Advancing Behavioral Change Towards a Low Carbon Construction Industry in East Africa

A Design for Good project to support BuildX Studio in the Analysis of mass timber building to understand benefits, safety, and performance. Sponsored by The Autodesk Foundation.

Advancing Behavioral Change Towards a Low Carbon Construction Industry in East Africa

The construction industry is responsible for a staggering 39% of global carbon emissions, encompassing both embodied and operating emissions. In East Africa, mass timber processing and building represent a huge opportunity for reducing this environmental impact. Mass timber’s unique ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere when used in durable products makes it a promising alternative to carbon-intensive concrete and steel.

BuildX Studio has decided to lead a mass timber industry initiative in East Africa through the construction of their pioneering CLT Tower project in Kenya, the region’s first mass timber building.

The goal of this project was to demonstrate the advantages of mass timber compared to traditional construction materials, using their demonstration building made of 19.3% timber in structure.

During the project, Autodesk Revit and Tally plug-ins were used to quantify the environmental impact of the CLT Tower through a comprehensive Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), comparing it with a conventional steel and concrete building. Additionally, the building’s impact on health and well-being was evaluated by simulating indoor environmental factors like daylighting, ventilation, thermal comfort, and humidity. Furthermore, the project assessed the building’s safety and performance, including the building’s behavior in the event of a fire, which could be visualized through the use of Autodesk 3DS Max and FumeFX plug-in.

By providing the results of the comprehensive analysis of the CLT Tower, BuildX Studio is able to showcase the benefits of mass timber and contribute to a more sustainable approach to construction in East Africa and beyond.

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