Transforming Lives Through Technology

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The Technology

Behind Africa’s housing construction industry are conventional practices in the choice of building materials, particularly burned bricks (BBs) bonded together with thick mortar of up to 30 mm to erect walls for housing. Due to the growing population, the demand for houses has increased in the recent years, increasing the demand for building materials.

Interlocking Stabilised Soil blocks (ISSB) are widely popular around the world due to their low cost and suitability for do-it-yourself manufacturing and construction, particularly in developing countries where labor is cheap. Typical ISSBs are made of soil mixed with about 10% cement and then compressed in a machine-driven or hand operated press.

Compressed earth block technology provides a renewed, economically and socially as well as environmentally relevant response to building construction across all walks of life. This simple building material, made from a mixture of marrum (lateritic soil) with a small proportion of cement (usually between 5 – 10 % by volume) and compressed in a suitable mould under optimum moisture condition, has adequate capacity for adaptation to a broad spectrum of factors – physical, ecological, social, economic, and technical – which influence the production of the built environment. ISSB has proven success for a wide range of applications from simple non-load bearing walling to framed structures.

Whereas the ISSB building technology is firmly backed by scientific body of knowledge, its huge potential for local production and use to ably generate a wide range of jobs from quarrying to blockmaking, and from builder to entrepreneur, and its foreign currency and energy saving abilities have not been adequately exploited in Uganda and greater East Africa where the technology has been in use for over twenty years now.

Why this Building Technologies

Our Housing Technology has the following Advantages

1.Environmental:The blocks are cured rather than fired, which eliminates the need for firewood and charcoal. This helps to reduce the destruction of fragile ecosystems such as wetlands and forests associated with traditional methods of producing of fired bricks – thus energy saving and reduction of greenhouse gases.

2.Economy and Versatility:Construction costs are considerably less than building with fired bricks due to less mortar requirement, on-site production of blocks using local soil thereby minimizing bulk material transportation,the interlocking feature speeds-up construction and results in stronger walls.The blocks are also suitable for use in construction of water and sanitation facilities such as latrines and water storage tanks at dramatically reduced cost.

3.Community Empowerment and Livelihoods: It offers pro-active and self-help opportunities to low-cost, community-level shelter provision: a simple technology requiring lower-level artisanal skills; thus, the potential to train and use local construction manpower will reduce the overall cost of house delivery. The techniques are also labour-intensive with the potential to generate local skills, employment, and income.

our Approach

We use housing as an income-generating and health-promoting asset. We integrate:

Affordability: Our ISSB structures are >20% cheaper and 80% faster to build than traditional construction; and our designs accommodate home-based businesses, so the house can pay for itself.

Quality: Structures are built to last 50+ years; are fire retardant,light and ventilated, and require minimal maintenance. They are made of sustainable engineered ISSB technology, and have integrated Renewable Energy,rainwater catchment and clean water filters.

Work With us

Smart Havens Africa is an innovative and dynamic company and one of Africa’s leading Sustainable,Eco-friendly ,social and Affordable housing providers. The company is working with strategic partners to offer replicable and scalable housing solutions involving private, not for profit and Government investment and to provide a strong platform to influence and adapt to a changing economic and political environment. At the forefront of Smart Havens Africa’s philosophy is its commitment to quality customer service.

Join us to end Housing Poverty in Africa for the low-moderate income earners who are living on the margins of Society


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