Circular Affordable Urban Housing
BuildX’s Circular Cooperative Affordable Housing Project aims to highlight strategies for circularity in the built environment along with creating a criterion for building materials, an approach for determining affordability and a conclusion that smaller, smarter, modular designs present opportunities for innovation in dignified affordable housing. Our vision is to move the residential construction market away from the dominant high carbon and wasteful methods currently used and provide a truly affordable housing solution for a substantially greater segment of society.

Our objective for this initial research project is to develop a prototype that incorporates prefabricated assemblies with alternative materials that are viable for the Kenyan market.

We have identified several risks and challenges in achieving this; including high upfront investment, great dependency on the market supplies, a general user scepticism of alternative construction materials & technology, determining affordability for a predominantly informal economy and most importantly a reliance on government intervention to facilitate adequate, dignified and affordable housing through policy enforcement and cost subsidisation. Notwithstanding, we see several opportunities in the private rental markets, student housing, SACCO developments and public-private partnerships which can eliminate developer’s expenditure on land.

The next steps in the development of this project will include strategic geo-mapping for further feasibility studies, extensive user research, in-depth material analysis with assembly prototypes at a 1:1 scale, industry focus groups and general stakeholder engagement.
The Circular Affordable Urban Housing project is an initiative by BuildX Studio to provide an innovative solution contributing toward solving the housing challenge in Kenya. Our strategies are aimed at bringing down the cost of construction, making housing and home ownership accessible to at least 60% of the population. The initiative also seeks to create a high-quality housing product, have a positive socio-economic impact and reduce the negative impact on the environment by applying circular design.
Location: Kenya
Year: 2019 – Present (Research stage)
Funders: DOEN, Autodesk
Partners: Autodesk, ARUP
Photo Credits: Alicia Nacenta