New School of Humanities and Social Sciences building

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Overview
The building is located within the academic zone in line with the USIU-Africa master plan. The location is adjacent to the Science Centre and sports fields, and is easily accessed from Gate B.

The new School of Humanities and Social Sciences building will go a long way in enhancing humanities education programs, as well as serving as a research and response lab. It provides classroom space, laboratory teaching and research facilities, office areas, meeting rooms and auditorium lecture rooms.

The building design facilitates social learning by creating spaces where students can easily connect and collaborate.
The new complex will double the existing classroom capacity as it will accommodate 1,500 students at a time.

KEY FEATURES
This is a 6 floor building including a basement, and covers a plinth area of 13,500 square meters.
The key features of this magnificent state of the art building are:

  • 25 Classrooms
  • 64 Faculty Offices
  • 1 Psychology Lab
  • 1 Language Lab
  • 1 Forensic Lab
  • 1 ICT Lab
  • 2 Auditorium/Moot Courts with a seating capacity of 340 people
  • 1 Crime Scene Simulation House (3 bedroom self-contained)
  • 18 Breakaway Student Pods to enhance interactive learning.
  • Atrium on the ground floor with garden seating capacity for 40 people. The seating areas are interconnected with cobble stone footpaths.
  • Polycarbonate covered roof to allow natural lighting to the Atrium.
  • Roof top with conference/meeting rooms, open terrace and lounge complete with kitchen
  • Food Court with 3 Kitchens with a sitting capacity of 160 people
  • Parking space for 206 Vehicles

Sustainable and Environmental Friendly Building Materials
During the construction of the substructure, a balanced cut and fill exercise was incorporated, so that minimal amounts of material were transported off the site. The building levels were therefore set to allow for a certain amount of cutting which was then turned to fill both at the end of the building and around the site.

Priority was always given to resources which were either available or manufactured locally. Concrete is the predominant material for the superstructure, with either locally available stone or concrete blocks for both external and internal walling. High quality solar control low energy windows were sourced locally, and where possible a renewable or recyclable materials that require minimum energy in the manufacturing and production process were used. Materials used are all non-hazardous to human health and were selected to limit transportation which in itself is a source of pollution, and this also supported the local economy

The long building elevations are oriented to face north and south, which minimizes the amount of solar gain into the offices, classrooms and laboratory areas.

External Finishes
The building is finished with 1.5 mm Marmaron mosaic finish and glazed top coat render on concrete to give a maintenance free external surface.

Internal Finishes
Floors to all classrooms, break out meeting rooms, conference pods, faculty offices, walkways and washrooms are finished with high quality granite and ceramic tiles for ease of cleaning and maintenance.

Main entrance lobby, connecting bridges, circulating stairways, are finished with high quality granite tiles for durability, ease of cleaning and maintenance.

Other internal finishes are balustrading made of glazed toughened glass and stainless steel railing, and suspended acoustic ceiling panels.

Landscaping
The whole area of the site was a hockey pitch with some indigenous trees between the existing buildings and the new development. As part of green energy irrigation, the landscaping will be done with water collected from the rainwater collection pond located near the science building.

Electrical Services
Low energy LED fittings have been incorporated into the building, and a provision for installation of photovoltaic solar system has been set up on the roof.

Occupancy sensors are also provided in the corridors, washrooms and classrooms.

Emergency and back power 630 KVA generator is provided to ensure continuous learning and for the safety of the building occupants in case of main electrical failure.

Three (3) 40 KVA Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units and a 400 KVA Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) is installed to ensure reliable clean power to server room, classrooms, breakup areas, lifts and other critical areas.

The whole building is covered with reliable internet and WIFI services for continuous learning in all spaces within the building.

Audio visual installations are available in classrooms, auditorium and board room while a video conferencing facility is installed in the board room.

Digital signage is also installed in the main entrance and on all floors for campus communication and education notices.

Mechanical Services
Water
Water supply is from both the Nairobi City County mains and the boreholes already on site. Efficient plumbing fixtures and flush valves for all washrooms are installed in order to manage water usage.

Water is stored in a 96 cubic metre tank at the basement and in two 64 and 48 cubic metre tanks on the roof.

Rainwater is harvested from the roof and is collected in a large pond the site next to science center and is in turn recycled for irrigation.

Hot water is only required in small quantities in the building, as only cold water is provided in the washrooms. Where hot water is required in the kitchens, solar water heating panels have been provided on the roof together with an electrical geyser override system.

Fire Protection
For safety of occupants, the building is installed with fire alarm and detection system hose reels and portable fire extinguishers.

Fire hydrant ring main is installed around the building and is connected to the diesel and electric standby fire pumps.

Fire suppression system is also installed in the switch room and server room. The building has adequate fire escape routes and safety signs are strategically located in the building.

Mechanical Ventilation and Air-conditioning.
Areas where heat gains are excessive due to usage such as server room, UPS room and boardroom air conditioning is installed.
Other areas like washrooms, kitchenettes and meeting rooms are installed with foul air extraction units.

Sewer Line
A new sewer line was constructed along Mirema Lane through Gate B to the manhole at the junction of Mirema Drive and Lumumba Drive to serve the building. The newly installed sewer line will ease any future sewerage connection to university developments.

Security
CCTV security monitoring systems are installed in the building together with biometric access control to server room, classrooms and critical spaces.

Accessibility
Four (4) high speed lifts are provided in the entrance lobby to facilitate movement between the various floors. Uninterrupted Power Supply and a Voltage Regulator are connected to the lifts to ensure safety during emergency and power failures.

Ramps are provided at the main entrance and all entry points throughout the building to allow access for People with Disability as well as for equipment trolleys.

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