The Green Building Council of South Africa is dedicated to building a greener future. “Our purpose is to inspire a built environment in which people and planet thrive. Buildings are one of the main contributors to climate change. Building green is an opportunity to use resources efficiently and address climate change while creating healthier and more productive environments for people and communities.”
Appropriate Technology: Small is beautiful
The economist and philosopher, Dr Ernst Friedrich Schumacher, wanted to stress that small-scale technologies are the ones needed in the fight against poverty. These solutions have great advantages: they can be implemented with local resources and skills and they are affordable – which makes them tools that empower people to help themselves.
The impact of appropriate technology becomes particularly noticeable when innovative solutions are used and promoted by social entrepreneurs who put social impact at the heart of their business. The combination of low-cost technology and social entrepreneurship can have far-reaching implications for thousands of lives. Creating jobs, stimulating ownership confidence and the spirit of innovation – this is what social businesses are looking for.
Appropriate technical solutions, such as low cost housing, improve life quality and can give the initial push for development.
Economic drivers of change: Jobs and houses.
Poverty housing affects people’s health and well-being, their job prospects and ability to make a living. It locks people into a cycle of poverty.
It also holds children back from fulfilling their potential: children living in bad housing are more likely to suffer from serious health problems, to have learning difficulties and miss school and to face unemployment and poverty later in life.
The impact on children’s development is both immediate and long-term. Growing up in poor or overcrowded housing has been found to have a lasting impact on a child’s health and well-being throughout their life.
Select materials that do not consume huge amounts of energy to produce: The burning of fuels releases a large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is thought to cause global warming.
Other pollutant gases that are released when fuels are burned include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide.
In order to reduce cost of construction, yet producing a socially acceptable, resilient, affordable, building that will withstand the ravages of nature, weather and time requires knowledge of the “ingredients” that will ultimately culminate into the final product – The house
Economies of scale
Housing at minimum cost meaning lowering the cost of construction by implementing advantage of economies of scale
Shorten the supply chain
Shortening the supply chain is a universal business goal in the global automotive industry. A shorter supply chain is generally recognized to be leaner, more agile, more “accountable,” and, most importantly, less expensive.
However, the real economic value of a shorter supply chain has rarely been critically measured in the construction sector. Simply put: The Hardware store or DIY builder supply chain store profit and overhead cost cannot be borne when “lean construction” is the target. Frugal innovation is the approach to deliver cost effectively.