Improving the Structural Characteristics of Earth Blocks as an Input of Affordable Housing for Low-Income Northern Communities of Ghana
International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
www.ijsr.net | Open Access | Fully Refereed | Peer Reviewed International Journal

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Research Paper | Civil Engineering | Ghana | Volume 4 Issue 9, September 2015

Improving the Structural Characteristics of Earth Blocks as an Input of Affordable Housing for Low-Income Northern Communities of Ghana

Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, Evans Zoya Kpamma

There is a high incidence of poverty in the three northern regions of Ghana, and as a result many of the inhabitants cannot afford the high cost of cement-based building materials such as sandcrete blocks. Buildings are therefore predominantly constructed with earth occasionally stabilized with cow-dung. Such buildings suffer rapid deterioration due to the prevalent adverse weather conditions and rampant events of flooding, especially in low-lying areas. To forestall this perennial problem, this study investigated the structural characteristics of earth blocks stabilized with cement and cow-dung. Three different types of earth blocks were prepared from cow-dung only, cow-dung and cement and cement only. For the cow-dung-only earth blocks, four samples were prepared with cow-dung additions of 5 %, 10 %, 15 % and 20 % by volume. Also, for the cow-dung and cement earth blocks, four samples were prepared with cow-dung additions of 3 %, 8 %, 13 % and 18 % with 2 % cement added to each sample, whilst for the cement-only earth blocks, one sample was prepared by adding 2 % cement to earth. The blocks were cured for 28 days and tested for compressive strength. The 28-days average compre ssive strength of cow-dung-only earth blocks were 0.36N/mm2, 0.37N/mm2, 0.53N/mm2, and 0.43N/mm2 for 5 %, 10 % 15 % and 20 % cow-dung additions respectively. Similarly, for the cow-dung and 2 % cement earth blocks, the results were 0.85N/mm2, 0.95N/mm2, 0.62N/mm2, and 0.33N/mm2 for the 3 %, 8 % 13 % and 18 % cow-dung additions respectively. Finally, for the 2 % cement-only earth blocks, the compressive strength was 0.72N/mm2. It was concluded that the compressive strength of cow-dung stabilized earth blocks improves significantly when nominal amounts of cement are added, and hence should be adopted for affordable and sustainable housing delivery in the three northern regions of Ghana where cow-dung abounds.

Keywords: Affordable housing, Cement, Compressive strength, Cow-dung, Earth blocks

Edition: Volume 4 Issue 9, September 2015

Pages: 1119 - 1126

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Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, Evans Zoya Kpamma, "Improving the Structural Characteristics of Earth Blocks as an Input of Affordable Housing for Low-Income Northern Communities of Ghana", International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), https://www.ijsr.net/search_index_results_paperid.php?id=SUB155894, Volume 4 Issue 9, September 2015, 1119 - 1126

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