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solidair

Open Source Housing, Ghana, Africa

SOLIDAIR - Exterior View - 500

Client: Enviu Foundation Netherlands
Status: Competition – Finalist
Designer: Shaun Morris

“The government of Ghana is enforcing its recent directive that requires sawmills to sell at least 20% of their timber production on the domestic market. The government has directed the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission to ensure that permits for timber exports are only approved after saw millers show evidence that they have supplied 20% of their production to the domestic market.” AllBuisiness, GHANA: Forests in danger as timber demand surges, By George, Asmah Frank, Publication: African Business, Date: Tuesday, March 1 2005

“The government of Ghana is enforcing its recent directive that requires sawmills to sell at least 20% of their timber production on the domestic market. The government has directed the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission to ensure that permits for timber exports are only approved after saw millers show evidence that they have supplied 20% of their production to the domestic market.”
AllBuisiness, GHANA: Forests in danger as timber demand surges, By George, Asmah Frank, Publication: African Business, Date: Tuesday, March 1 2005

Locally EmbeddedThe introduction of a new technique in the use of solid wood structural panels assembled at the saw mill from lesser known species (LKS) under a controlled environment and next to the material source results in benefits to the local forestry industry by expanding their operation to include a new prefabricated product made from an under utilized readily available natural resource on their own land.

This further results in improving the effectiveness of the labor market in the construction industry by shifting the majority of fabrication efforts to a controlled, supervised environment near a steady supply of material.

Solid wood panels that are made from soft species and dried to around 12% moisture content is both hygroscopic and moisture transfusive. This means that excess moisture and humidity in the shaded interior can pass through the walls.

Solid wood panels that are made from soft species and dried to around 12% moisture content is both hygroscopic and moisture transfusive. This means that excess moisture and humidity in the shaded interior can pass through the walls.

Formal-Concept

Keeping the number of solid wood structural panel shapes to a minimum not only increases their quality and long term durability but also ensures their use and reuse due to expansion and relocation. Such shapes may also have alternate uses not defined in this proposal due to their formal simplicity and material homogeneity.

Prevailing winds for the Cape Coast region and Accra are mostly South to South West throughout the year. Positioning the urban garden to the South and the OS House to the North takes advantage of this. In addition to cooling, winds pick up oxygen over the vegetation before sweeping through the open South elevation and are allowed to move right through the short dimension of the house and out the porous North elevation.

The East and West walls consist of a porous structural panel and a light skin separated by an air space, a contiguous chamber linking the cooler, dryer air beneath the elevated structure to the ridge vent at the roof. Thus air is kept circulating continuously even when winds can’t be relied on.

Climate Diagram

Rain water is harvested at the inverted roof sections and directed to upper-tier potable water storage barrels to supply the kitchen and bathroom wash basins. Grey water from these wash basins are then directed to lower-tier barrels supplying the toilette and urban garden irrigation system.

Panel shapes have been studied and optimized so that the maximum variety of assemblages can be achieved using the minimum variety of shapes

Because solid wood panels require no additional interior finish or cavity, installations can be mounted directly to the structural finish surface in an orderly fashion and can therefore be easily maintained, exchanged and upgraded.

Because solid wood panels require no additional interior finish or cavity, installations can be mounted directly to the structural finish surface in an orderly fashion and can therefore be easily maintained, exchanged and upgraded.

Finally solid wood structural panels overcome the negative connotations attributed to traditional wood construction by the people Ghana since it is viewed as an advanced technique converting a readily available natural resource into unlikely, homogenous forms with high levels of refinery.

Open Source Housing, Ghana

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