SA Affordable Housing November - December 2018 // Issue: 73 - Page 21

FEATURES “The stilts are made out of durable plastic too, to ensure that they cannot be damaged by the elements, or eaten by insects,” he says, before adding that these buildings have already received approval from Agrément and are, as such, perfectly certified and ‘fit for purpose’. On the other end of the affordable housing scale are the Umnyama Ikhaya, which are ‘green sustainable modular houses’. The company boasts that these shipping container based homes are entirely capable of sustaining completely off-the-grid living ‘on the condition that you approach this lifestyle with a conservative angle of no wastage or excess usage’. At almost three times the price of the RWPA stilt homes, Umnyama iKhaya’s real benefit comes from the cost savings to the owner over the life time of living in the home. If the owner is careful and truly capable of living off the grid then the only cost following initial set up is in maintaining the building with massive savings on electricity, water and effluent removal. The Umnyama iKhaya come fully equipped with all the necessary ‘green devices’ including a 5 000ℓ rainwater tank, which is filled from the ‘rainwater harvesting roof’, a solar pressure pump, a waterless extracting dehydration toilet, which we are assured is odourless, four solar panels and even a vertical farming façade, which would allow the owner to grow veggies, herbs or flowers. These are just two of the innovative solutions offered locally that take careful cognisance of the environment, as well as provide shelter. Apart from the obvious green credentials of these two house types, pod homes offer additional assistance to the environment in a number of other more subtle ways. Firstly pod homes tend to create less waste than a traditional building. It’s easier to gauge how much material is required for a prebuilt home since the same formula is followed for each model, and as such building material use can be maximised. Also, since materials are stored in a factory instead of on-site, they’re less likely to be stolen, vandalised or damaged. Pod homes are also much faster to build than with traditional methods. Studies have shown that by the time a The RWPA solutions stilt houses. NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2018 19