Sustainable Architecture and Design to Address Acute Water-stress, Energy Delivery, Health and Socio-economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: GCRF Pump-Priming Award Final Project Report

Saul Golden, Francis Agyenim Boateng, Gloria Boafo-Mensah, David Turnbull, A P Fernandez-Ibanez, Tony Byrne, Mervyn Smyth

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Abstract

This report sets out the background, timeline, actions, and outcome of a GCRF Pump-Prime funded project linking architecture and design with sustainable energy and water–security infrastructure in urbanising areas of Sub-Saharan Africa; a partnership between Ulster University, ATOPIA Research, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research– Institute for Industrial Research in Ghana. The project established a cross–disciplinary team to evaluate innovative urban and building design approaches to integrate low–cost rain-water harvesting and decontamination, sanitary waste provision, and off-grid PV electricity within new or retrofit urban settlements. It aimed to aid the welfare of rural, urban–edge, and inner–city communities by tackling basic survival needs and inequality through improved access to resources within collective, inclusive spaces for living, learning, and economic opportunity. The 6-month project ran from 20 November 2017 until 30 March 2018; it finished within budget and successfully: 1. Established new international partnerships to develop future grant bids between Ulster University’s Faculties of Computing, Engineering, and the Built Environment (CST, NIBEC, BERI) and The Institute for Industrial Research, Accra; 2. Collected a new body of primary and secondary data on Ghana’s resources and infrastructure, relative to global challenges for sustainable communities, design, health, & socio-economic need; 3. Identified rural-village development sites for community-engagement & research on the benefits of integrating low-tech energy/water solutions with existing local building/farming investment; 4. Developed on-the ground support from local communities and Government MPs for future work. 5. Agreed a pilot project and team actions to develop further grant applications. The report details the research team's actions with Golden as PI, to develop a Habitable Index (HI) for evaluating Housing, Electricity, Clean Water, and Sanitation - a unique outcome that identifies the areas most challenged by water and energy stress and poor living conditions from lack of potable water and sanitary environments. HI will help guide future research proposals to study, and work to improve the physical, social and economic conditions for people in the affected areas.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyDepartment for the Economy, Global Challenge Research Fund Pump-Prime Funding
Number of pages35
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Sustainable Design
  • shared space
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Solar electricity
  • sanitation
  • Clean water
  • Built Environment
  • Housing
  • Ghana
  • Accra
  • Kumasi
  • Partnerships
  • GCRF
  • NIBEC
  • Centre for Sustainable Technology
  • Habitable Index

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