An Advocacy for Blending Traditional Practices with Technological Developments to Build Capacity in Providing Quality Low-cost Earth Buildings for Rural Housing and IDP Rehabilitation in Nigeria

Authors : Dr. N. A. Nwankwor

Volume/Issue : Volume 6 - 2021, Issue 8 - August

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The use of mud for housing construction technically known as Earth building is a tradition that is as old as the history of man living in man-made shelter in different forms and shapes over time and space. But three major natural weaknesses (water erosion, low compressive strength and its predominantly traditional roundish architecture) inherent in the earth-material is affecting the progressive use and acceptance of these earth-materials(mud) for modern housing construction. Secondly, the introduction and use of cement- and steelbased construction materials in the earl 19th century, which became widely accepted has also relegated earth buildings to become a symbol of the poor rural dwellers. This poor image of earth buildings (which is more of a social psychology and bias against traditional earth buildings) is continually posing a major hindrance to the acceptance of improved earth building technologies for qualitative housing in many developing countries. It is therefore necessary to take definite steps to create the enabling environment for incorporating improvements in earth building technologies into on-going housing programmes. These are some of the measures being advocated here which are anchored on the author’s practical field and research exposures in blending the good in our traditional earth building heritage and surviving practices with standard construction practices (Nwankwor, 2008, & Gana, Nwankwor & Tika, 2019). The recommendations will result is a synergy between technological advancements and traditional practices within the earth building industry and hopefully to provide quality housing for rural dwellers and rehabilitation of several Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.

Keywords : Earth-Building, Building Capacity, SocioPsychological Change, Acceptance, and Quality Low-Cost Housing.


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