Inside UDL’s promising green housing venture for Rwanda’s ambitions to hit the net zero

By Jane Babirye
On 19 September 2023 at 02:04

According to the United Nations (UN), Africa generates 2-3% of greenhouse gas emissions yet suffers the most from the effects of climate change.

As a result, African leaders have been working hard to reduce these effects by 2030, in accordance with the Paris Accord, and to achieve net zero by 2050.

Rwanda, for example, presents a vision of becoming a developed climate-resilient, low-carbon economy by 2050 through its national policy for climate change and low-carbon development.

The strategy’s three main goals are to achieve energy security and low-carbon energy supply, sustainable land use, water resource management, and social protection, enhanced health, and disaster risk reduction, which minimizes vulnerability to climate change.

To help the government meet this goal, construction firms like Ultimate Developers Limited (UDL) have joined the fight through ’Green housing’ projects.

"Green housing," according to UDL, is an approach to building that prioritizes the reduction of harmful effects on both human health and the environment.

UDL has embarked on a bigger and better Phase II of its real estate development project, inspired by Rwanda’s Vision 2050 Urbanization and Agglomeration pillar, after successfully completing Phase I of Kigali’s high-end residences, Vision City, located in Gacuriro Cell in Kinyinya Sector, Gasabo District.

Vision City Phase II comprises 1,487 residential dwelling units with smart, green, and wellness characteristics, about three times the size of Vision City Phase I, carefully arranged into various areas to promote efficiency and ensure a methodical approach.

According to Claudette Rubangura, Head of Commercial Operations at Ultimate Developers Ltd, this concept centers around the idea of creating sustainable and eco-friendly residential properties while supporting the well-being of their occupants.

"We are actively preparing to begin the first section as a critical step toward moving the entire project forward in a timely manner.

The project phase will use an off-plan sales strategy, which means that units within the project will be offered for sale prior to completion, subject to market demand and validation," she explained.

In addition, the concept emphasizes the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels or photovoltaic systems. These sources contribute to the creation of clean and sustainable energy, hence reducing the community’s environmental footprint.

Vision City Phase II will incorporate rainwater conservation features ranging from rainwater harvesting materials to water-efficient landscaping.

Additionally, implementing energy efficiency solutions such as LED lighting, smart thermostats, and smart energy-efficient appliances will be fitted in all rooms.

According to UDL management, homes under this phase will address environmental concerns through various measures that focus on indoor lighting, indoor air quality, temperature, and humidity control, and creating a conducive sleeping environment.

Vision City Phase II home building materials are expected to be sourced from green certified, carbon-neutral certified manufacturers. Developers intend to take heed of materials that are less harmful to the environment, such as reducing energy consumption and waste.

Among others, Vision City homes are situated in a well-gazetted environment. They incorporate landscaping, low-flow plumbing, limited emissions, and are supplied with natural gas as a cleaner energy source.

Vision City Phase II homes also prioritize well-being, comfort, and environmental sustainability.

This will be achieved through energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and insulation to minimize energy consumption.

Renewable energy sources such as solar panels are utilized to power the homes, resulting in lower utility costs.

Besides, natural light and airflow are also integrated into the design to enhance the living experience.

Beyond being a green housing project, Vision City Phase II is intended to improve the overall quality of life for its residents by including retail units, a Community Center, a school, a kindergarten, a recreation center, and even a hotel.

Wellness and health have also been prioritized in the project, including fitness and wellness centers and green spaces to promote physical exercise, relaxation, and a healthy lifestyle.

The whole project phase encompasses 40.7 hectares of land, with units ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom opulent executive villas priced to match the residences’ worth and characteristics.

"Our goal is to strike a balance that ensures a fair and competitive pricing strategy that will contribute to the project’s success," Rubangura explained.

UDL is a private real estate company that is leading the way in transforming the property business in Rwanda. The company was founded in 2011 on the premise that "a single developer with grand ambitions, a clear vision, and a well-coordinated strategy can change the trajectory of an industry and the market’s belief of what is possible."

The company was founded with the goal of providing modern housing alternatives in Kigali City in the medium and long term, while also contributing to Rwanda’s Vision 2050 through the implementation of the city master plan.

UDL projects are the creation of top professionals who are committed to developing unique answers to clients’ desires for well-planned, modern residential and commercial real estate.

The project will be completed in four phases, totaling approximately 4,500 dwelling units spread across 150 hectares of land.

Its first phase (Vision City Phase I), which included 504 dwelling units ranging from 2-bedroom apartments to 5-bedroom deluxe villas, was finished in 2018 and is now sold out with a 100% occupancy rate.

Vision City Phase I comprises villas and apartments among other categories.