Must Watch: Building a Nation, One Brick at a Time!

A community-run initiative is building houses for the underprivileged… one eco brick at a time!


KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa – The “One Brick” Project was created, through Travelling Toes, as an initiative to build low-cost houses for those in need. This is done by using second-hand materials from various communities and individuals.

In 2016 the initiative built the first home for Phumie Ndlovu, a beautiful soul from the Oakford community in Durban. Phumie worked at a non-profit organisation called Sinakekele – a transition home for abandoned babies – and arrived home one evening to find her shack (made of danga and sand) fallen over and officially (after many falls) non-repairable.

That’s when “One Brick” stepped in, and the entire house was built through the donations from over 100 Durban community members, which they personally sourced for over five months.

When approached to build this current house, for Lungile Nqobo, we decided to incorporate a more eco-friendly building method, as it suits the environment, is more cost-effective, and can allow us to teach the locals this building method at the same time. It also incorporates the ethos of uniting together, crossing cultural barriers of race, to uplift and empower each other, proving that you do not need to originally have the necessary materials to do something greater for those in need. You just need to have the vision and persistence, and then find the right contacts to connect to each other.

Their unique building technique that will be used this time around is called “SuperAdobe” and uses sandbags/earthbags to create the structure.

“The inspiration and concept for the SuperAdobe system originates not from the modern architecture design experience, but from the influence of traditional rural buildings and landscape, together with a 13th century Persian poetry spirit of Rumi, connects and enlightens the architectural theme of natural resources that anybody in the world should be able to build a home for his or her family with the simplest of elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire.”

Therefore, to build a human shelter that will give maximum safety with a low financial budget and minimum environmental impact with natural disaster resilient a Superadobe Technology has been adopted. The SuperAdobe, a form of earthbag construction using sandbag and barbed wire technology, is an economical, time-efficient, energy-efficient and ecologically friendly system developed by Iranian-born architect “Nader Khalili”. The system connects the natural materials and rural traditions to create a new way to use natural materials such as mud, water, air and fire which can be finished in a short time without any large construction equipment.

Reaching roof height, Gebodo Projects roofing company freely gave their time and energy to help them erect the roof. An incredible success!

For more information, feel free to visit their Facebook page or watch the awesome video below:

Sources: One Brick 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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