Construction of "Nakumatt Downtown" Building to Proceed

By HSE East Africa | Friday Sep 1, 2017

Construction of a building in the city centre that was condemned in November last year is set to resume after approval by the National Construction Authority (NCA).

The proposed development comprises of a 17 floors commercial property with a plinth area of 855m² consisting of eight suspended reinforced concrete slabs, over three basements, two mezzanine floors and three typical floors located at the junction of Kimathi Street and Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi CBD. The site previously hosted the former Nakumatt Downtown Supermarket which was destroyed by a fire that saw 29 people lose their lives in January, 2009.

The building's construction was stopped in November 2016 after an audit revealed non-compliance to building regulations. Some of the issues raised include lack of a quality control plan to ensure that the building was being constructed in accordance with design standards, poor quality concrete works, and failure to include a fire exit or a staircase to access the basement. As a result the deflecting beams and poor quality of construction materials, including sand and ballast used would not have been able to support the 17 floors planned. 

According to the National Buildings Inspectorate, the new approval comes with requirements for the developer to engage a new consultant. Part of the building will be demolished to allow for strengthening of columns and slabs with the ramp to the basement to be reconstructed to allow for accessibility and air circulation in the basement floors.

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