SA Affordable Housing January / February 2017 // Issue: 62 - Page 25

FEATURES First year students in good on campus accommodation have an 80% chance of passing, a percentage that is almost halved when they are not adequately housed. Exposed brick walls – even stock bricks - are trendy and add character without having to invest in artwork or décor. “Unlike many other surfaces that will need to be regularly painted, treated or plastered, the colour and texture choices of natural brick make a statement, but outlast even the rowdiest students,” says Shangase. Tips on exteriors: From the property investor’s perspective, low maintenance buildings keep levies down. “Avoid buildings with lifts, large common property areas and integrated technology,” Shangase advises. This will all obviously depend on what kind of building you are putting up and for which market you are catering for. Paved patios and courtyards are cheaper to maintain than a large garden and students love having a place to entertain. Replace flimsy patio furniture with built-in brick seating and fire pits. Clay paving is tough and inexpensive to lay. Segmented paving stones can be replaced and standard colours and size ensure a consistent look, according to Shangase. “Potchefstroom is a university town, so student and lecturer accommodation is our bread and butter,” reports Jacques Marais, marketing director of Berts Bricks. “However in the past five years specifically we have seen a flourishing residential property market, while we know prices in other cities are flat.” “We believe it is because clay brick is the obvious choice in new developments for students. In terms of exteriors, clay face bricks require little or no maintenance – bricks don’t rot, tarnish, puncture, fade, rust, scuff, peel or erode. The thermal expansion and contraction of clay brick is minimal throughout the year – no unsightly cracks to repair,” says Marais. “Our environmental agenda happened by accident, as cutting edge green building techniques proved to be the most cost effective, high quality options. Innovative Building Technologies and materials reduce construction time, and costs, dramatically,” says Schooling. Most use recycled materials (such as steel) or industrial by-products (such as polymer), which drastically reduce waste and cost without compromising temperature regulation or the lifespan of the building. So what can be done to bring costs down? There seems to be a general case for using clay brick… Tips on interiors: Make use of ceramic products like tiles and fired bricks that are tough and hard-wearing, instead of timber floors or carpets, says Musa Shangase of Corobrik, president of the Claybrick Association. Blinds look smart but break easily while curtains can be washed and quickly replaced. We will be about 600 000 beds for studen