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Ecolodge Engineeringin Eastern and Southern Africa            Master’ Thesis in Environmental Engineering and Management  ...
CONTENTSIntroduction to Ecolodges ...........................................................................................
Grease trap .................................................................................................................
INTRODUCTION TO ECOLODGESThis document intends to elaborate, analyze, and recommend best practices for the technicalcompon...
perceived as a viable mechanism for future development for poor communities in many parts of theworld that otherwise have ...
•   involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances      •   makes positive contributions to t...
An ideal ecolodge might thus be one that incorporates more than five, or even all, of these criteria. Sucha facility would...
$400-2000 per night and providing visitors everything from heated plunge pools to high speed internet.While one can easily...
6. Education to touristsThe Botswana Ecotourism Best Practices Guidelines Manual contains the following guidelines 11:    ...
Africa ecoregionsAn ecoregion is defined by the World Wildlife Fund as “a large unit of land or water containing ageograph...
Figure 1 Copyright 2005, Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Hofstra University, Dept. of Economics & Geography                       ...
For the purpose of this document, the following three main categories are divided into five ‘typical’ sitesfor ecolodge de...
flocculation. This water must be pumped, requiring electrical inputs. Electricity options include PV andwind, usually in c...
PLANNING AND PROJECT MANAGEMENTFeasibility Study and Financial/Marketing PlanA feasibility study is a study of whether a b...
3. Strategic Business Plan – a detailed plan describing the existing state of the project, the         development strateg...
5. Final Design – enhancement of schematic design to level of detail necessary for materials        specification and quan...
Several methods are available for conducting an EIA 19. The method chosen should be based on thenature of the impact, the ...
Community InvolvementIn many lodges which purport to be community based, this local involvement is effectively anafterthou...
Project ManagementModern project management techniques are the means by which to control the scope, costs, andschedule for...
4. Start-to-Finish - SF - Activity B cannot finish until activity A starts.      5. Lag Time – duration between activities...
PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTTypically, there are no established ‘green building’ standards in Africa, though there are some Ecol...
Life Cycle AssessmentLife Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an analytical tool for the environmental impact evaluation of a produc...
Other principles are the following 36:      1. Maximize clarity and simplicity of the building design.      2. Use buildin...
its small, rounded particle shape and high clay and silt content. However, under controlledcircumstances it can be an exce...
1. Minimize environmental damage   a. Reduction of solid waste      • Kilograms of waste to landfill or incinerator per se...
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALSTechnical skill and construction skill is typically absent in villages, and finding urban people...
Photo 5 Typical transportation scenario for remote         Photo 6 Old South African military vehicle typical of lodgedest...
disturbed area, followed by sequential construction planned around the rainy season, and establishmentof erosion control m...
Photo 7 Approtec Money Maker treadle pump is a good    Photo 8 Typical petrol powered water pump.choice for construction w...
Materials and TechniquesA limited number of materials are available at an affordable price in most African countries, andh...
as 2” x 6” and 2” x 8”. Most wood will not be ‘sustainably harvested,’ meaning that it is not replanted.Furthermore, in ma...
far inland and it is not a very durable material compared to traditional thatch, though its cost is muchlower.Photo 13 Tha...
laboratory, though this is a time consuming process unpalatable to most planners or builders in the earlystage of a constr...
Photo 17 High quality sand is rough and angular, clean of    Photo 18 Exploitation of good river sand deposit fororganics,...
movement during expansion. The soil is extremely clayey with a high plasticity, swells enormously in wetcondition and show...
establish clear cement mixing rules and procedures, and install quality control procedures includingmaking a breaking test...
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa
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Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa

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Ecolodge Engineering in Eastern and Southern Africa

  1. 1. Ecolodge Engineeringin Eastern and Southern Africa Master’ Thesis in Environmental Engineering and Management Bauhaus Universität WeimarExaminer: Dr. Prof. Werner BidlingmaierAuthor: Chris Rollins, B.S. 4500 Business Park Boulevard, Suite C-10 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 USA +1-907-351-2423 cebengineering@gmail.com
  2. 2. CONTENTSIntroduction to Ecolodges ...................................................................................................................... 4 Sustainable tourism and economic development in poor countries..................................................... 5 What is an ecolodge? ......................................................................................................................... 6 Ecolodges and Community Based Organizations ............................................................................... 7 The ecolodge ‘problem’ ...................................................................................................................... 7 Ecolodge rating systems .................................................................................................................... 8 Role of engineering in ecolodge planning, design, and implementation .............................................. 9 Africa ecoregions ............................................................................................................................. 10Planning and Project Management ...................................................................................................... 14 Feasibility Study and Financial/Marketing Plan................................................................................. 14 Master Plan ...................................................................................................................................... 15 Environmental Impact Assessment .................................................................................................. 16 Community Involvement ................................................................................................................... 18 Project Management ........................................................................................................................ 19Performance Assessment .................................................................................................................... 21 Embodied Energy............................................................................................................................. 21 Life Cycle Assessment ..................................................................................................................... 22 Design for Deconstruction ................................................................................................................ 22 ‘Buy Local’ ........................................................................................................................................ 23 Monitoring and Evaluation ................................................................................................................ 24Construction and Materials .................................................................................................................. 26 Material transport ............................................................................................................................. 26 Construction impact.......................................................................................................................... 27 Season and storm water control ....................................................................................................... 27 Tools ................................................................................................................................................ 28 Water and pumping .......................................................................................................................... 28 Generators ....................................................................................................................................... 29 Materials and Techniques ................................................................................................................ 30Water Supply and Purification .............................................................................................................. 40 Objectives of water treatment ........................................................................................................... 42 Water testing .................................................................................................................................... 45 Water sources .................................................................................................................................. 45 Pretreatment .................................................................................................................................... 47 Sedimentation and Coagulation/Flocculation .................................................................................... 47 Filtration ........................................................................................................................................... 48 Disinfection ...................................................................................................................................... 49 Desalinization ................................................................................................................................... 51Waste Water Treatment ....................................................................................................................... 54 Grey water recycling......................................................................................................................... 57 Ecosanitation.................................................................................................................................... 59 Composting toilets ............................................................................................................................ 60 Biogas .............................................................................................................................................. 62 Septic tank ....................................................................................................................................... 65
