The Chair of Housing uses the existing facilities of the EiABC, AAU, such as the library with full internet facilities and the newly refurbished material testing laboratory. There is also a new building under completion which will increase the spatial provision and quality of the institute and soon it will be fully functional. Staff and students of the Chair have sufficient working space for individual and group work, presentations and other necessary activities. In addition, areas in the EiABC campus are allocated for research of space and construction that will be used as assets for this programme. Financial resources for the necessary additional materials that are not readily available and for seminars, conferences, field trips, workshops etc. are addressed through the institute.


  • Arthur Waser Foundation,
  • ETH-Global,
  • University of Jyväskylä,
  • Academy of Finland,
  • Cordaid,
  • Gurage Administration Zone,
  • Bete-Gurage Cultural Center,
  • Wolkite University
  • Wolkite Technical and Vocational Education and Training College


Imam M. Hassen (M.Arch.)

Chair Holder

Mobile    +251(0) 913 961796

E-mail    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


EiABC Campus

Dejach Balcha Aba-Nefso Street

Lideta Sub-city  (Adjacent to Federal High Court)

New ‘Urban’ Building, 1st Floor

Office for Chair of Housing

Chair of Housing, EiABC

P. O. Box 518

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel:      +251(0) 112 767603/04

Fax:     +251(0) 112 752355


srdu new

The joint research project of EiABC and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) named ‘Contextualization of Vocational Training for the Building Sector in Ethiopia’ (short termed into ‘Rural Housing’) entered a new phase of technical know-how transfer with the start of a series of hand-on workshops being launched between EiABC and the Wolkite Polytechnic College.

The project is funded by the Arthur Waser Foundation, based in Lucerene Switzerland, and builds on a continuous academic research cooperation between EiABC and the Professorship of Dirk E. Hebel (the founding Scientific Director of EiABC) of Architecture and Construction at the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability and the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) in Singapore, a research institute of ETH in South-East Asia. To guarantee the best possible communication between the two partners, Tiago Damasceno, a researcher of the FCL/ETH under the Chair and guidance of Dirk E. Hebel, settled recently at EiABC, where he is integrated in the Chair of Housing under the new leadership of Imam Mahmoud.

Professor Dr. Elias Yitbarek initiated the project in 2010 as part of his work at the Chair of Housing at the EiABC and has secured funding from the Arthur Waser Foundation for a pilot project in 2011 called SRDU (Sustainable Rural Dwelling Unit). All this with the support of ETH Global in Zurich, Barbara Becker and Patricia Heuberger ,and the ETH Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland. The pilot was regarded as a great success. It involved building two housing units located approximately 250km south of the capital Addis Ababa, and experimentation with local building materials combined with new building techniques and autonomous operating energy supply units. In addition, a new typology was developed whereby hygienic aspects asked for a separation of cattle and humans. This success convinced the Arthur Waser Foundation to continue the engagement with the two universities and enlarge the scope of the work to include questions of capacity building, academic exchange with local schools and industry and the transfer of knowledge to a wide academic and non-academic audience in Africa.

Under this premise, the ‘Rural Housing’ project started on the weekend of December 7-9, 2013 one of its most important up-scaling programs by giving the first three workshops in the Wolkite Polytechnic College. 25 local students and instructors were introduced to the research underway as a body of practical aa well as theoretical knowledge. The students visited SRDU I and II and engaged in a dissemination of knowledge transfer with the team of EiABC and ETH about important principles of construction in local available materials.

The EiABC expert and former Chair Holder of Appropriate Building Technologies, Melakeselam Moges, together with Meron Kassahun – PhD candidate in the Chair of Housing – gave an introduction to earth as a construction material and its wide spread use around the world. Small practical tests were done with the students to experience the difference in various types of soils and their unique application technologies.

As part of the hands-on component, students produced earth masonry blocks from different soils to test their characteristic material properties and learned about appropriate application possibilities.

The EiABC team organizing and conducting this workshop consisted of Melakeselam Moges, Meron Kassahun, Yohana Eyob and Olaf Kammler with support of Tiago Damasceno from ETH/FCL. Also vital to the realisation of this workshop were Fita Ayalew Human Resource Development Core Process Officer of the Wolkite Polytechnic College and Eshetu and Kassa, graduates of the previous SRDU project.

Bamboo workshop
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