Group week meeting with Genku Kayo and Helena

Every week, we have a group meeting to advance in the project together. This week we had a more completed meeting because Helena, Genku and his wife join us. Genku Kayo and his wife Nop Suzuki are Japanese. Genku is part of Aalto University School of Engineering – Department of Energy Technology like a post-doctoral researcher (doctor of engineering) and has a lot of knowledge about architecture and adaptions to the environment and climate.


During the meeting we presented our first concrete ideas about each parts because all of us have a specific part work : Annica works about the structural part with the environmental and technical aspects, Vilma imagines a new master plan for the Chamazi area, Léa draws a new housing concept developing multi-family houses and courtyards, then Amanda arranges the management part and prepares some funding applications. Moreover, Léa and Vilma draw together the new community center. Annica and Amanda work also on it about the structural and the management parts. The community center remains our priority and the most important part for a short term.

Meet Genku and Nop was a nice opportunity for us and it was really useful to continue our work in a good way. He asked the good questions which we have to find solutions fast. For example we need to know more about the prices materials and know how much we want to be cheaper exactly. He did some simple and essential comments which we didn’t think before. He helped us to arrange some plans and orientation ideas about houses and also to rethink and work more close to the climate changes and remain simple and accessible for a local construction made by the community people themselves. We discussed about each our working parts : the master plan, the houses plan, the environmental issues (water management) and the economic aspect.

At the end of the meeting, he showed us some nice conceptual pictures to explain the different air movements and its intensity according to the windows positions in the buildings walls. Now we can use these simple architectural concepts which change a lot for a pleasant feeling inside houses.


So we thank Genku and Nop and we hope to have another meeting with them or participate to one of his interesting lectures !

Mid review – Pecha Kucha presentation

Yesterday we had Mid review with presentations of all the projects in our course. In total there are 6 different projects in the Aalto University course Sustainable global technologies: facing local and global challenges; three in Tanzania, one in Mozambique, one in South Africa and one in Lebanon. It was very interesting to see the other groups presentation and discuss our project and ideas with them.

The presentation format was Pecha Kucha which is a Japanese presentation format with 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. Preparing the presentation was a good way for us to refine the objectives and outlines or our project and to plan the work for the upcomming 2 months before the final presentaion, 12th of May. To structure the scope of our project we developed a visual model that describes the different parts we will be working with. We will make suggestions for a partial masterplan of the area, the design of the community center and also some designs for multi-family housing. Implementation strategy will also have a key role in our project. The different parts are described bellow.

Skärmavbild 2014-04-01 kl. 16.04.52Project structure for our project

Masterplan: The design of the revised master plan began with some research about what’s happening around the Chamazi area. The site is located about 20km from the center of Dar es Salaam and sits in a peri-urban setting. The location is not very central, yet it’s obviously an area that is in the process of strong development. In our project we will focus on developing the area that is marked with a dashed red line and located close to the main arrival to the site (from the top right corner). The previously mentioned community center and multi-family houses will be located in this area. The objectives mentioned on the right are things that could be improved with deliberate planning of the area. We will focus on these.

Skärmavbild 2014-04-01 kl. 16.14.53Skärmavbild 2014-04-01 kl. 16.18.39Masterplan in Chamazi and our objectives for the part we will work with

Community centre: Our main focus will be around the community centre building in Chamazi since it will serve as a pilot for the bottle wall technique. The community centre would serve as a meeting and conference space for the people in Chamazi. There would be an office for the Federation and for the Muungano housing cooperation. The community centre would also have a bar or café and some shops. The plan is to make a very simple design that can be built in steps by the community themselves. We will develop architectural drawings, structural drawings and calculations for the building. The idea is that the Community centre will be placed on an open platform with a big roof, different boxes, built with the bottle technique, will serve as conference room, office, bar, and shops. In addition to this we will also suggest a system for water harvesting from the roof of the community centre building, since the big roof is a suitable place to do so. We will also draw a model for a business and management plan that describes how the community centre could be maintained and how it can benefit the community by generating some income, education and a place to meet.

community 2Construction Rain water harvesting 1Community centre building: First drawings, construction method and water harvesting

Multifamily housing: As a continuation of the previous group from Aalto University we will be developing the plans they made for multifamily houses. The redesign will be based on the discussions we had with Chamazi community about their ideas.

house 1First drawings of Multifamily houses

Implementation strategy: The construction with the bottle wall would be done incrementally and with a trial and error strategy. To start something smaller like a dry toilet would be constructed, then when permit, funding and knowledge is enough the centre could be built step by step. Eventually in the future the housing concepts could be developed more and the bottles could be used to build the 2-in-1 family houses. At the moment we are in contact with partners who can assist in training and looking for places where we could apply for funding. To do this we are also planning to refine our projects communication by for example developing a simple descriptive video.

Skärmavbild 2014-04-01 kl. 16.43.29Project phases for implementing the bottle technique in Chamazi

Use this link to access the whole presentation: Mid review_Chamazi project

Visiting Earth House pilot house in Heureka

This morning we did a small field trip to science centre Heureka in Vantaa to check out Sami Juola’s eco-house exhibition called Earth House. The concept of this eco-house is basically a locally produced modular steel frame, which can then be “filled” and coated with any chosen local materials, such as straw, clay or limestone. The Earth House is both a physical structure and a business model for disaster areas and other developing areas, and Sami stated that competitive price and easy assembly principle of the frame are some advantages of this technology.

IMG_0166The Earth House from the outside

IMG_0153Samples of wall material that can be used in the Earth House

We are hoping that this steel frame could be at least partially used in our community centre building. In this way the community house could become a pilot project for several affordable construction techniques, the sand-filled bottle construction and this Earth House frame now being two possible options. We were expecting that the Earth House frame could be filled with vertical, trash filled plastic bottles for insulation (here is a similar construction facilitated by Finnish team Komitu in Cambodia: However it seems that the diagonal supports of the frame structure can make this difficult. The frame would need altering or otherwise we would need to look for a different insulation material. We will keep investigating this.

IMG_0167Sami explaining about the construction

IMG_0158A scale model of the metal structure in Earth House

Otherwise the visit was really interesting, and the pilot house included a lot of other interesting solutions related to the structure and housing systems (such as a small wind turbine and solar panels). Anyone in Finland should go and check it out! The webiste of Earth House can also be found at