Localtalks is a series of quarterly after-work events that bring together people who are interested in, and passionate about, green design, architecture and construction in East Africa. The aim of these sessions, and the podcast, is to create an open forum for the exchange of ideas, honest debate and knowledge sharing. For more information, subscribe to our newsletter.
If you are interested in contributing to Localtalks, as a speaker or volunteer, please email email@example.com. Let us know about your area of expertise and we will get in touch with you.
Localtalks 04.23 | Tropical Thermal Comfort: Double Facades, Solar Chimneys, Cooling – and More
This webinar event will focus on various green strategies that have been used to optimise indoor thermal comfort in tropical regions. The platform will host two speakers - Matilde Tellier, a façade engineer at Arup, Johannesburg and Lakshmishree Venugopal, a project engineer at Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Stuttgart. We will also screen an inspiring talk by Zimbabwean architect Mick Pearce about nature-inspired buildings, held at the Sustainable Built Environment 2022 conference in South Africa.Read more
Localtalks 03.23 – Counting Carbon: Quantifying Sustainable Construction
This session focused on quantifying carbon emissions in the construction industry. Two speakers with extensive experience in this field were hosted: Joe Jack Williams, a partner and researcher at FCBStudios in London and Tom Joseph Mukasa, a chartered quantity surveyor and PHD fellow at Makerere University in Kampala.Read more
Localtalks 02.23 – Green and Affordable: Sustainable Buildings for Everyone
This session focused on the issue of sustainable and low-cost housing solutions for East Africa and beyond. Three professionals shared case studies that illustrate innovative efforts toward addressing the topic.
To begin with, Nick Mwai, director and co-founder of Living Walls Africa, spoke on sustainable raw materials used for low-cost housing schemes in Kenya. This was followed by, Jakob Knudsen, Principal of Ingvartsen Architects and the Dean of Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy, who shared his experience working on the Magoda Project and New Stars Homes project. These projects explore ways to enhance the health of people in rural Tanzania.Read more
Localtalks 01.23 – Breathing walls: Creating Healthy Indoor Environments
This event was about vapour-open wall buildups and products in the context of Uganda and beyond. The two part discussion was led by different speakers. The first speaker, Philip Murungi, is an engineer at Localworks with a material background. He spoke about various vapour-open wall buildups that Localworks has gained experience with over time i.e. earth, lime, wood, with quite a focus on lime plaster. The second speaker was Bernhard Lembeck from ProNature South Africa. He focused on sustainable coating systems avaialble within the paint industry.Read more
Localtalks 04.22 – Designing for Refugees: Changing Narratives, Creating Opportunities
The final Localtalks event of 2022 was based on the topic of designing for refugees. It provided an opportunity to think critically about design responses to spaces for refugee communities in Uganda and beyond. Three presentations by Patrick Muvunga, Xavier De Kestelier and Evan Easton-Calabria occupied the first half of the session.Read more
Localtalks 03.22 – Green Water Solutions: Appropriate Technologies for Rainwater and Wastewater
Localtalks 03.22 was a webinar about alternative rainwater and wastewater technologies in Uganda. The two part discussion was led by different speakers. To begin with, Allan Semakula, Head of Building Services at Localworks, gave a presentation focused on biodigesters – an eco-friendly wastewater and sewerage management system. He explained the workings of the system alongside practical built examples from different Localworks’ projects. Various failures and successes observed with biodigesters were also shared.Read more
Localtalks 02.22 – Collaborative Construction: Building Better Together
This event was hosted in collaboration with Artachat, 32° East’s public discussion series; it was held as a webinar live from 32° East’s construction site in Kabalagala on Wednesday 15th June, 2022. The session started with an interactive site tour in which attendees explored the construction site and raised various questions about the project. This was followed with three presentations by Teesa Bahana, James Hampton and Felix Holland who represented three entities involved in the development of 32° East. These are: 32° East – the client, Newmakers Bureau – the designers and, Localworks – the builders.Read more
Localtalks 01.22 – Indigenous Landscapes: Preserving Nature Amidst Human Needs
The session focused on the theme of Indigenous Landscapes. The webinar event hosted three speakers with extensive experience working with landscapes and natural contexts across East Africa.
