CHINWE OHAJURUKA, 52 from Comprehensive Design Services Nigeria (Affordable energy-efficient house) has been awarded the 2015 laureate for Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.
She lives in the United States and is of Nigerian heritage. Her three degrees in architecture and accreditations in green building led to the creation of Comprehensive Design Services, a company that provides “comprehensive solutions to complex problems”, as Chinwe explains.
With a population of around 175 million inhabitants, Nigeria faces a housing, energy and water crisis. The majority of the population lives in poor conditions and does not have access to basic needs such as electricity or sanitation. “We have a housing deficit of 17 million units and only 40% of the population has access to power”, says Chinwe. Houses usually lack basic equipment such as lavatories or running water. “Only 30% of the population has flushable toilets and about 60% of the population has access to sanitation.”
Comprehensive Design Services designs, engineers and constructs affordable and sustainable housing. In 2012, three buildings containing Passive House Prototypes were implemented in Port Harcourt. The houses are solar powered, self-cooling and “source water from right beneath the feet of the occupants”. These prototypes are attractive modular housing that are re-scalable, replicable and affordable. Our houses are small but mighty”, says Chinwe.