News that took construction industry by storm in 2016

Construction news
2016 was a year of major announcements. PHOTO/COURTESY
The year 2016 was a busy period for Kenya’s construction industry stakeholders, with many investors rushing to complete their projects ahead of the 2017 election campaigns.

It was also a year of major announcements that took the industry by storm, a development that can be attested to by the high traffic on various stories that we published in 2016.

Here are our ten most read stories of the past year.

10. Kenya bans usage of twisted steel bars over safety concerns
What happened? The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) in November announced that beginning April 1, 2017, builders will only be allowed to use ribbed steel bars for reinforcement of concrete – in a move aimed to boost construction safety.

9. KCB unveils big plans for Kenya affordable housing
What happened? KCB Group in August officially unveiled a property centre – at Kencom House in Nairobi as it seeks to diversify its product and service offering in a bid to boost its revenue. The facility offers a platform in which developers can showcase their property to potential buyers and tenants.

8. Nairobi developer signs deal to build Africa’s tallest hotel
What happened? A Nairobi property developer on October 3 signed a franchise deal with Hilton Worldwide to build a 43-floor hotel on Upper Hill Road in Nairobi, which will be Hilton’s third outlet in Kenya.

7. Do you earn Sh25,000/month? You now qualify for a mortgage
What happened? Low cost housing developer Koto in July announced that it had partnered with Bamburi Cement and Commercial Bank of Africa to deliver affordable houses for Kenya’s low income earners.

6. Dubai firm to build Kenya’s tallest tower
What happened? Dubai-based developer Abcon International LLC announced plans to build a Sh5.5 billion skyscraper in Nairobi, which is tipped to exceed the height of UAP Tower – currently the tallest building in Kenya.

5. Ngong Road dualling project finally gets underway
What happened? President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 25 officially launched construction works on Ngong Road, pushing forward a project that seeks to upgrade the notoriously congested road to a dual carriageway.

4. Nairobi skyline to change forever as skyscrapers soar
What happened? Earlier in the year, we reported how a series of landmark buildings and multi-billion-shilling towers were taking shape across Nairobi as investors rushed to meet the enormous demand for high-end offices in the Kenyan capital city.

3. Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway nears completion
What happened? The State House recently announced that construction of the Sh327 billion Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway was nearing its culmination, with 98 per cent of works having been completed.

2. Prefabricated housing takes Kenya by storm
What happened? In September we reported how prefabricated homes were gaining acceptance in Kenya as builders embraced technology in a bid to dodge the rising construction costs.

1. Two Rivers Mall set to open on Valentine’s Day 2017
What happened? After missing self-imposed opening date thrice, Two Rivers Mall owners recently announced that the facility would be opened on Valentine’s Day 2017.