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  • 1.
    Isaksson, Raine
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
    Buregyeya, Apollo
    Makerere University, Uganda.
    Describing building sustainability innovation potential: Block making in Tanzania and Uganda2019In: Proceedings of 22nd Excellence in Services International Conference, Thessaloniki (Greece) | 29-30 August 2019 / [ed] Jacques Martin, 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose. This paper describes opportunities for sustainable building in East Africa. Previous research indicates that cement is often poorly used in the commonly used concrete blocks.  Better use of cement and thereby lower costs and a lower carbon footprint might be achieved by substituting solid blocks with hollow ones while sustaining functional requirements. This work could further be advanced by a business model that promotes affordability and a lowered carbon footprint of blocks produced at building site. 

    Methodology. Block manufacturing processes in Tanzania and Uganda are described.  Sustainability performance as price and carbon footprint per wall m2 are assessed and compared for solid and hollow concrete/sandcrete blocks. 

    Findings. The results from Uganda indicate that there is a clear economic and environmental advantage in using hollow blocks compared to solid blocks. There seems to be innovation potential to be realised both in choice of product and improvement of manufacturing processes. The preliminary findings indicate that costs per m2 of wall could for 6 inch blocks of the same functional quality be reduced with some 20% and the carbon footprint with 40% when using hollow blocks instead of solid ones. In Tanzania only a carbon footprint saving potential of about 30% has been inferred. 

    Practical implications. The results indicate that in order to assess overall global improvement potential, sustainability needs to be understood on the operational level. 

    Originality/value. The results contribute to the development of more sustainable building blocks in the context of East Africa.

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