Published on March 15, 2014
NKA FOUNDATION... SERVING THE UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES COMPETITION Reinventing the African Mud Hut Together CHALLENGE STATEMENT. The challenge is to design asingle-family unit of about 30 x 40 feet on a plot of 60 x 60 feet to be built by maximum use of earth and local labor in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The client of your design is the middle-income family in any township of your choice in the Ashanti Region. Total costs of constructing the design entry must not exceed $6,000 (land value is excluded from this price point).The entry should serve as an example to the local people that mud architecture can be beau- tiful and durable. DESIGN PROBLEM. In Ghana, as in other countries in West Africa,stereotypes about buildings made of earth persist because of poor construction. Earth architecture is fast giving way to modern dwellings made of cement blocks and other modern materials that are not simply expensive but thermally and acoustically problematic. From the cities to the low-income villages, use of concrete- despite its depen- dence on imported resources - is considered indispensable for building. The rising cost of the modern building materials manufactured from imported resources makes it verydifficultfor low-income families to become homeowners. Yet an excellent, cheap and local alternative called laterite, red earth, is avail- able everywhere in Ghana. For example, in the Abetenim area, 98% of the homes are made of earth, however local stereotypes about buildings made of earth persist because there are several examples of mud homes that have eroded over time due to poor construction and water damage. That is why there is local stigma associated with mud architecture. The local perception is that mud buildings are only for the very poor. We reason that adesign intervention can help generate alternatives to resolve the problem. In light of the problem, we are running Mud House Design Competition to encourage designers, architects and builders to use their creativity to come up with innovative designs for modest, affordable homes that can be built locally. The design should aim at creating a single family and semi-urban house type that is a place to live, a place to rest, store modest belongings, and feel safe. The first place winning entry will be built on asite in the Ashanti Region. PREFERRED CONSTRUCTION METHOD. The method to be used to construct your design concept can be cob construction,rammed earth,mud brick,cast earth (poured earth) byformwork,or any other earth construction techniques that can be easily learned by local labor. Roofing design could be of vault, fired mud roof, or corrugated zinc sheets, which is the conventional roofing materials because zinc roofing stands the heavy rainfall better. Your design entry may therefore aim to accomplish a prototype,adurable mud house that promotes open source design for the continuity of building with earth under the feet for a more sustainable future. Undeniably, the competition promotes open source design, as a sustainable development model. By Open Source, we imply that the submitted designs will be available for all to appreciate, use,or improve them to generate more practical and contemporary design solutions for the region.The long-term goal is to enable the Ghanaian population and lots of other places, to overcome the stigma that mud architecture is architecture for the very poor.
ISCHEDULED DATES Registration Opens: March 15,2014 Registration Deadline: August 15, 2014 Submissions Dates: April30- August 31,2014 Selection by the Jury: September 15- 30, 2014 Winning Projects' Press Release: October 5, 2014 Design-Build Workshops to Realize Two of the Winning Designs: November 2014- July 2015 A Traveling Exhibition of all Works Received: Scheduled To Be Announced AWARDS Of the twenty (20) nominated works, there will be three winning projects, according to the highest scores. Jurors will award prizes for first, second and third place consisting of a commemorative plaque and cash prizes to the winning designs as follows: 1st Prize: $1,500 or Construction of design in Ghana plus a short trip to Ghana for the opening ceremony once construction is completed (in case the winner is not located in Ghana and to a maximum of 1 person). 2nd Prize: Construction or $1,000. 3rd Prize: Construction or $500. Honorable mentions may be awarded at the discretion of the jury but will receive no cash prize. JURY MUD HOUSE DESIGN GUIDELINES An individual or a design team can submit an entry to the Mud House Design competition. The individual participant can be a student or a graduate since 31st of January 2010 and the design team can be two or more persons. A team can submit more than one entry. Each team shall identify one team member as its "Point of Contact" during the submission process. To join, you must register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mud-house-design-competition-tickets-10697036123 With your entry ticket number submit your design entry via firstname.lastname@example.org. The number on your ticket (6-digit code) is your registration number for one design entry. If you are submitting more than one entry, each design entry requires aseparate ticket. The registration fee per entry is $60for individual and $80for ateam. If you want to pay by check, send us an e-mail at email@example.com with the following information: Team Name, Team Leader, Name, Phone Number and Email for Each Team Member. Registered participants may submit questions, by email only, to the address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for questions is August 5, 2014. The promoter will continually post the replies to all questions received on the competition website: http://nkafoundation.org/competitions.html Any person entering this contest shall certify and guarantee the organizers that he/she is the sole author of the project and by participating, each contestant grants their free and exclusive consent that all designs and ideas will be published and shared on to inspire others. By entering the competition, all participants agree to all the conditions of participation in the competition. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS Text File. A Word Format containing the design statement (maximum of 600 words) for publication purposes. The design statement should include material description, budget in USD, and the entrants' personal information including name, profession, address, and email. Presentation Boards. Three (3) A1 Presentation boards submitted as JPEG files of high-quality resolution that when printed at 100 percent size would be 45cm(h) x 90cm(w) each (landscape format). The file size of each presentation board must not exceed 3MB. The upper right corner of each board must contain the entry ticket number. There should not be any marks or any other form of identification. The files must be named after the ticket number followed by the board number. For example, 112334-1.jpg, 112334_2.jpg, & 112334_3.jpg. Required submittals include the site plan, floor plan, elevations, sections, perspective views, roof plan, construction details and sequences (as appropriate) and project statement explaining the design. Submissions must be in English language. Place your ticket number and the title of the project (no name) on all pages of your design submission to allow the jury to select blindly. The body of the jurors is to be made public August 31, 2014, at the latest, on the competition website: http://nkafoundation.org/competitions.html JUDGING CRITERIA Functionality. Space patterns & usage, climatic performance, & sustainability over time. Aesthetics. visual or aesthetic appeal. Technical. adaptive or creative use of abundant local materials and labor to the degree they enhance the design, resource efficient construction process, and attention to scalability. Decisions of the jury will be (ina/ and binding.
