The architects ditching concrete for earth

Amid a construction boom, Senegal's capital Dakar is a sea of concrete.

But in the Ngor neighborhood, one building stands out from the uniform grey.

Its red bricks are made from raw earth.

But this isn't just about color, says Nzinga Mboup, co-founder of architecture firm Worofila.

"So I think there's been a bit of a divergence from just very basic principles, which is orientation, using the materials that you have locally, only because they sort of respond better to the climate, you know earth had great inertia for sort of a hot and dry climate as we have here, even for tropical climate it works really well in regulating the temperature."

There's also an environmental benefit.

The production of cement - the key ingredient in concrete - is estimated to account for around 8 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.

The earth bricks are made from mixing soil with small amounts of cement and water, which are then compressed and left to dry.

Worofila has worked on several projects with Elementerre, a company that makes the compressed earth bricks.

Doudou Deme says there's a lot more interest today than when he founded the business a decade ago.

But he describes it as a "drop of water" when you look at Dakar.

Most houses in the capital are still made with inexpensive concrete.

Worofila has now been long-listed for the Ashden Award - a UK prize highlighting global climate solutions.

And the team hopes that will raise visibility.

Mboup says although people may not have heard of earth construction, the concept resonates when it is explained.

Senegal's traditional homes were made this way, she says.

And people remember how their grandmother's house in the village was - somehow - always cool.

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