  3. 3. Grease trap ...................................................................................................................................... 67 Subsurface wastewater infiltration system ........................................................................................ 68 Package plants................................................................................................................................. 68 Intermittent sand filters ..................................................................................................................... 69 Constructed wetland......................................................................................................................... 70 Percolation test ................................................................................................................................ 72Solid Waste Management .................................................................................................................... 73 Segregation Area ............................................................................................................................. 73 Composting ...................................................................................................................................... 74 Incineration ...................................................................................................................................... 74 Landfilling ......................................................................................................................................... 76 Removal ........................................................................................................................................... 76Hot Water Supply................................................................................................................................. 77 Solar ................................................................................................................................................ 78 Tankless water heater ...................................................................................................................... 82 Electric ............................................................................................................................................. 83 Wood fired boiler .............................................................................................................................. 83Electrical System ................................................................................................................................. 86 Calculating load................................................................................................................................ 86 Generator ......................................................................................................................................... 87 Photovoltaics .................................................................................................................................... 90 Wind................................................................................................................................................. 92 Microhydro ....................................................................................................................................... 93 Hybrid System .................................................................................................................................. 96Glossary .............................................................................................................................................. 98Appendices ........................................................................................................................................ 107 Planning ......................................................................................................................................... 107 Site Selection Matrix....................................................................................................................... 111 Materials energy costs ................................................................................................................... 112 Project schedule............................................................................................................................. 113 Tool list........................................................................................................................................... 114 Generator Efficiency ....................................................................................................................... 115 Concrete Mixes by Volume and Use .............................................................................................. 116 CEB Block Cost Comparison.......................................................................................................... 117 Erosion Control Measures .............................................................................................................. 118 Biogas Digester .............................................................................................................................. 120 Grease Trap ................................................................................................................................... 121 Septic Tank .................................................................................................................................... 121 Water Tank .................................................................................................................................... 122Bibliography ....................................................................................................................................... 123
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION TO ECOLODGESThis document intends to elaborate, analyze, and recommend best practices for the technicalcomponents of remote tourist facilities in the eastern and southern regions of Africa, or so-called‘ecolodges.’ A remote lodge with a high level of service can be described in many ways, as a village, aneconomy, a mass balance equation, or even a machine, and a borrowing of some terminology fromvarious fields allows one to best describe and dissect the thing; likewise, terms from different disciplinesare necessary to attempt optimization, including life-cycle energy analysis, financial cash flow, the watercycle, and project management.Photo 1 Bua River Lodge, Malawi. Photo 2 Kizingo Ecolodge, Lamu.Photo 3 Lukwe Ecocamp, Malawi. Photo 4 Tongole Lodge, Malawi.Ecotourism is defined as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment andimproves the welfare of local people” 1. Ecotourism was first described in 1983 by the Mexican ArchitectHéctor Ceballos-Lascuráin, and since that date it has steadily become an ever larger share of theinternational tourism market. Although ecotourism is a relatively new part of the tourism industry, it is1 The International Ecotourism Society, TIES Global Ecotourism Fact Sheet, 2006. 4
  5. 5. perceived as a viable mechanism for future development for poor communities in many parts of theworld that otherwise have few economic opportunities due to poor infrastructure, remoteness of location,and lack of local skills or high value products. This is particularly true in Africa, where many othereconomic development strategies have failed, although the overall economic impact of ecolodgescompared to other rural economic schemes will not be investigated here.The term ‘ecolodge’ is a still imprecise term, but it can generally be described as a remote tourist facilitywhich promotes ecotourism. Because such facilities are unregulated and there is not yet aninternationally recognized accreditation scheme, many facilities appropriate the word as a marketing toolwhile utilizing few, if any, of the qualities and processes of an ecolodge. Indeed, the creation of a trueecolodge in a remote area can be very difficult and expensive, due to the extra planning, communityinvolvement, infrastructure, and monitoring required to minimize negative impacts while promotingpositive benefits.For the purpose of this exercise, an ecolodge will be described as ‘remote,’ meaning away from animproved road, and without electrical or water and wastewater mains connection. Such facilities may ormay not have communications access, including mobile phone and internet network, which will also beinvestigated. In researching this text, some lodge facilities are given as examples for a particular facetthough they may not be ‘remote’ as defined; for example, it is common for a facility to have electricalmains without a water and wastewater connection.This thesis will explore the ecolodge phenomenon from the engineering perspective, including standardsand evaluation methods; planning and design; project management and construction; structural,mechanical, and electrical systems; and operations. Although no perfect ecolodge does exist, orpossibly can exist, an assortment of lodge components will attempt to convey real world examples ofexemplary methods and systems. Furthermore, a series of tools for ecolodge engineering, including lifecycle costing, engineering equations and tabular examples, and specific products and techniques, isincluded to guide the reader on technical decision making for ecolodge planning and construction.Sustainable tourism and economic development in poor countriesThe UN World Tourism Organization estimates that international tourism generated € 642 billion ($944billion) in 2008 2, and in 2007, receipts for developing countries (low income, lower and upper middleincome countries) amounted to US$ 319 billion, and was the largest source of foreign exchangeearnings in a majority of Least Developed Countries 3. A part of this sector defined as ‘SustainableTourism’ is identified by the World Tourism Organization as a means to alleviate poverty (especially forpeople in remote areas living on less than $1 per day), conserve the environment, and create jobs.Sustainable Tourism has the following features, according to the Cape Town Declaration onResponsible Tourism 4 (features with importance to this document are in italics): • minimizes negative economic, environmental, and social impacts • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry2 www.unwto.org3 www.unwto.org4 www.icrtourism.org 5
  6. 6. • involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances • makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues • provides access for physically challenged people and • is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.The UN World Tourism Organization “Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty” (ST-EP) program hasidentified 7 steps by which the poor can benefit directly through tourism 5 (features with importance tothis document are in italics): • Employment of the poor in tourism enterprises • Supply of goods and services to tourism enterprises by the poor or by enterprises employing the poor. • Direct sales of goods and services to visitors by the poor (informal economy) • Establishment and running of tourism enterprises by the poor - e.g. micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), or community based enterprises (formal economy) • Tax or levy on tourism income or profits with proceeds benefiting the poor • Voluntary giving/support by tourism enterprises and tourists • Investment in infrastructure stimulated by tourism also benefiting the poor in the locality, directly or through support to other sectorsWhat is an ecolodge?According to the International Ecolodge Guidelines, Hitesh Mehta, a leading ecolodge architect, statesthat an ecolodge can be defined as ‘an accommodation facility that displays at least five of the followingcriteria’ 6 (features with technical importance to the engineer are in italics): • Helps in the conservation of the surrounding flora and fauna. • Endeavors to work together with the local community • Offers interpretive programs to educate both its employees and tourists about the surrounding natural and cultural environments • Uses alternative, sustainable means of water acquisition and reduces water consumption • Provides for careful handling and disposal of solid waste and sewage • Meets its energy needs through passive design and renewable energy sources • Uses traditional building technology and materials wherever possible and combines these with their modern counterparts for greater sustainability. • Has minimal impact on the natural surroundings during construction • Fits into its specific physical and cultural contexts through careful attention to form, landscaping and color, as well as the use of vernacular architecture • Contributes to sustainable local community development through education programs and research.5 ST-EP "Tourism and Poverty Alleviation: Recommendations for Action"6 Mehta, International Ecolodge Guidelines, pg. 5 6
