Cologne, 21. December 2011 – ident.africa e.V. has initiated a research project between the RWTH Aachen and the University of Maroua in the north of Cameroon. The research project systematically records local architecture and traditional ways of construction and investigates their influence empirically by comparing the building style to regions with similar climate. The generated knowledge is subsequently used for the construction of a school in the village Boboyo. The focus of the project is a climate-friendly and identity architecture. This project is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst (DAAD)) and the German Ministry for Education and Research.
The beginning of the cooperation of both universities was a workshop held by Prof. Dr. Christian Raabe, who directs the educational and research area of conservation at the Faculty of Architecture at the RWTH Aachen. Six students from Cameroon traveled to Aachen in May 2011 accompanied by a university teacher in order to define the parameters for climate friendly construction together with students from Aachen. With this the main parameters for the subsequent field test were defined. For the second part of the workshop ten students from the RWTH Aachen traveled to Cameroon in order to build up experimental buildings together with the Cameroonian researchers. In total the team build up four buildings in June 2011 and equipped them with measuring equipment. With this installment it was possible to exactly measure the temperature radiation, air circulation and other aspects that are influenced by the construction and building materials. Currently, the evaluation of the measurements is carried out. In the beginning of 2012 the results will be available, hence the construction of a climate friendly and traditional school can be started.
The exchange of the students of both universities supports the international knowledge transfer and has therefore a broader content. Besides the direct application of the gained knowledge during the school construction the project also conveys historical and regional knowledge about each other’s country. The gained knowledge shall be distributed by the university of Maroua on a long-term basis in order to support a climate-friendly and resource-friendly construction in Cameroon. “The direct cooperation between the RWTH Aachen and the University of Maroua does not only create a valueable increase of knowledge for the researchers regarding the only sparsely investigated architecture south of the Sahara, but does also support the academic exchange in north south direction.”, says Prof. Dr. Christian Raabe.