Advocating for the use of appropriate building technologies is not only a matter of preserving and protecting the environment; its one way of suggesting alternative building ideas which are eco-friendly and cost effective in the sector of housing. About 200,000 homes are needed every year in both rural and urban areas in Uganda to house the annual population increase. Burned mud and clay bricks are among the most commonly used building materials and yet these have resulted in high deforestation, pollution and unmonitored clay extraction.
UHOCU conducts training in alternative building techniques in order to equip women, men and youth with non-conventional building techniques in the production of Interlocking stabilized soil blocks (ISSB), water, sanitation and roofing. Building teams within housing cooperatives are also equipped with basic skills in suitable landuse techniques, project costing, marketing, value addition and the development of business plans.
ISSblocks as an affordable and environmentally sustainable alternative to fired bricks are made from soil stabilized with 5% cement, compressed in manually operated machines and sun dried. ISSBs perform better than clay bricks by increasing the structural stability of built walls while reducing the amount of cement needed as mortar.