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Sustainable Development in Ghana

Thursday, Jun. 28, 2012

What kind of housing will suit the needs of people who live in an almost treeless area of Ghana where The annual income per capita is less than $100?

For the past four years, students at Santa Clara University have developed the "Catenary Arch" design, building an office, library, and house in Gambibgo, Ghana.  This arch structure is comprised of blocks made of local soil arranged in an arch and covered in a plaster. The structure has no need for zinc or timber, is highly durable, and requires little maintenance.

With a Hackworth Research Grant from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, SCU seniors Nathan Rogers and Matt Jensen undertook an evaluation of the project to insure that its goals are ethical and that it is carried out in an ethical fashion.  Their report explores the virtues of a good engineer and the issues of informed consent when working with a largely illiterate population.

Tags: sustainability