BRIDGING LOCAL VERNACULAR
CULTURE WITH ARCHITECTURAL INNOVATION
PAINTING OUR AFRICAN TRADITIONS, ASPIRATIONS AND IDENTITY WITH
RECONCILE THE OLD WITH THE NEW
TRADITION WITH INNOVATION
AFRICA WITH ARCHITECTURE
Incorporating innovative paper tube structural technology & traditional insulation METHODS IN THE
construction of the sustainable eco-friendly shelters derived from vernacular housing forms which locals
can easily relate to and identify with construction materials would comprise of
1. paper tubes
2. polyethylene culvert pipes
3. mud and dung
architecture often regarded as architecture without architects the maasai manyatta building forms.
make a good primer for deriving and generating forms from the local community.
PAPER TUBES BEING BRAVE ENOUGH TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION? HOW?
Eco friendly waste paper and non-biodegradable paper littering the environment can be used to make
Making these tubes could help clean up the environment revolutionizing waste recycling since poor
waste management has been identified as a challenge in the 2013 Kenyan environment policy security.
The tubes can be painted with phosphorescent “glow in the dark” strontium aluminate paint.
These can make the structures also act as street lights in these remote areas enhancing security
especially since these areas lack such amenities.
They are basically cardboard tubes made wood pulp or waste paper.
1. dousing the tubes in wood oil and or wax solution to seal the interstitial spaces between the
2. applying polyurethane coating which is also a low volatile organic compound
For foundation support, polyethylene culvert pipes may be used interfacing the superstructure tubes
with the ground borrowing from the earth bag concept soil may be poured into the tubes to enhance
STRAW/MUD AND DUNG BEING BOLD ENOUGH TO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING OLD
The walling and flooring between the tubes is made up of mud mixed with straw and cowdung or
straw/grass depending on what’s available on site
straw and dung are used as binding agents preventing it from cracking and also enhancing the mixture’s
plasticity for easy application the mud walling act as a good thermal mass providing a time lag for
external heat radiating into the space during the day keeping the structure cool this is a vernacular
sustainable alternative to the modern day lath and plaster construction
Duck canvas pretreated to resist mildew with a fire retardant finish for the roofing with it being
mounted on tubes through a tying system that would tie it down the wall tent is further secured with
grommet holes over the framework poles.
New tubes and the core depletes the environment of natural resources as the production of 1 ton of
paper tubes requires 17 trees,7000 gallons of water
It will contribute to a modicum to environmental sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint, still
requires pulping, reprocessing and multiple trips between suppliers, manufacturers, recyclers and end
Reusing paper tubes reduces this footprint even further by simply recovering used tubes, resizing them
and returning them to the market without compromising the tube’s core integrity
HOW IT MINIMIZES CARBON FOOTPRINT AND EMBODIED ENERGY
1. Manufacture can only consist of compression of paper and transportation to site
2. They can be made from waste paper hence the help promote environmental hygiene
3. They can be reused in putting up housing shelters minimizing embodied energy as far as
transportation of new construction materials and housing is concerened
4. Using biodegradable readily available materials like straw, mud and dung which improve indoor
air quality and low vocs like polyurethane also minimise the embodied energy of the
This concept was developed by students undertaking a course in architecture currently in their third of
study in partnership with eco manyatta afrika the team comprises of :