Published in 11th North American Masonry Conference Proceedings: Minneapolis, MN, June 5, 2011.
In terms of knowledge and technology innovation, sustainability is defined as the ability for a society or culture to develop, incorporate and maintain knowledge and technology in a long term manner without continued outside input. In rural East Africa, the prevalence of low-cost building materials and unskilled labor produce buildings that provide poor security for charitable groups working to improve the quality of life for communities and individuals there. Medicine and other medical supplies are targeted by thieves for their high value. Buildings constructed of the most common building material in the region, adobe masonry, are easily broken into by using sledgehammers to destroy a portion of a wall, circumventing many security measures. The people associated with Nyumbani Village (a project located in a rural area of Kenya) asked for help in mitigating this problem. The question was asked if local resources (low cost and high availability) could be used in a manner that could be easily and affordably reproduced. This paper will present, in a qualitative manner, how a sustainable solution was found for sledgehammer attacks on adobe masonry walls.
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