The only sustainable solution is the one that includes us all - Paul Kagame (Rwandan President)
Some weeks ago, a group of scholars from the United Kingdom visited Paipe Community, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria to check on an on-going housing project. Though, still in the experimental stage, the "Bottle House" project fascinated me, because who would have thought a whole building could come from deposits of PET bottles? Also, with my interest in recycling and environmental sustainability, hearing the features and futuristic projections of this project got me awed enough to want to write about it.
Preparation towards implementation of the SDGs in form of awareness and campaigns have been on since 2016 when it was initially announced, and implementation stage not due until next year (2018). This project, as far as i am concerned is an implementation already taking place as it addresses and provides solutions to contemporary challenges identified in the outlined goals.
The project explores utilizing up-cycled and locally engineered materials to design affordable, self sufficient homes for Low low income communities, the research aims to establish scientific methods to co-design a self - sufficient home, integrated with in house-electricity generation, in-house-water-purification system, earthquake resistant foundation and walls as well as ensuring it is socially acceptable within the community.
Therefore the project addresses 3 of the United nations Sustainable Development Goals
- Goal 6 - (Clean Water and Sanitation)
- Goal 7 - (Affordable and Clean Energy)
- Goal 11 - (Sustainable Cities and Communities)
There was a capacity building research trip, Researchers and students from the 3 universities in the consortium visited Paipe, FCT, Nigeria between 1st and 8th July 2017 on a capacity building event. This trip provided students the opportunity to contribute to this exciting multidisciplinary project by working with a local manpower in building a live prototype. They explored various ways to optimize the prototype in terms of aesthetics, structural integrity, clean energy, clean water and sanitation as well as user acceptability. By training and using local capacity to build this homes, This project aims to create new jobs and empower local skills.also, the idea of using plastic and agricultural waste can have a significant impact for waste management in the community.
Dr. Muyiwa Oyinlola is leading the project and responsible for implementing clean and affordable energy systems to ensure self sufficiency, Dr. Timothy Whitehead is responsible for ensuring a user centered design approach is followed, Dr. Amal Abuzeinab and her team are responsible for passive design techniques and architectural quality relevant for developing countries, other members of the project team include; Dr Boksun Kim, Dr Yeeande Akinola, Dr Farukh Farukh, Dr Karthikeyan Kandan, Dr Fatai Anafi who facilitates recruitment and training of local manpower, and volunteers from De Montfort University and ABU Zaria.
This project is funded by Royal Academy of Engineering, an organization that transforms ideas and materials into global infrastructure, products, and services that in turn increase wealth and improve health and livelihood of people and the society. It is obvious that this organization already integrated into the core of their practices global intervention and development as this project is magnanimously planted in Nigeria, the heart of Africa. Academic partners for this project include; De Montfort University, ABU Zaria, Aston University, Plymouth University, and other industrial partners; Awonto Konsults, Greenstant Energy Limited, The Global EMIT Project.
Tunmise Ayodele is a young Architect in the making with B.Sc. Architecture, PGD. Architectural Design and Practices, M.Sc. Architecture and Sustainability and currently a PhD researcher at Leicester School of Architecture with interest in "Low carbon retrofit for energy efficiency in Nigeria". He is also a member of the team led by Dr. Amal Abuzeinab, responsible for the passive design techniques and architectural quality relevant for developing countries.