Carbon-free building materials - raw earth & typha
@ Nicola J. Walker on Unsplash

Webinar Carbon-free building materials – Raw earth & Typha

  • refurbishment
  • building
  • raw earth
  • west africa

Thursday 12 October 2023
1:00 – 2:30 pm (CET Geneva time)

About the webinar

Carbon-free building materials – Raw earth & Typha

The construction and operation of buildings accounts for 38% of all energy-related CO2 emissions (1) worldwide. The production of certain building materials, such as steel and cement, which are used on a massive scale throughout the world, is a major emitter of greenhouse gases and can cause significant damage to the environment. Carbon-free materials and alternative construction techniques do exist and may be available depending on the local context, resources and knowledge.
The webinar will present two approaches that can be implemented in the countries where aid and health organisations operate, with a focus on West Africa: building with raw earth and using Typha, an invasive aquatic plant, as a thermal insulation material.


When and where?

October 12, 2023 (Thursday) | 1.00 – 2.30 pm (CET Geneva time)


Language: this webinar will be held in French and translated simultaneously into English via the Zoom tool.





Since 1979, CRAterre, the International Centre for Earthen Construction, has been working to promote the use of earthen materials to meet the challenges of the environment, cultural diversity and the fight against poverty. With this in mind, CRAterre is pursuing three objectives: to make better use of local human and natural resources, to improve housing and living conditions, and to enhance cultural diversity.
A multidisciplinary and international team, CRAterre is an Association and a Research Laboratory of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble, which brings together researchers, professionals and teachers. CRAterre works with a wide range of partners, enabling creative links to be forged between research, action in the field, training and the dissemination of knowledge.
The speaker will present the IMPEEC computer tool, which measures the various impacts of materials and identifies the best choice according to environmental and socio-economic criteria.


Speaker: Olivier Moles, Lecturer and researcher, Programme Manager, CRAterre


FACT sahel+ | Constuire en terre aujourd'huiFACT Sahel

The Forum des Acteurs de la Construction en Terre (FACT) du Sahel is a network whose mission is to help people discover the potential of earth construction and to bring together those involved in earth construction in the Sahel. FACT members are builders, masons, architects, craftsmen, teachers, artists, students, civil servants, engineers, town planners, producers and entrepreneurs.
The organisation offers expertise, technical support and training in the field of earth for individuals, professionals and public and private institutions. FACT also organises meetings, debates and round tables open to the public.
The speaker will present FACT’s activities and, more generally, raw earth construction in West Africa.



Mariam Sy, Architect, President and co-founder, FACT sahel+
Odile Vandermeeren, Engineer and Architect, Co-founder, FACT Sahel+




The Typha Combustible Construction West Africa (TyCCAO) project aims to contribute to the ecological transition and the fight against climate change, by developing the use of renewable fuels and energy efficiency in the building sector through the mass production and dissemination of typha-based products. The project complements the efforts made in recent years by the public authorities to curb the proliferation of Typha. It will enable this considerable biomass to be put to good use, transforming a nuisance into an opportunity to develop energy and biosourced materials. The TyCCAO partners are African and European organisations from a range of complementary sectors: institutions, NGOs, research, teaching, project management and construction companies.
The speaker will present the various uses that can be made of Typha in construction, and more specifically as a thermal insulation material.


Speaker: Ernest Dione, Coordinator, Tyccao Sénégal


Missed the webinar? Watch the recording below or watch it directly on our YouTube channel!

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