BuildX Studio
Job Opening: Architectural Researcher
07/06/21
BuildX Studio

Role: Architectural Researcher
Reporting to: Impact Lead
Salary: Negotiable based on experience.
Experience: 3 – 5 years professional experience.
Employment Type: Full or part time (depending on candidates profile), three months probation.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

BuildX is a gender-lens design-build-develop B Corporation working towards a world where all buildings are radically better: buildings that are net zero carbon, more equitably designed, and enhance quality of life and wellbeing.

As an Architectural Researcher, you will be a key part of the Zima Homes project in the research component listed below:

Zima Homes Project Overview
Zima Homes by BuildX Studio are affordable, dignified and aspirational homes that are kind to our planet, created for Nairobi’s low-income urban population. The project comprises ~143 units in three blocks on 0.5 acres in Wangige, Nairobi. The project aims to achieve EDGE® Advanced certification and minimise its environmental impact through passive design strategies employed early on, and to create a model which can be replicated at scale toward our goal of 10,000 homes by 2030, impacting an estimated 25,000 people from low income urban communities.

Zima Homes Case Studies
BuildX Studio will generate three publicly available case studies alongside the design and construction process of Zima Homes. The studies will analyse the following innovative and unique aspects of Zima Homes in the Kenyan context:

1. Building green and affordable.
2. Affordable financing schemes for home ownership.
3. Gender lens design and construction.

Each case study will work with a technical partner and a dissemination partner to create open resources which other developers and industry actors can use to improve the quality, sustainability and affordability of housing projects. To date, we have identified partners and developed detailed concept notes for each study

Responsibilities
1. Review and refine research methodologies for each study;
2. Develop detailed data collection plans including identification of indicators and approach for measurement and analysis;
3. Lead internal and external data collection including desk top research, documentation and analysis of decision making processes, interviews with external stakeholders;
4. Identify relevant studies especially for benchmarking with other comparable projects;
5. Design and implement primary data collection with future occupants, e.g. through resident surveys and focus group discussions;
6. Coordinate regular engagement with external case study partners;
7. Lead data analysis and case study writing;
8. Develop case study dissemination plan and coordinate activities.

Outputs
1. Interim reports and associated articles/blogs;
2. Three 30-40 page final case studies;
3. Associated articles and other written media to support accessible sharing of case study findings;
4. Data package of original full research information and analyses;
5. Audio-visual data creation through photography and short film;
6. Social media toolkit, case study web pages and market engagement (tours) as required.

Timelines
The case study workplan is structured around three phases and interim deliverables, with final deliverables due towards the end of 2023.

Other Projects
BuildX Studio is working on a range of projects, many of which require research activities. Depending on the candidates profile we will explore opportunities for engagement in other areas. Prior experience and knowledge around inclusive design and construction, climate change mitigation, low carbon economy, wood building, forests and timber processing are of particular relevance to us.

We’re looking for innovators, systems thinkers and creative talents. We want to hear from people inspired and driven to change the world.

Core Competencies
There are some key skills and qualities that are a must-have for this role:
1. An analytical and curious mind with excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills;
2. Resourceful, independent, and proactive worker, able to perform to an exceptionally high standard under pressure;
3. Demonstrable aptitude for clear and prompt decision-making within a challenging environment;
4. Details-oriented, well-organised, collaborative and proactive in completing work accurately and meeting deadlines;
5. Strong English-language communication skills, both spoken and written;
6. Strong time management and organisational skills, including the ability to work on several projects at once;
7. Excellent relationship-building and interpersonal skills, including working with others from different cultural backgrounds;
8. Passionate about the social and environmental impact of buildings, and empowering women;
9. An appetite for creativity and entrepreneurship in development of new ideas and out of the box projects.

Standing Out
In addition to the above, we’ll get very excited by candidates with expertise and experience in climate change mitigation/low carbon economy, wood building, forests and timber building.

Other Criteria
1. Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Architecture or equivalent;
2. Experience in developing and applying research methodologies, data collection & analysis (qualitative and quantitative) and report writing;
3. Proficient with Adobe Suite (Indesign) and MS Office Suite, and an aptitude for learning new software quickly.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is of the greatest importance to us. At BuildX we celebrate our diverse team and welcome all applicants warmly.

Our Commitment to You
BuildX Studio is an equal opportunity employer which values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We do not discriminate, and we recognise and embrace that people work in different ways. Join us and you will find yourself in an environment where innovation, inspiration and creativity are second nature. You will be surrounded by industry leaders and curious, ambitious colleagues – working together to develop the business in line with ever changing end user needs.

Apply
Please send your CV, cover letter and portfolio if relevant to apply@buildxstudio.com. In addition to outlining your relevant expertise and experience, please also tell us why you want to work at BuildX Studio.