Ghana experiences a rapid rate of urbanization. Rapid urbanization imposes immense land and shelter demands within short time stretches has led to the development of slums, known as zongos.
This proposal made part of the beginning of the ongoing project Open Source House that aims to introduce affordable, flexible and sustainable housing to improve the living conditions of the emerging uprising class in urban areas in developing countries.
The Southern part of Ghana has stable temperatures and a wet climate with two rainy seasons, one peaking in May and the other in October.
In the dry season, the water level decreases, creating water shortages.
During rainy seasons rainwater storage in tanks can serve the household and water trees during dry periods.
The roof of the houses have steep slopes so the rain drains off the roof more quickly and as a sloped surface is less affected by sun’s rays than a flat surface, the sun does not heat up the roofing materials as much. Also the space in the high area of the roof is a buffer from penetration of heat.
Passive cooling through natural ventilation and central core stack effect, generated by the ventilation openings at the top of the roof.
The houses are built on pillars as response to the flooding. As long the sand street remains unpaved and drainage is improper this is the best thing to do.
Also the plan is designed to maintain the existing trees and bushed on the site, the fact that the house is raised above the grounds spoils none of the natural features and thus preserve the qualitative continuities of the natural base.
The plot is meant for a middle class family with two working parents, two children and a cousin looking after the kids and house. The house should be able to expand as the family situation changes over time
Quantitatively, wood is one of the most important regenerable raw materials that exist.
The wood used in the building should be from the same area in which it is processed.
When wood grows CO2 is removed from the atmosphere through a process of photosynthesis in which solar energy is used. Carbon is thus (temporarily) stored in wood during its entire growth period and subsequently for the whole time it is used as a building product.
Wood is often damaged by insects that breed in humid soil. To prevent this type of damage, the wood must not be in contact with the ground. Footing should be at least 15 cm above the ground and have sheet metal around the pillar. Termites cannot climb the thin border and will return to the ground.