ABC 21 : Africa-Europe BioClimatic buildings for XXI century

Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 initiative, the project aims to identify and document African & European bioclimatic designs and use of local materials as methods to promote sustainable and energy-efficient buildings.

The project


The globalisation trends in the building sector resulted in the adoption of inadequate design solutions, especially for warm weather regions, which replicated designs that are far from sustainable or energy-efficient. The obsession with glazed-unshaded buildings is the most visible aspect of this trend. These buildings perform badly even in central Europe, and yet we see an ever-growing number of glass tower buildings in Africa. 


The need to fight this cycle of inadequate building practices is clear, especially considering a climate change scenario. In light of this challenge, it is urgent to investigate the best sustainable design and construction examples from warm regions worldwide. Design strategy involves bioclimatic approaches and other low-energy solutions for maintaining comfort levels in warmer climates.

Some of these solutions already exist in Africa and only need to be disseminated and adapted to other regions. Inspiration might originate from nature, like the Saharan Silver ants, with enhanced optical reflection and radiative heat dissipation capabilities. This concept was recently successfully adapted as a building surface finishing layer. Combining these state-of-the-art approaches with the best bioclimatic solutions will be the hallmark of the ABC 21 project.

Facts & figures

9 partners
7 countries
1 M€ of EU funding
15 allies in EU & Africa
24 months

All public reports developed throughout the project will be available here for open access.

Technical description of selected bioclimatic case studies as example of good practices in the EU and Africa

Recordings & presentations from the webinars organised by ABC 21, covering different topics related to the project work.

The weather files generated for future climate for  locations in Africa and EU will be accessible for download here.

ABC 21 will promote adequate, locally adapted bioclimatic approaches by providing updated state-of-the-art information on the best technologies and techniques available

Project Consortium

ABC 21 has gathered a group of specialists already active in reducing the building design and construction material sectors’ environmental footprint. The consortium is made up of researchers, public officers and consulting companies scattered throughout Africa and Europe. We are a group of building professionals with a large experience designing and assessing buildings to achieve high energy and comfort performances.

Scientific Coordination

Administrative Coordination


Third parties