Mbekweni Low Cost Housing

mbekweni_05

mbekweni_06b_thmbekweni_06a_th

mbekweni_03_th

mbekweni_01_thmbekweni_02_th

mbekweni_04a_thmbekweni_04b_thmbekweni_04c_th

Mbekweni_Photo05_thMbekweni_Photo04_thMbekweni_Photo03_thMbekweni_Photo02_th

Mbekweni_Photo09_thMbekweni_Photo10_thMbekweni_Photo11_thMbekweni_Photo12_th

Mbekweni_Photo15_thMbekweni_Photo13_thMbekweni_Photo17_thMbekweni_Photo14_th

Mbekweni_Photo16_thMbekweni_Photo18_thMbekweni_Photo01_thMbekweni_Photo08_th

Low cost housing with a difference

  • Status: completed
  • Location: Mbekweni, South Africa

The public/private consultant project has provided an inclusive and sustainable development platform to demonstrate alternate ways of delivering low cost housing where both the unskilled and unemployed have a place to learn and earn. Construction of Stonehouse allowed the beneficiary and youth to transform industry waste into building materials, recovering bricks and other materials for reuse. Stone resourced from site make up the external skin of the walls for the sun oriented rectangular plan. The internal skin is of recycled green bricks made from demolition waste.

The construction cost remained within the government subsidy

The long and narrow building is spanned with lightweight timber beams to create an additional loft floor and ‘bonus’ 30m2 rentable roof space. The upper structure, built of pine off-cuts, local poles and timber palettes, employs easily taught intermediate construction technologies, so designed that women were able to participate in the consruction. The heavy walls and roof insulation successfully keep out the oppressive summer heat. Most importantly, the construction cost remained within the government subsidy.

Rainwater tanks, solar water geysers, food gardens, vine sun-shading aim to provide food security, reduce living costs and add dignity to creating an asset for the owners.

Team: Collis/ Cowen/ Putter/ Barnes

See Mbekweni Housing Case Study