Better Building in Africa

Results and impacts

Home / Our actions / Results and impacts

AVN’s programme generates many visible and measurable impacts, responding to the challenges of the Sahelian populations.

AVN guides its programme with a well-rounded monitoring–evaluation–steering system.
Data collection from regional to international levels allows AVN to observe the markets and its evolutions, to visualize the socio-economic impacts generated by various programme levers and to anticipate activities that need to be strengthened.

Decent housing for the many

AVN’s programme addresses the need for decent and affordable housing for the many in both rural and urban areas.

Nubian vault clients benefit from improved living and / or working buildings, adapted to the climate and uses, comfortable (internal temperatures more stable against external variations), durable (resistant to wind and rain erosion), modular (which can be enlarged according to changing needs) and offering special uses such as the rooftop terrace.

> Watch the video: The Nubian Vault for private buildings


  • 65,300 beneficiaries using or living in a Nubian Vault
  • 83% of customers from AVN’s target audience
  • 1,753 localities with at least one NV
  • 7,100 projects completed since the beginning of the programme

Updated August 2023

Access to basic services

The Nubian Vault technique offers an affordable and sustainable solution to the lack of appropriate buildings serving the basic needs of West African populations (health, education, agriculture).

  • NV buildings for education promote student learning, attendance and achievement. The NV technique allows the construction of inexpensive literacy rooms as well as classrooms with the "reinforced concrete NV" technique to increase the width of the buildings and thus meet the requirements of the government.
  • NV buildings for health (clinics, maternity homes and care centers) can be adapted to meet the standards defined by the national health services. These buildings offer excellent conditions of comfort and use, and facilitates the work of practitioners.
  • NV buildings for agriculture and livestock allow farmers to preserve and process agricultural products almost year-round, improving food security, production and stabilizing the cost of food.

> Watch the video: The Nubian Vault for community buildings


Since the beginning of the programme, AVN enabled the construction of:
  • 55 buildings for education
  • 37 buildings for health
  • 339 buildings for production

Updated August 2023

Vocational training and youth employment

The High Intensity Labour Force (HIMO) NV building sector supports local employment and off-season jobs in rural areas
, mainly in favour of youths and smallholder farmers needing stable employment during the dry season. NV artisanship provides them with a complementary activity without the need to leave to the cities (rural exodus) or resort to precarious and dangerous jobs such as goldmining.

Vocational training in AVN’s programme involves professional training actors, covering all skill areas in the construction sector, artisans and businesses in the informal economy, but also technical advisers, architects, transporters of local materials, and others. Trainees acquire skills and learn a trade with high growth potential, without needing any academic background.


  • 1,051 apprentices, masons, artisans and entrepreneurs active on the market including 208 new apprentices who joined the training in 2022-23
  • 326 technical and academic training modules were provided in 2022-23
  • 68% of construction sites are found directly by NV artisans

Updated August 2023

Strengthening local economies

Using or living in a NV building has beneficial impacts in economic terms for the user beneficiaries, who economize on imported and therefore expensive materials (cement, sheets, lumber). The construction of a NV costs up to 60% less than other construction solutions.

Savings are also made on the frequent and expensive repairs required because of the fragility of these same materials, in particular sheet metal, frequently carried away by the wind and with the average life well below that of a NV (less than 10 years).

Energy savings are also noteworthy for the end-users: a NV’s thermal stability renders air-conditioning unnecessary for equal indoor comfort.


  • 6,3 million euros were generated directly into local economic circuits by NV constructions since inception
  • 5,677 MWh potentially spared on cooling energy consumption, witness to NV building’s high energy efficiency

Updated August 2023

Mitigation and adaptation of climate change / Environment

Both environment and climate dimension are transversal and directly integrated into AVN’s programme.

The NV building sector uses mainly frugal techniques (non mechanized processes) and local materials with a light carbon footprint (local circuits, non-transformed materials, etc.), inducing strong passive performances, and answering commitments made regarding reduction of greenhouse gases emissions. It represents an alternative to the use of ligneous resources (brushwood and straw) in building and therefore preserves forest cover and biodiversity.

Moreover, thanks to the qualities of these buildings for decent living standards (thermal comfort) and their resistance to extreme weather phenomena, the NV construction sector permits the adaptation of the building stock to climate change.


  • 183,249 tons CO2 eq. potentially spared since the beginning of the programme
  • 5,677 MWh potentially spared on cooling energy consumption
  • 0 trees cut for the building of NV houses
  • 65,323 beneficiaries with better living conditions in the face of climate change

Updated August 2023

Valorisation of the local “archi-culture”

An appropriate housing sector and its associated skill-set reinstate traditional "archi-cultural" practices into the dynamics of African development in the current millennium.

The Nubian Vault project aims to leverage building cultures (knowledge and know-hows) to factor in local contexts, and populations’ cultures and history. The programme relies on local know-hows and potentialities and a millennia-old experience. AVN’s ambition is to produce a “situated architecture”, founded on local economic and cultural development, as opposed to a so-called modern “international architecture” (Hassan Fathy, 1999). It is essential to emphasize local diversity, favouring it to increasingly global imposed solutions.