  7. 7. An ideal ecolodge might thus be one that incorporates more than five, or even all, of these criteria. Sucha facility would have minimum electricity, heat, refrigeration, and waste requirements, and it wouldminimize other impact on the surroundings such as noise or emissions. Indeed, this could describemany remote villages in Africa where the residents have no power, refrigeration, or hot water (anexception is cooking, which is typically performed with charcoal or other emissions intensive andunreplenished biomass material).Some ‘cultural village’ tourism complexes do exist, and they are becoming more common: examplesinclude the Kawaza Cultural Village near Mfuwe, Zambia, Kumbali Cultural Village in Lilongwe, Malawi,or the Mida Creek Ecocamp near Watamu, Kenya. However, they are a very small part of the totalecolodge market, and more typical is a higher end facility with more complex cuisine, hot showers, andcold beer. Cultural villages do exemplify the community element of ecolodge operation, which should beintegral to any remote establishment, whatever the drink temperature.Ecolodges and Community Based OrganizationsAn outgrowth of this emphasis on the local community in ecotourism and ecolodge operation is theinclusion of Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) in many such businesses, some of which aremajority or wholly owned by local communities. Community Based Ecotourism is a tourism conceptwhere “the local community has substantial control over, and involvement in, its development andmanagement, and a major proportion of the benefits remain within the community.” 7 This can benefitthe community through sustainable livelihood (i.e. job creation), to involve the community more activelywith conservation (the ‘poacher to safari guide’ paradigm), and to generate a positive relationshipbetween the community and protected areas 8. Indeed, in Africa the establishment of many protectedareas required the expropriation of local peoples, destroying their livelihoods and leaving theirdescendants destitute and resentful (including, for example the gazetting of Tsavo East National Park inKenya, which displaced the elephant hunting tribe of the Garyama people, who both lost their land andtheir historical livelihood in 1952); in this light, a CBO can be considered a modern means to repair asevered relationship between a particular geography and its former inhabitants.The ecolodge ‘problem’From an engineering perspective, an ecolodge presents a unique opportunity to promote the best oflocal architectural and construction practices as well as minimal impact water, mechanical, and powersystems. However, the necessity to provide a luxurious visitor experience can often conflict with thisphilosophy, and therein lays the greatest technical difficulties for these endeavors. A holistic solution tothis is typically not cheap, and often combines the latest in high technology (for example photovoltaicenergy generation coupled with low energy Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting) with much simpler andinexpensive solutions (such as constructed wetlands for water polishing after rudimentary treatment).While early ecolodges in Costa Rica and Central America catered to the backpacker-style touristcomfortable with basic amenities such as cold showers or paraffin lamps, a newer marketing strategyhas recently attracted the wealthier visitor to such destinations. This has resulted in the phenomenon ofthe ‘luxury ecolodge’ which still purports to adhere to the principles of sustainable tourism while charging7 Guidelines for Community Based Ecotourism Development, WWF International, 2001, pg. 28 Guidelines for Community Based Ecotourism Development, WWF International, 2001, pg.4 7
  8. 8. $400-2000 per night and providing visitors everything from heated plunge pools to high speed internet.While one can easily dismiss such trappings as counter to the ecolodge philosophy, in the tourismmarket they are common and cannot be ignored. Rather, an attempt should be made to lessen theimpact of whatever elaborate systems are demanded by the client. In the future, perhaps a stringentinternational ecolodge rating system will resolve this apparent disparity.Ecolodge rating systemsBecause of the recent ubiquity of ecotourism and the ease with which any lodge operator canappropriate the term ‘ecolodge’ for marketing purposes, several organizations throughout the world haveestablished ecolodge rating schemes for local or international projects. These groups include the CostaRican Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST), the Australia EcoCertification (formerly the Natureand Ecotourism Accreditation Program, or NEAP), the Ecotourism Society of Kenya (ESOK) EcoRatingScheme, the Namibia EcoAward, the Botswana Ecotourism Best Practices Guidelines Manual, and theWorld Travel and Tourism Council’s Green Globe 21 (GG21) international standard.While much of the evaluation criteria in these schemes is proprietary and not disclosed publicly (perhapsto avoid lodges trying to ‘game the system’), it is likely that in the future a transparent and internationalsystem will be established which plainly ranks various options for lodge performance and systems. Untilthat time, the various systems can be used as general guide for the designer undertaking an effort atminimal environmental impact.The Kenya Forestry Service has a concise approach to Ecolodge evaluation 9: 1. Is there a written policy regarding the environment and local people? 2. What is the single contribution to conservation or local people that has been put in place? 3. How is the contribution to conservation and local communities measured? 4. How many local people are in employment and what percentage of this total is in management? 5. What has specifically been done to help protect the forest, environment and support conservation and which local charities have been involved? 6. What percentage of produce and services are sourced from within 25 km of the facility? 7. How is the treatment of waste handled – effluent, heating, solid waste etc? 8. What information and advice is provided to tourists and visitors on the forest, the local cultures and customs? 9. Are local guides employed at the facility? 10. What guidelines and methods are put in place on how visitors can interact and get involved in worthwhile ways and projects on forestry and with local communities and conservation?The Ecotourism Society of Kenya uses the following open guideline 10: 1. Protecting, conserving and investing in the environment 2. Minimizing & reducing wastes 3. Preventing pollution 4. Encouraging linkages with local communities 5. Responsible use of resources such as land, water, energy, culture etc9 10 ways to tell if an Ecolodge is a really an Ecotourist facility10 Ecotourism Kenya website 8
  9. 9. 6. Education to touristsThe Botswana Ecotourism Best Practices Guidelines Manual contains the following guidelines 11: 1. Use of local construction materials 2. Employment of local residents to operate and in some cases manage the facility 3. Integration of water and energy conservation technologies 4. Participation and involvement with local communities in various aspects of the visitor experience 5. A portion of profits are returned to community and conservation projects 6. Use of waste water treatment techniques and recycling 7. Use of various waste management schemes including composting, recycling, etc. 8. Use of fresh food which is purchased locally and is typically organicRole of engineering in ecolodge planning, design, and implementationBased on these premises, the engineer has three primary technical inputs unique to an ecolodge facility,in addition to the normal engineering requirements of planning, structural and mechanical systemsdesign, construction observation, project management, and cost estimating/scheduling: • Lodge materials and construction methods evaluation • Lodge systems, energy inputs, and wastes minimization • Lodge operation and monitoring standardsLodge materials include the selection of materials for foundations, walls, doors and windows, and roof,as well as design features to minimize impact on the surrounding area. Lodge construction inputrequires minimal impact on surrounding areas during the construction operations in terms of noise,emissions, erosion, and siltation. Construction technique is also important from the technicalperspective, as the use of manual labor in place of power tools and machinery can both facilitateincreased skill in the local community and reduce noise and emissions. On the other hand, though, itcan result in greater total impact to the site due to increased number of people on site (and the requisitecooking, washing, and bathing), as well as lower construction quality.Lodge systems include electricity, water supply, water purification, hot water, waste water, solid wastes,cooking, transport, and communications. Energy input for each of these is a combination of loads,efficiencies of the system, and the type of energy source, whether solar, biomass, or petroleum. Wastescriteria are a combination of reduction of waste production, on site waste processing, and waste removalin sensitive areas.Lodge operation is a combination of the previous inputs with the added complexity of dynamic use whilethe lodge is running. This will require periodic technical review to actually quantify how efficiently thelodge is operating according to visitor numbers, and to identify problem areas or improvements.Processes to monitor include water usage, operating costs, waste production, transportation fuelquantities, and efficiency changes during seasonal variation in lodge occupancy, solar gain, watersupply, and ambient temperature.11 Ecotourism Best Practices Guidelines Manual, pgs. 14-15. 9
  10. 10. Africa ecoregionsAn ecoregion is defined by the World Wildlife Fund as “a large unit of land or water containing ageographically distinct assemblage of species, natural communities, and environmental conditions.”Additionally, these natural communities: • share a large majority of their species and ecological dynamics; • share similar environmental conditions, and; • interact ecologically in ways that are critical for their long-term persistence.Eastern and Southern Africa contains the following biomes: • Temperate coniferous forests • Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests • Montane grasslands • Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands • Mediterranean scrub • Deserts and xeric shrublands • Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests • Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands • Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests • Flooded grasslands 10
  11. 11. Figure 1 Copyright 2005, Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Hofstra University, Dept. of Economics & Geography 11
