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Int. Journal for Housing Science, Vol. 31, No.

3 pp 195-203, 2007
Published in the United States

0146-6518/03/ 195-203, 2007
Copyright2007 IAHS











BUILDING RESEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA


Peter A. Kuroshi, Natasha A. Anigbogu
Department of Building
University of Jos, Nigeria.

Kabir Bala
Department of Building
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.



ABSTRACT
Advocacy for sustainable development has been through the dissemination of
relevant information. This paper gives a general review of academic research
on building production. It appraised the extent sustainability principles are
reflected in researches on building construction conducted by scholars in
Nigeria. The principles of sustainable construction are explained and
relationships established between the requirements for sustainability and the
findings of researches on aspects of building construction. A detailed
consideration was given on materials resources which are imperatives for
production. The bases for inferences are the sums of findings that conform to
the need of each particular resource to meet one or more requirements of
sustainability for construction production.

Keywords: Building research, Sustainable housing, Sustainability of
materials.

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Introduction
Human population globally no doubt is growing in geometric proportion
while existing natural resources required to meet the needs of man seem quite
limited. The reality that some natural resources are not renewable has
created a resource constraint environment for man to operate. It is in this light
that Corus (2005) made the submission that consumption and growth
throughout the world is exceeding the capacity of the natural environment,
fueling the requirement for a sustainable approach to development. Caring
for the Earth definition of sustainable development implies such as
improvement on the quality of human life while living within the carrying
capacity of supporting ecosystems (IUCN/UNEP, 1991). The working
definition for this presentation is one given in the Brundtland Report, WCED
(1981), which defines sustainable development as development that meets
the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs. However, Adebayo (2002) having
looked at this definition against the debilitating effect of poverty, war and
exhausting debt burden, opined that many African countries are incapacitated
by these factors to meet not only their present needs but even future needs.

The panacea for this phenomenon is provided by the main objectives of
Agenda 21 for sustainable construction in developing countries, viz;

To identify the key issues and challenges facing sustainable construction
in the developing world, as well as the major barriers to practicing
sustainable construction.
To identify a research agenda that focuses on possible responses to the
challenges and needs of the developing world.
To guide international investment in research and development in the
developing countries.
To stimulate debate and encourage learning on sustainable construction
within the developing world, thus drawing the developing world into the
international debate as an equal partner.

Principles of Sustainable Construction for Housing Development
Sustainable construction is an important aspect of sustainable development
but in Africa it has not received sufficient attention (Adebayo, 2002). This
scenario and the debilitating factors mentioned earlier, seemingly informed
the acknowledgement in CIB Publication 237 (1999) that developing
countries may require a different approach to that of developed countries.

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Corus (2005) defined sustainable construction as the use of design,
construction methods and materials that are resource efficient and that will not
compromise the health of the environment or the associated health of the
building occupants, builders, the general public or future generations.

Sustainable construction aims to apply the principles of sustainability (as
reflected in the definitions of sustainable development given by Corus (2005)
and the Brundtland report (WCED, 1987)) to the construction industry by
providing ways for buildings that use materials that meet the following
requirements:
available and useable
non-toxic
recycled and recyclable
renewable
local
standard size, modular, Pre-cut (reduces waste)
Durable and long lasting.

This paper appraised the findings of researches on materials that meet one or
more of the above listed requirements for a sustainable construction material.

Material Sustainability

The agitation for the use of sustainable materials in building construction and
the incapacity of many Nigerians to acquire own houses no doubt gave rise to
the increasing number of researches intended to develop cheaper alternative
building materials for the construction of houses.

Sustainability assessment on five alternative aggregates and three alternative
(to cement) binders (refer to table 1) was carried out on the premise of
information contained in the research reports. For materials, such information
is on their physical, chemical, and structural properties. Thus, the degree of
sustainability on the premise of sustainability requirement(s) of each material
was implied from its properties.

Table 1: Alternatives to conventional Aggregates and Binder (Cement)
Aggregates Binders
Local Pumice Stone
Palm Kernel shell
Periwinkle shell
Murex Dye shell
Atile seed (Canarium Schiveinfurthi)
Rice Husk Ash
Saw Dust Ash
Acha Husk (hungry rice) Ash

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198
Local Pumice Stone

Local pumice stone was described by Doran (1992) as froth like volcanic
glass which did not crystallize due to rapid cooling and frothed with the
sudden release of dissolved gases. Orchard (1970) established that the stone
contain no sulphide or harmful chemicals thereby producing stable sound
concrete with no action on embedded steel. Kamang and Bingila (2000)
determine the suitability of pumice stone for light weight concrete.

Table 2: Sustainability Assessment of Local Pumice Stone
Sustainability Requirement Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and recyclable v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes, modular, pre-cut v
Durable and long lasting v

Palm Kernel Shell

Palm Kernel is a by-product of palm oil processing. Ndegwe (1987) identified
three varieties within West Africa. It is implied from the results of
investigations by Dashan and Nwankwo (2000) that Palm Kernel shell
concrete has the capacity to maintain reasonable compressive strength at
elevated temperature.

