After the development of an engineered wood production line of glue laminated (Glulam) and finger jointed timber in Uganda, the interest in application of these products has increased in the country and the region. This has been evidenced by the number of people reaching out online and the physical invitations to stakeholder engagements in green buildings, wood construction and conferences centered on secondary wood processing. Engineered wood products provide answers to almost all limitations of ordinary lumber in structural and aesthetic appearances.
Fairventures Worldwide in Uganda is continuously showcasing the potential contribution of engineered wood to achieving sustainable and affordable housing in Uganda. The projects currently under development include an extension of a kindergarten school and a country lodging homestead compound. The initial designs of both projects have been developed and are currently under revision to best suit the client’s needs and resources.
The kindergarten school
This project shall be implemented in three phases namely the design phase, prefabrication, and assembly. The design phase starts with a field visit to site for a survey, producing architectural designs and structural drawings. These architectural designs have been based on minimization and ease of use by the children. The floorplan will have the same number of classrooms, openings and toilets as the existing ground floor. Clean straight lines have been chosen for minimisation, ease of use, maintenance, and durability.
The intention behind the design is to promote the use of wood as a natural, renewable building material and to extend the natural environment inside the classrooms. The wood used shall be stained to create contrast and blend into the already existing built environment.
A protective design was also applied to increase the life spans of the building by adding features such as the overhang roof, and treated wood for outside cladding. Being a second floor extension, there shall be no direct contact of the structure with the ground soil, protecting the timber from direct biodegrading agents.
The balustrade on the balcony and staircases is for safety. In addition to the primary staircases, the design also intervenes with a ramp from the upper level ground to the proposed floor extension for any people with disabilities, act as a second fire exit, and access to secondary sanitary facilities.
Country lodging homestead
This construction project is located in the western part of Uganda, about 200 km from Hoima town. This project is a getaway farm home that also generates income from serving as lodgings for researchers, vacationers, tourists and visiting travelers to Western Uganda.
The construction project consists of a bungalow style building and four lodging cabins. This bungalow shall be used as a residential home for the client and also act as the administration block, storage, reception and universal dining area for both the client and his guests.
The design aimed at maximizing use of space evidenced in a multipurpose common room that shall act as a living room, reception and entertainment space. An open floor plan connects this living area to the dining and kitchen for entertainment hostings.
Maximum sized openings (windows and doors) were used in the design to maximize natural light and fresh aeration into the building.
The four wood cabins will be identical to each other in terms of design and dimensions. These carbins shall act as commercial lodgings for income generation. These cabins are a simple but luxurious built environment spread through the compound. These cabins were designed with average mirror windows and doors for outdoor-indoor living and access for viewing the beautiful landscape. Natural stone slabs will be placed in the greenery compound and in the pathway leading into the orchard.
Fairventures Worldwide will also be focusing on product awareness and building capacity or skills training in wood construction and onsite joinery to ease implementation and improve local capacity in the field.