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Lagos, Nigeria

African, Asian and Latin American cities will have to absorb nearly all of the 2.5 bn global urban population growth before 2050. Providing these people with adequate shelter in an environmentally sustainable manner remains a major challenge of our time.

Research identified that most of the urban population growth happens in cities with tropical savannah (Aw) climate, one of the reasons why Lagos was chosen as case study for this research project.

This research aims to understand how holistic design, informed by environmental analysis may contribute to a scalable framework for affordable, liveable and environmentally sustainable low-income housing in Lagos.

Based on fieldwork data, literature review, precedent study and climate analysis, complex design criteria for new low-income housing were established. A model design process for possible future housing estates was constructed and executed.

The step-by-step process addressed important early design decisions, such as

  • form and orientation,

  • roof and facade design,

  • spatial layouts,

  • building grouping,

  • materials and construction.


Additionally, aspects of solar energy generation, rainwater harvesting, financial and time planning concepts were studied. Finally, the prototype design was evaluated against the previously defined ‘design criteria’, using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

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