MUD HOUSE DESIGN BACKGROUND Building with mud may sound primitive; it is not. It is used in modern day construction and the methods of using it vary in light of its ecological and aesthetic benefits.There are examples of airports, embassies, hospitals, museums, and factories that are built of earth. In fact, it is estimated that half of the global population,approximately three billion people on six continents, lives or works in buildings constructed of earth. The reason is not only because it costs little or no money to build with earth under the feet and is locally available worldwide; mud is a nontoxic material and is acoustically sound. A wall made from raw earth serves as a natural air conditioner; it is comfortable year round.When the mud building is demolished, the earth returns to the soil and can be recycled indefinitely. Today, its ecological and aesthetic benefits attract the attention of an increasing numbers of contemporary architects and eco-builders. Join us! The competition is a unique opportunity that challenges you to draw on universal design principles and the accumulated knowledge on the best ways to build in tropical climates. Our goal is to develop a contemporary earth architecture tradition for the region. PROJECT ORGANIZER Nka Foundation is a nonprofit organization registered in the USA, Ghana and Burkina Faso. Nka exists to serve underserved communities through focus on the arts, broadly defined to include earth building arts. On the fringes of environmental issues and Open Source concept, Nka Foundation is building an arts village at Abetenim, located 40 km Southeast of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Abetenim Arts Village is designed as a developing demonstration site and training center to provide stable places for creative people from the region and other countries to live, work, learn and create. Nka does this through investigating and incorporating vernacular materials and methods of construction used in the region to create buildings informed by our own design aesthetics. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) FOR MORE INFORMATION Email Us: i email@example.com Visit Us: www.nkafoundation.org See Competition Page: www.nkafoundation.org/2014mud housedesign.html Q. Do you have website with detail about the compeition? The the competition website is http://www.nkafoundation.org/ competitions.html. Registered participants will get invitation to an Online Forum, where the participants can interact and exchange ideas with other users and team up with fellow designers to complement their skills to achieve best results. Q. What do I need to do to participate in the design competition? Pay the entry fee online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ mud-house-design-competition-tickets-10697036123 to get your entry ticket, create a design proposal, and submit your design via: firstname.lastname@example.org Q. Where is the construction site,is it on the map? There is no specific site for the project; any township of your choice in the Ashanti Region of Ghana is appropriate. Most townships in Ghana are on the map. In townships in the Ashanti Region, there is public water. Electric power is also by public grid. Most townships in the area do not have public sewage sytem; thus, the sewage pit system is a commom practice. Q. What are the amenities that are most needed for a single family unit? Rooms to sleep, kitchen, toilet/ bath and a yard are basic. Q. Can you tell us more about the climate of the region where the project will be constructed? Ashanti Region of Ghana falls within the warm-humid climatic zone. Air temperatures remain moderately high, between 21 and 32 degrees C, with little variation between day and night. Traditionally, earth-walled courtyard houses are typical with broad overhanging eaves to shade the exterior walls. Pitched roofs covered with corrugated metallic sheets are common in the warm-humid climates of Ghana. Windows are large and fully openable. Fixed windows are not climatically preferable in the warm-humid climates. For additional information, http://www.arcghana.org/ architecture_southernghana.htm Q. I need more information on architecture of the project area? Here is a list to get you started: http://www.scribd.com/doc/ 77284395/The-transformation-of-the-urban-structure-of-Kumasi-Studio-Ghana-2010-2011 http:/Icollections.infocollections.org/ ukedu/en/ d/ Jsk02ce/ 3.4.htmI http:// lib.ugent.be/fulltxt/ RUG01/001/ 887/157/ RUGO1-001887157_2012_0001_AC.pdf Q. Can we submit more than one project? Yes, but each project must have a unique registration number. Q. Do we need to submit hard copies of the boards? No, this is a digital competition. Send your boards by e-mail to email@example.com. Q. Can we submit our boards in Spanish or French? No, English is the only accepted language. Q. Can you supply some photos of mud architecture from the region? You will find plenty of great images of architecture from the region if you google 'African Architecture' or 'Ashanti architecture.'
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