New designs for low-cost housing

24 April 2006

South Africa’s affordable housing market is looking to alternative building materials in a competition designed to foster innovation in the industry.

Seventeen houses have been built in Soshanguve Block XX, near Pretoria, using traditional and modern building technologies other than brick and mortar.

The 17 designs – using materials such as insulated precast concrete, brick and steel, and water-based resin – are all entrants in the National Housing Innovation Competition.

The competition is being run by the Housing Technology Innovation Hub, a joint venture sponsored by the National Homebuilders Registration Council (NHBRC) and Absa Bank.

Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has tasked the NHBRC with building 1 800 houses using new designs, as part of the government’s Breaking New Ground social housing programme.

Visiting the Soshanguve site accompanied by provincial housing ministers on Friday, Sisulu said they were “overwhelmed by the beauty, creativity and good quality” of the houses.

Sisulu said the provincial ministers had a “great” chance to view the houses and decide which style they could introduce in their provinces.

“What we have seen here today is a typical example of integrated income dwellings that government is always talking about,” she said.

NHBRC chief executive officer Phetola Makgathe said the competition was a response to the minister’s call to identify new housing products.

“These products have already been judged on all technical aspects, it is now the responsibility of the community to give their opinion of the products,” he said.

Sisulu is expected to announce the winner soon.

Source: BuaNews

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