Clay House Project Overview

Clay House Project

For welll over a decade the Clay House Project has followed a program of patient investment in order to bring the ancient technology of clay construction into the mainstream in Namibia. It has been a program composed of many different activities over the years, from demonstration buildings, pilot projects and networking with communities and authorities. A basis of mutual respect and cooperation pave the way for  its current endeavor where people in a squatter area learn to build their houses from locally available clay.  Its implications reach far beyond Orwetoveni.

The Clay House Project, with its current activities of the SODI-EU project “Upgrading of squatter area – human development in Orwetoveni”, is carving the way for future use of clay and other ecologically and economically friendly building materials in Namibia.

The CHP is able to build upon a decade of pilot projects and model houses, as well as the good reputation it enjoys with the people and authorities. A basis of mutual respect and cooperation pave the way for this ambitious endeavor where people learn to build their houses from locally available clay.  It has implications that reach far beyond Orwetoveni, and the municipality of Otjiwarongo.

The education efforts are as important as the construction activities, with students as well as apprentices from different Namibian towns, construction workers from other municipalities and members of a national grassroots organization, learning to build with clay.

Clay House Project

Another contribution is a dry toilet system developed by the Clay House Project.  It is a viable alternative for the people in the squatter area as they do not earn enough money to pay the monthly water costs. Introduction of the dry toilet allows development of hitherto un-serviced plots and provides the option of an alternative sanitation system, especially important for Namibia which is a desert country with scarce water resources.

Clay House Project

The Building Advisory Service of the Clay House Project is a response to the interest shown by other towns and is extending into communities in northern and central Namibia. Not only does BAS provide planning, design and construction 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.

Clay House Project

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #13, June 2005 Clay House Project Overview


Kurt RhynerKurt Rhyner
Architect, PhD. Professor
Spanish, English, German, French.
Project conception, analysis of technologies and materials appropriate to the specific situation, financial analysis, executive management, backstopping, evaluations


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