The President USA
Our beloved fraternity, thank you for continuously working to foster growth in the built environment both in academia and practice. Together are fortunate to be at the forefront of transforming our built environment for the betterment of our communities.
The Uganda Society of Architects (USA) elected a new council on 3rd December 2021 that ushered in a new era of dynamic leaders as the 21st Council, being led by the President, Arch. Dr. Emmanuel Ssinabulya who is also Managing Director of Studione Design Group Ltd ( a firm that specializes in landscape design, architecture, engineering and project management).
The president shares his goals for the 21st Council of the USA, some of which include the critical role that architects have to play in helping society create a healthy and prosperous world which promotes access to affordable built environment services with a leaning towards sustainable living and development. Architects have to comply with building codes, so an essential part of pushing the industry toward energy efficiency and sustainability will be changing those codes into a more acceptable localized and practical measures of decent living.
While the last two years were heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to the opportunities that this new year will bring, especially now that most sectors of the economy have been opened. It is important to note that as architects, we form a major component of the construction industry. There is therefore a need to close the gap on the set backs we have experienced during the pandemic.
Effective 1st July 2020, ten Cities became operational and there is a plan to create five more cities by 2024 according to the local government act as passed by Parliament. These new cities will require a lot of planning and input from professionals, one roadblock to this however is that participation in this nation-wide development is still optional for major key players. For now, it’s up to individual firms and developers to push for developments in these newly planned areas.
Dr. Emmanuel Ssinabulya believes, that an all-hands-on-deck approach is necessary to make meaningful progress. “The USA for example has been working with different stakeholders in the construction industry in advocating for building standards and a safer regulated built environment since its establishment in 1966”. And it’s not only new construction that needs to be addressed. According to the National Planning Authority 2021 report, approximately 85 percent of all buildings in Uganda are not in line with the national planning goals “The new developments that we design and build are the low-hanging fruit,” says Dr. Emmanuel Ssinabulya.
Dr. Emmanuel Ssinabulya particularly sees an opportunity for architecture schools to influence the industry’s response by giving the next generation of architects a critical base of knowledge. “Currently Uganda has four architecture schools, which are doing a fantastic job in training future professionals of the built environment, because there’s theoretical, aesthetic and conceptual knowledge that can be taught to address the environmental problems.
While the construction industry faces challenges in dealing with high cost of construction and poor workmanship, architects have a fundamental weapon – ingenuity. This means that big ideas albeit introduced in an innovative way which cannot be denied by the public will be necessary to make meaningful progress in the coming years. In order to achieve this, there’ll be a need to reject the status quo, but rather uplift the standards and service delivery of every professional.
Dr. Emmanuel Ssinabulya notes that seeing these big ideas in practice will make them easier to replicate. “Because once something is built, it translates from the realm of imagination into reality.”
Thank you for your interest, and your commitment in transforming the built environment to one that we can all celebrate as our contribution to better living.
Arch. Dr. Emmanuel Ssinabulya
President, Uganda Society of Architects
Arch. Dr. Emmanuel Ssinabulya.
President, Uganda Society of Architects.