Structural Research and Design for Sustainable House Pilots

This project aims to evaluate, enhance, and document the structural engineering aspects of roof structures for three one-story single-family homes in Rwanda.

Project Overview

Project Description

The Fellow on this project will collaborate with EarthEnable‘s Chief Technical Officer in the Research and Development team to evaluate, enhance, and document the structural engineering aspects of roof structures for three one-story single-family homes in Rwanda.

The Fellow will own the research stream investigating wood supply chain, properties, and best practices to develop a sustainable and robust roof design for EarthEnable’s affordable homes. This will include gaining an in-depth understanding of round wood pole construction and its safe, cost-effective applications in the Rwandan context. This comprehensive analysis aims to transition EarthEnable’s project of providing affordable homes in Rwanda from the pilot stage to a larger testing and rollout phase. Additionally, the Fellow will document insights from pilot homes constructed in 2022 and 2023, laying the groundwork for future initiatives.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Assess and document learnings pertaining to roof structure from previous house pilots.
  • Research and develop criteria for structural assessment of house pilots roofing including supply chain, structural properties, designs, and specifications.
  • Carry out structural analysis and calculations for new construction.
  • Redesign for the houses as needed, including layouts, material substitutions, and structural configurations.
  • Take ownership of new documentation such as drawings, descriptions, and specifications to be compiled into future EarthEnable operating procedures and guidelines.
  • If in-country, participate in site visits on new house construction.


By creating and selling affordable, safe Earthen homes in Rwanda, EarthEnable is continuing its mission to make a positive impact on both people’s lives and the planet. EarthEnable started in 2014 to provide low-cost flooring to families in East Africa who could not afford concrete flooring and were suffering from the impact of loose dirt floors, which carry disease and significantly lower quality of life. By expanding to provide a whole healthy house that is made of all natural materials, EarthEnable hopes to continue to provide places where people can live healthy lives, while reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry.

Eligibility Criteria

Skills / Experience:

  • Required:
    • CAD Modeling
    • Structural Design and Analysis
  • Desired:
    • Intermediate/expert experience with structural analysis tools (e.g. Robot, SAP 2000, Etabs).
    • Interest in and understanding of supply chains in construction
    • Willingness to engage in innovation with low-tech materials
    • Interest in low-cost sustainable housing for rural Rwandans

Software needs:

  • Required: Revit [Intermediate Level], AutoCAD [Intermediate Level]


  • Civil and structural engineering

Preferred fellow local experience (all projects can be completed remotely):

  • Any, but Rwanda or East Africa based preferred

Time zone compatibility (when the Fellow should be available for meetings):

  • CAT (UTC+2)

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