14 Market Square
Milton Keynes, n/a MK11 1BE
00 44 (0) 1908 262
Tech Museum Awards
Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)
7 rue Jean Jaures
00 33 (0)467 812 105
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Thomas Granier was a builder in France, specializing in restoration of old buildings. In 1998, at the invitation of Konate Bomave, in Burkina Faso, he tried adapting the age-old Nubian vault technique to building houses in the Sahel. The success of these trials led him in 2000 to set up the Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN) to promote this technique in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries
Seri Youlou, originally a farmer, from Boromo, Burkina Faso, was the first person to train as a VN builder, in 1998. He is responsible for coordinating the 'Earth roofs in the Sahel' program in Burkina Faso: organizing the training of apprentices, liaising with NV clients, setting up a NV builders' cooperative, supervising NV building sites. He is helped by six support staff, in Boromo.
Antoine Horellou is a specialist in social entrepreneurship; he has led several international missions to Africa for NGO's, and decided in 2006 to design a development strategy for the AVN. Currently, he is seeking to improve the social impact of the NV technique, to develop an innovative delivery strategy, and to improve the productivity and number of NV builders.