Sustainability & Scarcity : A Handbook for Green Design and Construction in Developing Countries book cover
1st Edition

Sustainability & Scarcity
A Handbook for Green Design and Construction in Developing Countries

ISBN 9780415689243
Published September 22, 2014 by Routledge
226 Pages 194 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Sustainability & Scarcity addresses a gap in the literature on green building recognized by many in the fields of international development, architecture, construction, housing and sustainability. Rather than being based on the experiences of more economically-developed countries, this book describes the nature of green building in the developing world, elaborating the main issues that define sustainability in those particular contexts.

Through more than 30 years of development work in design and construction in Africa and the Middle East, the author has seen well-intentioned development projects, both in theory and in practice, that ultimately do not contribute to sustainable development. Starting from the basis of green building rating tools used in the more economically-developed countries, the author draws from his own experiences to make available to other practitioners green building strategies relevant to the developing country context that promise effective solutions to their need for sustainable green design.

The book looks in detail at examples of buildings in Tanzania, Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, and Vietnam, illustrating the application of the green building strategies described. Fully illustrated with drawings and full colour photos, the book is a practical guide for practitioners and policy-makers working in the poorest regions of the world. Sustainability & Scarcity is quite simply an essential handbook for anyone concerned with sustainable design and building in the developing world.

Table of Contents

Preface  P.1 Why this book?  P.2 What best way to help in the Least Developed Regions (LDR’s)  P.3 For whom this book is intended and how might it be used  Introduction  0.1 What is this book?  0.2 Green building rating systems and their role  0.3 Organization of this book  1. Sustainability, Green Building and the Least Developed Regions (LDR’s)  1.1 Sustainability and green building  1.2 Sustainable development in the LDR’s  1.3 Building construction in the LDR’s  1.4 Applicability of first world green building concepts in LDR’s  2. Principal Green Building Issues in the LDR’s  2.1 Green Building in the LDR’s  2.2 Appropriate design  2.3 Building techniques and materials  2.4 Poverty, labour and employment  2.5 Security  2.6 Infrastructure  2.7 Food production  3. Components of Green Building in the LDR’s  3.1 Design considerations  3.2 Site / environment  3.3 Building materials and technique  3.4 Infrastructure  3.5 Administration  4. Case Studies  4.1 Case studies: purpose & utility  4.2 Tanzania – DCMC Guest House  4.3 Madagascar – Centre ValBio  4.4 Haiti – Helping Hands Workshop  4.5 Nepal – Summit Hotel  4.6 Vietnam – Private House  Epilogue  Promulgation of green building concepts in the LDR’s

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Peter Ozolins, PhD established his architectural practice ( in 1998 after more than 20 years’ experience as an architect in Africa, the Middle East and the U.S. During a 9 year residence in Madagascar and Tanzania he designed education and health-related projects for a variety of non-governmental organizations. He has also done consulting work for USAID, UNESCO and NGO's in various African countries, Iraq and Nepal. His U.S.-based work includes university, commercial and residential projects as well as continued overseas work. Peter Ozolins earned his PhD from Virginia Tech in Environmental Design and Planning, is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is a LEED accredited professional with the US Green Building Council.


'Sustainability and Scarcity provides a thoughtful design guide highlighting key principles required to create low impact building projects that are sustainable within the realities of the LDR setting. Through case studies, Ozolins provides a context for holistic design principles that leverage existing sustainability practices with the intangibles such as labor and poverty alleviation to address the broader issues of sustainability. An indispensable tool to aid designers in creating truly sustainable buildings in LDRs.' - Christine Fiori, Myers-Lawson School of Construction, Virginia Tech, USA

'Peter Ozolins addresses a critical question that concerns those of us in the field of international development: What green building attributes make sense to the developing world? As an answer, he clearly asserts that a meaningful green building standard for any country must be defined by the country’s unique economic, environmental, and social attributes. In a nutshell, this publication provides an invaluable roadmap for pursuing sustainable building practices in developing countries.' - Peter Khaemba, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington, DC

'This practical guide responds to an important niche to provide cost effective green designs for private sector companies working in developing countries. With a keen understanding based on concrete experience working in Africa and Asia, Peter Ozolins provides very practical tools and designs that have proven to be successful and sustainable in challenging settings.' - Lisa Gaylord, Director of Community Relations and Sustainable Development, Rio Tinto, Madagascar

'Sustainability and Scarcity presents a study on the challenges facing development projects in developing countries. Through his experience as an architect in this landscape Ozolins defines an approach for gathering and integrating pertinent knowledge of local culture, economy, and environment for sustainability. Reinforced by case studies, uses of local building material, skills and space are further contextualized for poverty eradication. It is an essential handbook for students and practitioners in the developing world.' - David Makando, Architect and Facilities Manager for the MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation, Usa River, Tanzania