Promoting Sustainability Of Earth Constructed Private And Public Buildings In South Africa
Free (open access)
For many urban South Africans the traditional way of building recalls rustic images with a colourful cultural past. The self-help process of home-making in traditional materials is still strongly linked with rural earth construction. While the temporary recycled shack becomes the next housing step closer to the image of the promise of a better life in the city. In South Africa the ever growing consciousness of sustainable values resulted in some long life, low energy and lose fit buildings constructed during recent years. This paper reflects on some buildings constructed, sustainable efforts in capacity building and training on different levels during the past ten years under the supervision of the Unit for Earth Construction (UEC) at the University of the Free State. These activities of the UEC shows that by upgrading existing skills and techniques involving stabilised earth construction, economic and ecologically sustainable buildings of a high quality can be built. The social and cultural sustainability of these buildings boost local economic development and can help to revive the tradition of women participating in the home-making process. Much of the findings in this paper are based on desktop research, field studies, involvement in community buildings and the personal experience of the author in building his own home using a considerable amount of earth construction. This paper also reflects on preliminary findings from a research project funded by SANPAD (South Africa – Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development) and conducted by the University of the Free State in collaboration with the Technical University Eindhoven, Netherlands. Keywords: sustainable development, earth construction, training, community small builders, professionals, architecture students.
sustainable development, earth construction, training, community small builders, professionals, architecture students.