For information and contact:  sjoerd[At]nienhuys-dot-info

After several construction projects in the Netherlands, I worked with or for the SNV, UNESCO, BREDA, DGIS, INEN, OAS, INVA, IHS, DHV, UNCHS, DANIDA, Netherlands Embassy, ILO, Toolconsult, Trocaire, Waste, Agha Khan, Practical Action, PUM and the NAM.

Some of the papers I developed are listed here.-----------------------------------------------------------

House Improvement General. Powerpoint Introduction Part 1.  Applicable for high altitude areas such as the Himalayas of Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan and Tadjikistan. 30 pages, version 2012 , 3.1 MB     This powerpoint shows some key aspects of the house improvement programme in high altitude areas. The text explanation is given in House Improvements text, Part 2. 100 kB, 30 pages.

Overview of BACIP house Improvements year 2000. 1.67 MB, 45 pages.                  An overview of the house improvements that were realised in Northern Areas of Pakistan as part of the Building And Construction Improvement Programme of the Aga Khan Planning  and Building Services. Including thermal, heating, seismic and sanitation aspects.

The Impact of BACIP Interventions on Health and Housing in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. 1.45 MB, 60 pages Produced by the Aga Khan Health Services programme staff. The after-effect of the BACIP house improvement Prgramme.

Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) REVIEW ~ 2008. Assessment and Recommendations. PART I: Operations. 2.46 MB, 60 pages.    A review of the implementation of the year 2000 BACIP house improvement programme.

BACIP, Review 2008, part II, Diversification and Quality. 6.2 MB, 55 pages. Because the first series of improvements were very simple, improvement on durability, quality and marketing potential  are constant development issues.

Design of Primary School Buildings for Remote Mountain Areas. Design for Off-Road Construction 5.4 MB, 45 pages.  Without road access the earthquake resistant and climate designs need te be adapted to available materials and techniques. 

Marketing House Improvements. A Training Outline on Product Marketing for for Small Entrepreneurs April 2012, 28 pages, 2 MB.  Explanation of some of the marketing strategies and methods that served to promote the house improvements in remote mountain areas.

Bucaramanga, Photo report 1981, on Urban Settlement and Slope Control. 6.5 MB, 21 pg.   Investigation for urban settlement improvement  and development of UASB in Colombia 1981. For the building of the Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket installation, a city wide slope stabilisation programme was needed to control erosion.

Manual de Diseno, Construccion, Operacion y Mantenimiento de la PTAR, Rio Frio, Bucaramanga, Noviembre 1991, 2 MB,  62 pages, illustrated.  Development of UASB in Colombia, Bucaramanga after 1981. This paper shows the basic design parameters for the Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket installation that was being constructed.

Manizales, Photo report 1981, on Urban Settlement and Slope Control and Bamboo Housing, 6.6 MB, 23 pages. illustrated. including photos by CRAMSA.  Investigation for urban settlement improvement  and development Bamboo housing. The lightweight houses were earthquake resistant and allowed to be on the slopes of the city. Detailed management of rain and wastewater control would avoid erosion and land slides.

The Use of Bamboo and Reeds in Building Construction. ST/SOA/113. United Nations report from UNESCO library.  Scanned copy: 20.8 MB, 90 pages, illustrated.  Since this is a good summary of available techniques used in the Manizales project above, it is a complimentary paper for information.

Construction of two or three composite beams from thin bamboo culms (diameter 4 cm) when larger diameter bamboo is not available. Calculation of strength and technology of assembly. Thin Bamboo Culms, Use of two or three Culms in composite beams. 19 pages, 1.7 MB

A picture story or flipchart on the best design for soil block or adobe construction houses. Still applicable for many countries because of low cost. Small design details make these improved constructions very durable.    Soil Block Foundations? 14 pages, 7.3MB
In the high altitude zones of the Himalayas many houses were analysed and improvement options discussed with house-owners. Over 50 different types of improvements were developed and applied through local entrepreneurs.
Small house improvements such as lightweight insulated roofing and solar windows were also applied in many school buildings.

Some of the projects I worked on, or in, which received  honorary awards:

The 1980 Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Nianing school building project in Senegal (UNESCO-1978) a few years after constructing the prototype and technology testing.  The design project was developed on the basis of the following paper:

Other reference on the same project:  Aga Khan Award for Architecture

The 2005 Alcan Award for sustainable development projects (BACIP + WASEP) Pakistan.

The 2010 Ashwan Award for Sustainable Energy 2011 in high mountain housing:  for the AKPBSP-BACIP thermal insulation and firewood saving programme.

The 2006 World Habitat Award for the same BACIP-WASEP programme.

The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service Pakistan (AKPBSP) received recognition for the Building And Construction Improvement Program (BACIP) and wins the EU Energy Globe Award 2009.

The Biogas Support Programme (BSP), Nepal with Ashden Award 2005 on renewable energy and savings.

The Centre for Rural Technology (CRT) Nepal with Ashden Award 2007 on sustainable energy, see also


Short span design school building in Senegal. System development and training for low-cost building technology in hot climate zones.
Agricultural training school in Nianning, Senegal completed according the new building techniques which were replicated in other west African countries by other entities.