The theme ‘A Market Place for Affordable Housing Technologies Interiors and Exteriors’ underscored the launch of the build and interior expo 2021 at the Sarit Centre. Consulting firms Poise Business Development Consulting Limited and I Trade Events led by Dr. Naomi Kagone partnered together to organize this three-day event that will end on Sunday.
The main objectives of the expo included presenting the different players in the field of construction, stakeholders to display their merchandise and innovation, experts to interact and exchange ideas, and the market business of the youth.
Dr. Kagone said the platform was for the displaying of innovative products in the line of building and constructions that mirror the government’s ‘Big Four’ agenda of affordable housing.
“Recently, digital marketing has taken over but we cannot ignore the traditional face-to-face interaction with customers,” she said.
A unique affordable housing display of building homes using shipping containers stood out at the expo. Presented by the Intelligence Strategy Management (ISM) Containers as part of ISM Africa a tech company from Israel, the firm utilizes containers within the shipping cycles and recycles them to make homes. The founder and director of ISM Containers, Mr. Omri Cohen explained the company’s presence at the expo was to promote their eco-housing initiative.
“This initiative is fantastic for rural areas in Kenya for affordable housing,” said Mr. Cohen adding that the project was suitable for people in need of solutions in remote areas and harsh conditions.
He insisted that the whole idea and the company itself was Kenyan and the foreign assistance they out-sourced was technological research and development done on solar solutions, biogas, water purification system, and clean cooking solutions inside eco-friendly homes.
“The company can offer free power from solar energy, water from boreholes, provide waste management and produce cooking gas, and tap into many other natural resources to produce renewable energy preferably in rural areas and connect the villages,” Mr. Cohen said.
According to the company, Kenya being the powerhouse of the region was chosen as the maiden location to roll out this new product noting that other interior construction including showers, toilets, kitchens, and lounges made out of conventional construction material, saves up to 25% of the time, is not tiring, and is less risky
As the only institution of learning present, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), conspicuously displayed its products mainly from its department of engineering and architecture.
A model project of a Christian retreat camp center and the Kibera area, its problems of flooding and solutions, was the masterpiece done by a final year student of the institution as the pride of the landscape architecture department.
A representative of the institution, Mr. Joseph Njoroge explained the exhibition and marketing of the students’ projects was to trigger massive enrolment into the university and attract clients who would desire to consult with the institution.
“The goal of the university is to reach many students and the general public out there in order to create awareness of what JKUAT can offer,” Mr. Njoroge said while boasting that the course in landscape architecture was the first of its kind in the African continent.
In a quick rejoinder, Dr. Iram Nderitu, the acting principal of the college of engineering and technology JKUAT said the objective was to expose the kind of work students are involved in during training.
He also noted that the institution was involved in other activities of research and innovation to influence the housing sector as part of the building science to benefit the country as a whole.
“ I strongly encourage the girl child to venture more into the area of science and mathematics in the same capacity as their male counterparts in order to contribute to the growth of the nation and the government’s big four agenda,” he emphasized.
He also noted vision 2030 is geared towards making Kenya a middle-income country through the efforts of every stakeholder. The youth in business also displayed their merchandise ranging from innovative products to construction services.
Aluglass Africa Limited a subsidiary of the LAXCON interior solutions limited through their head of sales and marketing Brenda Katila Wanyonyi presented its aluminum profiles that reinstate glass for windows and doors.
The firm’s objective was to create awareness of the cost-effective, durable, anti-rust features of this product as an innovative material used in construction.
“These materials are very affordable in interior constructions of façade windows, doors, and mirrors, when aluminum is used as opposed to steel used before that, was very heavy,” Ms. Katila said.
Other protégés were Rose Okeyo presenting her company ERSO Builders and a second-semester architectural student Daniel Walunya displaying his architectural model of a house from school.
The former offers services through her company websites where customers can seek out ‘fundis’ and engage and provide solutions for construction needs.
The student from the Nairobi Institute of Technology (NIT) explains the basic modeling requirements in elevations of a house stressing the scope of architectural communication rather than its detailed regulations.
With the curtains coming down the expo on Sunday, Dr Kagone insisted that the event continues to abide by the Covid 19 protocols and urged all businesses to remain positive, focused, and consult as much as possible during this pandemic.