The Nubian Vault Programme

a market-driven development strategy

The Department History of Architecture and Building Archaeology in cooperation with the Austrian Earth Building Network (Netzwerk Lehm) is presenting the following lecture:

Millions of families in Africa are trapped in a vicious circle of poverty because of the lack of an affordable solution for decent housing – a problem exacerbated in the Sahel region by desertification, population growth and climate change. One response to this challenge is the bioclimatic construction programme launched by the Franco-Burkinabé NGO Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN). Founded in 2000 by a French mason, Thomas Granier, and a Burkinabé farmer, Seri Youlou, it is probably the most extensive earthen housing development programme of its kind in the world, with over 5,000 buildings completed in five countries of the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, and Benin).

The AVN programme‘s primary aim is the emergence and support of a large scale market for adapted sustainable habitat in the Sahel. Currently, some 45,000 beneficiaries either live in or use Nubian Vault (NV) buildings, and there are 1,150 active NV masons trained and in training, In 2016 AVN received the UN World Habitat Award for promoting affordable and sustainable housing.

Zoom Link

Anthony Kaye’s lecture will describe and show examples of the NV architectural concept and then outline the cross-cutting strategy of the AVN Programme, which addresses not only the housing issue but also economic and rural development and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Anthony Kaye, Vice-President of the Nubian Vault Association (AVN). Anthony Kaye joined AVN‘s Board after retiring from the British Open University. He was Deputy Director of the University’s Centre for International Cooperation, following a secondment to the Ministry of Education in Ivory Coast. He has acted as a consultant on distance education projects in many countries for Unesco, the World Bank and other international development agencies. He lives in the UK and France.