ABC 21 - Africa-Europe BioClimatic buildings for XXI century

Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program initiative, the ABC 21 project aims to identify and document African and European bioclimatic designs and the use of local materials as methods to develop and 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. Global warming is expected to have early and severe consequences in Africa. In light of this challenge, it is urgent to investigate the best sustainable design and construction examples from warm regions worldwide. These examples must then be adapted and combined with the best local African design and building materials. This 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 discovered and adapted to other regions. Inspiration might originate from nature, like the Saharan Silver ants, with enhanced optical reflection and radiative heat dissipation capabilities. Their silver coating provides an elegant technical solution to stay cool in the sun. This concept was recently successfully adapted as a building surface finishing layer that can achieve surface temperatures below air temperature under direct sunlight. 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€ - EU funding
15 allies in EU and Africa
24 months

Knowledge Centre


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

Here you can find the recordings and presentation from the webinars organised by ABC 21, covering different topics related to the project work.

Training Materials

Specific training materials developed by ABC 21 and project allies are available here.

Weather files for future climate

The weather files generated for future climate for different 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