Malawi Vernacular Architecture
Documentation for Preservation
Wood used in construction is of all types and sizes. Blue gum poles are the most comon ones used. Poles are used both on the roof and for vertcal support.
The roof structure begins with the ridge pole. It is the most important because it is the largest in thickness and in length.
The weight of the roof needs to be transfered to the ground. Most of this load is transfered through the walls. The overhang is supported with and end beam.
The roof poles transfer the weight of the thatched roof down to the walls or end beam. Whatever is available is used.. large poles.. small poles and bamboo.
Some homes have a large roof structure. An interior beam takes the weight from vertical members supporting the ridge pole. The interior is supported by the walls.
A tree is cut to allow for the crook to receive the load of a horizontal memberand transfers this load verticaly into the ground.
Transferring the load
Wood poles used as columns transfer the weight into the ground. Most often the poles would be placed into the raised verandah.
Wood poles are used on every structure in a homestead. Kitchens, chicken and pigeon coops, goat pens and graneries.