The Affordable Earth Housing, designed by Sharon Davis Design & Rwanda Village Enterprises, consists of a prototype four-bedroom single family house based both on an efficient design and a community-labor construction process, using locally available materials and handmade methodologies, including Compressed Earth Blocks. This prototype house was specifically design for the conditions in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda.
The main building method of this house include rammed earth foundations, load bearing walls made of adobe blocks, timber frame roofing structure, rammed earth floor, and ceramic tiles roof. According to the designer, earth based construction is beneficial for its efficiency and low-cost.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
The information obtained does not specify the user provision model.
Distributions to Date Status
95 units housing development on a 13 hectare site
Unique Design (Yes/No)
Intended number of occupants (#)
Duration of construction (days)
Footprint area (m²)
Number of storeys
Local soils, cement, concrete, and timber.
Flammable flash point temperature (ºC)
Thermal insulating capacity (m²*K/W)
The ferrocement roof is characterized by a low heat gain , and will not transmit heat in the way a typical tin roof will.
Maximum wind speed (km/h)
Structural Occupancy Category
Seismic Design Category
Adaptable to various site conditions and climatic regions
Material used in the construction of the house include:
- Foundations: mortared, locally-quarried stone
- Floors: cast concrete slabs
- Walls: handmade compressed earth blocks using local soils, finished with earthen plaster
- Screen: hand-woven eucalyptus
- Roof framing: timber
- Roofing: Ruliba clay tiles
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
The designer specified the following performance targets:
- Economy: Supply chain innovation and local capacity building
- Environment: Community enhancement and environmental sustainability
- Growth: Large scaled delivery program and adaptive model
Vetted Performance Status
No testing has been completed
To achieve earthquake safety standards, the standard earth block can be modified to allow for rebar. Compost Toilet provides a water-free, clean, safe, and economical way to manage waste and add to agricultural output
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Compliance with regulations