Our Project Story

Laikapia Air Base.

Defence Infrastructure Organisation | QP Architects

Defence
Jerry Barnes, Partner at Hoare Lea

Lead Partner:
Jerry Barnes

Unique conditions, elevated solutions.

Laikapia Air Base is a collaborative effort: built to UK standards while utilising Kenyan technologies and workforce. This development aims to provide a new military airbase for the UK and Kenyan air forces. Our MEP designers are working on a number of key buildings, including a combined medical and dental centre, headquarters, warehouse storage facilities, and combined mess, gymnasium, and sports hall.

A remote base.

The base is located to the north east of the Great Rift Valley with high plains and an elevation of 2,000 metres above sea level. These unique conditions create difficult constraints for building designs.

We worked closely with the structural engineer and architect to ensure that the building’s foundations were sufficient for the challenging geology of the environment and would be compliant with UK standards. Added to this was the challenge of meeting the UK energy-efficiency requirements using technologies and equipment available in Kenya.

Informed wingman.

To meet the fast turnaround required by the client on design, our dedicated team worked closely with the architect, streamlining processes where possible and applying lessons learnt from the first building to all subsequent buildings.

Our rich industry knowledge allowed us to guide the main contractor on the important nuances within each building type. Throughout the project, we challenged the brief to ensure the development met the tough required standards, advocating the use of Revit for the MEP design despite our contract only specifying 2D. This decision ensured a far higher level of co-ordination between all the engineering disciplines and enabled the architect to produce accurate elevations with the minimum of effort, saving both time and cost on the project.

Key Figures
2,000m above sea level
8km West-northwest of Nanyuki, Kenya