This is a small house in Maun, Botswana, which is made of natural materials comprising rammed earth, timber and locally harvested reeds which demonstrates what can be achieved with natural materials in harmony with the environment, while at the same time being beautifully seductive. By using forms similar to what is prevalent in the area it draws a deliberate link to them, by reinventing traditional building materials it points to a sustainable future building technology. The project minimised its impact both in its construction with the extensive use of local and natural materials, and its ecological approach to its use being energy, water and waste neutral.
It used local site earth for the rammed earth, and the house is not connected to either the local electricity grid, or the municipal water and sewerage, making it 100% off the grid building. The entire construction and implementation of green technologies was done by the transfer of knowledge from the architect to the local team of builders. Emphasis was achieved by training the unskilled labourers within specific trades through to the installation and construction phases of the rammed earth, solar installation, biological sewerage and water purification as well as permaculture of the site.
LOCATION: Maun, Botswana
ARCHITECT: Paul Marais
AWARDS: AfriSam SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation 2015/2016 – Sustainable Product / Technology