Environmental Sustainability at Solian
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Environmental Sustainability at Solian

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Issues around Climate Change, Climate Resilience, and Project Sustainability in the Construction Sector.

Climate Change Issues and Their Solutions

1.0 Floods

Solution:

Sustainable Drainage Systems: Implement sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) such as permeable pavements, green roofs, rain gardens, and swales to manage stormwater runoff and reduce flood risk. These systems help absorb and infiltrate rainwater on-site, minimizing surface runoff and relieving pressure on drainage infrastructure. Raised foundations, are also some of the methods used to reduce flood damage.
Install sump pumps to remove water from basements during floods.

2.0 Temperatures rise.

Solution:

I) Natural ventilation: Designing buildings with ample windows and cross ventilation to maximize airflow and decrease reliance on mechanical cooling systems

II) Rising temperatures, increase demand for cooling systems like AC, raising energy use and emissions. Emphasizing green building practices, energy-efficient design, and renewables like solar panels and passive cooling cuts building carbon footprints, enhancing climate resilience.

III) Shading structures: Installing pergolas, awnings, or trellises to block direct sunlight and create cooler outdoor spaces.

IV) Hydroponic green walls: Utilizing hydroponic green walls on construction site fences to lower ambient temperatures and enhance air quality.

V) White roofs and reflective surfaces: Installing roofs that absorb less heat to reduce indoor temperatures and mitigate the urban heat island effect.

3.1 Sea Level Rise.

i. Erosion of Coastal Infrastructure: Rising sea levels contribute to coastal erosion, which can undermine foundations, roads, and other critical infrastructure supporting construction activities. This erosion jeopardizes the stability and longevity of construction projects.

Prevention Strategies: Employing erosion control measures such as beach nourishment, dune restoration, and shoreline stabilization helps to protect coastal infrastructure from erosion. Additionally, implementing setback requirements and avoiding construction in erosion-prone areas can minimize risks.

ii. Saltwater Intrusion: Sea level rise can exacerbate saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers, compromising the quality of freshwater resources used in construction activities and impacting the structural integrity of concrete and steel.
Prevention Strategies: Implementing groundwater management practices such as aquifer recharge and freshwater diversion helps maintain the balance between saltwater and freshwater in coastal areas. Using alternative water sources for construction purposes, such as desalinated seawater or rainwater harvesting, reduces reliance on vulnerable freshwater aquifers.

iii. Loss of Coastal Habitat: Sea level rise and coastal development can lead to habitat loss for marine and terrestrial species, disrupting ecosystems and diminishing natural buffers against storm surges and erosion.
Prevention Strategies: Implementing habitat restoration projects such as wetland creation, mangrove reforestation, and coral reef protection enhances coastal resilience by preserving natural buffers and supporting biodiversity. Integrating green infrastructure into coastal construction projects helps mitigate habitat loss while providing ecological benefits.

4. Landslides

Solution

i. Slope Stability Analysis: Perform detailed slope stability analysis using geotechnical engineering methods to assess the stability of the site and identify potential landslide triggers. Consider factors such as soil composition, groundwater levels, slope gradient, and land use history.

ii. Vegetation Management: Preserve existing vegetation or implement revegetation measures to stabilize slopes and reduce soil erosion. Plant native species with deep root systems to enhance slope stability and minimize surface runoff.

iii. Surface Drainage and Erosion Control: Implement effective surface drainage systems, including culverts, swales, and retention ponds, to manage runoff and prevent soil erosion. Install erosion control measures such as silt fences, erosion blankets, and terracing to stabilize exposed slopes and minimize sediment transport.

5.1 Storms

i. Wind Damage to Structures: High winds associated with storms can cause damage to buildings, scaffolding, and temporary structures at construction sites.

Mitigation: Design structures to withstand anticipated wind loads and incorporate wind-resistant construction techniques, such as bracing, anchoring, and reinforced connections. Secure loose materials and equipment to prevent them from becoming windborne debris.

ii. Equipment Damage and Downtime: Construction equipment, such as cranes, excavators, and generators, can sustain damage during storms, leading to downtime and increased repair costs.

Mitigation: Secure equipment in designated storage areas or anchor them to prevent movement or tipping during high winds. Perform regular maintenance and inspections to identify and address potential equipment vulnerabilities. Have backup equipment and contingency plans in place to minimize downtime.

iii. Damage to Road and Transportation Infrastructure: Storms can damage roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure, impeding access to construction sites and delaying material deliveries.

Mitigation: Monitor road conditions and plan alternative routes in advance of storms. Coordinate with transportation authorities and suppliers to ensure timely delivery of materials and equipment. Implement temporary repairs and road maintenance measures to restore access to construction sites as quickly as possible

iv. Damage to Trees and Vegetation: Storms can cause damage to trees and vegetation at construction sites, leading to loss of habitat and ecological impacts.

