The National Construction Authority Act, Number 41 of 2011 is set to streamline, overhaul and regulate the construction industry in Kenya. The industry has for many years suffered poor legislative framework and has been dominated by quacks and unqualified persons. The industry has also suffered a lot of competition from foreign contractors who are seen to offer cheaper and more quality work.
The new Act is a win for the public as it guarantees public safety. All contractors must be registered with the Authority meaning that shady contractors and quacks will be locked out of the industry. It is an offence to carry out any construction work without first having been registered with the Authority. The Act contains provisions on quality and safety standards of any construction work.
The Authority is also charged with passing regulations from time to time on the quality of construction offered by contractors. The Act will also play a big role in streamlining the quality of construction work within the country. The Authority has wide ranging powers including accrediting training institutions that offer courses related to construction.
The new Act is also a win for local contractors as some of its provisions serve as a protective mechanism to the local industry. The local contractors face a lot of competition from foreign entrants most of whom undercut their charges. Bilateral agreements between Kenya and other governments, especially relating to construction, have opened the market to a lot of competition. The new Act has some carefully worded provisions whose net effect would be to guard local contractors from unfair competition from foreign contractors.
The Act establishes the National Construction Authority which has been given wide ranging powers as far as the industry is concerned. The definition of construction is also very wide and covers anything from buildings, roads, dams and telecommunication apparatus amongst others. The NCA’s functions are to generally regulate the industry (including maintaining a register of contractors), promote the construction industry within the country, assist in the exportation of construction to other countries, ensure that quality is maintained, accredit training institutions and create a construction code.
The Act ensures that the board composition is as wide as possible taking care to ensure that most stakeholders are included as members of the board. Board members include the permanent secretaries from the ministries of public works, roads, local government, treasury and housing. Representation from professional bodies is also ensures as the board must also include representatives from the architectural, law, quantity survey and engineering professional bodies.
The board is further comprised from a representative from the Kenya Federation of Master Builders as well as The Kenya Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors. The Minister shall also nominate two members from two associations with a special interest in the construction industry…this may include interior architects.
All contractors must be registered under the Act and it is an offence to carry out any construction works without registration. Contractors include those doing any construction works as well as suppliers of material &labour. However, small constructions like construction of residential homes are not catered for in the Act.
When it comes to protection of the local industry from unfair competition, no foreign entity can carry out construction works in Kenya without obtaining the necessary license and regulatory approval. The minimum requirements before one can be granted a license are very stringent as the foreign contractor is licensed for only a specific period and also once they satisfy the board that they are in Kenya for only that specific project.
The foreign contractor must also produce a certificate of compliance. Furthermore they must lodge an affidavit with the NCA that once the project for which they have been licensed is over, then they shall wind up their business and not engage in construction within Kenya.
The Board has powers to investigate contractors. Any person may lodge a complaint against a contractor and the board may investigate any such complaints. The Authority may either suspend the member or delete its name from the register.
Also of interest to contractors is that they may be required to part with as much as Kshs. 25,000 for a contract worth 5 million as the Minister may elect to charge a levy known as a c construction levy to contractors at an amount not exceeding 0.5% on every contract that exceeds 5 million shillings. This means that the construction levy is on a graduated scale…the more you make the more you may be required to part with.
The Act is welcome, perhaps the only losers in this are the quacks and the unqualified contractors.
Mputhia is an Advocate with MuthogaGaturu. email@example.com, www.mgadvocates.com
Beating the budget
The process of investing on interiors calls for one to partner with a professional who can realistically execute and complete the project within given timelines and estimated amounts writes NYAMBURA KINUTHIA.
IN OUR EVERYDAY LANGUAGE, the word BUDGET surfaces. It is a household name in government circles, corporate world, business world and the Small Medium Enterprises. In several homes, the language is about apportioning money for school fees, domestic consumption, staff, house shopping, projects and the list is endless. Budgeting is thus the way of living.
Well, in some instances, budget will be used to mean “cheap”, to work “smart” or to have a “reality”. With the same breath, when a client engages an interior designer to work with them, the word “budget” means “let us work smart and on reality and where necessary cut down cost and not compromise quality”.
Realise and actualise
Therefore, budget in interior design is not about cutting down costs or going “cheap”. Budget is a reality-check, a must do exercise in order to realise and actualise envisioned purpose on the intended project.
It is therefore very essential that when you as a client start a project, it is paramount to engage and interior designer well in advance to come up with the realistic project budget before the interiors stage start.
The interior designer works closely with the client to understand the client requirements and the intended use of the space – office, home and hotel set-ups. They then develop a check list of works and suggest as well as guide the client on different materials suitable for particular areas. Among the items to consider are:-
- The nature of interior finishing and furnishing materials to be used considering materials wear and tear and effect to the interior design.
- What effect will time have on the new design.
- How the colours will impact the design.
- How each new interior design element will relate to the overall scheme.
- What other product and finishing material options can be available.
The amount budgeted for a project is contingent upon project location, clientele, type of finish, quality of material used and the design details unique to the client environment and taste. Your designer will be able to help you with these details.
Consolidate project finances
As the designer will help the client determine the budget and a completion timeline, this gives you as the client space to consolidate project finances before work execution thus primarily saving you time and money.
Another area greatly affected by budget is the day-to-day project management that include:-
- Site interpretation of the proposed designs.
- Evaluation of quantity of materials required on each area before purchase to avoid wastage.
- Your Interior Designer can take on all project management aspects or they
- can consult with you as you act as general contractor/project manager
- Will coordinate all trades as they have the expertise (electricians, carpenters, architects, engineers) from a scheduling and design stand point to ensure the project is completed per schedule.
