A passive house prototype in Nigeria built by Comprehensive Design Services

Photograph courtesy Comprehensive Design Services

Great Energy Challenge Innovator: Comprehensive Design Services

Project: Affordable housing with renewable energy for Nigeria

Location: Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Summary: With a population of 175 million, Nigeria faces a whopping housing unit deficit of 17 million. Only 50.3 percent of the population has access to epileptic & unreliable power supply, 64 percent has access to clean water and 36 percent has access to improved sanitation. Nigeria is vulnerable to the effects of climate change from coastal flooding and global warming from deforestation and desertification.

Other challenges are high unemployment (24 percent) and low home ownership (25 percent). Three-quarters of households live in a single-room house (a.k.a. Face-Me-I-Face-You or Rooming Houses). A rooming house is typically found in urban areas and comprises one building with a central corridor, with roughly ten total rooms, facing each other. Kitchens and bathrooms are not only shared, but they are located in a separate building. Families of six or seven typically live in one or two rooms!

This creates insecurity and discord, as well as lack of privacy, safety and dignity. Women and girls are sometimes raped when they use bathrooms after dark. Theft is common and quarrels occur frequently. Despite public discussion about mass housing in Nigeria, few developers attempt to build low-cost housing.

Comprehensive Design Services (CDS) is the only known organization to tally success for the triple bottom line: (1) social inclusion, (2) environmental responsiveness and (3) affordability. CDS's innovative product, the Passive House Prototype (PHP) offers a "Whole Systems Design" to address this deficit sustainably. The PHP is bio-climatically designed with renewable energy, clean water, and improved sanitation to provide safety, security, privacy, and dignity, in an affordable way.

Goal: To tackle the complex social, environmental and economic challenges in the Nigerian built environment with simple green housing solutions.

Project Participants: Chinwe Ohajuruka, Architecture, Sustainability; Omie Ben-Kalio: Engineering, Project Management; Obiageli Enumah: Construction Oversight; Michael Ukpeh: Architecture, Project Management

The Great Energy Challenge grant program, in collaboration with a distinguished group of scientists acting as the board of advisors, awards roughly a half-dozen grants per year. The goal of the grant program is to hasten the growth of promising, global energy solutions as a response to climate change, energy resource constraints and environmental limitations.


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