  12. 12. For the purpose of this document, the following three main categories are divided into five ‘typical’ sitesfor ecolodge development: • Terrestrial (land) o Mountain o Savannah o Desert • Freshwater o Lake o River • MarineMountainMountain areas with tourist facilities are very common and include the Nyika and Zomba Plateaus inMalawi; the Volcanoes region of Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC; Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilamanjaro; and theDrakensburg in South Africa. Mountains enjoy perhaps the most favorable conditions for ecolodgedevelopment. The topography typically means increased rainfall, and this rain can be collected suchthat gravity delivery and distribution is possible both to and within the lodge. Borehole water may beseasonal, depending on geology of the area. Wind power may be viable at the right location, and verysmall scale hydro power (i.e. ‘pico-hydro’) can also be employed, though this is often considerablyexpensive compared to wind or solar PV. • PV may not be viable due to cloud cover • Wind may be an option • Possibilities for hydropower, though this is expensive • Water sources may be available with spring box + gravity feedSavannahSavannah or plains areas include the Serengeti and Mara in Tanzania and Kenya; the Kalahari ofBotswana and the Karoo of South Africa. Savannah is the far largest area by type in this part of thecontinent, and lodges may vary tremendously in individual geographical and climatic character. • Water from borehole and rooftop collection • PV + wind typical for power generationDesertDesert lodges, such as those of Namibia, will have unique constraints: • Water will be from boreholes, and this may require energy intensive pumping and treatment. • Traditional construction materials, such as wood and thatch may be unavailable locally and may shrink significantly in arid conditions, although rotting will not be a problem. • Heating/cooling loads may require large power sources (i.e. diesel generators)LakeLakes include the Great Lakes (Victoria, Tanganyika, Malawi, Kivu) as well as smaller bodies of water.Lakeside lodges enjoy a perennial water source, though this may require seasonal or year round 12
  13. 13. flocculation. This water must be pumped, requiring electrical inputs. Electricity options include PV andwind, usually in combination due to seasonal changes in wind speed. • Water purification from lake is typically coarse filtering, flocculation, filtering, UV or chlorination • Boreholes may be difficult to install and maintain in sand • Wind power may be viable • Wastewater treatment is important before dischargeRiverRiver lodges are found within other biomes (i.e. savannah, mountain, desert), and also enjoy a perennialwater source. River water tends to vary considerably in quality throughout the year, and this may placehigh demands on the technical skill of the operations personnel. In many cases, a borehole may be apreferred option to river water filtration due to the lower maintenance of the system, despite the higherinitial cost. • Water purification from river may be poor due to high turbidity in the rainy seasonMarineMarine lodges are to be found throughout the Indian Ocean coast. These vary from the basic to themassive and in both size and service, but all share a critical need: fresh water. Some sites enjoy a freshwater ‘lens’ which floats on a salt layer due to its lower relative density. Such locations are rare, andshould be actively conserved so as to not destroy the balance. In many cases, desalination is the onlyoption if the site is remote; otherwise water might be hauled or pumped at a lower cost. In almost all,reuse of grey water is critical for landscaping and any other high volume water uses. • Water use monitoring is very important, and desalinization may be necessary • Rainwater collection can be cost efficient • Waste treatment may be low priority if groundwater is already not potableOther factors are important for sighting a marine ecolodge 12: • Avoid damaging attributes including mangroves, wetlands, dunes, estuaries, historical sites, sacred or culturally significant sites, nesting and habitat sites for marine reptiles, mammals and seabirds. • Site the lodge in a location where minimal coastal terrain will need to be modified. • If facilities must be built on the beach (in front of the dune) consider low investment, non- permanent buildings. These buildings can be removed before storms and rebuilt afterwards. • Minimize vegetation clearance and maintain tree and dune vegetation cover. • Incorporate areas to maintain a buffer zone or “set back” between the shoreline and facility. • Site piers in water deep enough to accommodate boats rather than relying on dredging. Floating docking systems may prove to be a more environmentally sensitive alternative to traditional piling construction techniques. • Site marinas in areas that will maximize the exchange of water through natural flows and tides. • Avoid outward-facing lighting on shoreline, especially in areas where wildlife could be impacted.12 Halpenny, 45, 48. 13
  14. 14. PLANNING AND PROJECT MANAGEMENTFeasibility Study and Financial/Marketing PlanA feasibility study is a study of whether a business opportunity is possible, practical, and viable, andhow difficult its realization will be. It will consider both the positive and negative impacts of the projectand consider financial, logistical, ecological, and cultural factors. In many cases, lodge concessionsmay be created by a government agency without a thorough determination of these factors relative tothe project, and therefore the team considering the project must conduct this activity in-house. Afeasibility study should also be conducted when acquiring an existing concession, to determine if theanticipated renovation or upgrading investment has a reasonable return.A feasibility study will include the following features for an ecolodge 13: 1. Situation and Competition a. Number, capacity, and location of competition. b. If no competing lodges are in operation, were they operating previously? Why did they discontinue? Are these reasons still valid? c. Estimate percent utilization of existing lodge capacities. Will the new lodge increase capacities or pull visitors from existing facilities? d. Level of service, operating costs and technology in competing lodges? 2. Facility Requirements a. Site - Location, zoning, or other restrictions, space of expansion, tax considerations b. Access to transportation– highway and air connections, travel time to regional or national cities, proximity to other lodges or facilities c. Access to waste and sewage disposal facilities d. Utilities– availability, restrictions or special conditions, rates 3. Buildings and Equipment a. Existing buildings and equipment – cost and difficulty to upgrade or demolish. b. New facilities and equipment – cost and difficulty to build and operatePlanning for a lodge should be foremost considered from the economic perspective, to ensure that thefacility can both cover its own expenses and also produce a profit, whether that is a return to privateinvestors, to a local community, or to the park or natural area around the lodge. This plan should alsocontain a vision statement, so that the idea is both subjectively and pragmatically described in earlystages so as to clearly define the project goals, assist in later planning decisions, and to attract fundingor industry interest. This marketing plan can contain the following components 14: 1. Project Description – schematic drawings and plans, infrastructure requirements, land use planning, and proposed phases of project. 2. Market Information – tourism assessment of the area, and a definition of how this project intends to complement, expand, or improve existing tourism13 NXLevel14 Littlefield, 6-1,6-2. 14
  15. 15. 3. Strategic Business Plan – a detailed plan describing the existing state of the project, the development strategy, and a schedule. 4. Project Economics – assessment of project costs, projected returns, and how these assumptions were made. 5. Company Profile – senior management, the construction and/or operations team, and any particular information relevant to the group initiating the project. 6. Development Program – details of number of units, operating costs, energy requirements, staff requirements, water needs, waste generation, etc.Alternatively, the Botswana Tourism Board describes a detailed layout for creating an EcotourismBusiness plan as follows 15: 1. Executive Summary 2. Description of the Company (operators, owner) 3. Ecotourism Business Description 4. Ecotourism Market Analysis including Competition Analysis 5. Marketing Study and Visitor Projections 6. Operational Plan 7. Management Structure and Organization 8. Financial Plan and Projections 9. Monitoring and Evaluation 10. AppendicesMaster PlanA master plan is a formal statement of the project’s goals and objectives, including future growth. Thisis critical for operation of a resort in a remote area where no existing facilities are in place. The masterplan will outline the vision and policies of the facility, as well as the practical methods to achieve these.The master plan should include both financial and technical details, as well as scheduling information forincremental construction and development of the area. The establishment of such a plan will not onlyinclude the intended expansion of the facility but also include contingencies for possible reductions invisitor numbers. Additionally, this document should include an Environmental Impact Statement andpossibly a Social Impact Statement (see relevant sections).Resort Planning Steps 1. Feasibility/Programming – general review of the proposed facility and existing site conditions, with emphasis on environmental, cultural, and infrastructure assets. 2. Site Analysis – inventory materials on site, topographic survey, identify useable site areas, prepare foundation for further design steps with adequate base mapping and establishment of project goals. 3. Conceptual Design – initial organization and depiction of the development 4. Schematic Design – refinement of concept sketches with scale, dimensions, and definition of site details, including building arrangements and infrastructure systems.15 Botswana Tourism Board, 35-39. 15
  16. 16. 5. Final Design – enhancement of schematic design to level of detail necessary for materials specification and quantities, scheduling, and construction. 6. Master Planning & Documentation – assembly of relevant documents plus Environmental Impact Statement, permits, and financial/business plan into a coherent reference. 7. Construction – will also include revisions to plan documents due to changes, on-site inspections, and writing of operations guides.The two most critical, and expensive, components of a lodge will be electricity and water. The electricalsystem is the more costly of the two when a high level of western accoutrement is provided, such as inroom outlets, high speed internet, and a wider selection of foods and drinks, which must be frozen orrefrigerated. In a PV system this will increase the necessary number of batteries and panels, and with agenerator system it will increase the size and noise of the generator, increasing fuel consumption as wellas the distance from the clients necessary to keep the area quiet, resulting in higher transmissionlosses.The water system can be constructed relatively cheaply in comparison, but hot water requirements willincrease expenditure whether for solar hot water panels or for electric geysers. Pumping of water willalso drive up costs.Environmental Impact AssessmentAn Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process by which information about theenvironmental impacts of a project are collected, both by the developer and from other sources, andtaken into account by the relevant decision making body before a decision is given on whether thedevelopment should proceed 16. The EIA can also be a critical tool in deciding where to actually placethe lodge (though in practice this is often merely an aesthetic decision).EC Directive (85/337/EEC) (as amended) - Article 3 17 - The environmental impact assessment shallidentify, describe and assess in an appropriate manner, in the light of each individual case and inaccordance with the Articles 4 to 11, the direct and indirect effects of a project on the following factors: 1. human beings, fauna and flora, 2. soil, water, air, climate and the landscape, 3. material assets and cultural heritage, 4. the inter-action between the factors mentioned in the first and second indents.EC Directive 96/61/EC - Article 2 18 - For the purposes of this Directive: • ‘pollution’ shall mean the direct or indirect introduction as a result of human activity, of substances, vibrations, heat or noise into the air, water or land which may be harmful to human health or the quality of the environment, result in damage to material property, or impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment. • ‘emission’ shall mean the direct or indirect releases of substances, vibrations, heat or noise from individual or diffuse sources in the installation into the air, water or land.16 European Commission:Directorate-General XI (Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection), Glossary.17 European Commission (EC), 1.18 EC, 4. 16
