Results from Project Jenga

Date: 4 January 2018

Related Project: Joint development of courses for energy efficient and sustainable housing in Africa

JENGA, a three year programme implementing practice-oriented teaching methods at architecture schools in order to promote resource efficiency in building construction in an East African context, has been concluded successfully. Project results are now available, as both the Full Proceedings of the final project conference, SFC 2016 in Nairobi (ISBN 978-0-620-72289-6) and the JENGA Handbook, a compilation of project results (ISBN 978-3-00-056680-6) have been printed and published.

In continuation of the objectives of the JENGA project, the faculty of the Built Environment at Uganda Martyrs University has included locally and contextually relevant architectural solutions as well as problem-solving competence for students in their Bachelor Degree courses.

Two specific courses have been established as a result of the training received during the JENGA initiative: One is an elective titled ‘Lets Build’, delivering and improving hands-on competence and understanding of the methods of earthen construction, which is a low-energy and resource-efficient alternative to cement and fired brick construction.

The second is a practical course called ‘Field Experience II: Site and Construction Work’ and aims at improving practical construction experience during the long vacation after completion of the second year. Students explore, document and analyse issues related to building construction, as well as processes related to quality control and assurance on site. The course is offered in close cooperation with local practitioners. Students attend real construction site meetings as well as site based workshops to facilitate discussions with the project architects and project managers about the execution of real projects.

Acknowledging the role of women, since they are the drivers of most urban economies in the region, a percentage of over 50% female students enrolment for this Bachelor level elective course is required by the faculty and female students are especially encouraged to participate.

The JENGA team has been successful in finding ways for further training and dissemination, as a colleague from Uganda Martyrs’ University in Uganda successfully applied for an internship at Transsolar, an international climate engineering practice based in Stuttgart, Germany. Experiences gained during the programme, especially collaboration with various African faculties for Architecture and Civil Engineering, also prepared the ground for the coordinating partner’s successful proposal ‘Cooperation and Capacity Building in Built Environment and Digital Media’. Augsburg University of Applied Science will be able to build on the JENGA experience and established networks for this DAAD funded pilot measure in preparation of the DAAD’s intention to establish an Eastern African – German University of Applied Sciences.