The Sabis International School is located in Runda, Kenya. It was designed by Boogertman + partners and the WEB Limited as the sustainability consultants. Providing an exceptional educational experience for students from kindergarten to Grade 12, this institution thrives in a dynamic and diverse community dedicated to fostering academic brilliance. The cutting-edge campus construction provides ample space for students to explore, develop, and unleash their potential. Commenced in June 2016 and finalised by June 2018, the facilities encompass an independent kindergarten section, upper and lower school buildings, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, a pool, a football pitch, tennis courts, a mini car track, and an auditorium.
Spatial Organization of Sabis International School, Runda
The Professional team
Owner: Africa Crest Education Holdings
Concept Design Architects: ARCHIKA Kamal Homsi Architects SAL
Executive Architects: Boogertman + Partners
Sustainable Building Consultant: WEB Limited / Solid Green Consulting
Quantity Surveyors: Cost Plan Quantity Surveyors
Structural Engineer: Gath Consulting Engineers
Electrical Engineer: Maiteri & Associates
Fire Engineer & Mechanical Engineer: Maiteri & Associates
Landscape Architect: Greenersol Landscape Limited
Wet Services: Maiteri & Associates
Main Contractor: Seyani Brothers & Co. (K) LTD
Development & Project Manager: Athena Properties Limited
Adapted from (e-Architect;, 2020)
The landscape design strategy setup within the school was targeted to play a crucial role in creating an engaging and conducive learning environment for students, promoting their well-being, and enhancing the overall educational experience. It incorporates elements such as outdoor classrooms, gardens, or natural play areas that stimulate curiosity, creativity, and hands-on learning. These spaces allow for different teaching methods and could be used for science experiments, art activities, or group discussions, fostering a more interactive and engaging learning environment.
Not only would the well-designed landscapes significantly enhance the visual appeal of a school, but also it would create a positive first impression, making the school more inviting and inspiring for students, parents, and staff. Exposure to nature and greenery has also been shown to reduce stress levels, increase focus, and enhance overall mental well-being among students and staff. The thoughtfully designed outdoor spaces were intended to facilitate social interaction and collaboration among students. The landscape design at the school ensures safety and security among the users by providing well-planned layouts, proper lighting, clear signage, and strategic placement of trees and shrubs can enhance visibility, and deter unwanted activities. The landscaping within Sabis International school, Runda, serves as an educational tool to teach students about environmental conservation and sustainability, environmental responsibility, resource conservation, and ecological processes (Green Economy Media;, 2020).
Cyclist’s Circulation Route
The outdoor spaces are ingeniously utilized in the landscape design to expand the classroom experience seamlessly. Through the incorporation of botanical gardens and interactive installations, experiential learning is actively fostered. These captivating learning areas, inspired by nature, create a vibrant and engaging setting for practical education. Sabis International school’s architectural blueprint focuses on creating environments that foster relaxation, mindfulness, and social engagement. Through the integration of sustainable design principles, including the utilization of natural ventilation and strategic shading techniques, the school guarantees a pleasant and wholesome atmosphere for students and faculty, promoting their well-being (Solid Green Consulting CC;, 2020).
Soft Landscape in Sabis International School,Runda
The facility has implemented electricity and water sub-metering systems, along with an efficient monitoring and management mechanism, to track and regulate consumption effectively. All paints, adhesives, sealants, and floor coverings employed have been carefully selected to minimise the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ensuring that 100% of these products meet the criteria for low VOC emissions. By implementing rainwater harvesting techniques, the consumption of potable water for landscape irrigation has been significantly reduced, achieving a minimum reduction of 90%. To approach a net zero water goal and enhance project resilience, a comprehensive system for treating both greywater and blackwater has been installed, maximising water sustainability for the project (Green Economy Media;, 2020).
Facilities dedicated to school bus transportation and cyclists have been established. The classrooms and offices have been designed to maximise the use of natural lighting, creating a well-lit environment. Additionally, Sabis International School utilises 100% LED lighting, ensuring energy efficiency. To ensure user comfort and usability, the school is implementing an occupancy survey plan. (Solid Green Consulting CC;, 2020).
