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CH4+ A Roof For Homa Bay

Part 2 Project 2014
Susanne Weissenböck
University of Innsbruck Innsbruck Austria
In the last decades population growth, climate change and unscrupulous exploitation of natural resources have led to drastic changes of landscape, habitat and daily life around Lake Victoria, East Africa: The invasive water hyacinth has overgrown the lake, the fish stocks have declined heavily, agriculture and people suffer from water shortage and water pollution.

The work “CH4+ A Roof For Homa Bay“ examines, what causes precede these developments, what circuits are formed by ecological, economical and political factors, and it asks, how one can react to these on a spatial level.

The proposal for a sustainable development of the region first of all addresses one of the major causes. Large-scale deforestation for big agricultural investors and the use of fuelwood as the main energy source led to an impaired water cycle in East Africa with severe collateral effects.

Through the production of biogas (CH4+) from water hyacinth and crop residues though, existing potentials could be used and the emergence of new processes would be possible.

“A Roof For Homa Bay“ presents an implementation of this concept on a regional scale as well as on a building scale by adding a biogas plant to the fishmarket of Homa Bay (Kenya).

Thereby, it raises questions about the role and nature of energy supply in such a region: how can the process of energy-production be integrated into public space, how can architectural structures be flexible enough to fit the changing requirements of their users, could architecture literally grow and how could design reflect on and contribute to actual issues on the African continent.

Susanne Weissenböck


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