Table 3: Sustainability Assessment for Palm Kernel Shell

Sustainability
Requirement
Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and recyclable v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes, modular, pre-cut v
Durable and long lasting v

Periwinkle Shell

Periwinkle shell is derived from a family of snail littoinidae. 10 out of 50
species in the world are found in West Africa, (Dance, 1980). In Nigeria,
Periwinkle is predominantly found in the Niger Delta Area. According to
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Kamang and Job (1992), Periwinkle shells can be used to either partially or
totally replace aggregate in concrete.

Table 4: Sustainability Assessment for Periwinkle shell

Sustainability
Requirement
Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and recyclable v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes, modular, pre-cut v
Durable and long lasting v

Murex Dye Shell

This is the shell of an aquatic organism. The shells are slightly bigger, heavier
in weight and look more durable than the periwinkle shell. The study carried
out by Adeagbo and Izam (1999) indicates that Murex Dye shell has a
desirable optimum strength of about 20 N/mm2 with a mix ratio of 1:1:2 at
28 days curing period.

Table 5: Sustainability Assessment of Murex Dye Shell.

Sustainability
Requirement
Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and recyclable v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes, modular, pre-cut v
Durable and long lasting v

Atile Seed (Canarium Schiveinfurthii)

This is obtainable from a fruit cultivated in Nigeria. It is yellowish- green
when unripe and bluish-black when ripe. This material was investigated by
Kamang and Datok (1999) for compressive strength. The results indicate low
compressive strength values.

The use in traditional construction, informed the empirical investigation of its
properties by Kabiru, et.al (1999). Their conclusion was, Atile seed can be
used as aggregate for mass concrete in solid ground floors due to its low
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200
modulus of elasticity, especially for situations where the floor is prone to
impact and short spanned structural elements.

Table 6: Sustainability Assessment of Atile Seed

Sustainability
Requirement
Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and recyclable v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes, modular, pre-cut v
Durable and long lasting v

Binders
Rice Husk Ash (RHA)

This is an artificial pozzolana produced by heat treatment of rice husk. The
by-product of this process has been found to contain silica. Its properties were
investigated by Smith (1984), Okpala (1997) and Ikpong (1989). Important
discoveries by these researches are mainly two:
the amorphous (non-crystalline) ash obtained by burning the husk at
between 600 - 650

C, are highly reactive with lime to form secondary


cementing materials,
husk ash from rice produced in Southern and Northern Nigeria,
perform satisfactorily when used to replace a part of cement in
concrete.

Table 7: Sustainability Assessment of Rice Husk Ash

Sustainability
Requirement
Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and
recyclable
v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes,
modular, pre-cut
N.A N.A N.A
Durable and long
lasting
v

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201
Saw Dust Ash

Saw Dust Ash is a resultant of incinerating saw dust at very high temperatures
(600

C-700

C). Sumaila and Job (1999) conducted an empirical investigation


of its usability as construction material. The tendency for increase in its
compressive strength with increase in hydration makes it a possible alternative
material for partial replacement of conventional binder.

Table 8: Sustainability Assessment of Saw Dust Ash

Sustainability
Requirement
Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and
recyclable
v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes,
modular, pre-cut
N.A N.A N.A
Durable and long
lasting
v

Acha Husk Ash (AHA)

Acha husk ash is another example of artificial pozzolana. It is obtained by
burning the husk of Acha grain at elevated temperature (650

C-700

C). The
grain is cultivated within the middle-belt region of Nigeria. Dashan and
Kamang (1999) examined the strength properties of concrete produced with a
combination of Acha Husk Ash and ordinary Portland cement as binders.
Using design strength of 25N/mm2 at medium workability and 28 days
hydration. The results of their study show that compressive strength increased
with increase in AHA content up to 20% replacement level and decrease with
further percentage increase. Thus 20% replacement is the optimum level
recommended.

Table 9: Sustainability Assessment of Acha Husk Ash
Sustainability
Requirement
Degree of Sustainability
Highly Likely Unlikely
Available and useable v
Non-toxic v
recycled and recyclable v
Renewable v
Local v
Standard sizes, modular,
pre-cut
N.A N.A N.A
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202
Conclusions
The paper established that the principles of sustainability are reflected in the
research works of scholars. This submission is on the premise of results of
researches on indigenous building materials. Findings of different researchers
revealed that most of the materials considered were adequate for non
structural concrete works. Based on the detailed assessment carried out in this
appraisal, each material met some of the requirements for sustainability.
However, the limitation is the inability to establish the extent of availability of
the materials.

References
[1] Adeagbo,O.O and Izam, Y. D. (1999). The relationship between the
strength and Non-destructive parameters of Morex Dye shell concrete.
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[2] Adebayo, A.A. (2002). Sustainable Construction in Africa. Agenda 21 for
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[3] CIB Publication 237(1999). Agenda 21 in sustainable construction in
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[4] Corus (2005). Sustainability Glossary. www. Corusconstruction@
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[13] Building and Environment. 25(4) Pp 291-296.

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