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The author reports on a workshop on `Construction sans Bois’ (woodless construction) jointly run by Development Workshop and IUCN (The World Conservation Union) and held in Agadez, northern Niger, in December 1991. After giving a brief history of these `Nubian’ vault-and-dome architectural techniques, the author charts the growth in the use of woodless construction in the Sahel over the last 15 years. Unstabilised earth-brick buildings are relatively cheap and simple to construct, the skills, once learned, are easily replicated, and with increased local training there is this sustainable form of housing can continue to spread in usage in the region and elsewhere.

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