PAGER - Common Building Types

Malawi

Mud Wall with Timber post (nyumba yo mata OR ndiwula)

This housing construction type is used only for residential purposes. The building technique consists of timber poles as the core or base with a mud plaster applied on both sides. It is a one story structure with circular plan and grass thatch roof supported on timber poles and cross members. The circular shape of the plan and the light weight of the roof, combined with the wood skeleton or frame, ensure a good seismic response. The seismic vulnerability is increased due to weaker connections of the wood skeleton and by progressive damage to the natural components.

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #43) - Mauro Sassu, Ignasio Ngoma

Building Image
Mud Wall with Timber post  (nyumba yo mata OR ndiwula) image
Mud Wall with Timber post  (nyumba yo mata OR ndiwula) image

Rammed earth house with pitched roof (Nyumba yo dinda OR Nyumba ya mdindo)

This type of construction is used for residences only. The building technique consists of in-situ ramming of moist soil in a carefully aligned/placed mold. The mold dimensions are (250 - 300 mm) wide X (400 - 450 mm) long X (200 - 300 mm) height. The plan of the house is rectangular. The roof is either grass thatch or iron sheets supported on timber poles. This type is found in all three regions of Malawi. The strength of the wall is low and depends on the compacting effort applied. There are no vertical or horizontal reinforcements.

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #45) - Mauro Sassu, Ignasio Ngoma

Building Image
Rammed earth house with pitched roof (Nyumba yo dinda OR Nyumba ya mdindo) image
Rammed earth house with pitched roof (Nyumba yo dinda OR Nyumba ya mdindo) image

Unburnt brick wall building with pitched roof (nyumba ya zidina)

This type of building is found both in urban and rural areas throughout Malawi. This construction type is gaining popularity at the moment; it is estimated that it constitutes 45% of the country's housing stock. The thatched roof is supported by unburnt mud brick walls built in mud mortar. The walls are built on a stone platform raised above ground as a protection against floods. These buildings are built without any horizontal or vertical reinforcement. Nine people died and over 50,000 people were left homeless in the 1989 Salima earthquake (M6.0). Many buildings of this type suffered extensive damage or collapsed.

Reference: EERI and IAEE\'s World Housing Encyclopedia (Report #46) - Mauro Sassu, Ignasio Ngoma

Building Image
Unburnt brick wall building with pitched roof (nyumba ya zidina) image
Unburnt brick wall building with pitched roof (nyumba ya zidina) image

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*Building types and their descriptions are taken from the World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) database when available or based on additional research performed by the PAGER team. This information is provided with the understanding that it is not guaranteed to be correct or complete, and conclusions drawn from such information are the sole responsibility of the user.