The SUDU (Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit) – an applied research project for a low-income dwelling unit built with local materials and labor, led by Dirk Hebel – was built during the ETHiopia Urban Laboratory summer school workshop 2010, run in conjunction with experts at the ETH Zürich and the EiABC, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This blog is a first person account of the construction of the SUDU, as offered by the visiting expert and construction manager in thin-shell tile vaulting. Representing the BLOCK Research Group, ETH Zurich, my tasks have been to oversee the construction of the first floor catenary masonry vault, to train students of architecture from the ETH and the EiABC, as well as Ethiopian daily laborers in timbrel vault technology. This blog is intended to focus on capacity building for ‘appropriate building technologies’ in Ethiopia – including the dissemination of technical skill, knowledge of structural principles and clear understanding of the behavior of vaults at the full scale.
ETH D-ARCH: Prof. Dr. Philippe Block (Chair of building structure), Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil (Dean).
ETH Sustainability: Dr. Christine Bratrich (Director), Catherine Lippuner (Workshop coordinator), Astrid Smitham.
ETH North-South Centre: Dr. Barbara Becker (Director).
EiABC: Dirk Hebel (Scientific Director), Dr. Elias Yitbarek (Housing Chair) , Zegeye Cherenet (Deputy Director), Fasil Giorghis, Tibebu Daniel (Workshop coordinator), Herbert Schmitz (Earth building expert), Dejene Liramo (Consulting Structural Engineer), Josef Hennes, Melakeselam Moges, participating ETH/ EiABC students and the Ethiopian daily laborers.