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An Energy Efficient House For Under $3,000

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Practice/Partnership/Program Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.174.1 - 9.174.10



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Paper Authors

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James Strueber

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


An Energy Efficient House for Under $3,000

J. Strueber, V. Harris, E. Meyer, E. Carter, E. Maweza, M. Matshaya

Tuskegee University/Tuskegee University/University of Fort Hare/ Tuskegee University/University of Fort Hare/University of Fort Hare


This paper describes the design and materials development for building small energy efficient housing for the rural areas of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, which is experiencing an extreme shortage of suitable housing. This is a student exchange project between Tuskegee University and the University of Fort Hare, Republic of South Africa. With students and faculty visiting both campuses researching materials developing the design and finally assisting in build- ing the demonstration house in Alice. Even though the housing being developed is of modest size the prototype with very little modification could be used for migrant and other seasonal farm worker housing in the United States, and larger versions could be developed for rural low cost housing.

During 2003 Tuskegee University and the University of Fort Hare were awarded a USAID, ALO student exchange partnering grant to provide training in building low cost energy efficient hous- ing to produce healthier living conditions in the rural areas of South Africa, which are suffering a severe shortage of affordable, clean, warm and durable housing. It has been demonstrated that not having clean and vermin-proof housing, as well as safe water are the major contributing fac- tors to the very short life expectancy in developing countries. Typically a 50% or greater increase in life expectancy can be gained through providing clean, warm and vermin-proof housing and water. The intent of the grant is to develop a program, utilizing the approximately $3,000 South African Government housing subsidy, to develop a viable grass roots industry in small scale building and community based manufacturing in depressed rural communities, while concur- rently providing appropriate affordable comfortable housing.

This project has several phases, the first of which is to build on the base of existing construction methods and materials and develop building uses for currently unused and underutilized materi-

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Strueber, J. (2004, June), An Energy Efficient House For Under $3,000 Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13361

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