Buildings play a central role in a decarbonised & zero-emissions future. However, globalisation trends in building design resulted in inadequate solutions for warm climate regions, performing poorly energy & comfort-wise. Projections indicate a doubling of the population by 2050 in Africa, which implies expanding already insufficient building stock. New buildings should be designed according to concepts that will make them robustly comfortable against climatic changes and low energy needs.
ABC 21 project aims to fill this gap & promote the exchange of best practices between Africa & Europe. Analysing and documenting the best sustainable solutions for warm climates is crucial to popularise these concepts and support communities, local construction & manufacturing. The solutions involve a bioclimatic approach, passive cooling techniques, and local low embedded energy construction materials. These concepts and designs already exist in Africa. Still, they need to be identified, documented, standardised and adapted to new conditions & technical possibilities.
We have recently published reports presenting our work regarding energy & comfort indicators, local geo/bio-based building materials, training and regulation infrastructure, policies overview, etc. The deliverables are open to the public for download on our website or in the links below:
- Housing needs, construction practices and urbanisation trends in North-West Africa: In Africa & Europe, though with quite different economic and social background conditions, the demand for housing remains high while the supply remains limited in quantity and often inadequate in quality. This report analyses and discusses housing needs, urbanisation trends, construction practices, and how they present opportunities for implementing bioclimatic approaches and energy efficiency standards.
- Training and regulatory infrastructure in North-West Africa and the EU: This report intends to shed light on the current regulatory infrastructure on energy efficiency in buildings in the EU and North and West Africa regions. The goal is to identify and analyse the degree of development of these infrastructures, the obstacles encountered, and propose recommendations. The survey included: Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Austria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Ghana, Togo, Senegal, and Nigeria.
- Infrastructure for production of construction materials in North-West Africa and the EU: It investigates the infrastructure for the production of construction materials in N-W Africa and the EU, with the aim of analysing the needs and potentialities in the building sector. The main properties of these materials are presented, focusing on the insulation properties, in particular, thermal conductivity.
- Policies are supporting passive and bioclimatic approaches and development of local materials and production chains in North-West Africa and the EU: It aims to assess some successful or promising policies which might be effective in promoting highly comfortable buildings with minimal energy need for heating and cooling, total primary energy use, and non-renewable energy use, with a particular focus on summer comfort. At the same time, we also consider policies and institutional frameworks to promote the use of local, low impact materials.
- Report on indicators of overall building energy performance: It presents a critical review of the energy performance indicators available in the literature and international standards to identify suitable KPIs which can be used to assess the energy performance of bioclimatic buildings. A set of definitions for these topics has been provided to ensure uniformity and coherence. These are the fundaments to guarantee proper communication between researchers, technicians and policymakers – the goal is to summarise the physical concept and definitions of terms.
- Comfort indicators and scenarios: It provides a clear framework for the available methodologies, standards, tools and indicators to assess the Indoor Environmental Quality targeted for bioclimatic architecture. The main concepts and their operative definitions have been presented for effective design work and communication, resulting in a list of Key Performance Indicators for bioclimatic architecture.
- Energy flexibility indicators focused on warm climate conditions: It describes the concept of a flexible building through a critical review of the main methodologies, definitions and indicators available in the literature and international standards.
- Availability of weather files and indicators for today and future weather in Africa and the EU: This report reviews and discusses methodologies for weather indicators, weather datasets, and production of future weather files that are useful for designing buildings in warm climate areas. It presents the available methods and tools for generating future weather files.
- Available methods and tools for generating future weather files: This report aims to review the available techniques and tools for generating future weather files, highlighting the advantages and limitations of each method.
- Materials and construction practices: It presents different bioclimatic materials as construction materials available in the EU & Africa regarding their mechanical, physicochemical and thermal performances.
- 12 Case studies of European and African bioclimatic buildings: It presents the first list of 12 fully documented case studies of bioclimatic facilities in Europe and Africa – with data collected from architects and technical experts. These buildings exemplify how bioclimatic and energy efficiency principles work in reality.
Additionally, the recordings of the webinars are available on our website. The first webinar addressed the topic of " address the issue “Energy and comfort assessment: important new advances introduced in international standards. Which implications arise for EU and African policies? The second webinar was about "Local building Materials - How to reduce Building's embodied Carbon? in collaboration with PEEB, ACT and GlobalABC. We presented some work on local construction materials and their potential to decarbonise the building sector.
More content will be published very soon, so stay tuned for updates - follow us on our social media and check more content on our website: