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Historical background

Works Building 

Historical Background

The history of Kenya Building Research Centre (KBRC) dates back to 1957 when it was established as a Technical Reference Library to serve the Building Branch of the then Public Works Department. The center’s main focus was to host a library of manufacturer’s trade samples of building materials, catalogues and literature which formed the technical reference library. The centre continued to expand in size and scope in 1958 after the East Africa Institute of Architects proposed it to become a building research centre for the benefit of the Colony, an equivalent centre similar to centers in England and other European countries. 

The Building Centre’s mandate was then recrafted, incorporating; dissemination of information on locally available building materials; provision of reading materials to researchers and scholars; facilitation of printing of research information and production of films for easier dissemination to the public; partnering with other stakeholders in the building industry and training of new entrepreneurs joining the building industry and the general public. The Center’s value in the building sector attracted the National Treasury funding and therefore prompted the further change of the name to Kenya Building Research Centre in 1961, which would later host exhibitions, notably the famous “A Decade of Architecture,” where the public was exposed to products from over 16 (sixteen) countries that had participated.

A Guide to Library Arrangement document produced in 1969 at Kenya Building Centre