  17. 17. Several methods are available for conducting an EIA 19. The method chosen should be based on thenature of the impact, the availability and quality of data, and the availability of resources to conduct thestudy 20: 1. Expert Opinion - means of identifying and assessing indirect and cumulative impacts and impact interactions. Panels can be formed to facilitate exchange of information. 2. Consultations and Questionnaires - A means of gathering information about a wide range of actions, including those in the past, present and future which may influence the impacts of a project. 3. Checklists - Provide a systematic way of ensuring that all likely events resulting from a project are considered. 4. Matrices - A more complex form of checklist. Can be used quantitatively and can evaluate impacts to some degree. Can be extended to consider the cumulative impacts of multiple actions on a resource. 5. Spatial Analysis - Uses Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and overlay maps to identify where the cumulative impacts of a number of different actions may occur, and impact iterations. Can also superimpose a project’s effect on selected receptors or resources to establish areas where impacts would be most significant. The ‘Spatial and Network Analysis’ method of ecosystem interactions is appropriate for modern ecolodge development, and contains the following steps 21: a. Define the study area for the assessment. b. Undertake baseline surveys and consultations. Determine sensitive areas and ecosystem types within the study area. c. Carryout network analysis for ecosystem types and refine the extent of the sensitive areas. d. Overlay lodge, road, pathway, and other route options onto the study area and assess impacts of options. e. Determine the route and lodging option with the least environmental impacts on the sensitive areas 6. Network and Systems Analysis - Based on the concept that there are links and interaction pathways between individual elements of the environment, and that when one element is specifically affected this will also have an effect on those elements which interact with it. 7. Carrying Capacity Analysis - Based on the recognition that thresholds exist in the environment. Projects can be assessed in relation to the carrying capacity or threshold determined, together with additional activities. 8. Modeling - An analytical tool which enables the quantification of cause-and-effect relationships by simulating environmental conditions. This can range from air quality or noise modeling, to use of a model representing a complex natural system.19 EC, Table 3.1.20 EC, 20.21 EC, 46, A2-38. 17
  18. 18. Community InvolvementIn many lodges which purport to be community based, this local involvement is effectively anafterthought, in that the local community is not engaged until completion of the facility, at which time thelocal leaders are approached for the purpose of starting a school, hiring staff, or initiating otherprograms. Because many lodges are located on former traditional lands of these local communities, thisapproach may reinforce feelings of expropriation among local people. A better technique is to involvethe local community from the start, so that they understand the economic, cultural, and conservationbenefits of the facility, and can perhaps participate in its planning and development, so that their owninterests are not just recognized but optimized. The Botswana Tourism Board describes some actionsto take in this regard 22: • Meet with the leadership of all communities within 20 km. • Meet with all tribal groups within 40 km of the ecotourism facility and particularly those living in the concession. • Identify particular community issues (poverty, HIV/AIDS, literacy, etc.) where the operator can contribute to skill and awareness development. • Identify local labor and skill sets • Identify and discuss with local contractors and suppliers of construction materials, food and beverage, guide services, etc.A Social Impact Statement (SIA) can also be generated to evaluate impacts on the community.Although this is not so clearly defined and recognized as the EIA, a formal study can be conducted todefine and evaluate the proposed effects of the lodge on the local human population. Questions toinclude in such research include the following 23: • How are individuals within each community affected/involved? Detail number of inhabitants, ethnicity and gender, income type and level, and social and political structures. • Who controls/coordinates at the community level? • What are the benefits the project will bring to the community? Benefits include employment, income, improved standards of health, education, and nutrition, and improved environmental conditions. • What are the anticipated distribution and level of benefits and costs? Who will benefit and who will lose from the new facility? • What are the projected positive and negative impacts on the community as a whole? Changes include resource use patterns, cultural traditions, educational levels, socioeconomic conditions, and political and organizational structures? Are conflicts likely? • What likely effects will the change in land use patterns caused by the investment have on nutrition and health? • What changes are desirable?22 Botswana Tourism Board, 27.23 Nature Conservancy, 9. 18
  19. 19. Project ManagementModern project management techniques are the means by which to control the scope, costs, andschedule for the ecolodge construction and operational opening. A project is a temporary endeavorundertaken to create a unique product, service, or result 24 (ecolodge operations, on the other hand, areongoing ‘processes,’ and do not fit into the definition of a project). By properly defining the scope of theproject, managing project resources, and identifying and minimizing risks, the project manager will enjoya smoother construction experience. With intensive application of project management techniques,these resources will be optimized, resulting in lower construction costs and time. Projects have thefollowing characteristics 25: 1. A project is carried out only once for an exceptional case. 2. A project has a fixed start date and deadline. 3. Every project has a clearly formulated purpose (scope), usually solving a unique problem or the development of a unique idea.Furthermore, every project will have these activities 26: 1. Decisions concerning project results, impacts, and resources. 2. Work outputs including construction and systems development. 3. Managing the resources of time, budget, information and project staff, and controlling quality.The management of these activities is called project management – the application of knowledge, skill,tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements 27. Projects are typicallydivided into ‘phases’ to provide better management control. Phases are usually sequential and aredefined by finishing of various technical components, defined by completion and approval of a project‘deliverable.’ Linear phasing is common to infrastructure projects 28, and this can be divided in thefollowing five phases: 1. Initiating phase – project manager and the client agree on the result and the project plan. 2. Defining phase – a definition of the end result; with a schedule of requirements. 3. Design phase – production of a detailed design. 4. Preparation phase –signed contracts with a contractor or a detailed implementation plan for force account works. 5. Implementation phase – construction.After project phasing, a work plan is developed for the project, with more detail concerning phaseactivities that are to proceed immediately. A Gant chart is a typical work plan layout that details activitydurations over time, with specific relationships between activities: 1. Finish-to-Start - FS - Activity B cannot start until Activity A finishes. 2. Start-to-Start - SS - Activity B cannot start until activity A starts. 3. Finish-to-Finish - FF - Activity B cannot finish until activity A finishes.24 Project Management Institute, 5.25 Van Rijn, 4.26 Van Rijn, 4.27 Project Management Institute, 8.28 Van Rijn, 6. 19
  20. 20. 4. Start-to-Finish - SF - Activity B cannot finish until activity A starts. 5. Lag Time – duration between activities, such as for concrete curing.An example Gant Chart can be found in the Appendices. Useful software for managing projects andproducing visual charts and schedules include MS Project, MS Visio, and Primavera.Risk management is another important component of project management. The process of riskmanagement seeks to identify and quantify various risks to the project, while also establishing clearreactions to minimize these problems. A risk is the combination of the likelihood that an adverse eventwill take place and the consequences of the adverse event 29: Risk = Likelihood • ConsequencesTypical risks to an ecolodge construction project include the following: • Cost overruns, especially for cement • Time overruns due to material transport, weather, absenteeism, worker strike, or illness • Unacceptable quality and need to redo work (especially concrete) • Inability to deliver materials due to road conditions (during rainy season) or vehicle size (especially with long timbers for roof construction) • Weather events include extreme precipitation, prolonged rainy season, flooding, and fire • Health and safety, especially malaria, sleeping sickness, snake bite, and animal encounters • Unavailability of tools or materials in the marketplace at critical times • Lack of water for construction works, especially concrete and masonry • Governmental actions such as changes to concession agreement, import duties, etc.One way to mitigate material risks is with the use of secure onsite storage (such as a locked 20’ or 40’shipping container), with materials purchased before they are needed to both ensure availability, reducedelivery delays, and possibly avoid inflation, which can occur rapidly during the African constructionseason.Cost estimating is another critical component of project management. In addition to detailed estimatesfor construction based on a ‘Bill of Quantities’ from the construction drawings, the project manager willalso have to estimate the following requirements30: • Site management costs • Offices, sheds, and storage • Access roads • Transport of workers (if off site) • Housing for workers (if on site) • Food, water and sanitation for workers • Health and safety provisions • Insurance and bonds • Tools and electrical service • Vehicle maintenance and fuelingA responsible project manager will establish an accurate project schedule and budget using thesestandards, with a detailed list of risks and alternative solutions.29 Van Rijn, 15.30 Van Rijn, 30. 20
