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The Zambian Building Guide
Drawings, plans, elevations
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A 'forgotten Race' is the fate of many Architects in Africa. Once revered as 'Chief Builders' during the colonial period when they were designing and building palaces, shrines and State buildings, the flare has with time dwindled and much of the acclaim that the architect once enjoyed has fallen by the way side. In some regions of Africa the architect is largely unknown and hence highly underutilized. Now the question we have to ask ourselves is 'how can we make the profession of Architecture KNOWN and RELEVANT to those sections of the continent where despite their presence, they are highly underutilized?' The most obvious solution will come from making the African society hear from their architects. This will entail that Architects speak out and get engaged with the society and communities. Architects need to make deliberate steps towards taking the center stage of policy formulation and implementation in the construction industry. Architects need to offer professional guidance and direction in all the necessary endeavors of the built environment. But how will this be achieved if the society does not know the Architect and his/her relevance to their community? The answer is here: Architects need to write, write and write. This is the information era and whoever controls information controls the world. Africa has seen the Architect's buildings but buildings rise today and fall tomorrow yet what is written is immortal. In this pursuit, I present the first ever Zambian Building Guide and it was written and published by an Architect. This is a general construction reference guide which is being used across the country as a building compass for both professional and lay people. Apart from being a resource book for those who are building houses and other structures, this book is the voice of an Architect on behalf of Architects. It announces the presence of Architects and contextualizes their relevance to building a better Africa. This book is an easy ready and it is written in a language of a common man so that the information can easily permeate the fabric of the society. It explains the roles of an Architect in relations with the project and other professionals in the construction industry. The book has received overwhelming demand and I believe it is one good example of avenues in which Architects can rejuvenate and reestablished the forgotten race of Architects.
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