SICU PROJECT OVERVIEW AND PLANNING PROCESS

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Project Background

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EiABC academic research exchange based on a Housing prototype

SICU is an acronym for "Sustainable Incremental Construction Unit". The SICU project is the second part of the three year cooperative project "Concept - Test - Realization" (CTR), funded through the DAAD “Welcome to Africa” program and executed by three Universities in Ethiopia, Germany and South Sudan.

The general aim of the CTR cooperation is to strengthen the collaboration in practical research and experiential learning, to bring together contemporary building technologies with real contextual circumstances within an academic learning scenario. Each of the three project years involves the realization of an experimental building prototype in scale 1:1, whereby the thematic focus shifts over the three years: Whereas the first year's prototype (SECU) was focused on building materials, the focus of the second building is the building process. SICU will be constructed through participatory design in a real environment with real site conditions, i.e. in Lideta, a highly dense neighborhood of Addis Ababa. It will be realized through the collaboration of a team of students and their instructors, researching and exploring possibilities for the design and realization of an incremental housing unit in an urban context.

With it’s focused on process oriented building, the SICU project is projected as a parallel strategy to the existing governmental housing project by researching and implementing innovative and cost efficient constructions and materials. It predominantly uses fast and simple prefabricated construction, which will undoubtedly influence the economic status of the society both by introducing a new way of building system, as well as creating the opportunity for new types of skills and jobs.

Project Objectives & Targets

The main objectives of the SICU project are:

  • to combine theoretical knowledge with practical training for higher education at EiABC (training students with realistic parameters of a site and building construction system)
  • to create a link of trust between the involved students, researchers and the community
  • to contribute on a fair and alive society, where everyone has the opportunity needed to develop their capacities and fully exercise their own housing thoughts.
  • to promote community development and participation
  • to promote critical reflection for further implementations
  • to consider locally available material resources and the local mode of living - introducing innovative construction techniques.
  • to serve the purpose of the government whilst realizing the design potentials of the students, researchers and the community, offering parallel strategies to the existing governmental housing project in the city
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