The local way of constructing with earth, bamboo and other cheap locally available materials is getting lost, and the normal way in which objects are nowadays built is almost always with sandcrete blocks and concrete.

 In terms of sustainability and the introduction of new building techniques, the project will meet current Ghanaian construction methods halfway: it will demonstrate how the basic building element in Ghana, the cement block – which is used ubiquitously, regardless of a building’s size or function – may be combined with other, more sustainable options. Due to the sloped terrain and the resulting lateral soil pressure, cement blocks, which are more resistant to humidty, together with a thin concrete slab, will be used in the foundations of the building.

 In the upper part, however, they will be replaced with compressed earth blocks (CEB) manufactured on-site. CEB, introduced in the 1950s in South America, is a modern earth construction technique that evokes traditional adobe brick building, which, though still common in rural areas of Ghana, has become associated with poverty and is therefore regarded with contempt by the local population. This negative perception of a major sustainable building resource is a major problem that must be overcome in order for new ideas to take hold.

 The project’s goal is thus not to invent new things, but rather to reintroduce already existing technologies, materials and design methods, paving the way for more far-reaching innovations which, in the long run, will provide a cheaper and more sustainable way to build.


ghana interior - final 2