|Journal of the Network of African Countries on Local Building Materials and Technologies - Volume 3, Number 4 (HABITAT, 1995, 46 p.)|
Economic development and human settlements development, consist largely of harnessing increasing amounts of energy for productive purposes in general, and shelter construction in particular. This can occur either by increasing the amount of energy resources - if availability of such resources is unrestricted - or by making more efficient use of available energy resources.
In the building-materials sector, energy is consumed mainly for extracting raw materials, manufacturing of finished products and in transportating building materials to the site. The relative amount of energy used in each of these areas vary depending on local conditions. However, the highest energy consumption occurs in the production process of building materials.
The building-materials industries as a whole, rely to a large extent on high temperature processes and are among the most energy-intensive industries. For example, the cost of energy in the production of cement or clay bricks/tiles accounts for 50 to 70 per cent of the direct cost of manufacturing. It is, therefore, important that the use of energy in the production process is optimized so that the overall cost of housing construction is reduced and the polluting impact of the excessive use of fossil fuel is arrested.
This issue of the Journal is devoted to energy efficiency in the production of building materials. It is hoped that the readers will find the contents of this issue interesting and useful to their work. The contribution of Mr. Baris Der-Petrossian of UNCHS (Habitat)'s Research and Development Division in drafting, compiling and editing the articles included in this Journal is thankfully acknowledged.
Mud-straw building blocks are both low-cost and low-energy building materials, courtesy Sean Sprague/Earth Scan