons learned from Brazil’s “Minha Casa, Minha Vida” initiative, which saw over 4.5 million units built between 2009 and 2016, our research investigated numerous construction methods and assembly systems from around the world.  These included prefabricated steel assemblies; full scale 3-D printing of homes; and traditional earthen building methods. These approaches were then weighed across a matrix of affordability, speed of assembly, and ecological footprint.

Final recommendations proposed an integrated approach, incentivizing the use different and appropriate systems across the Kenyan geography. Our conclusion also alluded to an apparent solution-driven approach driven by the prioritization of new home construction. Our closing comments argued that the pursuit of affordable and dignified housing is not simply a design and construction problem, but also an urban planning concern. Issues of land use, zoning, and public infrastructure were presented as areas requiring additional research and consideration.

The published article can be found here, at Engineering For Change.

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