BIOCLIMATIC ANALYSIS OF BUILDINGS IN MAKINDU

Makindu Town is located approximately 130km southeast of Nairobi along Mombasa Road in Makueni
County. The town was established in the early 20th century following the establishment of Makindu Railway
Station during the construction of the Kenya-Uganda Railway line at the end of the 19th century. At
the time, the station served as a base camp for the construction workers and as a fueling station for the
steam engine train (which used wood and water as fuel) after completion of the railway line. Over the
years, influenced by the transport system (the railway line and Mombasa Road) and the resident communities
which were predominantly the Indians and the Akamba, the town has grown to a metropolitan center
with the Akamba being the dominant community.
The built form within Makindu is varied ranging from the traditional Akamba built form to a dominant contemporary
built form. The use of modern building materials and technique is popular in Makindu. In their
book , Traditional Architecture: Settlement, Evolution and Built Form, Anyamba and Adebayo(1993) observe
that there is change from traditional materials to the readily available and much more durable modern
construction materials in the general Ukamba land.
Makindu lies within a region classified as hot and dry climatic zone characterized by high temperatures and
low humidity levels. Such conditions are unfavourable for human inhabitance. The principal function of
buildings is to shelter man from adverse environmental conditions. Thermal discomfort has been attributed
to reduced productivity in users of such spaces. Reduced productivity and the cost of energy to power
the mechanical cooling systems can have a significant negative impact on the economy of the town,
 

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