Bus Pick-Up and Drop-Off Point
Urban & Climatic Context
The site selection took into consideration the increasing demand for a new school in an area that has experienced rapid urbanisation over the past decade. Situated near the Equator and characterised by a moderate climate, the location naturally lends itself to passive design strategies. The soil composition is conducive to plant growth and supports biodiversity, while the region benefits from plentiful rainfall, making it ideal for rainwater harvesting. The SABIS Network has successfully established schools across various regions in the Middle East and South America. During the development of each school, the concept design was carefully adapted, taking into account the local context, climate, and the specific expectations of the community. For instance, ensuring the safety and security of students and staff was given top priority, resulting in the incorporation of a boundary wall and physical barriers between the buildings (Capital Digital Media, 2020).
Anthony Opil, project architect at Boogertman + Partners, emphasizes the utmost importance of on-site safety. Recognizing the challenge posed by the steep slope of the site, the buildings were thoughtfully positioned in a staggered manner and connected through gently sloping, landscaped ramps. This design strategy leverages the terrain to ensure easy accessibility between buildings, accommodating individuals with limited mobility. Furthermore, the incorporation of courtyards tailored to specific age groups, including dedicated play areas for lower school and high school students, reflects a customised approach that aligns with local expectations (Green Economy Media;, 2020).
The school is situated between two roads, one to the north and another to the south. The northern road poses a challenge as it is a busy highway. To ensure convenient access to the school, SABIS allocated a budget for infrastructure development that connects the campus to the southern road, which is located at a lower elevation and farther away. To mitigate the impact of traffic and highway noise, the original design was mirrored. Furthermore, cyclist facilities and school bus amenities were implemented to accommodate alternative modes of transportation and enhance overall transportation efficiency (Capital Digital Media, 2020).
Location of Sabis International School, Runda on Google Maps
The issue of construction waste is currently a significant topic of discussion in Kenya, and this particular project has emerged as a valuable case study for the National Construction Authority, serving as an example for other contractors to follow. According to Elizabeth Chege, the clarity of the tender and preliminary documentation played a crucial role in informing the contractor about the required standards right from the beginning. As a result, the contractor engaged a local waste consultant to oversee the recycling and reuse of waste materials. Remarkably, 96% of the construction waste was meticulously tracked, weighed, and successfully diverted from landfills (Capital Digital Media, 2020).
Sabis International School, Runda during the Construction Period
Arch. Patrick Mugo, D. M., Olawo, A. G., Opil, A. A. & Mokua, Q. E., 2023. “DESIGNING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE A CASE STUDY OF SABIS SCHOOL – RUNDA KENYA. Nairobi, BORAQS.
Archika;, 2022. Archika Portfolios. [Online]
Available at: https://archika.com/portfolios/sabis-international-school-runda/
Capital Digital Media, 2020. Sabis Runda Achieves The Green Star Africa- Kenya PEB Rating. [Online]
Available at: https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/2020/10/sabis-runda-achieves-the-green-star-africa-kenya-peb-rating/
e-Architect;, 2020. SABIS International School Runda, Nairobi, Kenya. [Online]
Available at: https://www.e-architect.com/africa/sabis-international-school-runda-nairobi-kenya#:~:text=Concept%20design%20architects%20on%20the,Boogertman%20%2B%20Partners%20as%20executive%20architects.
Green Economy Media;, 2020. AFRICA REGIONAL PRECEDENT: A WORLD GREEN BUILDING CASE STUDY The new SABIS® International School – Runda in Nairobi is the first Green Star certified school in Kenya. [Online]
Available at: https://issuu.com/alive2green/docs/0.8_20impact_20full_20mag_2028_20oct/s/11230759
Solid Green Consulting CC;, 2020. Green Star Africa, Kenya, Nairobi, peb, Sabis School Urban Environment. [Online]
Available at: https://www.solidgreen.co.za/sabis-international-school-runda-nairobi-sets-a-regional-precedent/
[Accessed 21 June 2023].