These tiny prefab eco-homes were designed and built by Architecture for a Change (AFAC). AFAC is a small organisation operating out of Johannesburg, that creates and supports local community projects throughout South Africa.
Their latest project involved the construction of two transitional housing units in Mamelodi, Pretoria. Both of the units have a low-tech approach. Their main aim to create a set of eco-friendly houses that would have a minimal dependency on active energy systems.
To achieve this, they prefabricated the bulk of the structure and transported it to the site. Both units contain 220 mm (8.6″) thick insulated walls. (The walls look like they’re made from Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs), but there is no confirmation of this on their website.)
The micro-homes also feature solar panels to provide LED lighting, a solar cooker, and a 1,000 tank to harvest rainwater. To help protect the home from flooding it’s raised off the ground level. The interior features a simple but effective layout with 2 bunks bed providing the sleeping quarters. One of the units contains a double skin structure that will provide a greater degree of insulation during the summer and winter months.
Accord to AFAC they chose the materials and designed the overall form of the structure to be in keeping with the surrounding homes. Like the majority of community projects, AFAC employed the help of the locals during the construction process. This entitled them to ownership of the housing, and helped to bring the small community together.
Other community-based projects which you might like include Eco-Cabanas by Kristofer Nonn; an alternative sustainable dwelling designed for the locals of Santa Elena, Venezuela. Or you could check out IKEA’s flat-pack solar-powered shelters, which are designed to house refugees and are currently deployed in Ethiopia.
Could one of these be used for volunteer workers at an orphanage in a township? If so how much do I need to raise?
Rowena – I don’t see why not, but you’d need to email the architects and see if they can tell your how much the units cost etc. You can find them here: http://www.a4ac.net/