Over the years, there have been many misconceptions concerning timber construction in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Timber is considered fragile and susceptible to natural risks such as flooding, termite infestation, and wildfires. Wood construction is also perceived to be insecure as it would be easy for criminals to break inside a wooden house. Timber has also become an expensive commodity again, making it challenging to build with it in SSA. All of these perceptions reduce the attractiveness and quality of timber structures.
Even though timber construction has experienced significant hurdles in the SSA, it has immense environmental benefits. Using timber can drastically reduce carbon footprint since it is the most environmentally friendly of all the primary building materials due to its beneficial carbon sequestration, storage and substitution properties.
The Wood Architect Rockstar program will be launched in Kenya by Climate-KIC in conjunction with KCIC Consulting Limited (KCL). The initiative aims to change the perception of building with timber in sub-Sahara Africa. The program will include the climathon challenge, a chance for entrepreneurs and citizens to work together to address local climate concerns.
The Climathon Challenge is an opportunity for citizens and innovators to co-create solutions that address local climate challenges with a global impact and will take place from October 22 to November 4, 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya. Its goal is to raise climate consciousness and allow citizens and innovators to co-create ideas that address local climate challenges with a global impact. Participants will also be invited to investigate the following key challenges and design innovative bottom-up solutions during the event.
- How can we make timber the go-to building material in urban sub-Saharan Africa?
- How can we build up sustainable, localized timber value chains in sub-Saharan Africa?
The Climathon challenge gives an excellent opportunity for citizens, entrepreneurs, and professionals in the building construction and timber value chains who would like to promote climate-smart timber economy to present their ideas. The competition also creates the groundwork for actual projects, impact-driven start-ups, and long-term discussions with decision-makers on concrete challenges, city plans, and policies.
Are you a timber construction enthusiast with climate-smart ideas on timber construction and ideas on making timber the number one building material in Sub-Saharan Africa? Do you have innovative ways on how to build sustainable timber value chains in Sub-Saharan Africa? Then here is a challenge for you. Apply and be part of this great initiative of saving our ecosystem by making timber the preferred building material.