Affordable, Solar-Powered, Passive House Prototypes in Port Harcourt by Chinwe Ohajuruka

The “Face Me I Face You” or “Rooming Houses” concept is a housing type is found extensively across the country because it is affordable to a large segment of the population.

Households occupy one or two rooms in houses with corridors along the middle, or verandahs to one side, and all the households share communal bathrooms and kitchens, or cook in the corridors or the rooms. This “rooming housing” is plagued with a number of critical deficiencies. From poor access, natural lighting and ventilation to poor security and sanitation, it offers no privacy and a distinct lack of basic dignity.

CEO and Founder of Comprehensive Design Services, Chinwe Ohajuruka seeks to address these deficiencies with an affordable alternative that restores the aforementioned dignity. Her passive house prototype (or PHP) will enable the working Nigerian buy a starter-home with incremental prospects.

Chinwe Ohajuruka

In the above video, courtesy Heinrich Boll Stiftung, we see how Chinwe has developed these prototypes into an eco village in Port Harcourt. This development can very easily serve as a blueprint for affordable housing in Nigeria. One that is sustainable and chips away at at the country’s 17 million unit housing deficit, placing many Nigerians on the pathway to home ownership.

Here are some of the details for this remarkable housing model:

  • Flexible & Phase-able design;
  • Designed to fit on 1 small plot (15 x 30m or 50 x 100 feet)
  • Each building is 166m2, arranged around 2 courtyards.
  • Comprises 4 self-contained apartments
  • Each Apartment has 2 rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom.

Sustainable elements

  • Built with Earth Construction  for cooler indoor spaces.
  • Highly reflective light-coloured roof. 
  • Solar PV cells on roof
  • Solar powered borehole pump
  • Raised floor slab for flood prevention.
  • Enhanced cross ventilation and high level openings
  • Harvested rainwater

Heinrich Boll have put together this report highlighting the success and lessons learned from developing this passive housing model. You can also view this video courtesy AWPS Renewable Energy, LTD, which details the solar power systems installed for the housing prototypes.

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