UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya

by Iman M Ansari (MAUD '10) and Marta Anna Nowak (MArch '12)

2009 International Travel CSFP Fellowship Winners Marta Anna Nowak (MArch '12) and Iman M. Ansari (MAUD '10) interned at the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat). They worked under the newly launched UN Initiative for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation where they focused on sustainable building technologies and materials. They developed a comprehensive guide for planting, growing, harvesting, treating and building with bamboo for sustainable low-cost housing and shelter.

This guidebook, Bambooklet (June 2010 publish date) will serve as a comprehensive guide for policy makers, developers, NGOs, architects, and all others interested in using bamboo as a building material. After series of analysis of bamboo joints, structural, mechanical as well as ecological properties of bamboo, they developed a design of a bamboo roof system. The aim was to develop a movable roof system that can protect the space from sunlight and rain but at the same time collect the rainwater and allow for ventilation. The roof would become part of a new housing prototype that could be easily built for low-income housing, slums, as well as temporary shelter in post-disaster regions.