Tile vaulted systems for low-cost construction in Africa

Block P., DeJong M., Davis L. and Ochsendorf J.
Journal of the African Technology Development Forum (ATDF)

The proposed tile vaulting building technique adopts an unreinforced masonry construction method with a 600 year tradition in the Mediterranean, where the bricks have traditionally been made from fired clay. [1] The technique is now combined with the local tradition in Africa of cement-stabilized, soil-pressed bricks, which use locally available soil. In this context, Social and economic concerns were jointly addressed with local leaders and in-habitants to ensure that the structure is relevant to the local culture and successfully implemented. The proposed vaulting technique has the potential to meet three primary objectives: to provide an environmentally-sound building solution using mainly local materials, to engender social cohesion and pride within the local communities by drawing upon traditional methods, and to stimulate economic growth by providing local jobs, while reducing dependence upon imported materials.


    author  = "Block, P. and DeJong, M. and Davis, L. and Ochsendorf, J.",
    title   = "Tile vaulted systems for low-cost construction in Africa",
    journal = "Journal of the African Technology Development Forum (ATDF)",
    year    = "2010",
    volume  = "7",
    number  = "1",
    pages   = "4-13",
    month   = "October",
    doi     = "",
    note    = "",

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