BUILDING: Greenest RDP Houses In Atlantis
Recent Western Cape Business News
Some of the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient RDP houses in South Africa are being built at the Witsand housing development for 2 400 families in Atlantis.
The community-driven garden village, just off the Old Mamre Road, was initiated by the City of Cape Town, and is setting a national benchmark for sustainable living for low-cost housing developments.
Funded by the Western Cape Provincial Government, the eco-village is based on integrated Energy Environment Empowerment-Cost Optimization (iEEECO) principles aimed mainly at reducing water and energy consumption.
The prime contractors are the Witsand iEEECO Housing Beneficiary Support Organisation (WEHBSO), assisted by the Witsand Housing Block Committee.
During Phase 1, WEHBSO and PEER Africa/ASCH/Nadeson created about 500 serviced stands, and the community managed the construction of 452 energy-efficient RDP houses.
The construction of Phase 2 has begun and another 1 835 houses are due to be built within the next three years.
“The entire iEEECO site plan was designed to maximise the natural use of solar energy and natural ventilation,” says Duke Gumede, Senior Project Coordinator in the City’s Housing Directorate.
Measuring between 36m2 and 40m2 in size, each RDP house consists of a north facing open plan lounge and kitchen, bedrooms and bathroom cum toilet.
There are also two prototype double storey units of 50m2 , each fitted with solar geysers, photovoltaic modules for lighting and cell phone charging, and roofwater and stormwater recovery systems.
“As part of the overall iEEECO plan which incorporates the City’s Green Building and Smart Living guidelines, the City provided extra funding for the creation of ‘green spaces’ throughout the eco-village.
In partnership with an NGO, Green Communities, the City provided each household with a choice of indigenous trees, bushes, flowers, herbs and vegetables for their own gardens.
The first 71 beneficiaries to move into their own houses in the Witsand eco-village were chosen from the housing waiting list which was first registered with the City in 2000. They had previously lived on the site in informal dwellings.
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