African Nearly Zero Housing

African Nearly Zero Housing

In the Nigerian capital Abuja, Paul McAneary Architects were commissioned to design three different housing types: a single house, block of flats and a terrace. The aim is to make use of abundant but disregarded materials, such as stone and tropical hardwood, and cultivate a strategy of passive environmental control and ‘near zero’ energy use.

Residential development in Nigeria is characterised by a dependence on inappropriate and wasteful models more suited to a temperate European climate. By responding more thoughtfully to context and climate, this radical project reconceptualises the existing approach to housing provision in a way that could act as a prototype for future development across Nigeria.

Quarried stone, which would more usually be used in road building, is caged in steel gabions to form massive external walls. Tropical hardwood, traditionally used to make concrete formwork and then discarded, is salvaged to make external elements, such as window frames. Boreholes provide a natural source of water, which also helps to cool the interior, while hot air is dispelled through the stack effect, rising through the central atrium of each dwelling.

These natural means of ventilation and cooling sever the reliance on energy-wasteful air conditioning. Communal solar power plants provide energy, supplanting profligate diesel generators. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value Undisclosed
Location Abuja, Nigeria, Africa
Client Undisclosed
Date Current
Area Undisclosed
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design, interior design, landscape design, structural design, 3D visualisation