Vernacular architecture: advocating for volcanic stone construction as a viable alternative to burnt brick in mountainous areas of south-western Uganda.
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The following discussion presents volcanic stone as a viable walling material in areas where it is abundant. Kisoro, Fort Portal and Bushenyi located in Southwestern Uganda are areas endowed with abundant volcanic stone. However, area residents still opt for brick walling despite the poor soils in those areas. The poor soils produce lower quality bricks compared to the fired clay brick from other areas especially around the Victoria basin. Natural stone possesses physical properties suited for structural walling yet in Uganda it is habitually specified for its aesthetic finish (floor surfacing and wall cladding). In comparison to Compressed Earth Block (CEB) and Compressed Soil Blocks (CSB), stone has not been explored enough as a potential front-runner among sustainable walling alternatives. Further, little is being done to empower local communities to meet their own aspirations as industry, economics and urban development conspire to interrupt the transition to sustainable development particularly with regards to how environmentally unfriendly materials like fired brick are propagated.