Submitted by: Bruno Gerstendorfer
Implemented country: Nigeria
Title: Eco-Do-It-Yourself Houses for Nigerian Community Development
Bruno Gerstendorfer has devoted his life to an affordable and natural way of building homes all over the world. Africa is especially important to him, as are countries such as Haiti. He has been working in Nigeria since 1956 to provide people with better housing from local resources. Semiskilled workers can build such houses themselves. The community development project called Izzi in Igbeagu-Izzi in the ebony state of Nigeria is a great example of what can be achieved, even in colder regions such as in Europe.
Bruno Gerstendorfer’s houses are extremely simple: You can count the number of components with your fingers: Foundation plates and walls made of clay and re-enforced lintels up to a length of 4 meters – and that’s it. Build it all by yourself without much capital and from local materials. You can even build on to the house by using clay or laterite brick stone made from soil or mixed with sand and Portland cement. The mixing can be done by hand. Brick can be made locally with manual presses that can be purchased in the country.
The model homes that are part of the Izzi community development project have either one or several rooms. Even storage buildings and rainwater tanks were built by villagers from local material. So rain water can run off and be collected, Bruno Gerstendorfer likes using slightly inclined monopitch roofs. The rainwater tanks consist of the same material and are plastered inside and out with water-proof concrete. Drinking water is treated with a ceramic filter. The model village also has a small facility for bottling drinking water. Latrines come designed with air ventilation. Bruno Gerstendorfer also built sanitary facilities for a clinic, a cesspool, an amenities building for the staff, a school, and a kitchen. A photovoltaic power system was used for the pilot project. Instead of gardens, alley cropping along the exterior walls is used for growing fruit, vegetables, or shrubs (for firewood). Bruno even has ideas for building houses in earthquake areas such as Haiti: The houses are built with reinforcement steel and the rooms “ride” on top of big rubber cushions.
„This new building technology even satisfies high eco-standards.“