Jeph Designer-Builder at a2ug designers & builders

by Jeph
(Uganda)

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge for free. As a self taught designer (i hold a Bsc in quantity surveying), it's invaluable. I have a particular interest in lowcost housing geared towards solving the housing deficit hete in Uganda. The boxy (modernist) design seems the most feasible and replicable. Do you agree or not? Please offer views either way and advice on how i can think about tackling this problem.


Thank you so much again.

Comments for Jeph Designer-Builder at a2ug designers & builders

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 19, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Uganda Housing NEW
by: Jeph

Thank you so much Mrs Anderson and Joffre. I'll share some more when i have tested some of your ideas.

On an unrelated subject, Joffre, may i share some of my designs with you every now and then for critiquing purposes?

Oct 18, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Gardening for low income communities NEW
by: Mrs. Anderson

Hola Jeph,

You may be able to glean some wisdom from this youtube channel: L2Survive
He has some full length "Back to Eden" gardening with Bro. Paul from Washington state, USA, in his Playlist. It's all about not being a slave to your vegetable/fruit garden. Whether water is scarce or heavy, his way of gardening is not labor intense and I'm employing his ideas here in southern Mexico. This way of gardening is very simple and children in our coming generations can learn this and it yields high mineral/vitamin foods that will actually feed more people using less space. I would think this would be a great addition to the low income housing communities. Everyone loves to see fruit from their labor and it builds communities. As Bro. Paul says; "It's all about the covering". Take care

Oct 18, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Uganda Housing
by: Joffre

If land is expensive, at some point you have to build up.

Of course owning land isn't always a requirement. I'm thinking shantytowns and the like.

I remember seeing small shacks and fields in the right-of-ways by the road. They were farming without owning the land.

One advantage of container homes is that you can go vertical, but it really depends on being in a country where more container come in than go out.

Here is a thought. Build a frame of a multi-level structure, but have the people create their own living space with cinder block construction. It would be tricky how to run the wiring and plumbing. Essentially they would be a plot of land except their land might be up three stories.

Oct 18, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Affordable Housing
by: Jeph

Thank you for that detailed reply Joffre. It got me thinking.

I have built using Architect "Nadir Khalil's" earth bag technology with varying results. The rains made it much trickier for clay based plasters to stick and thus the dome shape can best be achieved if you build fast in the dry seasons. It really is the cheapest technology using dirt dug up on site when excavating for septic tanks and soak pits. It is labour intensive but highly replicable.

What do you think about tackling low-cost housing in these two ways?

1. Avail those in need of housing with pp-cloth tubing or discarded sacks of flour (what i've used here in Uganda), rolls of barbed wire, door and window molds and simple earth dome plans with clear instructions. You'd need some "donor" funding" to avail those materials but after this, those who own small pieces of land can construct these small homes for themselves (with a visiting supervisor experienced at the technology of course). The biggest issues i see with this model are: those in need of low-cost housing rarely possess land, the building codes mean you can only attempt this in very rural areas! *Edit* avail solar panels for power. But availing water requires large scale investment in borehole set ups and the like.

2. Obtain funding (grant, government funding, private-public partnerships). Buy cheap land (low-cost housing ceases being low-cost if it's set up on "expensive" land). Design "boxy" high rise housing blocks (using land optimally by utilising the vertical space) with low-cost but durable fittings and finishes to keep the initial and lifetime costs down. Invest in water harvesting mechanisms and boreholes to avail water not only for home use but also for crop irrigation (did i mention farming and animal husbandry to occupy and earn a living for the home occupants?). Invest in solar power to provide for the energy needs.

Design for a community life; farm, leisure parks, community centres and other places of congregation. Then the occupants of these homes pay back the cost of development as a collective from their proceeds in the farm. Their proceeds can be used to set up more and more projects benefiting more people in the long run.

P.S water and power are unavailable in large areas of Uganda. This makes the land cost cheaper in these areas but also but makes them hard to live in.

I apologise for the length of the post, but once i start, it's hard to stop.

Thank you again Joffre. (Have you been to Uganda? thought i read that somewhere)

Oct 17, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Affordable Housing
by: Joffre

Modernist has its advantages, but it depends so much on location.

I remember reading about some cheap homes in a refugee situation. They were square concrete homes. But the square concrete boxes bake in the sun. In that area domed adobe homes were the norm and the rounded ceilings aided in circulation, so they were cooler.

I've always been fond of the Super-adobe homes, but they may not survive the rains of Uganda. As I recall it can be very wet in some areas.

If you are solving the issue of affordable houses you need to also think about affordable communities. Modern society has had all kinds of apartment towers that make housing affordable but sometimes fail as communities. There needs to be community spaces and walkable access. Think of how communities grew before we decided sanitize everything, and pave all the green space, and made owning a car a requirement to get to the store.

Well, perhaps I have gotten off topic. Yes, modernist houses can be part of the solution, but only if they are built with real people in mind. They need to be more than machines for living, because we are more than machines.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Architectural Philosophy.

Like Me! Tweet Me! Comment! Tell your Story!
Please!