We can all agree that real estate is booming on all levels but the downside is most houses don’t meet our requirements and when they do not everyone can afford.
So I had a chat with David Nahinga fron UjenziBora on alternate forms of housing and here’s what he said.
1) Who is David Nahinga?
I am a Quantity Surveyor by profession but since am in the building industry, i practice what we call (Archipreneurship= Using architecture as an entrepreneurial force to bring positive change in the lives of people and the environment). I am an entrepreneur, appreciate good thinking and knowledge. Am addicted to certain ways like book reading, risk taking, philosophy and Good Old Work.
1b) What does Ujenzibora do?
“Ujenzi Bora” is a pair of swahili words which means “good construction”. Our vision is to provide affordable housing solutions to first time owners.
2) In your quest to provide affordable housing what’s the factors you consider while still giving the best quality?
A) Client Needs: We have to start with what does the client really need. Part of our work is to help our clients write their own vision as a Design Brief. Every client is unique and that is our starting point.
B) Once we have the design brief, we estimate the Cost and advice whether client will be able to afford it.
C) In the event the client is not able, we advice on all available alternative building technology. In our quest to find solutions, we consult widely with Architects and Engineers
2ii) What are some of these new solutions?
Example: The Parallel House which would cost less than 3m to build but is more elegant and spacious than a typical Ksh.6m maisonette.
Traditional Architecture: In this category we have The African Courtyard House. A private courtyard house which appreciates story telling as part of family life. Ideal for rural settings.
We also have The Minima: a 1 bedroom house for people who want to build a getaway house that is not expensive. The Minima has an extremely well planned Bedroom with a walk in en-suite that would be the envy of folks who own really squeezed 3 bedroom houses.
Recently, we had our latest release of a series of 2 bedroom houses designed for first time home owners. I think our customers will like it. Our plan is to have over 100 “design and build” solutions to fit any imaginable complexity and scenario that a first time home owner would face.
3) Your company is one of the very few that specializes in Design and Build Solutions. How did you come to this idea and how’s it going so far? Are more Kenyans embracing it? And what would you tell them to help them make the choice (include pictures)
We have received many inquiries and we think this is the way of the future. We encourage more Architects and Engineers to actually become Building and Roads Engineers. Dear Kenyans, if you can buy a house for 4m or 10m, you are better off having it designed to fit your needs.
4) Does your company deal in interior design of the houses you build?
We outsource all interior design work and cabinetry to our partners.
5) Challenges of the business?
Mainly a shortage of skilled workforce. If this is not corrected, many contractors will suffer.
6) Where do you see the industry in the next 5 or so years?
I cannot speak for the industry. As for Ujenzibora we shall grow and prosper exponentially in the next 50 years. We have the mind for it, the vision and the patience to grow.
7) Last words of design/ architecture?
Design like you give a damn! I think, design will change the world for the common man.
Catch David and the UjenziBora team at the monthly Concrete & Coffee on the 28th May 2016 where they have an open office experience to share coffee and building solutions. Check out http://www.ujenzibora.com
Love & Light.
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Frankie & Bren