This is an open forum to allow participants in Mud House Design 2014: Reinventing the African Mud Hut Together and the stakeholders to have a conversation on the competition, share files, and centralize feedback. On this platform, participants can interact and exchange ideas with other users and team up with fellow designers to complement their skills to achieve best results.
Thank you for your interest and support. -Barthosa Nkurumeh, Nka Project Director
MUD HOUSE DESIGN 2014: Reinventing the African Mud Hut Together
The challenge is to design a single-family unit of about 30 x 40 feet on a plot of 60 x 60 feet to be built by maximum use of earth and local labor in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The client of your design is the middle-income family in any township of your choice in the Ashanti Region. Total costs of constructing the design entry must not exceed $6,000 (USD); land value is excluded from this price point. The design entry should serve as an example to the local people that mud architecture can be beautiful and durable.
The Design Problem
This is the design problem: In Ghana, as in other countries in West Africa, stereotypes about buildings made of earth persist because of poor construction.
Earth architecture is fast giving way to modern dwellings made of cement blocks and other modern materials that are not simply expensive but thermally and acoustically problematic. From the cities to the low-income villages, use of concrete - despite its dependence on imported resources - is considered indispensable for building. The rising cost of the modern building materials manufactured from imported resources makes it very difficult for low-income families to become homeowners. Yet an excellent, cheap and local alternative called laterite, red earth, is available everywhere in Ghana.
For example, in the Abetenim area, 98% of the homes are made of earth, however local stereotypes about buildings made of earth persist because there are several examples of mud homes that have eroded over time due to poor construction and water damage. That is why there is local stigma associated with mud architecture. The local perception is that mud buildings are only for the very poor. We reason that a design intervention can help generate alternatives to resolve the problem.
In light of the problem, we are running Mud House Design Competition to encourage designers, architects and builders to use their creativity to come up with innovative designs for modest, affordable homes that can be built locally. The design should aim at creating a single family and semi-urban house type that is a place to live, a place to rest, store modest belongings, and feel safe. The first place winning entry will be built on a site in the Ashanti Region.
Join the discussion! The long-term goal is to enable the Ghanaian population and lots of other places, to overcome the stigma that mud architecture is architecture for the very poor.
Design problem: A typical mud house at Abetenim, Ejisu-Juaben District, Ghana
Q. Do you have a website with detail about the competition? The the competition website is www.nkafoundation.org/competitions.html. Registered participants will get invitation to an Online forum, which is: nkaprojects.boards.net, where the participants can interact and exchange ideas with other users and team up with fellow designers to complement their skills to achieve best results.
Q Should every member of the design team be a student or a graduate since 31st Jan 2010? The Mud House Design 2014 is open to all, except established architects and designers. We think that it would be an unfair competition to include practitioners with extensive years of professional practice in the competition. By this, the design team can consist of students or recent graduates, or a mixed group of students and emerging practitioner in architecture or design. Non architecture or design practitioners can also take part in this competion regardless of years of practice.
Q. What is next after I have registered? Join us at: nkaprojects.boards.net. It is an Open Forum to stimulate exchange of useful ideas through discussions, responding to participants’ questions and offering feedbacks on their design concepts. We have uploaded many useful documents there to help you generate a more informed design response.
Q. Where is the construction site, is it on the map? There is no specific site for the project; any township of your choice in the Ashanti Region of Ghana is appropriate. So, all I have to do is to use google maps to locate a site in the Ashanti region? Yes, most townships in Ghana are on the map. There are 104 townships in the Ashanti Region of Ghana some of them are: Asiwa, Ejisu, Ejura, Juaben, Effiduase, Bomso, Obuasi, Akomadan,Tepa and Ofoase-Kokoben. Ashanti is the most populous region in Ghana. In townships in the Ashanti Region, there is public water system to the homes provided by the government and paid by tenants per usage . Electric power is also by public grid. Most townships in the area do not have public sewage system; thus, the sewage pit system is a common practice. A low-tech system of recycling bio materials from the kitchen through use of such as biogas digester which would generate methane gas that can be channeled into the kitchen for use as cooking gas.
Q. What is the primary wind direction in the Ashanti Region of Ghana? It is southwesterly; the predominant wind direction in the region is from west/southwest to east/northeast sectors.
Q. What are the amenities that are most needed for a single family unit? Rooms to sleep, kitchen, toilet/bath with sewage pit and a yard are basic.
Q. Please, explain this part: a single-family unit of about 30 x 40 feet on a plot of 60 x 60 feet. Is the 30 x 40 the buildable square footage? The house and yard should be designed on a plot of 60 x 60 feet (3600 sq feet). That will be sufficient.
Q. Where do I find information about the costs of local building materials? Here is a best best site: www.bmghana.com and you may google "building materials in Ghana" to see other sources. In general, to roof the 30 x 40 feet unit you will need about 10 packets of corrugated zinc sheets at $120 per packet. 1 bag of cement is $10.50. Expect to pay the local skilled laborer about $10 per day and unskilled laborer $7 per day. And keep in mind that prizes are subject to change.
Q. Can you tell us more about the climate of the region where the project will be constructed? Ashanti Region of Ghana falls within the warm-humid climatic zone. Air temperatures remain moderately high, between 21 and 32 degrees C, with little variation between day and night. Traditionally, earth-walled courtyard houses are typical with broad overhanging eaves to shade the exterior walls. Pitched roofs covered with corrugated metallic sheets are common in the warm-humid climates of Ghana. Windows are large and fully openable. Fixed windows are not climatically preferable in the warm-humid climates. For additional information, see: www.arcghana.org/architecture_southernghana.htm.
Q. Can we submit more than one project? Yes, but each project must have a unique registration number.
Q. Do we need to submit hard copies of the boards? No, this is a digital competition. You have to send your boards by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Can we submit our boards in Spanish or French? No, English is the only accepted language.
Q. Can you supply some photos of mud architecture from the region? You will find plenty of great images of architecture from the region if you google African architecture (Ashanti) or Ashanti architecture.
Q What is the "typical family" in Ghana? How many children? How many generations live together? A typical family in the Ashanti area has 2+ children and one or two members of extended family in one housing unit. The proposed single-family unit of about 30 x 40 feet on a plot of 60 x 60 feet would be for a family size of 5 to 7 persons.
Congrats to Barthosa , Bharat for the forum. Thanks to Christof for the suggestion.
I would like to further suggest from advocacy perspective to design some promotion material, traditionally made in Ghana. May be a competition MUDDY/Vernac Badge, A Mug, A T-Shirt..........It will help to communicate to mass and convey the purpose. It should be part of the Welcome Pack when Teams joined, the cost offset should be covered under the entry fees.
The merchandise will not only promote the cause but will extend the reach and will inspire students,researchers and unknowns. I guess it may be something 3D Printed :-) as an option, a traditional GHANA model on a small muddy,POP plaque.
Please do share your muddy thoughts...............:-M
isidore: THERES NO WAY TO POST. HELP Please, try post your entry now. It is working.
Oct 16, 2017 6:36:56 GMT -6
honourarc: please can someone confirm the receipt of our submissions just so we know its been received. Yes and it is posted above.
Oct 16, 2017 3:10:27 GMT -6
marcoandreola: (Answer is posted above) Dear NKA, can you please provide us with more information about the required facilities for the toilet and bathroom? what do you mean with the two typologies? thank you for your reply, kind regards. "pour water from bucket to flush
Sept 28, 2017 10:49:03 GMT -6