Maxwell Marshall

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Maxwell Marshall was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Alarmed at the mounting financial and environmental cost of conventional construction, Maxwell has developed an affordable and sustainable solution to address the explosive growth of shanty towns around urban centers and the need for affordable and decent housing for the rural poor.
His innovative housing design uses bamboo and latrite as affordable alternatives to cement and timber, two of the major components of conventional building in Nigeria. Bamboo provides many economic and environmental benefits as a building material. Maxwell’s design is intended for prefabrication and has components that are easy to assemble to create additional cost savings and make housing available to everyone. The design is deployed in urban low-income estates, run by his Green Access Initiative. The estates will be built in partnership with government and multilateral agencies to replace shanty towns. Housing will be made available through an evaluation process to ensure that only residents with the most need are selected. Skills transfer training at regional centers will reach rural areas and create income generation and job opportunities for local youths.
Green Access Initiative also promotes the large scale cultivation of bamboo to meet new levels of demand, increase forest reserves in response to the growing threat of climate change and to create increased income generation opportunities for communities. 
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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