Social Economic Benefits of Green Buildings in Tertiary Institutions in Kenya

  • Lucy Kimani Kabete National Polytechnic, Kenya
  • Hannah Kiaritha, PhD Kabete National Polytechnic, Kenya
Keywords: Green buildings, Resources, certification, benefits


Sustainable development is a global concern given that the natural resources are getting depleted. Conventional buildings consume a lot of electricity and water and release carbon dioxide gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and air pollution. The green building concept is the practice of creating structures that are environmentally friendly and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle. Research revealed that a minimum increase in cost of two percent to support a green design results in a life cycle savings of twenty percent of the total construction costs. Cost Benefit Analysis carried out using life cycle costing shows that green buildings are cost effective investments. Green buildings address the challenges of high cost of electricity, perennial water shortages, waste disposal, and occupants’ health issues accompanied by declining abilities to learn or perform tasks. The Kenya building industry is slowly embracing the green building concept. Kenya currently uses two rating systems for green buildings; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Star certifications based on specified features and points are earned. Out of the nine green buildings certified in Kenya, two are for education institutions; Strathmore University and Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Education institutions are considered ideal for green buildings because a large population spends more days in school. Despite the enormous benefits of green building concept, out of 141 universities and government Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges in Kenya, only two have attained certification which account for 1.4 percent. This brings to question whether the concept is understood by the Kenyan population and in particular, whether the tertiary institutions are aware of the benefits of constructing green buildings. This paper therefore, puts into perspective the immense contribution that tertiary institutions stand to benefit by adopting the green building concept.

Article Views and Downloands Counter

Download data is not yet available.


Alevantis, L., Frevert, K., Muller, R., Levin, H., & Sowell, A. (2002). Sustainable building practices in California State Buildings. Indoor Air 2002, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, Vol. 3, pp. 666-671

Browning, W. (1997). Boosting productivity with IEQ improvements. Building Design and Construction, 38, 50-52

Browning, W. (2003). Successful strategies for planning a green building planning for higher education. Society of College and University Planners, March-May, 78-86.

Conlin, M. (2000). Is your office killing you? The dangers of sick buildings. Business Week, Available at

Fisk, W. J. & Rosenfeld, A. H. (1997). Estimates of improved productivity and health from better indoor environments. Indoor Air. 7(3), 158-172.

Green Building Save. (2017).

Heerwagen, J. H. (2000). Investing in people: The social benefits of sustainable design. Seattle, USA

Heerwagen, J H. (2002). Sustainable design can be an asset to the bottom line - expanded Internet edition, Environmental Design & Construction. at:

Heschong Mahone Group. (1999). Daylighting in schools: An investigation into the relationship between daylight and human performance. Available at:

Heschong Mahone Group. (2002). Daylighting in schools re-analysis. Available at:

Kanyaura, V. N. & Obino, M. S. (2015). An assessment of the adoption of green building BBBB in Kenya: A case of green building society of Kenya. International Journal of VVVV Business Management & Research, 5, (3).

Khaemba, P. & Mutsune, T. (2014). An exploration of potential for green building BBBBBadoption in Kenya, Global Conference of Business Finance, 9 (1).

Kimeu, M. (2013). The LRC at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. In: UN-Habitat Conference on Financing Green Building in Africa, Strathmore University

MuIruri, P. (2014). Kenya’s greenest buildings. Available at

Musau, K. (2014). Buildesign: Kenya’s leading architectural and construction review magazine. Sustainability: Green Building design strategies in East Africa.

Pape, W. (1998). Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. Inc, No. 2, pp. 25-26. Available at:

US Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA). (2013). Indoor air quality. Available at:

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2016). Available at

USGBC. (2014). Good to know: Green buildings incentives. Available at

Federal Government. (1999). Greening of white house six year report. Federal Government.

USGBC. (2017). Better buildings are our legacy. Available at

Wairimu, E. (2014). Nairobi’s first green commercial centres raise the efficiency bar. Available at

Wyon, D. P. (1996). Indoor environmental effects on productivity. Proceedings of IAQ ’96: Pathsto better building environments, pp. 5-15. Atlanta, Georgia,

Yousef, A. H., Arif, M., Katafygiotou, M., Mazroei, A., Kaushik, A., & Elsarrag, E. (2016). Impact of indoor environmental quality on occupant well-being and comfort: A review of the literature. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 5(1), 1-11.
How to Cite
Kimani, L., & Kiaritha, H. (2019). Social Economic Benefits of Green Buildings in Tertiary Institutions in Kenya. Africa Journal of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, 4(1), 24-32.