Demand for serviced apartments in Nairobi has risen tremendously in the last few years. For instance, according to a recent market study, the serviced apartments sector has been outperforming hotels.
Occupancy averages as high as 90 percent while hotels are approximately 60 percent. Consequently, developers are therefore taking a greater interest in the sector. For example, Britam which is one of the largest insurance companies in the region has entered the fray.
The company through its subsidiary Britam Properties Limited, who are also the Development and Project Managers, is developing 162 high end apartments on its parcel of land along Nyangumi Road in the exclusive Kilimani suburb of Nairobi.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony recently, Britam Holdings Group Managing Director Dr. Benson Wairegi said the investment into luxury serviced apartments was part of the company’s strategy to diversify its offering in the property market.
“The Kenyan property market is growing fast and it will need at least 1000 serviced apartments in the next three years and Britam Properties will definitely help in bridging this gap,” he said.
In this regard, Britam targets foreign consultants working in Kenya, expatriate staff of multinational companies operating in Kenya and the region, diplomatic staff, business travellers and diaspora residents on vacation.
Consequently, the company has picked Triad Architects to lead the project team. According to Arch. Charles Ndungu the Director in charge of the project at Triad, the client’s brief communicated by Mr Benson Kamau the General Manager of Britam Properties, was to design serviced apartments that met international standards in quality and design.
As a result, the development would among others offer a 5 star experience to occupants in the most cost-effective way; optimize the development rights and the infrastructure available, be a green and eco-friendly property meeting basic green requirement and lastly be the most sought-after serviced apartments in the market offering convenience, luxury and a high quality of life.
Other key requirements contained in the client’s brief included:
- Prestigious and unique design with a creative contemporary layout, façade and form.
- Functionality and low life time costs/ease of maintenance i.e. the building should allow flexible internal planning, maximize use of internal spaces and allow easy manoeuvrability of vehicles/people within the development. Easy access to ducts and service areas and economical to maintain with long lasting finishes.
- Orientation and environmental consideration i.e. maximize use of natural light during the day, orientation that ensures a comfortable working and living environment throughout the year or mechanisms that prevent solar heat gains and solar glare.
- Optimal building efficiency i.e. high usable/ occupiable areas vis-à-vis gross built area — at the very least space efficiencies of close to 90% are expected.
- A proper blend of the development with the environment and the surroundings. Importantly, the developer intends to retain most of the mature trees on site and as such the scheme should mesh well with the environment.
- Provision of facilities for disabled people.
- Controlled access to ensure 24 hrs security, electric fence, CCTV cameras, security
Furthermore, the development would also be designed to meet international standards in all aspects including security of residents. To this end, Britam went out of its way to hire international security consultants to advise on security features due to the intended composition of occupants – international clientele.
Project Extent and Features
So, the entire development consists of 47 No. one bedroom apartments each measuring 60 square meters and 117 No. two bedroom apartments measuring 93 square meters each. Some of these apartments have interconnecting doors allowing them to be used as three bedroom units.
Moreover, the one bedroom unit measures 60 square meters. The unit has a lounge that is adjacent to an open plan kitchen. The unit has a modern design theme with a generous bedroom and bathroom that includes separate toilet and shower cubicles. The two bedroom unit measures 63 square meters. The unit has 2 bathrooms. Additionally, It also has a lounge that is larger than the one in the smaller one bedroom unit. The lounge is adjacent to an open plan kitchen.
Both the one bedroom and two bedroom units have tastefully designed finishes that are classy in feel yet simple in design. These include excellent kitchen and bedroom fittings. The development is friendly for use by physically challenged persons with a number of the apartments’ purpose built for their use.
Support facilities include a residents’ restaurant with supporting kitchen facilities, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a roof top bar, residents’ laundry, entrance reception and lounge, parking facilities and large landscaped gardens. Also included are management offices, a staff dining and staff bathrooms with shower facilities.
Unique architectural features
The development is designed with three wings forming a “Y” shape on plan. The “Y” is a unique design option and a definite landmark for Nyangumi Road and its environs. Its form is derived from the desire to avoid the direct overlooking of the apartments into each other within the development as well as similar cases from potential neighbouring developments.
Its unique features are the dramatic form which accords the development three vistas and distinctive breakout spaces; one to be used as a dining and beverage breakout space, the second as a meeting breakout space while the third is a quiet private garden.
Other key unique features are the terraced building tops, the dramatic arrival experience accentuated by the common lobby atria that accommodates bridged lift lobbies connecting the three blocks. Moreover, the façades are designed with a cheerful character that is achieved through interplay of cladded wall panels and windows.
Green features in the development include rain water harvesting tanks, energy efficient light fittings and faucets. Others include a cost efficient energy friendly expanded polystyrene slabs (EPS) slabs. Solar water heating is provided for use in the kitchen and back of house facilities.
Facilities provided include standby generators, power stabilizer, water reservoir tanks, rain water harvesting tanks and world class security installations. Moreover the development has solar water heating, borehole facility with a treatment plant and wireless connectivity.
Access to the development
People can easily access the development from various parts of Nairobi.
Lenana and Denis Pritt Roads provide easy and quick access to Nairobi CBD. In addition, they offer access to State House Road and onto to Waiyaki Way. Lenana Road provides easy access to Hurligham and Upper Hill areas.
Through Lenana Road, one can easily access Mombasa Road through Valley Road or alternatively Mbagathi Way.
From Lavington and Kileleshwa the development is accessible through Kilimani Ring Road, Denis Pritt Road and onto Nyangumi Road. From Ngong Road the development is accessible through Kilimani Ring Road, Lenana Road and Nyangumi Road.
The site is less than 5 Kilometers from Nairobi CBD.
After extensive review of the submitted construction tenders, Sentrim was selected as the winning bidder in March of 2017 and the project proceeded to construction on 18th April, 2017 with a construction period of 92 weeks. Ultimately, the project is slated for completion in 22nd January 2019.
Development & Project Managers: Britam Properties Ltd.
Architects: Triad Architects Ltd.
Quantity Surveyors:Barker and Barton (Kenya
Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: Gill Consult
Civil/Structural Engineers: Metrix Integrated Consultants
Interior Design Consultant: Kristina
Security Consultant: Control Risks East Africa Limited
Interior Designers: Kristina Zanic in association with Tectura International
Main Contractor: Sentrim Contracts Ltd.
Electrical Sub-contractor: Sawarn Singh & Sons Ltd.
Plumbing Sub-contractor: Yogi Plumbers Ltd.
HVAC Sub-Contractor: HVAC Distributors Ltd.
Lift Sub-contractor: Kone Kenya Ltd.
Generator Sub-Contractor: Car & General (K) Ltd.
Structured cabling Sub-contractor: Next Technologies Ltd.
Security Systems Sub-Contractor: AUA Industria Ltd.
Fire Detection Sub-Contractor: Intelligent Building Management Solutions Ltd.
Swimming Pool Sub-Contractor: Davis and Shirtliff