Mitigation: Preserve existing vegetation and incorporate green infrastructure into construction plans to minimize the removal of trees and vegetation. Implement tree protection measures, such as fencing and mulching, to safeguard trees from damage during construction activities. Plant native vegetation and revegetate disturbed areas to restore habitat and ecosystem function.

v. Sedimentation of Waterways and Water Bodies: Storms can cause sedimentation of waterways and water bodies due to erosion and runoff from construction sites, impacting water quality and aquatic habitats.

Mitigation: Implement erosion and sediment control measures, such as vegetative buffers, sediment traps, and storm-water ponds, to capture sediment and filter runoff before it enters water bodies. Use erosion-resistant materials and revegetate disturbed areas to stabilize soils and reduce sedimentation. Monitor water quality regularly to assess the effectiveness of sediment control measures and identify areas for improvement.

Climate Resilient Innovation in the Real Estate and Construction Industry.

1.Passive solar design: Incorporating building orientation, shading, and thermal mass to optimize solar heat gain and minimize energy consumption for heating and cooling.

2.Living roofs and walls: Installing vegetation-covered roofs and walls to improve insulation, reduce urban heat island effect, and mitigate storm-water runoff.

3. Durable roofing materials: Selecting durable roofing materials, such as metal, clay tile, and concrete, to withstand extreme weather conditions, including high winds, hail, and heavy rainfall

4. Water-saving technologies: Implementing water-efficient fixtures, such as low-flow toilets, faucets, and showers, as well as rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling systems, to conserve water and reduce demand on municipal water supplies.

5. Seismic-resistant construction: Incorporating seismic-resistant design features, such as reinforced concrete, steel frames, and base isolation systems, to enhance the resilience of buildings to earthquakes and ground shaking.

6. Green infrastructure: Integrating green spaces, such as parks, green roofs, and permeable pavements, into urban developments to enhance biodiversity, mitigate heat island effect, and manage storm-water runoff.

7. Resilient landscaping: Planting drought-tolerant, native vegetation and using water-efficient irrigation systems to create resilient landscapes that require minimal maintenance and water inputs.

Climate Change Adaptability and Sustainability Projects at Solian Limited.

i. Our projects prioritize sustainability by preserving mature trees and incorporating them into recreational spaces, like our garden at the Beach.

ii. Locally sourced materials, including reclaimed excavation materials and natural coral stones, are utilized, minimizing waste. For instance, at Marijani, the excavated materials are used for backfilling. We have done beautiful cladding using natural coral stones from excavations

iii. Water consumption has been reduced by, using water saving devices such as using aerated taps and low flush toilets.

iv. Bio-digesters efficiently recycle waste, providing moisture to plants and grass while potentially irrigating landscapes.

v. Our buildings prioritize natural lighting, reducing energy consumption.

vi Solar energy powers streetlights, electronics, and provides backup power, furthering our commitment to green energy

Attached below are pictures of how Solian Limited has incooperated sustainability in its projects. From Natural stone cladding, white surfaces to reflect away heat, Nurturing trees, use of borehole water, a bio-digester and solar panels, just to name a few.

Project Sustainability at Solian.

How Solian has Embraced Technology to Develop Climate Resilience and Sustainable Projects.

Virtual Property Tours: Solian has utilized virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for immersive property tours, which has helped in showcasing, sustainable features and amenities thus not only engaging prospective buyers/tenants but also setting its properties apart.

Grey-water Recycling Systems: Solian has Implement grey-water recycling systems to treat and reuse wastewater for non-potable applications, such as irrigation and toilet flushing, reducing freshwater demand.

Community Engagement Platforms: digital platforms and online communities such as whats-app have been used to facilitate stakeholder engagement, gather feedback, and foster collaboration with local communities, residents, and advocacy groups on sustainability initiatives and resilience planning.

Programs in the construction industry that incorporate sustainability.

1. Kenya Green Building Society (KGBS): KGBS is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting green building practices and sustainability in the Kenyan construction industry. It offers training, advocacy, and certification programs aimed at improving environmental performance and energy efficiency in buildings. Its also developed its own green building rating system tailored to the Kenyan context. The rating system evaluates buildings based on criteria such as energy efficiency, water conservation, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality, providing recognition for projects that meet sustainability benchmarks.

2. Green Star Africa: Green Star Africa is a green building certification program administered by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). While not specific to Kenya, it provides a framework for sustainable building design, construction, and operation that can be applied to projects in Kenya and across the continent.

Download this Sustainability Report.

May 24, 2024 | 0 comments

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