Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)

AVN's mission is to improve housing conditions through an appropriate architecture, as soon as possible, for as many people as possible. In sub-Saharan Africa, the struggle to obtain decent housing plunges millions of families into a vicious circle of poverty. AVN offers a solution to this problem, based on three integrated concepts: A Roof + A Skill + A Market AVN organises the training and support of local Nubian Vault (NV) builders and entrepreneurs to promote this solution on a large-scale, with a view to developing a self-sustaining market in NV construction. As a result, families can acquire affordable, sustainable, and decent housing, at the same time improving their economic ...
Dec 8, 2016

AVN on the International Stage

AVN signs agreement with Ghana at Habitat III
AVN signs agreement with Ghana at Habitat III

There is not much new to report from our programme in the field since my last update three months ago - building can't take place during the summer (June, July, August), when intermittent and often heavy rains are incompatible with mud brick construction. And many NV masons are also subsistence farmers, busy with agricultural work during these months.

AVN at major international meetings

If the summer rains prevented construction, our AVN-International representatives have been very busy promoting our programme, networking, and fund-raising. Events to which AVN have been invited recently include:

- the Terra 2016 International conference on Earthern Architecture in Lyon, France, July 11-14, where AVN CEO Thomas Granier and colleagues presented  a paper on the challenges of using locally sourced construction materials in the context of AVN's large-scale programme for development of a market in earthern architecture in the Sahel

- the SXSW Eco Conference, Austin, Texas, Oct 10-12, at which AVN was a finalist in the 'Place by Design' competition, in the category 'Resilience & Health'

- the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador, Oct 17-20, at which AVN jointly ran a Networking Event, together with the Ghana Affordable Housing Network and other partners, on "Better building in Africa". As a result of this event, a cooperation agreement was signed between AVN and the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development of Ghana, which should lay the foundations for accelerating AVN's programme in the north of the country.

- the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov 7 - 18 which at  AVN had a booth and also took part in many side-events.

AVN's presence at these meetings, through the various networking events and workshops which it organised and took part in, has reinforced the importance of multi-agency involvement in development projects if they are to bring maximum benefits to as many people as possible.

World Habitat Awards 2016

AVN is one of 12 finalists for this year's World Habitat Award (we were also one of "11 outstanding finalists" for the Award in 2009). Let's hope that, this time round, we might win the Award. At the moment, an evaluation team is visiting each of the finalist's projects to advise on who the Winner will be ... fingers crossed!


Remember that it is in some measure due to your support that, over the last 10 years and more, AVN has come to be recognised as a major player for its programme of promoting and growing a market for sustainable, eco-friendly, affordable construction in West Africa. Please continue to help, and to tell your friends, family, and colleagues about our work, to complement the networking and on the international stage by our (very small and over-worked) AVN-International team based in in France.

Habitat III logo
Habitat III logo
Eco SXSW logo
Eco SXSW logo
COP 22
COP 22

Links:

Nov 11, 2016

AVN's increasing global reputation

AVN-Mali staff at LAC Inauguration, Bamako
AVN-Mali staff at LAC Inauguration, Bamako

There is not much new to report from our programme in Mali since my last update three months ago - our programme can't operate in the field during the summer (June, July, August), when intermittent and often heavy rains are incompatible with mud brick construction. And many NV masons are also subsistence farmers, busy with agricultural work during these months.

Inauguration of the Laboratoire d’Agri-Culture (LAC) of Bamako

In June, local AVN staff took part in the inauguration of this urban initiative in sustainable 'green' construction, biodiversity protection, agricultural experimentation, and local arts and crafts. The site includes several vaulted buildings constructed by NV masons.

AVN on the international scene

If the summer rains prevented construction in Mali, our AVN-International representatives have been very busy promoting our programme, networking, and fund-raising. Events to which AVN have been invited recently include:
- the Terra 2016 International conference on Earthern Architecture in Lyon, France, July 11-14, where AVN CEO Thomas Granier and colleagues presented  a paper on the challenges of using locally sourced construction materials in the context of AVN's large-scale programme for development of a market in earthern architecture in the Sahel
- the SXSW Eco Conference, Austin, Texas, Oct 10-12, at whch AVN was a finalist in the 'Place by Design' competition, in the category 'Resilience & Health'
- the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador, Oct 17-20, at which AVN jointly ran a Networking Event, together with the Ghana Affordable Housing Network and other partners, on "Better building in Africa"
- the 22nd Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov 7 - 18 which at  AVN had a booth and also took part in many side-events.

Remember that it is in some measure due to your support that, over the last 10 years and more, AVN has come to be recognised as a major player for its programme of promoting and growing a market for sustainable, eco-friendly, affordable construction in West Africa. Please continue to help, and to tell your friends, family, and colleagues about our work, to complement the networking and on the international stage by our (very small and over-worked) AVN-International team based in in France.

The LAC site, Bamako
The LAC site, Bamako
COP22 logo
COP22 logo
Habitat III
Habitat III
Terra 2016
Terra 2016
Eco SXSW
Eco SXSW

Links:

Sep 7, 2016

NV masons build refugee housing

Refugee family in front of their new house
Refugee family in front of their new house

NV masons build village for refugees in Mauritania

Teams of NV masons from Burkina Faso and Mali are building Nubian vault houses in Diakre, Mauritania for refugees fleeing persecution. Many refugee families – such as the family picturedpictured - who have been living under tents or corrugated iron roofing sheets in this camp now benefit from secure comfortable housing, sheltered from the searing heat, tempests of wind, and occasional heavy rainstorms.

This relief programme, financed by the Dubai Charity Association (DCA) involves the construction of 51 houses – 28 of which are now completed and occupied - and three community buildings. It is the result of a partnership between AVN-Senegal, the NGOs Banlieues du Monde Mauritanie and Le Partenariat (Senegal).

AVN buildings on CartoTerra

CartoTerra is an interactive online world atlas of earthern architecture, with images and brief details of a wide range of adobe earth buildings and relevant stakeholders. A representative selection of 50 or so NV buildings (out of the total of over 1500) in Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Benin, and Ghana are featured, as well as AVN's national offices (see Stakeholders). Enjoy exploring the site (see the link below) – it's easy to use, and clearly demonstrates AVN's predominance as a key player in promoting contemporary earth architecture in West Africa.

Thanks again

Once more, many thanks for your continuing interest in our programme to develop a market in decent affordable housing for as many people as possible, and especially for those families struggling to survive in impoverished rural communities, and those suffering persecution and civil disorder..

...and where they lived before
...and where they lived before
View of the refugee village
View of the refugee village
NV house under construction
NV house under construction
Another NV house, nearly completed
Another NV house, nearly completed
Community centre under construction
Community centre under construction

Links:

 
   

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