I am an architecture student at the University of Stuttgart. I have challenged myself to find a solution for sustainable construction, specifically in central Africa. This year I spent a month building a school in Zambia. While working on this project I was able to analyse the current local building methods. I learned a lot but also found areas where I could teach new methods. I wanted to take this further by starting my own project.
SINA cares about orphan children and disadvantaged teenagers and young adults in Uganda. Uganda has the youngest population on earth (78% under 30 years) and at the same time the highest youth unemployment rate in Africa (83%).
SINA's answer: support orphans, educate them and support their start-up ideas, to improve their perspective and create new jobs. They have done this with success! Past results range from a mobile app for sexual health to floor panels produced from eggshells and plastic bags.
But therefore SINA needs new premises and is a non-profit organisation with very limited financial resources.
Why Sustainable Building?
UNO predicts the world population to be over 11 billion by 2050. This begs the question of how to provide sustainable food and water but also sustainable and affordable housing.
This issue is highlighted specifically in developing countries, which is where we currently see the biggest population growth. Also in relation to climate change, sustainable construction plays an essential role. This is because the building industry is ultimately responsible for a large contribution of worldwide CO2 emissions.
How is it my method sustainable?
The primary building material will be compacted earth, an experimental material for the area. Clay is almost available everywhere, but due to the high clay content found in Africa, it is an excellent building material. It is an efficient absorber, that can clear humid and stuffy air very fast. It also possesses prolonged thermal storage therefore as the night temperature cools (differences up to 25°C) can be balanced. The way in which clay walls save the heat of the day and cool down during the night they can be thought of as mechanical air-con systems.
When compared to concrete, clay is inexpensive, simple to use and can be easy broken down and reused, which gets more and more important with the multifunctionality of modern buildings.
Rammed earth is based on mixing moist clay and sand and compacting it in layers. Unfortunately this technique is unknown in most parts of Africa. Because of this I want to introduce this to a small project room in Uganda for the non-profit organisation called SINA.
I really hope you find my project to be worthwhile and donate money to the cause! Thank you so much!
What is SINA?