Sustainable architecture in Africa is finding new ways to cut costs, take lessons from traditional building methods, conserve energy, promote reuse and still remain environmentally friendly. The following buildings are all cost effective, easy to consturct and economically viable, which makes them accessible by all and easier to maintain.
1. Sandbag Houses, South Africa: Built from cheap local materials and constructed with the help of its future residents, the house was built using the EcoBeams system(timber and metal beams). The aim of the sandbag home is to conserve money and resources. It is said to be a strong, safe and cheap way of delivering affordable houses.
2. Makoko Floating School, Nigeria: Constructed with locally-sourced wood and built by residents of Makoko community, the floating school which rests on 256 plastic drums accommodates 100 students. Built at a total cost of $6,250, electricity is provided by solar panels on the roof and the toilets are operated using stored-rainwater.
3. ‘Inno-native Home, Ghana: Built by Joe Osae-Addo to provide an eco-friendly house for his family. The materials used were obtained from rural areas. The house has sliding slatted-wood screens and floor to ceiling jalousie windows for cross ventilation. Although connected to the national grid for electricity, solar panels have been installed in the house for backup and for heating water.
4. El Mandara eco-resort, Egypt: Extending across Lake Qurun, this resort was renovated by a group of young people in an attempt to restore the glory of Egypt as a tourist center after a series of instability in the country. Made from local, sustainable building materials including mud bricks, the resort is also characterized by palm fronds to provide shade from the burning desert sun.
5. Vissershok School, South Africa: With a limited budget, the school was constructed out of recycled shipping materials. It serves as a classroom in the morning and a library in the afternoon. With windows located across each side to aid ventilation, the large roof shelters the container from sunlight and the gap allows for ventilation and reduces heat gain. The stepped seating acts as an amphitheatre and offers space for the children to eat lunch. The final product maximises space.