Situated north of Lagos, the new Genome Centre will be the largest modern rammed earth building in the country. The rammed earth walls will be built using locally sourced materials and local unskilled labour that will be trained during construction. AsaDuru, a green building firm based in South Africa, is set to begin construction at the end of February, with completion of all the walls in 30 working days.
“We’re thrilled to be selected as the subcontractor for this astonishing project and that our client decided to go with stabilised rammed earth, which is a visually stunning low carbon wall building technique. We look forward to welcome students and faculty and to share the results with the broader architectural community,” said Mohamed Bedri, AsaDuru’s managing director.
Ancient building technique
Rammed earth is an ancient building technique which has re-gained popularity in the western world. However, it has yet to establish itself commercially in Africa.
“Our rammed earth system is faster to build than bricks and complies with modern building codes and we’re now putting modern rammed earth on the map, making it accessible to architects, builders, and other clients in Africa,” said Bedri.
The Genome Centre had its groundbreaking ceremony on 22 January and the main contractor has been mobilised on site. AsaDuru worked closely with the client, assigned architect and structural engineer during a few months’ time, tweaking the designs to achieve ideal rammed earth construction outcomes.
Upon arrival in Nigeria, an initial sample wall, 2700cm x 1200cm high, will be built on site which will act as a template for the actual walls of the project, ensuring the best colour and textured materials. The Australia-based Rick Lindsay, managing director of the Earth Structures Group of whom AsaDuru is the exclusive African member, will join the project as one of the experienced site supervisors together with Mohamed Bedri.