They look like ordinary houses, but they are anything but. They are the first of the 10x10 housing project, where ten teams of South African architects were teamed with international designers to pioneer new affordable housing systems. MMA Architects were originally paired up with Will Alsop to develop this system, which pairs sandbag walls with a lightweight "ecobeam" truss.
Here they are practicing on a demonstration wall.
Luyanda Mpahlwa of MMA architects describing the house. From the press release:
The solution to be implemented is the entry from architect Luyanda Mpahlwa, assisted by Kirsty RonnÃ©. Using an innovative new building system, Ecobeams, which complies with all the rules and regulations of the Cape City Council, fits within budget and fulfils all the requirements with regards to testing and certification of an alternative building system.
"To be part of this project meant a lot in terms of making a significant contribution towards innovative, dignified solutions to the housing situation. I'm looking forward to seeing the final construction," said Mpahlwa.â€¨The design also offers a number of improvements on the standard RDP house. Ecobeams are equal, if not superior, to brick-and-mortar, but cheaper and more eco-friendly.