  21. 21. PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTTypically, there are no established ‘green building’ standards in Africa, though there are some Ecolodgecertification schemes, such as the Ecotourism Kenya system or the Botswana Ecotourism CertificationSystem. Additionally, material and fixture availability will be limited if a container of materials is notimported. Still, some amount of evaluation can be conducted in-house or through consultants to eitherselect the best available material for construction or to establish documentation of the selected materialsenergy/carbon impact. These methods are described below.Embodied EnergyThe Embodied Energy (EE) is the energy required by all of the processes in the production of buildingmaterials, including mining and processing of natural resources, manufacturing, transport, andinstallation (Embodied energy does not include disposal of the building material). Operational Energyis the energy used by the building during use. These concepts can be related, and an increase inembodied energy may or may not result in a decrease in operational energy. In Africa, where rawmaterials are abundant but processing or manufacturing facilities are distant or non-existent, followingthe prescriptions for low embodied energy will result in lower purchasing costs, due to the need to importthese materials and transport them long distances on inadequate road infrastructure.The following guidelines are prepared by the Department of the Environment; Water; Heritage and theArts of Australia 31 for reducing embodied energy in home construction, and they are appropriate toecolodge projects in Africa: 1. Design for long life and adaptability, using durable low maintenance materials. 2. Modify or refurbish instead of demolishing or adding on. 3. Ensure materials from demolition of existing buildings, and construction wastes are reused or recycled. 4. Use locally sourced materials (including materials salvaged on site) to reduce transport. 5. Select low embodied energy materials (which may include materials with a high recycled content) preferably based on supplier-specific data. 6. Avoid wasteful material use. 7. Specify standard sizes, don’t use energy intensive materials as fillers. 8. Ensure off-cuts are recycled and avoid redundant structure, etc. Some very energy intensive finishes, such as paints, often have high wastage levels. 9. Select materials that can be re-used or recycled easily at the end of their lives using existing recycling systems. 10. Give preference to materials manufactured using renewable energy sources. 11. Use efficient building envelope design and fittings to minimize materials (e.g. an energy efficient building envelope can downsize or eliminate the need for heaters and coolers, water-efficient taps allow downsizing of water pipes). 12. Ask suppliers for information on their products and share this information.31 Milne, 138. 21
  22. 22. Life Cycle AssessmentLife Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an analytical tool for the environmental impact evaluation of a productor service system through all stages of its life, from resource extraction, processing and delivery (i.e.embodied energy) through service life to final disposal or recycling. In LCA, a fundamental concept isthe ‘functional unit,’ where an actual building component unit is specified over a defined time span 32.Therefore, instead comparing 1 kg concrete to 1kg fired brick for a wall, for example, LCA would includeall the peripheral requirements (plaster, refinishing, different foundation sizing, etc.) as well as anyrecycling or demolition inputs necessary after the defined period (i.e. 15 years) of the structure. Insteadof calculating with mass, this would ordinarily be calculated in a unit of square meters. Life CycleCosting is a related technique to sum costs associated with an asset, including acquisition, installation,operation, maintenance, refurbishment, and disposal costs 33.Useful software for conducting an LCA include GaBi (Germany) and SimaPro (Netherlands), AthenaEnvironmental Impact Estimator (Canada), BEES (U.S.), and Envest 2 (United Kingdom). However,Energy costs for materials are very specific to different geographical regions, and as yet no LCAprogram has been developed for Africa.Elements of a LCA are as follows 34: 1. Goal and Scope Definition: The goal and scope for the study are clearly defined. 2. Inventory Analysis: Actual collection of data and the calculation procedures, which are analyzed and quantified, and produced as a table. 3. Impact Assessment: The impact assessment translates the inventory analysis into environmental impacts and evaluates their significance. This may require several iterations. 4. Interpretation: In this phase conclusions and recommendations are drawn from the inventory analysis and the impact assessment.Design for DeconstructionDesign for Deconstruction (DfD) principles are of particular use in remote ecolodges made of‘permanent materials’, but which are also situated in natural areas and parks. In a DfD approach, thelife cycle of the materials is emphasized by using durable materials which can be easily recycled. Asimple example of this would be the use of high quality fired bricks or concrete blocks with a lowerquality mortar, so that the blocks can be easily cleaned and reused after deconstruction of the building.Primary principles for DfD are as follows 35: 1. Reuse existing buildings and materials. 2. Design for durability and adaptability. 3. Design for deconstruction by using less adhesives and sealant 4. Use less material to realize a design32 Nebel, 5-633 Nebel, 14.34 AS/NZS ISO 14040-1404335 EPA Pollution Prevention Program Office, 46. 22
  23. 23. Other principles are the following 36: 1. Maximize clarity and simplicity of the building design. 2. Use building materials that are worth recovering. 3. Minimize the number of fasteners used when possible. 4. Simplify connections between parts, to enable easier deconstruction. 5. Separate building layers and systems (i.e. mechanical, electrical). 6. Minimize the number of components (i.e. use fewer larger elements). 7. Use modular building components and assemblies. 8. Disentangle utilities from the within the structure’s walls, ceilings, and floors. 9. Provide easy access to components and assemblies (windows, etc). 10. Make connections between components and parts visible and accessible.Some possible materials and material combinations suitable to building ecolodges in Africa include thefollowing: 1. Safari tents, i.e. ‘Meru Tents’, on sand foundations with wooden box retaining walls. 2. Stone rubble foundation with 1:3:6 concrete cap (reinforced or unreinforced) 3. 1:4 concrete blocks with 1:6 or 1:8 cement mortar 4. Industrially fired clay bricks with 1:6 or 1:8 cement mortar 5. 1:20 cement stabilized soil blocks with mud mortar 6. Wattle and daub or cob walls 7. Wooden framed walls 8. Unstabilized rammed earth walls or adobe 9. Straw bale walls 10. Thatch roofs‘Buy Local’A fundamental component of ecolodges by definition is the stimulation of the local economy, and thepossible displacement of resource extraction from the natural area of interest (such as charcoal making,poaching, and illegal fishing) to a more efficient and regulated economy elsewhere. In this regard, anemphasis on local purchase of building materials is essential in fulfilling this goOne could argue that most local technologies are also low-energy and also low-impact, thereby alsofulfilling the goals of low embodied energy and Life Cycle Costing. Generally this is true, though thereare notable exceptions. Primarily, the local firing of bricks has made a devastating impact on forestationin Africa, and the requirement for large, older trees (for higher fuel content and longer burn times) due tothe lack of suitable fuel alternatives (such as coal dust or recycled oil) might outweigh the other benefits.In this case, one can make an argument for the use of cement stabilized soil blocks or rammed earth.Another problematic local resource is river sand, which is commonly extracted at the end of the rainyseason and sold on roadsides throughout Africa. Though this material has almost no embodied energy,destabilization of the river bank can result in accelerated erosion downstream as well as higher turbiditywhich can affect fish populations. Furthermore, river sand is a poor quality concrete component due to36 EPA Pollution Prevention Program Office, 48-9. 23
  24. 24. its small, rounded particle shape and high clay and silt content. However, under controlledcircumstances it can be an excellent resource.Therefore, if a ‘Buy Local’ policy is to be emphasized, consideration should be given to the effects ofthese purchases in sustaining environmentally degrading processes. Possibly, this approach couldresult in identification of better alternatives (such as an unused and cheap fuel source for firing bricks ora better sand quarry in the area) which could be developed and informally ‘certified’ as more ecological.Monitoring and EvaluationIn a traditional tourism venture, success of the lodge would be determined by conventional financialmeasures such as revenues, profit, occupancy, increase in market share, and growth of the business.These factors are all relevant to an ecolodge, but additional measures should be in place to determinethe benefits to the location in regard to environmental and social criteria. Some methods to achieve thisare described below 37: • Set overall goals and indicators for environmental performance and the management of natural and social environments. • Generate baseline data on environmental and social indicators. • Implementation of monitoring system such as Limits of Acceptable Change. • Integration of monitoring results into operations.Monitoring is the measurement of a set of indicators that are tracked over time, while evaluation is theregular, periodic assessment of progress against a set of reference values 38. Monitoring can be definedin a hierarchical cycle 39: 1. Impact - Long term environmental/social/financial change, the ecolodge vision. 2. Outcome (goals) - Medium term change or intermediate success to measure change 3. Output - Immediate results, such as skills and knowledge. 4. Process - Activities undertaken using inputs to produce outputs, with quantifying indicators, such as frequency. These can include trainings, workshops, and classes, and can be formal or informal. 5. Inputs – Resources including time, money, people.A suggested approach to this process is to first establish the vision of the system, and then defineoutcomes and outputs. Other tools in the process include reporting, to document processes andindicators at regular intervals, and feedback, whereby the accomplishment or modification of outcomesand outputs can be analyzed. Critical to this is the use of indicators, or measurable states that provideevidence that a certain condition exists or that certain results have or have not been achieved 40.The International Ecotourism Society developed four ‘components of sustainability’ to serve asoutcomes for a typical ‘sustainable tourism’ program, and these are detailed below, with typicalindicators bulleted below each component 41:37 Nature Conservancy, Ecolodge Guidelines, 6.38 Toth, 17.39 Toth, 18.40 International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance.41 Toth, 34, 37. 24
