Join us at WUF 11 in Katowice, for the network event about bioclimatic architecture in the African context

Our partner Vincent Kitio from UN-HABITAT along with ABC 21 project will be hosting a networking session (NE 136) at WUF11 entitled “Towards Net Zero carbon architecture in Africa: Presentation of case studies of carbon-neutral buildings in Africa”

🌍WUF 11 | Katowice | Poland

📍NE 136 | Multifunction Hall Room 16
📆 29th June 2022
⌚️2h30 – 4h00 pm

In this session, we will discuss issues related to bioclimatic architectural designs for tropical buildings with a special focus on sustainable and affordable housing in the African context. The event will also highlight the importance of enabling policies and regulations that can drive the transition toward carbon-neutral and bioclimatic architecture.


  • Hon. Daniel Garwe | Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities | Zimbabwe 🇿🇼
  • Mr Charles M. Hinga| Principal Secretary | State Department for Housing and Urban Development | Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works | Kenya 🇰🇪
  • Mr Ahmadou Sardaouna | Director | Société Immobilière du Cameroon 🇨🇲
  • Mr Vincent Kitio | Lead Urban Energy Solutions | UN-Habitat | Kenya 🇰🇪
  • Prof. Francois Garde | Director, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieur | Université de La Réunion | Rénion Island 🇷🇪
  • Prof. Asmae Khaldoune | Al Akhawayn University | Ifrane | Morocco 🇲🇦

The challenge:

The word is witnessing an unprecedented rapid urbanization, with more than half of the world population living in urban areas. The number is projected to exceed three-quarters by 2050. On similar pace, cities are responsible with three-quarters of the global GHG emissions. Increasingly, the world is witnessing climate change impacts affecting urban areas the most, from increased extreme weather events such as flood events, raising temperatures, vector diseases, climate refugees, social unrest etc.

Sub-Sahara Africa has a housing shortage estimated at 160 million units. Between now and 2030, 70 million additional homes will be needed. The housing deficit for Zimbabwe is estimated at around 1.5 million homes. That of Kenya is 2 million and 2.5 million housing shortage for Cameroon, just to mention a few. In order to achieve SDG 11 Target 11.1 that states: “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums”, at least 70 million new homes need to be built in Africa in the coming years. Considering that the built environment is responsible for 54 % of energy consumption and 30 % of greenhouse gas emissions, new buildings should be built with carbon neutrality principles.

Cities are the main drivers to address the growing concern on climate change impacts and the challenges to meet the objectives of the Paris and the carbon neutrality goal by 2050.

Architectural design plays a critical role for cities to become carbon neutral. This includes design of the buildings, and sustainable urban planning and design of neighbourhoods. The green architectural designs take into consideration efficient energy and resources utilization, sustainable mobility and the general comfort. The energy and carbon footprint can be reduced through the use of natural lighting and ventilation, solar protection, proper orientation of the buildings, use of adequate and locally materials. Additional savings can be made by integrating efficient heating, cooling, insulation, lighting, and water distribution systems in new or rehabilitated buildings that will increase energy retention. Likewise, on site alternative energy sources such as solar panels on a roof can supplement power from the grid. The use of recycled, reused, or low energy building materials will also contribute to a better energy balance.

These technical measures and green building strategies alone are not enough. There is a strong need for government regulations and policies to drive the transformation and build back greener and better. Cities need to establish strong policies and standards to develop sustainable urban energy systems, energy efficient buildings and to reduce the use of unsustainable technologies and practices. Governments must not only institute legislation to regulate energy use and consumption, but must also set up incentive measures that promote research, innovation, and, most importantly, the adoption of greener and more efficient technologies. Government should also serve as a model by building green.


Objectives of the session

The session objectives are to advocate for low-carbon building designs in the urban settings through enacting necessary conditions for adaptation of these designs supported by building codes and standards. The session will also discuss necessary environment including establishment of supportive policies and incentives.


Means to achieve the objectives:

The session will bring together stakeholders with experience in the carbon neutral building architectural designs through sharing experiences from the world best practices which can be adopted by and tailored for countries.

Furthermore, the session will present examples of Net Zero carbon building in tropical countries with focus on Africa. The event is also expected to result in forging south-south partnerships, knowledge, and technology exchange.

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