Building Advisory Service extends in Namibia

ImageThe idea of a Building Advisory Service has grown out of the Architect of the Community concept introduced by the Argentinean architect Rodolfo Livingston. The Clay House Project has been providing advice to a few private clients over the years. However, the high visibility of its squatter upgrading program has attracted many organizations and local governments and they have expressed interest in building with clay. Thus, the CHP is extending the advisory service to other parts of Namibia.

The Building Advisory Service of the Clay House Project is extending into communities in northern and central Namibia. Not only does BAS provide planning, design and supervision to clients, it also provides opportunities for trainees from other towns to learn clay construction technology in a practical manner.
The high visible impact of the squatter upgrading program in Orwetoveni, a suburb of Otjiwarongo, attracts more and more community groups and municipalities that are seriously considering using clay as a building material.  The current outreach of the Building Advisory Service is a response to this interest.


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It has been contacted by 22 municipalities, private farmers, and the Shack Dwellers Federation that is active throughout the country. The Federation has had positive experience with their group building in Orwetoveni, which prompted them to ask the CHP to investigate the quality of clay in ten other towns - in all of them the BAS team encountered clay suitable for house construction.

ImageNot only is the Municipality of Otjiwarongo convinced of the clay brick houses, it wants the CHP to develop building standards for clay construction to help ensure quality. This provides an important support for other local authorities as well.
Following the example of Otjiwarongo, municipalities would have to provide plots and access to loans, help determine the sites from where clay and soil can be taken and assist with bulldozers and trucks to deliver the clay to the building site. Individuals and members of community self-help groups will be involved in planning the design and size of the houses, as well as in the building process, which helps to reduce the cost of their houses.

ImageThe educational component of the outreach focuses not only on technical aspects of clay construction but, more importantly, it emphasizes the ecological benefits of building with clay and the contribution to CO2 reduction. 
Many years ago, the Clay House Project began providing advice to private clients, many of whom were farmers. It is currently finishing construction of 7 workers´ houses on a farm in the Okakarara area.

CHP building teams, together with local helpers and skilled masons build the clay houses. They are the practical trainers under the guidance of the supervisors.

In getting the BAS outreach program underway, the project director has already visited several municipalities, towns and projects to inform about the service. The CHP expects to build around 30 houses outside of Otjiwarongo during the year.

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #12, April 2005 Building Advisory Service extends in Namibia

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Víctor Martínez
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