  25. 25. 1. Minimize environmental damage a. Reduction of solid waste • Kilograms of waste to landfill or incinerator per sector specific activity • Percentage of total waste that is reused and/or recycled b. Minimization of contamination through waste discharge • Kilograms of chemicals used per tourist specific activity (guest-night, tourists) • Percentage of biodegradable chemicals used to total chemicals • Solid Waste Disposal c. Energy Conservation • Total energy consumed per tourist specific activity (guest-night, tourists, etc) • % of total energy from renewable sources • CO 2 footprint d. Water Conservation • Total volume of potable water consumed per tourist specific activity • Sewage is treated effectively2. Minimize socio-cultural damage a. Codes of behavior • Appropriate Code of Behavior is integrated into operation b. Contribute to community development • Percentage of annual gross income contributed to local community • New business and/or staff promoted c. Stakeholder consultation • Consultation and dialog with community or other local stakeholders3. Maximize economic benefits for local communities a. Local employment • Percentage of staff locally hired • Percentage of wages paid to local staff b. Local purchase of services or goods • Percentage of purchases of services and goods from local or regional providers4. Operational management and quality a. Integration of sustainability into operation • Company sustainability policy • Management system for key sustainability issues • Customer service staff uses sustainable practices b. Maximize customer satisfaction - Average customer satisfaction rating 25
  26. 26. CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALSTechnical skill and construction skill is typically absent in villages, and finding urban people withwillingness to work in a remote area for an extended time can be challenging. Furthermore, maintainingsystems with high technical requirements can add to operating costs in the long term and will likelyresult in occasional disruptions to service. These constraints should be considered early in the planningprocess. From the author’s experience on many remote projects in Africa, many local people hired formajor construction projects will be unprepared for the sustained effort required for completion, and thisshould be included in budgeting/scheduling through planned raises, work hiatus, and team rotation/replacement. Training locals, who will have a stake in the project’s success, in advanced skills such asPV system operation could be a significant long term cost saving, if it is successful and the individualsremain engaged in the project.Fundamentally, for most construction projects or facility operations, one simple equation can be used toevaluate many decisions: 1 liter diesel fuel = 1 villager daily wageFrom this perspective, many facets of construction and mechanical systems have a direct impact onlocal employment. Examples include use of power tools versus human labor for sawing and digging,powered compressed earth block equipment versus manual presses, treadle/Afridev pumps vs. electricpumps, delivery of produce by bicycle vs. truck, and use of manual labor for road building vs. heavyequipment. Of course, this approach comes at some detriment to time, capacity, and quality. This isespecially true in the mixing of mortar and concrete, where far superior results are to be found using apowered mixer, particularly for pours of over 3m3, or when washing of the sand or aggregate isnecessary before making the concrete batch (as this can be quickly performed with a tilting poweredmixer.)Material transportTransportation can be another major cost with remote sites; costs of materials can easily double ortriple with truck delivery. Importation is also expensive, in that shipping costs from Europe/NorthAmerica/China as well as import duties can similarly increase costs. If possible materials should befound as close to the construction site as possible and an affordable delivery method established; thismay include purchase of a delivery vehicle for the duration of the project. 26
  27. 27. Photo 5 Typical transportation scenario for remote Photo 6 Old South African military vehicle typical of lodgedestinations, Nairobi. construction.The type of vehicle needed for the project should be analyzed carefully. A larger capacity truck (>5-ton)will reduce transportation unit costs, but it can also have a greater impact on the road access to the site,and trucks with long wheel bases may have difficulty maneuvering in a site that is rocky or forested, dueto both turning radius and the overhanging bumpers front and rear and the very low vehicle chassis. Inmany cases the purchase of a project vehicle is assumed, while a careful financial analysis mightsuggest otherwise.Construction impactLabor and power equipment again are a tradeoff on a construction site. Heavy equipment will produce amuch larger physical and auditory impact on the area, whereas people on site will have a larger impacton local water quality and may also produce a significant physical impact. In the case that heavyequipment is to be used, such as a Caterpillar, front end loader, tractor, or grader, work should beorganized such that all excavation or earth moving requirements can be performed in one stage. Thiswill also reduce cost, though it will require detailed site plans at an early stage of the constructionprocess; though this is of course desirable, it is not always a given on such projects.If local labor is used and the workers will reside at the site, several dimensions must be considered:accommodation, water supply, food supply, waste removal, and short and long term physical impact.Additionally, transportation and medical services must be provided. In the best case scenario, futurestaff housing or mechanical/storage facilities can be erected first, along with a water supply and storagestructure (this will also facilitate construction), and large numbers of workers can thus be housed on site,preferably in an area that will not be visible to guests during the multiple rainy seasons that may berequired to rehabilitate the landscape.Season and storm water controlA Storm Water Pollution and Prevention Plan42 (SWPPP) is the best means by which to minimizedisturbance to the site through erosion and sedimentation. Fundamental to this is the minimization of42 Developing Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan: A Guide for Construction Sites, EPA 27
  28. 28. disturbed area, followed by sequential construction planned around the rainy season, and establishmentof erosion control measures, including silt fencing, check dams, wattles, and diversion of stormwateraround the site. For more information on this approach see the Appendix, and for a thoroughdescription of erosion and sediment control measures, visit the EPA website.Boundaries can be defined, preferably with some foreign device such as barrier tape, to limit footpathestablishment both during and after working hours. Use of water from any surface source, such as ariver, stream, or lake should be strictly defined and monitored to reduce impact on this source.Alternatively, staff can be accommodated off site, or even in their home villages, but this will increasetransportation costs immensely, as well as impact social factors detrimental to the work environment,such as alcohol consumption, tardiness and absenteeism, or employment duration.ToolsTools necessary for a remote project with technical systems can be divided into three types:technical/engineering tools; powered construction tools; and manually operated tools. Further, manuallyoperated tools can be subdivided into skilled tools and unskilled tools. A basic list of these is listedbelow, while a more complete tool list is included in the appendix.Technical/engineering tools:• Laptop + CAD + engineering software • Builder’s level or theodolite• Digital camera • Abney level• GPS • 100m + 30m + 8m tapes• PV and wind evaluation tools • Measuring wheelPowered Construction tools:• Concrete mixer + vibrator • Reciprocating + jig + circular saws• Chainsaw • SDS-Plus hammer drill• Welding machine + grinder • Generator• Cordless tool setSkilled manual tools:• Hand saws • Treadle pump• Compressed earth block machine • Wrenches +sockets + screwdriversUnskilled manual tools:• Shovels • Metal digging bars• Machetes • Hammer• Digging hoes • Wheel barrows• Metal bucketsWater and pumpingIdeally, the water supply system for the entire facility should be one of the first components completed,as this will facilitate immediate habitation and construction at the site. However, this will also requireearly detailed planning as to facility needs and site planning to determine the water source, storage, andprimary distribution system. In the case that a borehole is to be utilized, a central location or a locationnear a hill is ideal to facilitate easy pumping to gravity distribution. With lake, river, or marine watersource, a sophisticated system design will be required to make the water suitable for drinking, which isalso desirable for construction purposes, especially concrete works. 28
  29. 29. Photo 7 Approtec Money Maker treadle pump is a good Photo 8 Typical petrol powered water pump.choice for construction works.Temporary or permanent pumps are options for the construction phase. Temporary pumps includefirefighting pumps, petrol or electrically powered centrifugal pumps, or manually operated treadle pumps.Permanent pumps, which would be installed in the completed water system for long term operation atthe facility, include submersible pumps and centrifugal pumps. For more information on permanentinstallations see the mechanical systems section on water.GeneratorsSeveral options exist for mobile power supply, and these options should be considered for constructionplus long term use at the facility:• Diesel generator • Sound attenuated• Petrol generator • 240v AC + 12v DC• Generator/welder • Single phase• Moveable/fixed • Three phaseGenerally, a 4kVa generator is sufficient for most construction works (running concrete mixer, pumpingwater, minor welding, and powering communications equipment), whereas a long term backup generatorfor the facility may be of the order of 12-50kVa, or higher in some instances (please see Electricitysection for more discussion about generator sizing). Therefore, the generator selected for constructionshould be specified for future construction and maintenance activities, but not necessarily for lodgebackup. In some cases, where wind or PV will provide most of the power for the facility, a smaller unit isfeasible, and in this case it should be designated as sound attenuated so that it can function undernormal circumstances with minimal intrusion on the guest experience. 29
  30. 30. Materials and TechniquesA limited number of materials are available at an affordable price in most African countries, andhardware selection is also low. In particular fabricated steel, aluminum products, stainless steelhardware, and Western style cladding systems are very expensive, if they are available at all. In placeof this, one must often use locally produced wood, welded round bar, threaded rod, and lower qualitynails and bolts. However, this situation is compatible with the principles advanced for ecolodgeconstruction. Advice on the use of local materials is the outlined below:Fired BrickLocally fired brick is one of the most common building materials in Africa today, used on construction insmall remote villages, city mansions, and even multi-story concrete framed buildings. Because massiveamounts of older growth wood must be used to fire the brick, this product (along with charcoalproduction) is responsible for significant deforestation throughout the continent. Rwanda has instituted aban on locally fired brick without permit, but in most countries the practice is so widespread andentrenched that no change in course seems possible. Some donor organizations such as DFID arepromoting school construction with compressed earth blocks (see below). Unfortunately, traditionalconstruction techniques such as adobe, rammed earth, and wattle and daub are perceived as inferior,despite the fact that most locally fired bricks have very little advantage in compression strength ordurability.Photo 9 Staff housing of locally fired brick in Majete Photo 10 Safari tent with brick bathroom, Majete WildlifeWildlife Refuge, Malawi. Reserve, Malawi.In the case the bricks are necessary in construction, efforts should be made to minimize the amount ofwood necessary. This can be accomplished by replanting trees, using alternative fuels to fire the wood,such as used oil, coal or charcoal dust, or waste agricultural materials such as tobacco stems and ricehusks, and reducing the total number of bricks necessary. Producing a more uniform brick will alsoreduce the amount of mortar necessary for the wall construction.WoodEucalyptus is the most commonly available wood in many locations, but pine and hardwood is also to befound. Wood can typically be purchased as poles or as lumber in common American dimensions such 30
