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Climate Action 2009-2010

BUILT ENVIRONMENT New

BUILT ENVIRONMENT New office facility at Gigiri, Nairobi Visible rainwater harvesting is part of the design. Lova andre’ niLsson UNEP ClimatE NEUtral StratEgy OffiCEr, SUStaiNablE UNitEd NatiONS (SUN) BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION 194 The United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, became a climate neutral organisation in 2008. The next target is to build a new energy neutral UNEP Headquarters office in Nairobi, Kenya. The new office is developed together with the UN administrative organisation in Nairobi, UNON, and aims to apply many sustainable building features. Efforts are undertaken to reduce electricity consumption and a solar power installation will be installed on the roof of the building. A ‘GREEN LUNG’ FOR THE CITY OF NAIROBI The United Nations has five headquarters world wide – one of which is located in Nairobi, Kenya. The UN Nairobi location hosts the global headquarters of UNEP, the principal environment agency of the UN, the global headquarters of UNHabitat, the UN settlements programme, as well as over 30 regional offices of other UN agencies. The UN Nairobi compound is a beautiful 140-acre ‘green lung’ on the outskirts of Nairobi. More than 600 indigenous tree species are found on the compound, as well as many species of birds and small mammals. Rainwater is harvested, wastewater is recycled, wetlands maintained and all the buildings are cooled by natural ventilation. Water is heated using solar water heaters and a waste separation and recycling system is in place. CATERING FOR MORE STAFF WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE ENVIRONMENT The UN staff in Nairobi is increasing (from 2,500 today to about 4,000 in the future) and the decision has been taken to build a new UNEP headquarters building on the Nairobi compound. The intention from the start was to create an office with natural ventilation, enhancing natural light and using local building techniques. The ambition was later expanded to include sustainability criteria in all aspects of the building and its operation. The construction started in May 2009 and is planned to be completed by end 2010. The building will have 16,500 m 2 of tenable space and will cater for 1,200 staff members. The building will consist of four blocks connected to one another, arranged in two parallel wings with a central atrium. The central atrium will be covered with a translucent roof to allow daylight into the building. Examples of sustainability features incorporated in the new office include: } the promotion and use of local building materials } rain water harvesting } water recycling and re-use in an artificial wetland } water efficient dual flush toilets (three versus six litres) } green zones inside the building } guidelines for the users of the building } light wells to enhance natural lighting indoors VISIT: WWW.CLIMATEACTIONPROGRAMME.ORG

BUILT ENVIRONMENT Oriention and design for maximum natural light indoors without heating or glaring problems. Zero Net Energy Building: A building that consumes no more energy in operation that it can generate. The focus is on minimising base-building energy consumption and then meeting energy demand with renewable energy generated on-site. Theoretically, an appropriately designed building can operate as zero net energy from its first day of operation. } natural cooling – no need for air conditioning } energy neutrality through an integrated PV system ENERGY NEUTRALITY The building aims to become energy neutral, where the electricity need of the building is met by the production from photovoltaic (PV) panels, on average over the year. Reviews of all areas of energy consumption in the building are being carried out to identify all possibilities to reduce the energy needs. The two main areas of energy need are lighting (indoor and outdoor/security lighting) and office equipment including IT-equipment such as workstations, servers and related air-conditioning and other IT infrastructure. The building will be connected to the national electricity grid and have no batteries for storage. The design will allow for excess electricity to be ‘exported’ to other buildings on the compound, and for the national grid to support the energy supply whenever the solar electricity production does not meet the demand, e.g. at night or during rainy days. “Energy neutrality” for the building has been defined as the situation where the total solar electricity production is equal to or exceeds the electricity use of the building, seen over a full year. UNEP SUPPORTS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MANY AREAS UNEP is the United Nations’ designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional levels. Its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring of the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve The roof is prepared for a solar PV panel intallation. their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP’s work focuses on six priority areas: } Climate change } Disasters and conflicts } Resource efficiency – sustainable consumption and production } Ecosystems management } Environmental governance } Harmful substances and hazardous waste UNEP is also promoting and supporting green and low-carbon economies through its Green Economy Initiative (GEI). The GEI is aiming to mobilise and refocus the global economy towards investments in clean technologies and ‘natural’ infrastructure such as forests to combat climate change and create new employment. The promotion of renewable energy and sustainable building and construction are key elements in UNEP’s work. Author Lova Andre’ Nilsson joined UNEP in September 2008 to be part of the Sustainable United Nations (SUN) team and to be based at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi. She is coordinating the implementation of the UNEP Climate Neutral Strategy, preparing the annual UNEP greenhouse gas inventories and offsetting, and also coordinating the Greening of Gigiri, an initiative aiming at improving the environmental performance at the UN compound in Nairobi. Prior to UNEP, Lova worked for consultancy organisations on environmental management, environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment in Sweden, Zimbabwe, Vietnam and Kenya, including Scott Wilson Ltd, Ramboll and AF. She had also worked for the Swedish Government on environmental licensing and control of industrial operations and integrating environmental considerations in comprehensive planning, and for the UN Association of Sweden supporting implementation of Local Agenda 21. Enquiries Lova Andre’ Nilsson United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) Sustainable United Nations - SUN P. O. Box 30552 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: + 254-020-762 5266 Fax: + 254-020-762 5264 Email: lova.andre@unep.org BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION 195 VISIT: WWW.CLIMATEACTIONPROGRAMME.ORG