Atelier International Architects | Blog
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LET’S TALK INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Indoor air quality refers to air quality in and within buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of its occupants. Controlling and understanding pollutants indoors can reduce the risk of indoor health concerns. Health concerns may occur soon after exposure or years later.

Indoor air pollution sources that release gasses into the air are the primary causes of indoor air quality problems in buildings.  Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

There are other sources of indoor air pollution in buildings. These include oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products, building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products, products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices and outdoor sources such as pesticides.

Therefore, controlling the materials inside a building is the best way to control indoor air quality and especially in existing buildings is through an increase in natural ventilation. With a lack of fresh air, pollutants will accumulate to levels that can pose serious health and comfort problems and the consequences affect our future health.

BY AGNES KIBUCHI

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WHY WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT BUILDING GREEN

With most of us spending most of our time indoors, green building is the healthy, common sense choice for a better life. In traditional construction, the quality of our indoor environment is often more polluted than outdoor one due to the building materials, inadequate lighting, and other variables. Green buildings are sited, designed, constructed and operated to enhance the well-being the occupants and minimize negative impacts to the community and environment. Compared to traditional building a green building home takes some of the pressure off the environment.

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DO GREEN BUILDNGS COST MORE?

The truth is there is no answer to that question. Costs can vary from one project to another, however, here in Nairobi the cost of building a Green building is on par with an average building and sometimes can work out to be even cheaper just by using certain ‘low tech’ design principles. There is no need of expensive A/C or curtain walling (full glass). Couple that with the continuously falling costs of renewable energy systems such as Solar panels and you have a recipe to achieve a modern, green building that is cost efficient during construction and for many years to come.

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WHAT IS A “GREEN” BUILDING

Green architecture also known as “sustainable architecture” is a way of looking at buildings in terms of reducing energy use, conserving water, improving indoor air quality and reducing dependence on our natural resources. Although the basic concept for green building has been around for decades, it has only in the last few years that we have seen this explosive growth in the greening of the construction industry via International certification councils like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Greenstar. EDGE (Excellence is Design for Greater Efficiencies).

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Our Story

Architecture has been a passion of ours for the last 40 years. It all started in 1978 with Architect Sardul Singh who opened Atelier International Architects. Since then we have worked on countless high and low profile projects in the country cutting across all genres.

As architects we try to do our part in the conservation of our environment, to design and make sure we live in a less wasteful way by using passive solar design, natural light, natural ventilation, low flow sanitary fixtures and LED lights and much more. We pride ourselves in sustainable and innovative architecture and use cutting edge design principles to redefine space. There is no architecture or design without practicality and movement is a big part of architecture. We design so when you are moving through our buildings everything makes sense.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. These are the words we live by, not only in the office but in every aspect of our lives. When the dust settles, simplicity remains and will always remain.

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