  31. 31. as 2” x 6” and 2” x 8”. Most wood will not be ‘sustainably harvested,’ meaning that it is not replanted.Furthermore, in many locations ‘kiln dried’ lumber is not available: The material is not dimensionallystabile and significant splitting, warping, or twisting may occur during and after construction. Toeliminate some of these problems, some projects may import containers of industrially produced woodfrom other countries (notably Brasil), but this of course increases transport costs and carbon footprint ofthe material. For high end construction this may be the only alternative to use higher quality finishedwood surfaces. Ultimately, a program to replant in kind (or in greater number) nearby harvested trees isthe most sensible action to take, as long as these trees are maintained to maturity.StoneLocal stone can be a huge asset to a remote project, especially if local masons are available to dressthe rock to useable dimensions and build walls. Typical stone types include basalt near volcanic areas,laterite and granite in areas where murram soil is common, and limestone blocks quarried from marinedeposits along the Indian Ocean. Basalt rock is often very hard and can be difficult to produce anrectilinear units, whereas laterite may be very low in strength and durability. Limestone blocks are oftenof average strength but can be dressed easily.Photo 11 High quality, angular basalt in central Ethiopia. Photo 12 Limestone block quarry, Manda Island Kenya.ThatchThatch is the most common roofing material for the traditional safari lodge. Its procurement is veryexpensive and time consuming due to the need for huge volumes to construct a high quality roof. Themost common thatch material in southern Africa is Hyperthelia dissoluta (called ‘Highveld’ or ‘yellow’thatching grass in South Africa); Thamnochortus insignis is found on the coast, where it is consideredthe highest quality material available, and it is even exported 43. Advantages of thatch include its localavailability, very low carbon footprint, insulating property, and natural aesthetic. Disadvantages includethe costs of roof framing, transportation, and labor, difficulty to put out if on fire, short lifespan (10-20years), high maintenance, and the relative scarcity of skilled workers to install. Along the Indian Ocean,the most common roof material is ‘makuti,’ which is woven coconut palm fronds, but it is not found very43 Yates, pg. 13 31
  32. 32. far inland and it is not a very durable material compared to traditional thatch, though its cost is muchlower.Photo 13 Thatch roof, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Photo 14 Makuti thatch roof on Lamu Island, Kenya.Malawi. Note the concrete cap for waterproofing.Some tips for thatch roofing: • Err on the side of ‘over design’ when detailing the roof framing: use maximum pole spacing of 700mm and a minimum pole diameter of 100mm. • Use 41.5 kg/m2 for design dead load (at 300mm thickness) 44 • Minimize valleys in roof design, and keep chimneys or penetrations at the ridge, to eliminate back flashing. • Eave overhangs should be at least 650mm. • Do not allow rain water to discharge on to thatch from a higher level. • Use Kevlar cord recycled from automobile tires for tying thatch bundles to roof framing. • Minimum roof pitch of 45°, and minimum of 35° over dormer windows • Provide suitable ridge capping, such as reinforced concrete, to prevent water infiltration at this critical location. • Avoid tall trees that will shade the roof and possibly increase deterioration rate. • Complete thatching before rainy season.Alternatively, synthetic thatch materials are available that are lighter, more durable, fire resistant, andmay even be cheaper than real thatch, thus justifying their procurement in some situations. Technicalinformation on their performance and installation is available from manufacturers, but these materialsarguably do not adhere to ecolodge philosophy, and are not covered in this document.GravelTwo primary considerations must be made in selecting gravel for use as aggregate in concrete works:strength and size. Strength can be determined empirically, by physically crushing pieces (i.e. with ahammer) and inspecting the local geology (avoid sandstones, while igneous and metamorphic rock aregenerally okay). Additional tests can be made by mixing concrete samples and crushing in a structural44 Baden-Powell, pg. 104. 32
  33. 33. laboratory, though this is a time consuming process unpalatable to most planners or builders in the earlystage of a construction process.Photo 15 Typical gravel making method with hammers, Photo 16 Screening of sand and gravel is useful toMalawi. achieve high quality concrete and mortar, northern Ethiopia.Aggregate size is also important. Because aggregate is often produced manually with hammers, largerpieces are more common and cheaper. This size may be suitable for foundation works or floors (20mmto 50mm), but smaller sizes should be prepared for columns and beams (<25mm). This can either beperformed manually as described, or machines can be used, such as the hand operated rock crusherfrom New Dawn Engineering in Swaziland. Note that gravel purchased from a quarry can be ordered inany desired dimension.SandSand for construction in Africa is generally of two types: river sand or quarry sand. Quarry sand isbetter quality due to its rougher texture and absence of clay and silt particles, which severely lowerconcrete strength. However, good quality river sand can be located, and it also can be sifted, screened,and washed for use in concrete works. In some projects, this may be a very time consuming process,but it must be performed to achieve adequate concrete strengths (i.e. > 20 MPa). Time spent finding agood source of construction sand will result in much higher durability. 33
  34. 34. Photo 17 High quality sand is rough and angular, clean of Photo 18 Exploitation of good river sand deposit fororganics, clay, and silt, and evenly distributed in size. cement block making, Bua River, Malawi.SoilTwo main soil types are found in Africa: laterite (also called ‘murram’), or montmorrilonite (black cottonsoil), which is encountered in wetlands and near volcanic areas. Laterites can usually be found justbelow the surface of vast open plains, grasslands and forest clearings, in regions with heavy rainfall.They are highly weathered soils originating from granite bedrock, formed through break down of rock bychemical decay in tropical conditions; signs of their original structure remain present in the soil. Lateriticclay is generally red in color, and is composed of large quantities of iron oxide and aluminum. It isgenerally a good soil for compressed earth block construction or for making bricks.Photo 19 Better quality red laterite soil is often found Photo 20 Low quality black montmorrilonite soil notdeeper below the topsoil and above the rock layer, suitable for construction, northern Rwanda.Rwanda.Montmorrilonite is expansive clay which is not suitable for earth construction due to excessiveshrinkage and swelling characteristics from water exposure. These are found in wet tropical regions,usually close to weathered volcanic rock such as basalt and in low lying swamp areas (due to its verysmall particle size and electrical charge, it tends to stay in suspension longer than other clays and silts).The name comes from its very dark color, ranging from black and deep grey to dark brown, and from thefact that often cotton is grown on it, especially in India, due to the resiliency of cotton roots to the soil 34
  35. 35. movement during expansion. The soil is extremely clayey with a high plasticity, swells enormously in wetcondition and shows equally severe shrinking upon drying. In the dry state the soil is extremely hard. Insome locations this is the preferred material for traditional earthen floors.Topsoil, comprised of organic materials mixed with soil, should never be used for construction purposes.LimeLime is used as a stabilizer in clayey soils, both in road engineering and production of rammed earthwalls and compressed earth blocks.Quicklime is produced in a kiln by firing limestone (CaCO 3 , calcium carbonate) at around 1000°according to the following reaction: CaCO 3 + heat → CaO + CO 2Quicklime can be hydrated (combined with water) to produce hydrated lime, which is commonly used inconstruction works: CaO + H 2 O → Ca(OH) 2Photo 21 Lime blocks with lime mortar construction, Photo 22 Use of lime for compressed earth blockLamu. stabilization, Rwanda.CementTypically, cement is one of the biggest costs for remote construction projects. Whenever possible,solutions should be found that can minimize cement use, but this can be detrimental to finish quality anddurability of the structure. Additionally, many traditional building techniques employ poor constructionmethods and improper use of cement, and when these are controlled or eliminated, significant savingscan be realized. Example of this include concrete floor finishing with cement paste and no sand oraggregate, overuse of water in the concrete mix, foundation concrete without reinforcement, orconstruction of reinforced concrete with dirty/corroded reinforcement and insufficient concrete ‘clearcover.’ In each case, a smaller cement ratio mixture applied properly will have much better long termresults. Before any construction project, the manager should consult a modern concrete text book, 35
  36. 36. establish clear cement mixing rules and procedures, and install quality control procedures includingmaking a breaking test cylinders in a test lab.Cement is created from limestone in a process similar to that of making lime, but it is heated toapproximately 1450°, and additional constituents such as clay, shale, sand, iron ore, bauxite, fly ashand/or blast furnace slag, which may contain calcium oxide, silicon oxide, aluminum oxide, ferric oxide,and magnesium oxide. Gypsum or anhydrite (calcium sulfate) is added to this “clinker”, and the mixtureis finely ground to a powder. A partial reaction of this very complex and not completely understoodprocess is outlined here: CaO + Ca 2 SiO 4 + heat → Ca 3 O·SiO 4Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB’s)Compressed Earth Blocks are compressed with hand-operated mechanical presses or motorizedhydraulic machines. They may be stabilized our unstabilized (see below), and they are promotedthroughout Africa as a modern application of an ancient building technique. Notable CEB machinemanufacturers include Hydraform in South Africa, Makiga Engineering in Nairobi, New DawnEngineering in Swaziland, and the Auroville Earth Institute in India.Photo 23 High production Making compressed earth Photo 24 Making compressed earth blocks, Bua River,block manufacture from laterite soil Malawi. Malawi.The following procedure can be followed to produce high quality CEB’s:1. Excavate soil below the topsoil layer. Often, deeper soil is harder to excavate, but it will produce a strong block.2. Arrange for a laboratory tests on soil to determine properties: gradation and optimum water content. This can be used to compare soils and determine the amount of cement or lime content.3. Sieve soil to remove all particles >5mm. Crush larger particles and resieve or discard. Add silt or sand if necessary.4. Add stabilizer and water • Add lime to soil, thoroughly mix, and allow it to sit for one day. This may allow the lime to break apart clay lumps and create a better mix. 36

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