The Butterfly Housing Project is a systems approach to affordable housing that provides a generic load bearing product allowing for a range of different finishes and spatial configurations. The initiative, which was the joint venture of Dutch, Nigerian and South African architects and construction professionals, recently exhibited – together with USE-IT – at the Better Living Challenge expo in Cape Town. The expo aimed to bring attention to innovative and affordable solutions for the living environment.
USE-IT, supplier of an innovative low-cost building product known as the Compressed Earth Block (CEB), was a finalist in the category of Structural Home at the Better Living Challenge expo. Their collaboration with Butterfly Housing meant that two walls of the home structure was built out of these CEBs. The revolutionary product is made from waste rubble and soil from the site in question. The result is a high-quality building block that is both affordable and sustainable. While they look and feel no differet, these CEBs are proven to be stronger and cheaper than conventional building materials, with higher thermal efficiency and many other green benefits.
Elemental Housing Systems, which is the company representing Butterfly Housing in South Africa, develops housing concepts aimed at bridging the gap between formal and informal modes of production. The showcase at the Better Living Challenge expo was the first in a series of events by Elemental Housing Systems to engage with the general public and other stakeholder communities.
The final product is a modern and elegant design with a roof structure reminiscent of the shape of a butterfly’s wings. For more information on the project, go to www.butterflyhousing.com and/or www.use-it.co.za