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Vertical extensions of the Urban Swahili house: A proposal for standardised two-storey construction
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A decent shelter is a basic human need. In developing countries, where

the industrialisation process is accompanied by rapid urbanisation, the

population solves their housing situation within limits of their own

savings. Therefore the majority of people in Tanzania still live in temporary,

sprawling single storey dwellings which generate densification of

houses and exorbitant travel distances. Occasionally settlement citizens

are forced to omit job opportunities due to far and expensive transport.

Not only in the informal settlements but in Dar es Salaam generally,

houses with more than one storey are very rare. The horizontal development

of the city may be a consequence of deficient economical

resources, inappropriate regulatory framework and production techniques.

Vertical extension of houses could be more economic in terms of

infrastructure provision, increase spatial qualities and generate important

outdoor spaces. Created space between buildings will in its turn

optimises cross ventilation and results in a better indoor climate.

The Swahili house is the predominant type of house found in Dar es

Salaam. Its shape and layout are known by heart. Through generations,

the skills of construction, has passed from one to another by practical

participation. The change from rural to urban society now compels

change in practice and building design. For poor families, the process of

constructing a house is a complicated, prolonged and expensive procedure.

Due to high cost of building materials, builders are often forced to

quality compromises. This study will introduce the technique using


‐prefabricated construction elements as an option in affordable two

storey housing. The analysis indicates that the use of these components

could increase execution quality and durability of constructions. Using

block elements, the prefab technique could be introduced, in a small

scale, to self builders and local artisans without the need of governmental

support and large industries.

Presented in this thesis are drawings for a vertically extended Swahili

house type which may help dwellers to build a durable and affordable

two storey construction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete Byggnadsteknik, 398
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-38020OAI: diva2:435736
Available from: 2011-08-19 Created: 2011-08-19 Last updated: 2011-08-19Bibliographically approved

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