Knowledge gaps in the construction of rural healthy homes: A research agenda for improved low-cost housing in hot-humid Africa
• The population of Africa is projected to increase 3-fold before 2100. Enormous
resources will be required to construct houses for the predicted additional 2.5 billion
new inhabitants (alongside provision of food, education, medical care, and other
• This population growth presents an opportunity to incorporate housing concepts that
can improve health and well-being.
• Well-designed houses should provide thermal comfort and a barrier to separate diseasecarrying
vectors from residents, decrease indoor pollution, and incorporate water supply,
sanitation, electricity, and security.
• We identified the following research priority areas: optimal building shape, roofing, vector
barriers, cladding, water supply, sanitation, kitchen design, electricity supply, rural
to periurban housing, and user acceptability.
• Improved housing incorporating novel design elements tailored to local environments
in the hot-humid regions of Africa will require investments that could come through
innovative financing mechanisms for residential property. Better housing will promote
well-being and health and play a critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development