Learning from Tradition for Future: Green Building in Kano State, Nigeria



sustainability, traditional architecture, green building, culture, traditional housing, Vernacular architecture, sustainability, shelter, environment, northern Nigeria.


Green building can be considered as a building design through a method that is environmentally friendly in both construction, usage and energy consumption. Culture is yet to be included into the sustainable development pillars making it the fourth pillar of sustainability after social, economic and environmental aspects. Traditional Architecture can be regarded as beliefs, customs, or ways of life (culture) in building construction that have existed for a long period and involve the art of designing, planning, and traditional building style. These traditional buildings were copied and used in contemporary buildings in Kano state, Nigeria. Therefore, most of the contemporary building design and structure has their roots in a traditional building. Nigeria’s traditional buildings across the country were affected by climate and landform all over the geographical zones, which were recognised to demonstrate a detailed solution to the building’s culture, socio-economic, local technology and climatic condition of the environment. This study compares the past and the current building style based on the façade or floor-plan pictures, and green or sustainable building using relevant kinds of literature of Hausa traditional building around Kano state. It is concluded that Hausa traditional architecture should not be forgotten, rather it should be encouraged and improved based on green sustainable features, traditions and enhance the durability of the building materials. It is recommended that culture should be include into the pillars of sustainability so as to make sustainability complete especially in the field of building construction. Lastly, further research is recommended in order to explore ways of improving the quality of the local building materials and the methods used during the construction process.