Developing a Novel Prefabricated Enclosure Wall Panel based on the Traditional Technical Heritage in Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Cairo

2 Dept. of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University


Prefabrication is a modern construction method where building components are manufactured offsite in order to maintain quality control and save construction duration and cost. This method has been adopted as a part of the traditional technical heritage in Egypt, especially in traditional date palm midribs furniture, light huts and partitions which are assembled using midribs lattices. However, there is a lack of research about the employing prefabrication in traditional midribs-based construction and handicrafts, which endangers this technical heritage in favor of modern imported alternatives. This paper aims to sustain this heritage through analyzing and building upon the traditional uses of prefabrication to reintroduce midribs as versatile cost-efficient contemporary building materials. A qualitative investigation on prefabrication uses in traditional midribs construction and handicrafts was conducted as the base upon which a novel date palm midribs enclosure wall panel was developed to serve as a versatile building element depending on predetermined detailing and prefabrication sequences, to maintain quality control and time-efficiency. Finite Element Model analysis of the developed panel, using validated mechanical properties, indicated that it was safe under own weight and wind. The developed panel can serve various architectural applications, which helps preserve this technical heritage that is capable of providing local modern competitors to imported products.