The first speaker, Joannes Bosco Samikwo is the director of Multiplant International Medicinal Conservation-Seed Bank in Kenya. He discussed the way in which natural systems and species in Uganda are facing unprecedented pressure from industrial development and human populations. He addressed the urgent need for well-planned conservation action through indigenous landscape, especially with rare and endangered tree species, to ensure that none of Uganda’s tree species becomes extinct.Read more
Localtalks 04.21 – Building with Bamboo: Robust, Resilient, Regenerative
Localtalks 04.21 was titled ‘Building with Bamboo’. The platform hosted three speakers with extensive and varied experiences working with bamboo in different contexts.
Stefan Pollak, founding member of AK0-Architettura a kilometro zero ETS, presented different available species and sizes of bamboos and various ways of employing the material. Recent projects were used to illustrate how lightweight structural behaviour of structures such as domes and gridshells can enhance the building process by providing inputs through direct interaction between involved people and the material.Read more
Localtalks 03.21 – A Future for the Past: Restore, Redevelop, Reuse
This event was based on the topic of preserving architectural heritage in East Africa. The event discussion was preceded and guided by three presentations.
The first presentation explored specific examples of architectural heritage in Uganda. It was led by Timothy Latim, an independent photographer and designer who has experience documenting Ugandan heritage buildings. He shared his observations and findings about three buildings in Kampala: Bank of Uganda, UDET House and the Freidrich Ebert Stiftung Buidling.Read more
Localtalks 02.21 – E-Mobility Made in Uganda: Distant Dream or Close Reality?
Localtalks 02.21 focused on e-mobility, a technology that provides eco-friendly, low-emission, quiet and efficient modes of transport. The session speakers represented two Ugandan companies that are spearheading local e-mobility innovations across the country: Bodawerk International Ltd and Kiira Motors Corporation.Read more
Localtalks 01.21 – Tropical Roofs: Sunshade, Rain Collector, Power Plant – and More
Our first event of the year, Localtalks 01.21, was held on Wednesday 17th March, 2021. In the session, Antoni Folkers, one of the founders and director of FBW Architects, with 25 years building and research experience in Africa, presented a series of built projects in which the tropical roof played a crucial role. We also hosted Daniel Propst, Research and Development Manager at EMI Uganda, who discussed the findings of an extensive research project into the thermal properties of metal roofs, the most widely used roofing material in Sub-Saharan Africa.Read more
Localtalks 03.20 – Building With Straw: A Suitable Construction Material for East Africa?
Our third session, held on 16th December, was dedicated to two speakers, Andy Horn and Eckardt Dauck, who introduced us to two very different ways of building with straw. Andy Horn who is a South African Architect and Principal of Eco Design Architects with over 24 years of experience demystified the notion of building with straw bales. He also showcased previously completed projects, shared his experiences and findings as well as the various experimentations his firm has done with the material.Read more
Localtalks 02.20 – Planning a Green Future: The Physical Development Plans for Kampala and Uganda
On 16th September, 2020, Prof. Yigal Tzamir, one of the main authors of the Kampala Physical Development Plan as well as the National Physical Development Plan for Uganda introduced the plans and also talked about progress made so far in their implementation. A panel of experts that included Dr. Richard Irumba (KCCA) and Mr. Silas Anguzu (Urban Planner) led an open discussion about the plans and their future.Read more
Localtalks 01.20 – Building with Earthbags: A Webinar Hosted from Mustardseed Junior School
Our first event, themed 'Building with Earthbags', was held as a webinar on Wednesday 17th June, 2020. The event was presented from Mustardseed Junior School in Sentema. This kindergarten and primary school, designed and built by Localworks, is currently under construction using the earthbag technology as well as a series of other inventive eco-friendly materials and appropriate technologies.Read more