Material use in other countries.


I have always wondered why residential buildings in the US are typically built out of wood. For someone that grew up in another country, this seems unconventional. I notice that this is an unchanging norm here in the US and so far it has worked great. Growing up in Nigeria on the other hand, residential buildings are really and almost never built out of wood. In cases where wood might be used, it is used for framing. The main reason to my knowledge is because termites eat the wood and the building eventually fails.

Another thing i have noticed is that there were never basements where i grew up. I was surprised to see a basement coming here, and I thought it was pretty cool to have one. Whatever the case may be, I am sure the is a reason as to why any building with a basement does exist, or existed while i was there some 13 years ago.

As part of my research for the term paper, I will be looking into these two cases and see why residential houses In Africa are still not built out of wood and how that can be changed. I am sure somewhere, there has to be a technology that can prevent termites from eating wood. I will also be looking at how basements can be incorporated into future designs. I am positive that the temperature, climate or even availability of certain building materials play a role in this. It would be nice to know why going forward.


About dkat84

Architecture is my Life.

One comment

  1. wils1489

    I’m glad that you wrote this piece because it never occurred to me that other countries didn’t use wood for their framework in residential homes. After taking a few moments it made perfect since though. Africa doesn’t have the vegetation that the United States does or the readily available resources to transport material as freely either. So wouldn’t that actually be a positive that Africa does not implement wood in their homes. If something were to go wrong with the material, home repairs would be almost impossible due to the economic conditions of the country. Thus, turning wood into a wasteful material there and increasing our carbon footprint.

    Also you mentioned basements and that being here allowed you the opportunity to experience them. There are many here in the United States that have still not had privilege based on location. Most states along the coast are not allowed to build basements due to code and building regulations. Just as seen in television shows like the Jersey Shore, homes along the coast are built several feet above ground to allow rising currents to pass. In northern states though I think basements were created not for storage but as a thermal feature. The dug in ground uses the earth around the building to provide insolation and protect it from the cold weather. This was how they coped with the harsh winters before we had these great heating systems that we have today.

    So I do agree with you that temperature, climate, and material plays a part in both of these topics but I do think that there is more to be considered than just that. I think that you are on a good path and can’t wait to see what you come up with for your paper.

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