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< prev - next > Construction Earth construction woodless construction 2 (Printable PDF)
Woodless construction: A south south technology
transfer by Development Workshop over 30 years
to address the environmental and construction
issues of the West African Sahel region
Woodless Construction" is the name
used in the Sahel region of West Africa
to describe the construction of
buildings in which all the structural
elements, including the vault and dome
roofs, are built using hand moulded sun
dried mud bricks. The most important
characteristic of the vault and dome
roofs is that they are built without any
supporting shuttering. Thus the entire
building structure - walls, lintels, and
roofs - is built with locally available
earth. The bricks for both walls and
roofs are formed in rectangular moulds,
smoothed by hand and left to dry in the
sun for a few days - a method very
widely used in the region. During
construction, the dried bricks are laid
in mud mortar.
Woodless Construction techniques have
their origin in the Middle East, and
combine both ancient Iranian and
Egyptian construction techniques that
have been adapted by the NGO
Development Workshop and
collaborators over the past thirty years
to suit the Sahel context and to provide
a viable, affordable and accessible
alternative to a dual problem:
to alleviate pressure on the
declining timber resources of the
and at the same time to make
affordable and durable good
quality building easier for the
inhabitants to achieve with their
own skills and local resources
Figure 1 & 2: Builders are trained on specially designed
training structures and there is no stigma about making
mistakes and redoing the work.
(see Woodless Construction - 1: An overview in this series of case studies).
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