MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT OF GREEN BUILDINGS IN NAIROBI COUNTY BY BISHER FAWAZ

The shift from conventional building to sustainable ‘green’ building requires a change in the
management of maintenance works. Green buildings significantly differ from conventional
buildings in many aspects from design, materials used, equipment and maintenance
requirements. The maintenance management practices of four green buildings were put under
the microscope namely the Standard Chartered Bank building in Westlands, the Coca Cola
building in Upper hill, the Strathmore University Business School in Madaraka and the UNEP
building at Gigiri in Nairobi. However, the UNEP buildings had not yet been completed by the
time of the study and therefore the researcher focused on the remaining three buildings. The
three buildings were chosen because they were the only buildings in Nairobi to publicly
declare their green status and openly use their green status to gain competitive advantage over
competing firms in their respective industries. The three buildings therefore comprised the
target population. The aim of this research was to establish the maintenance management
process in these green buildings. The research was guided by four objectives namely: to
establish the planning process in the maintenance of green buildings in Nairobi County; to
identify the type of maintenance practices used in green buildings in Nairobi County; to
establish the extent to which the maintenance works of green buildings in Nairobi affects their
appraisal and to establish the strategies that improve the quality of maintenance works in green
buildings in Nairobi County. The research was guided by relevant literature on maintenance of
green buildings.
The research employed a cross-sectional descriptive research design and the respondents
constituted the management of green buildings, regulatory association officials and
professionals in the built environment who were involved in the design and construction and
those currently involved in their management and maintenance.
The major research findings revealed that green buildings in Nairobi were seen to be rated
based on how well they met criteria set by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Rating System. The system awarded credit points to various aspects of the building that
include: sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy; materials and resources and indoor
environmental quality. The conclusion derived from the research is that maintenance management is critically important in green buildings if they are to maintain their green
ratings.
Based on the research findings, the following recommendations were made: the involvement of
the maintenance team with respect to site selection should ensure that green buildings are not
put up on sites that are environmentally sensitive; the maintenance team should be well trained
on materials use and recycling; the maintenance team should also test the functionalities of all
aspects of green buildings during commissioning before intended occupants move in; over
time, building performance should be assured through measurement, adjustment, and
upgrading and the management of the green buildings in Nairobi should invest in research on
practical and effective operational and maintenance strategies for energy and water efficiency,
conserving natural resources and protecting internal air quality among others.
As concerning future areas of research the researcher recommends focus on perceptions,
knowledge, value and risk management of Green buildings in Kenya; opportunities available
for professionals in the built environment and specifically maintenance managers to receive
specialized training to enhance their knowledge in relation to each of the salient features of
green building and research on the direct environmental, social and financial benefits Green
buildings can bring to Kenya.

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