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Wall materials and techniques available for low cost housing in Khartoum from a sustainability point of view

Balila, A. and Vahdati, M. (2013) Wall materials and techniques available for low cost housing in Khartoum from a sustainability point of view. In: First International DelPHE Conference: Construction Management in Developing Countries: Education, Training, Research and Practice, March 2013, Khartoum.

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Khartoum like many cities in least developing countries (LDCs) still witnesses huge influx of people. Accommodation of the new comers leads to encroachment on the cultivation land leads to sprawl expansion of Greater Khartoum. The city expanded in diameter from 16.8 km in 1955 to 802.5 km in 1998. Most of this horizontal expansion was residential. In 2008 Khartoum accommodated 29% of the urban population of Sudan. Today Khartoum is considered as one of 43 major cities in Africa that accommodates more than 1 million inhabitants. Most of new comers live in the outskirts of the city e.g. Dar El-Salam and Mayo neighbourhoods. The majority of those new comers built their houses especially the walls from mud, wood, straw and sacks. Selection of building materials usually depends on its price regardless of the environmental impact, quality, thermal performance and life of the material. Most of the time, this results in increasing the cost with variables of impacts over the environment during the life of the building. Therefore, consideration of the environmental impacts, social impacts and economic impacts is crucial in the selection of any building material. Decreasing such impacts could lead to more sustainable housing. Comparing the sustainability of the available wall building materials for low cost housing in Khartoum is carried out through the life cycle assessment (LCA) technique. The purpose of this paper is to compare the most available local building materials for walls for the urban poor of Khartoum from a sustainability point of view by going through the manufacturing of the materials, the use of these materials and then the disposal of the materials after their life comes to an end. Findings reveal that traditional red bricks couldn’t be considered as a sustainable wall building material that will draw the future of the low cost housing in Greater Khartoum. On the other hand, results of the comparison lead to draw attention to the wide range of the soil techniques and to its potentials to be a promising sustainable wall material for urban low cost housing in Khartoum.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:32322

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