EMI Uganda mobilises teams of staff and volunteer design professionals to provide architecture & engineering services for approved development projects. EMI’s Technical Assistance Pre-Application is the first step of the project approval process.

The EMI Uganda design team brings together international and local staff and volunteers with a wide range of experience to tackle conceptual and detailed design solutions for our partner ministries in East Africa. The scope of EMI Uganda’s architecture & engineering services include Feasibility Studies, Land Surveying, Concept through Detailed Design, and Cost Planning.

Site assessments and Concept Design services often begin with an EMI Project Trip, where the EMI team visits the project site for 7-10 days. The team will assess & survey the property and consult with the project partner to understand the vision for the project and develop design ideas that meet the needs of the partner’s ministry.

After the Project Trip, the results of the Assessment or Concept Design are analysed and refined, then published as a report, often with graphic renderings or drawings and estimations of cost. Concept Design documents can be used for sharing vision inside and outside the ministry team to build consensus and support for the project. Concept Design is a baseline and as such can be refined further with critical alterations, or given to a local builder to guide construction. The documents can also be used to create informed planning strategies and generate project funding.

Land Surveying services are often included as part of an Assessment or Concept Design, however they can be performed as a separate service. EMI Uganda provides existing/as-built conditions and topographic surveys, stakeouts for construction, or acts as a third-party surveyor to verify construction accuracy.

Once the project has a Concept Design and sufficient funds for construction, the project partner can request additional assistance. Detailed Design plans are usually prepared for imminently planned construction, and are for use by a general contractor or EMI-managed construction crew. In addition to architectural floor plans and elevations, the documents often include structural plans and details, water and wastewater services, site grading and drainage, and plumbing and electrical drawings.

EMI Uganda mobilises teams of staff and volunteer design professionals to provide construction support services for approved development projects. EMI’s Technical Assistance Pre-Application is the first step of the project approval process.

The scope of EMI Uganda’s construction support services includes cost estimating and other pre-construction services, direct management of construction crews, and appointment and management of general contractors.

The Construction Management (CM) team combines local and international staff, serving in a variety of project management and administrative roles. Staff are based either in the EMI Uganda office in Kajjansi, or remotely located on project sites across East Africa.

Accurate cost estimating and budget management is essential to ensuring that EMI provides value for money to our project partners. The CM team supports the design process by providing conceptual cost estimates before producing a detailed budget prior to construction. Throughout the project, funds from the project partner are tracked in detail and financial reporting returned on a monthly basis.

Depending on the scope of a project and available personnel, EMI Uganda may be able to provide direct management of a construction crew on behalf of the project partner. In this approach, the EMI CM Team will recruit local tradesmen and subcontractors, overseeing all aspects of the project from payroll to workmanship.

Where a general contractor is used for a project, EMI will produce Bills of Quantity and contract documents, and manage the tender process as the Owner’s Representative. Once a contractor is selected, an EMI Clerk of Works is often mobilized to monitor quality and progress, supported by an EMI Project Manager.

Our experience in the construction industry in East Africa allows us to recommend a construction approach that best utilises EMI resources and serves the individual needs of project partners. In every project we strive to build an excellent product, but also to build into the lives of the construction workers. Not only does the CM team provide skills training and personal development, but the construction crew is also spiritually nurtured and disciple through a weekly chapel.

The scope of EMI Uganda’s Workshop services include the design and fabrication of metal and wood products in support of our construction programme. Products include windows, doors, cabinetry and furniture as well as structural components and other millwork.

The philosophy that drives the workshop is to invest first and foremost in developing local craftsmen, after which the by-products—the windows, doors, trusses, and furniture—will naturally improve. This in turn satisfies the practical needs of EMI’s project partners, and glorifies God through the holistic development of His kingdom.

With a desire for more consistent prefabricated products from EMI’s project partners, workshop facilities were established at Kajjansi Airfield in 2015, with industrial machines for carpentry, joinery and metal fabrication, along with wood-curing processes. Within this controlled environment the workshop is able to increase the quality and timeliness of EMI’s products, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced cost.

The scope of EMI Uganda’s R&D services include testing and evaluating construction materials and methods, developing component prototypes, and documenting research to assist EMI professionals and the local industry in providing best-value solutions.

The purpose of EMI Uganda’s Research and Development (R&D) department is to develop culturally appropriate, sustainable, affordable, and transformational solutions to meet design and construction needs across East Africa. This is achieved by developing information and tools for design professionals, with the primary goal being cost-effective appropriate design and construction solutions that are incremental improvements over standard existing approaches.

EMI’s R&D work is conducted and supported by EMI staff, volunteers, and interns of all disciplines. It seeks to establish collaborative partnerships with educational institutions, development organizations, and government institutions in East Africa and around the world. By involving professionals both from local and foreign contexts, R&D strives to drive innovation in ways that have a positive impact on the local design and construction industry while staying appropriate to the local context.

The results of the R&D program are captured and communicated to design professionals through written technical reports, building prototypes, and design guides that assist in conceptual and detailed design work.

R&D research topics of interest include:

  • Materials and construction methods
  • Building acoustics
  • Foundation design
  • Passive cooling of buildings
  • Natural lighting
  • Roofing systems
  • Solar power applications
  • Steel design and fabrication
  • Timber design and fabrication
  • Rainwater capture
  • Potable water collection, storage, and treatment
  • Latrine design and operation
  • Wastewater disposal options
  • Solid and hazardous waste management

*R&D’s physical facilities, when completed, will include a prototype development and testing area, workshop, assembly and testing tools, and water and soil testing and monitoring equipment.