Techno chic shack in WCape

Cape Times 31 July 2012.

NOSANGO Plaatjie, a single mother of three who lives in Enkanini informal settlement, can now keep the cold at bay thanks to a Stellenbosch University initiative known as the iShack.

“My old house was very cold. Cold air would come in while we were sleeping and make my children sick. This house is beautiful and very warm,” said Plaatjie, smiling ear to ear.

The iShack, or improved shack, is the result of 18 months of research by the Sustainability Institute and Stellenbosch University and aims to make incremental improvements to informal settlements.

The zinc 14m2 shack has a solar panel on the roof that allows for three lights and a cellphone charger inside and a motion sensor security light outside. The walls are lined with recycled cardboard boxes sprayed with a fire retardant paint. The walls are also insulated with long life milk cartons with the shiny side facing out to reflect heat.

Windows are placed strategically on the north and east sides to create a natural draught allowing for better air circulation.

The flooring is old bricks from a nearby landfill site.

ct I shack

HOME SWEET HOME: The iShack has been developed by a Stellenbosch University team who say it is low-cost and sustainable. Photo: Greg Maxwell

By Mlungisi Mthembu

The pilot project was enabled by funding from the National Research Foundation and a recent grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will allow it to be tested at scale…