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Manifesto for Climate Responsive Design





The Earth is facing twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. The impact of these interlinked crises will vary across different parts of the world, but will affect the way in which we develop our built environment.


The Manifesto for Climate Responsive Design looks at the future direction of architecture in East Africa and how it will respond to the environmental crises we face.


As such this guide is aimed towards the particular climate and cultural context of East Africa, referring to case study examples from Uganda, Rwanda, the DRC and Malawi. The principles of the Manifesto, however, can be interpreted and applied to different contexts and climate zones globally.


The Manifesto has evolved from a conference run by Enabel in February 2019 which brought together expertise from across East Africa to raise awareness of climate responsive design.

The conference and therefore this document, focusses predominantly on single storey community buildings in rural areas, however we recognise that considering the rapid urbanisation in East Africa, climate responsive design thinking will need to be extended to higher-density, higher-rise buildings in the future.


The guide is organised into five sections.


The first section is a concise introduction to the issues surrounding climate and CLIMATE CHANGE on a global and regional scale.


The second section looks at the PARTICIPATORY PROCESS of developing buildings to serve communities, which needs to start with the communities themselves. Sustainable development needs to be owned and respected.


The third section deals with the choice of SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS used in building processes. The environmental impacts of various materials are explored from construction through to reuse. The choice of materials is based on what is available locally and economically.


The fourth section deals with BIOCLIMATIC DESIGN. This looks at the way the detailed design of buildings can create comfortable internal environments using solar energy and natural ventilation. The principles include water and sanitation, daylight and ventilation, and the use of renewable energy systems.


Finally, we look at a series of CASE STUDIES which gives examples of how the aforementioned sustainable design principles have been applied in practice. The principles are colour coded and linked to specific aspects of each exemplar design. These projects represent a new generation of architecture, which illustrates a developing understanding of how the built environment can help mitigate the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Download the Manifesto here

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