UNEP Gets New Green Digs In Kenya

Not long ago, we reported that the United Nations Environment Programme sent a shout-out to green policies in Kenya in a recent report–now, the World Interior Design Network reports that Kenya is home to the first solar-powered United Nations office building in the world.

This complex in Nairobi–comprised of four three-story buildings–will house the new offices of the UN Environment Programme and the UN Human Settlements Programme, and is expected to accommodate 1,200 staff. It was designed to be a model of green architecture in Africa.

United Nations Kenya

image via UNEP/World Interior Design Network

The complex was designed to produce as much energy as it consumes, and features a host of green elements, including automated lighting, energy-efficient computers and low-flow water fixtures. Rainwater collected from roofs refreshes the complex’s four fountains and pools; sewage is treated on-site with an advanced aeration system, then recycled for landscape irrigation. The complex also features 6,000 square meters of solar panels and low-VOC paint.

During the inauguration ceremony of this new facility, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said, in a statement, “This building is beautiful, comfortable and efficient.  But more than any of that, this building is a living model of our sustainable future.  Because if our growing population is going to survive on this planet, we need smart designs that maximize resources, minimize waste, and serve people and communities.” He goes on to note that this facility hits all of these targets, making the most of Nairobi’s natural resources.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.