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Green Heart of Kenya – Arup

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Make the most of the existing landscape

Water management for Green Heart of Kenya was identified as a major challenge early on, especially as the site’s water supply is unreliable. Rather than using an expensive seawater system – which would create problems for the project budget – our team found the solution to use rainwater harvesting and treated effluent from the treatment plant to meet the site irrigation water requirements.

Retention ponds have been proposed to mitigate and store both stormwater and treated wastewater, creating a healthy ecosystem that takes a nature-based approach to managing flood risk. We also recommended the use of local plants and crops acclimatized to the region, as they consume less water compared to imported vegetation.

Like its water supply, the location’s power grid is equally unreliable. In response to this, we planned to produce solar energy on site. This will not only reduce carbon emissions, but also give residents and businesses access to a secure source of renewable energy they can rely on.

Moreover, energy, water and agriculture systems operate in combination rather than in isolation. For example, we used an agrivoltaic approach, which allowed us to use the same land for solar power generation and agriculture. In addition to saving space, solar panels also serve to shield plants from local sunlight, helping them grow more efficiently by reducing drought stress and regulating temperatures. As a result, future residents will be able to thrive and enjoy reliable urban power levels in a beautiful rural location.