Rural structures in the tropics


Rural structures in the tropics

Design and Development

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Rome, 2011


This book is an effort by FAO to compile an up-to-date, comprehensive text on rural structures and services in the tropics, focusing on structures for small- to medium-scale farms and, to some extent, village-scale agricultural infrastructure. The earlier edition, entitled Farm structures in tropical climates. A textbook for structural engineering and design, published in 1986, has been used for over two decades as a standard textbook for teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses on rural structures and services in universities throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

This second edition will help to improve teaching – at all educational levels – on the subject of rural buildings in developing countries of the tropics and it will assist professionals currently engaged in providing technical advice on rural structures and services, from either agricultural extension departments or non-governmental rural development organizations. This book will also provide technical guidance in the context of disaster recovery and rehabilitation, for rebuilding the sound rural structures and related services that are key to development and economic sustainability.

While this book is intended primarily for teaching university- and college-level agricultural engineering students about rural structures and services, resources might be made available to produce textbooks based on this material for teaching at other educational levels. Although parts of the background material relate specifically to East and Southeast Africa, the book’s principles apply to the whole of tropical Africa, Latin America and South Asia because, while building traditions may vary, the available materials are similar.


About the authors

  pdf [274Kb]
Chapitre 1    Introduction
Chapitre 2    Planning farm and rural structures
Chapitre 3    Graphical techniques
Chapitre 4    Geospatial techniques
  pdf [2Mb]
Chapitre 5    Construction materials   pdf [2.5Mb]
Chapitre 6    Basic mechanics   pdf [1Mb]
Chapitre 7    Structural design   pdf [2.3Mb]
Chapitre 8    Elements of construction   pdf [2.9Mb]
Chapitre 9    Building production   pdf [405Kb]
Chapitre 10   Livestock housing   pdf [2.3Mb]
Chapitre 11   Rural buildings
Chapitre 12   Fundamentals of heating and cooling
  pdf [1.6Mb]
Chapitre 13   Ventilation
Chapitre 14   Greenhouses
Chapitre 15   Handling semi-perishable and
                     perishable crops

  pdf [1.8Mb]
Chapitre 16   Grain crop drying, handling and

Chapitre 17   Rural roads
Chapitre 18   External facilities
  pdf [2.2Mb]
Chapitre 19   Water supply and sanitation
Chapitre 20   Rural energy
  pdf [1.7Mb]


I.   SI base units
II.  Conversion tables
III. Greek alphabet
IV. List of symbols
V.  Design tables and charts
VI. Number of pens and stalls required in breeding
      pig units of various sizes


  pdf [750Kb]

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.

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© FAO 2011