Towards Adaptive Standards for Multi-Purpose Interior Design in Low-Cost Housing Projects in Kenya

  • Samuel Mwituria Maina University of Nairobi
Keywords: Adaptive standards, Furniture layout, Low-cost housing, Multi-purpose


The Kibera Soweto East Housing Project was developed under the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP) whose main objective was to improve the housing conditions of the residents of Kibera through the construction of 822 low-cost formal houses. However, phase one did not take into consideration the adaptive standards for multi-purpose room occupancy as prescribed under the KS Building Code (2009 Edition), thus negatively impacting the recommended habitability standards of KENSUP. This study, therefore, sought to establish the adaptive standards for multi-purpose interior design in Kenya as well as assess the extent to which the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme has applied them. The research design was the case study model where the research employed the collection and analysis of qualitative data obtained through examination of documents, interviews, and observations. The study was carried out at Kibera Soweto East Housing Project, Kenya. When spaces created for low-cost housing are not up to standard as prescribed under the code, the quality of life of the residents living in these particular houses is negatively affected. The preliminary output of the research was the emergence of three necessary strategies for the improvement of future slum upgrading housing programmes, which include employment of the open-plan concept by combining the living room and kitchen into one big space, elimination of corridors to create more space for other rooms and installation of sliding doors instead of hinged doors.