Your Interior designer who has an understanding of the specialized needs of the client will work with the client to develop concepts that transform their spaces into an environment that has a unified look; and environment that is inviting to clientele and employees while Creating an image.
Below is an example (not exhaustive) of a broad check list based on hospitality outlet that your interior designer will come up with to help with the project budgeting:-
- Flooring: ceramic tile, carpet, stained concrete slab, wood, linoleum, etc.
- Wall covering: paint, wallpaper, faux finish, wall treatment and wall texture, wood panel.
- Ceiling: paint, mouldings, gypsum ceiling, T&G etc.
- Lighting: task, decorative, etc.
- Window treatments: blinds, curtains, shades, etc.
- Bars: size, style, equipment, finishes
- Furniture: barstools, tables, chairs, lounge seating, etc.
- Tabletop: centerpieces, tabletop accessories, etc.
- Decorative accessories: artwork, mirrors, pictures, sculpture
- Fixtures: display fixtures
- New additions: new walls, conceptual architectural elements, etc.
- Labour costs: The list above represents material costs. Don’t forget labour
- Administration – Licence
- Structural changes
- Sound Systems
- Accoustical considerations
- Kitchen equipments and appliances.
- Sanitary fittings and mixtures
- Flexible Nightclub lighting
- Design Consulting Fees
- Soft furnishings: linen
- Cutlery & crockery
This kind of list helps the client to get started. Your Interior Designers will work with the client to come up with the options, quality and quantity which will help work out the budget after selection and zeroing of preferred materials. This must do exercise helps the client save money by taking advantage of the designer planning, design and construction experience.
Entering into an interior finishing or renovation project without adequate knowledge can be very costly as experience has shown over the time.
Consulting with an interior designer is a wise way of saying “I will work and partner with a professional to realistically execute and complete project that has been professionally managed smartly and within budget to create that envisioned unique and functional space”.
Nyambura is the Head Designer at the Nairobi based, Zidaka Interiors
SUPPLIER AT A GLANCE
Electrical and General Appliances
EGA’s main focus is to supply, install and service high quality equipment sourced from world-renowned manufacturers in USA and Europe. The company offers a wide variety of equipment to choose from which is unmatchable, and a lot of inventory to insure faster delivery times, and on-demand availability.
Despite success over the years, EGA has faced challenges with counterfeit products or lower quality products from the Far East. These products appear to be cheaper based on their price tag attracting many price conscious consumers. “However, many customers do not realize that the specification of the cheaper equipment are not as powerful, less cost effective, have significantly worse performance and have a shorter life, costing you significantly more money in the long run when it comes to servicing, parts, and opportunity cost lost due to under-performing or non-functioning equipment.” says Shiraz Ramji, Managing Director, EGA.
EGA focuses on supplying the best quality equipments, installation, service, and advice for all their customers’ laundry needs; while practicing business ethically and professionally.
Saffarini exacts new architectural standards
A new concept in architectural design has landed in East Africa courtesy of Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office (Africa branch), by KelaiWanjiru. With a strong heritage and history in the United Arab Emirates, the architectural and design consultancy is surely changing the design of urban cities in the region. Already strategically initiating projects in various parts of the city, Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office has set foot with the aim to establish new property models that are sustainable as well as architecturally unique.
Being the brains behind most of the world famous towers in Dubai like the Princess Tower (the tallest residential tower in the world) The Elite tower in Marsa Dubai, and the Mohammed Ishmael Tower. Some of the Office landmarks include Universities, Shopping Malls, Skyscrapers, Embassies, Warehouses, Schools, Mosques, Villas, Commercial and Residential Buildings.Adding glory to the firms many credits is the AI-Zaher Palace, which belongs to His Highness Sheik Rashed AI Noeimi, which was a distinguished project designed by EAS, and is printed on the first Currency of UAE, a fifty Dirham Bank note. A building of notability is the Falcon city of wonders in the heart of Dubai, built to resemble a falcon, is another world famous project designed and supervised by the Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office in Dubai.
Eng. Adnan Saffarini Africa is set to change the way real estate developers and architects in East Africa view projects. The engineers, architects and technical staff at the esteemed firm not only look at projects from a profit making perspective, but they go deeper to create aesthetic appeal, incorporate unique value adding aspects of every development, and give each one an exclusive architectural dimension that will leave an impression not to be matched over the ages.
Saffarini Africa has also endeavoured to change the city of Nairobi with new developments set to begin. Already identified is a shopping mall in the heart of Eastleigh that’s set to beat any other complex in the region.
Built to accommodate the whole family, the complex will have a unique in-house all inclusive value added services. The engineers behind this concept are convinced that the complex will be so welcoming and inviting that average time spent in the mall will be 4 hours. Other developments are a 4 star hotel in the heart of Nairobi city and a city in the wilderness of OngataRongai. The city resort will be 100 per cent eco-friendly with dams around the complex and residents having a panoramic view of the Nairobi National Park.
According to the regional director, Africa MahadMohamudKarani the firm aims to create design concepts that when actualised, are simple, realistic and sustainable. Small features like setting areas aside for taking walks, riding bikes, playgrounds for the children and security are what Saffarini Africa has taken into consideration. In the various developments handled by the firm, one will notice that attention to detail is imperative and
With a vision to change architectural concepts to attain international standards, Saffarini Africa is a firm with a vision for Africa.
Eng. Adnan Saffarini Office
International house 10th Floor
Mama Ngina Street
P. o. Box 22173 – 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Website : www.saffariniafrica.com
Tel: +254 20 2225355 / +254 20 2225551
Fax:+254 20 2224999
SaffariniAfrica .. A vision for Africa
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