Makerere don warns of Kampala's glass buildings

Glass curtain walls and facades are seen as signs of modernity and progress, but they are inappropriate for our tropical climate.
20 Dec 2014 17:10

Audio 2

There is a strong trend in Kampala and some of the municipalities these days towards designing building with glass curtain walls but Dr Allan Birabi, a Senior Architecture Lecturer at Makerere University says such buildings are inappropriate for our climate. 

Birabi says buildings with glass curtain walls would not be appropriate for a country that is perennially short of power to air-conditioning.

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Birabi, who is also a UNESCO expert on says in absence of electricity most the glass buildings in Kampala have to run on generators which burn huge quantities of fossil fuel exacerbating climate change.

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A recent United Nations Environment Program report titled “Buildings and Climate Change” said buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of global energy used  and contribute up to 30% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions.

It warned  that given the massive growth in new construction in economies in transition, and the inefficiencies of existing building stock worldwide, if nothing is done, greenhouse gas emissions from buildings will more than double in the next 20 years.