United State International University – Africa, recently opened a state of the art Science Center in its campus located off Thika road.
The new center will house 11 modern classrooms fitted with high speed Wi-Fi and internet, 3 lecture theaters and 46 faculty and administrative offices.
It is built on 7,500 square feet and it is estimated to have cost the institution over Sh600 million since its commencement on September 2013. The center is also expected to host the USIU School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences which is expected to commence in May 2015.
The building is designed to ensure sustainability and energy efficiency to cut down on cost of running it. It features hot water solar panels on its roof which have been incorporated with the kitchen water for heating. The structure was constructed with the use of low energy glass and natural ventilation systems to reduce the amount of solar gain and help cut down on cooling cost. To further minimize saving on power, it also occupancy censors which are able to detect occupancy of a space by people and automatically turns the lights on or off.
There is the use of well designed plumbing fixtures with the help of the homepage to minimize the use of water. The state of the art center has also been designed to harvest the rain water, which will be used to irrigate the new landscaping around the building composed of indigenous tree species.
Security monitoring systems have also been installed in key areas to ensure security for the students and staff. There is also an emergency generator for power back up in case of black out.
According to USIU university vice chancellor, Freida Brown, the construction of the center is in line with the institution’s commitment to invest in offering of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics programs to improve Kenya competitiveness in technology development. They will also use some of the money to shop crane scales and other STEM equipment.
USIU-Africa was established as a university in 1970, and received accreditation in 1999 from the Commission for Higher Education in Kenya. The university has three schools that offer various undergraduate and graduate degree programs:The School of Humanities & Social Sciences, The Chandaria School of Business, and The School of Science & Technology.
The university is also planning to build a Coffee Shop to be located at the Students Centre, at approximately KES 4.5 million. The money will be contributed by the USIU community of staff and students through a 45 day campaign inside the institution.
In February, the institution opened an Event Related Potential (ERP) Laboratory to support its Psychology programs. The lab is aimed at making Psychology courses more practical through research and its the second of its kind in Kenya after one owned by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kilifi.