tirsdag 30. september 2014


Part 1:

Environmental sustainability
Sustainability, especially in an environmental context, is a subject that has gained more and more attention through the recent years. The background for this is fundamentally the growing population on the planet and their growing needs and the consequences of the planet´s use of resources. From the famous Brundtland definition of sustainability, we know that the term reflects upon satisfying the current generation’s need without reducing the same possibilities for the upcoming ones (Bokalders and Block, 2010). This means that we have to, as much as possible, look away from resource craving processes to get a better overview of what we can achieve with simple, sustainable means. Human activity and the natural environment are in daily contact, and it is therefore important that both can enhance and adapt to each other in their existence. The environment has no other choice than to adapt to what we do, but it is our choice to respect the environment and do less harm to it. Therefore, an environmentally sustainable set of thoughts is important to fulfil what was defined in the Brundtland Commission.

With technological and economic growth, the world has become more resource craving. In developing countries the same level of economy or technology is not always present. Human life has existed and continued in a state of world where there were less or no such opportunities – life was still functional at that time. This means that it is still possible to continue a highly functional life with simple and available material and tools, if we are willing to give this reversed technological development a chance.

A focus on low-tech, climate adaptive, passive solutions integrated with local building culture based on available resources and tools is attractive for this project in order to maintain a sustainable approach. By including the local community in the process they will also learn how to use local material and suitable techniques in an efficient and sustainable way. The mentioned, combined with thoughts of off-grid systems for water and, if possible, electricity will make the design further sustainable and more self-sufficient. This will help the community to develop and enhance itself further with new knowledge that is still based on something familiar. The design should be affordable without compromising efficiency and aesthetics. To further investigate possibilities of making the design and its function more efficient it is interesting to look at what active solutions could be incorporated.
When choosing materials from a sustainable point of view, it is important to focus on materials that are locally available and not scarce. Earth is a primary and commonly available material in Uganda. It is also associated with their building culture and with vernacular architecture in Africa. As innovative projects around the world show, material that are originally thought to become waste or those that have the possibility of recycling, can also be used in constructions, as furnish and decoration. Tyres of vehicles can be embedded in walls, they can be stacked as stairs, be sat on or used as playful elements on playgrounds. Plastic and glass bottles are also usable in walls and they can create interesting and fun architectural elements with their transparency, if they are not thought to be covered in earth as part of a wall element.

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