Multipurpose Hall in Kenya
Nripal Adhikary and Juan Carlos Jaramillo Patino (INBAR)
A multi-functional hall in Kenya built of bamboo and designed for students at the University of Maseno.
This Multipurpose Hall in Kenya is a multi-functional building designed by Nripal Adhikary and Juan Carlos Jaramillo Patino architects from INBAR- International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. The designers intended to use the project to introduce locally sourced bamboo in Kenyan construction. The structure is made of bamboo and eucalyptus, papyrus for insulation, and concrete for the foundation. Implementation involved training events for local builders that covered construction, bamboo processing and semi-processing, and bamboo resource management. The building was designed for the University of Maseno.
*Please note that building designs are being included as “products” in the Habitat Sector of the Solutions Library to allow readers to learn from how projects were designed and constructed and how they are serving the occupants, whether effective or ineffective.
Kisumu, Kenya. INBAR has developed similar projects in Uganda and Ethiopia
Similar bamboo and rattan-based projects have been developed by INBAR.
Architects from INBAR trained local youths to build this structure. It was built with simple tools and all the materials were locally sourced. It took 25 days to complete and it uses bamboo and eucalyptus as structural elements, papyrus for insulation, and concrete for foundation.
There is no IP for this building design. Instead, it was part of a pilot initiative to encourage the use of bamboo for structural applications in Kenya. Research papers and reports on the bamboo technology are made available to the public on INBAR’s website.
Indication of whether design can be replicated in multiple locations
Number of individuals. 1 family = 5 persons.
Number of days from start of construction to completion
Surface area of footprint
Number of occupiable floors (ground floor only = 1)
Primary materials used
Composite estimated R-value
As calculated by designer
As calculated by designer
Based upon primary structural system as per the International Building Code
Based upon Structural Occupancy Category and soil conditions of site; as per the International Building Code
List of suitable climates for use of this design
The building is a multi-purpose hall measuring 65m² that uses bamboo and eucalyptus as structural elements, papyrus for insulation and concrete for foundation.
The building can be maintained by local labor with bamboo construction experience.
All the components such as roofing, structure and flooring can be replaced using local materials.
If properly treated, designed and maintained, the bamboo structure can last for one hundred years.
This project aimed to assess the potential of local bamboo resources to provide a sustainable, safe, and affordable building material in Kenya.
No testing has been completed.
No third-party organizations, only testing performed by the designer.
Builders should wear appropriate protective equipment such as hardhats, gloves and safety glasses while working to protect against physical injury commonly associated with heavy construction.
Janssen, J., 2000, Designing and building with bamboo. Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Janssen, J., 1988, Bamboo as an Engineering Material: An annotated Bibliography. The IDRC Bamboo and Rottan Research Network.
Click here for further INBAR publications
In 2004, INBAR work on bamboo construction was validated by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO), which issued international standards ISO/DIS 22156 – bamboo: structural design (later updated to ISO 22156:2021 in 2021) and ISO/DIS22157 – Determination of physical and mechanical properties of bamboo (later updated to ISO 22157:2019 in 2019).
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