The Ithuba Community or also known as Skills College is an Independent School in Gauteng, close to the big townships Katlehong and Vosloorus in the south of Ekurhuleni. The school is founded and funded by the Austrian NGO s2arch – social sustainable architecture.
The implementation of classrooms and other facilities on the campus are provided through collaboration of s2arch with different faculties of architecture in Europe.
buildCollective.net has been involved since 2009 to enhance sustainable construction process – in design, construction methods and local participation. The collective construction process enables strategies of cost effective and ecological construction methods like leight clay.
South African government identified housing as one of the greatest challenges facing the country and adopted the Reconstruction & Development Program (RDP) in 1994.
The housing program was faced with many problems including escalating material costs and leading to severe housing shortages particularly in the poorer and rural area.
Laws on national level like the BNG (Breaking New Ground) from 2004 or the Peoples Housing Process provide strategies supporting community driven building initiatives to overcome the backlog of adequate housing and to develop skills in areas with high unemployment rates.
To implement these new sustainable strategies an adequate architecture and design has to acknowledge local resources, financial capacities and skills and at the same time provide quality and ecological solutions.
The Ithuba Community College provides a platform for architecture and construction research. With local ressources and community involvement alternative building technices can be developed and know-how transfered in a sustainable project set up.
buildCollective developed together with the local community a modular construction system with light-clay infill and established it together with the FH Kärnten (Carinthia University of Applied Science, Austria) to provide an affordable building technology.
Self-produced concrete pillars and steel trusses support the local economy and provide the load-baring structure which is filled up and compacted with straw - light - clay using a climbing formwork.