ADVERTORIAL Aloe Ridge is the largest social housing project in Pietermaritzburg, constructed entirely of facebrick. The first phase of occupancy is available from October 2016 when 210 units are released. Occupancy of the remaining units will be staggered until mid-2017. The R353-million project – contracted by Stefanutti Stocks – has received funding from the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements, National Housing Finance Corporation as well as Msunduzi Housing Association. Aloe Ridge, which will house an anticipated 4 000 people, consists of 952 two-bedroom apartments in three-story walk-ups separated into two villages. Of the 952 units, 287 will cater for households earning up to R3 500 per month and the balance of 665 units will cater for households earning up to R7 500 per month. Each unit, which is about 45m2 in size, consists of an open-plan kitchenette, lounge, bathroom and bedrooms. The site is about 14 hectares in size, allowing for large, open spaces and play areas for children. This is one of South Africa’s biggest social housing developments which has been constructed entirely of facebrick, namely Corobrik’s range of Burnt Apricot facebrick (3 800 000); Montana Travertine facebrick (200 000); plaster bricks (3 965 000); as well as geolok 400 (10 000); and geolok 300 (10 000) for the retaining walls. Corobrik also supplied 2 000m2 of pavers for the walkways joining the various blocks as well as parking areas. Originally the development was planned to be constructed as a plaster and paint development. However, the efforts of Corobrik’s Rob Jardine, who worked with Lumen Govender and Aecom to demonstrate the benefits of a 30 NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2016 AFFORDABLE SA HOUSING "Essentially, we want to create a more effective social housing scheme by incorporating microcommunities and green spaces that will evolve into a more pleasant living environment." facebrick development and the lifecycle costing versus plaster and paint, swung the selection to facebrick. Lumen Govender of Architechno – who worked in association with Sandhu Architecture on the project – explains the brickwork choice, “We wanted a product that would prove to be both affordable in start-up and longterm costs. Corobrik’s facebrick range covers both criteria as there are no future maintenance costs related to plastering and painting.” Govender says that, being a social housing project, the drive is to keep costs down while providing quality housing with aesthetic appeal. “The colour of the roof sheeting, aluminium windows and external doors are selected to blend into the colour of the Burnt Apricot facebrick, which works well.” Explaining the planning behind the design of Aloe Ridge, Govender says the buildings were separated into two villages in order to manage the scale and visual impact more effectively.