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Re: GSBN: International workshop forSouth Africa

Hi John, (and all others out there)
good to hear from you too....and great to be part of the network.

Yes in principle a hands on approach is a great idea......However, is there
any chance of contracting a professional conference organising group or
roping in Rotary in terms of logistical assistance?..... cause it would be
alot to organise overall and I am spread so thin as it is trying to run my
architecture practice, save the environment, etc

Your idea for next August could be ok, but not ideal timing really....fairly
high risk of rain in this part of the world, being the end of the height of
our winter rainfall period (July worst)....also SB harvest starts in
October. So will need quite a bit of pre-planning to make that
happen.....how many days will you have......no chance of doing it after your
expedition??? timing would be somewhat better as far as rains go....really
October, November would be a more ideal time....

As per a venue/linkages....
I am busy assisting a guy from Canada - Adam Perry of Hobbit Homes - out
here at the moment who was doing work with the Habitat for Humanity group.
He has returned with his own cash and is busy with the start of a new cob
and adobe house for one of the local builders of Habitat SA who lives in
Masipumelelo! I mananged to convince the beneficaries - Lukas and his wife
that it would be fine... as we have 300 yr old local examples of earth
buildings and that most of old Cape Town is infact built of earth.....  Adam
is not so keen on SB unfortunately, so are pushing forward with cob and
adobe for internal walls. I have advised that we use rubble trench
foundations rather than conventional and not to go for too thick walls as
Adam at first wanted. Also roped in a local engineer who is keen on earth
buildings. Once built we plan to obtain certifications and planning approval
to legitimize it in the eyes of Habitat SA.

So we are racing ahead. The design is bit dumb with site constraints and
will look terribly standard (from the outside) as he wants it to look much
like the standard Habitat house. Have been drawing a few plan options for
them, organising earth and advising on details, finishes, etc. They
repositioned their shack on Sunday and are busy with foundations this week.

Unfortunately Habitat SA are highly sceptical and worried about by-passing
the govt subsidy scheme process, so are not providing any assistance.....It
is vital to put natural building examples down in the townships (squatter
camps) so people can start to understand possibilities other than concrete
block. So maybe potential there to follow on with a SB building... if
Habitat start to warm to the idea of natural building once they see the
results....Should be all done in a few months, so the possibility to link
with Habitat SA may be a good option???

Have any of you out there got contacts with Habitat International???? I
remember that Habitait in Mongolia or some such place was doing lots of
SB...we need to link that lot to Habitat SA to get that to really
fire....Habitat SA are very active all over South Africa building houses
with volenteers in the townships...but unfortunately they are building
horrid thin wall concrete block houses. So what would really work is to
convince them of the huge improvements in thermal comfort standard and owner
builder potentail ...possible with SB and get a whole SB programme going
with them....however this will also mean convincing the leglislative powers
that be... NHBRC (see the last straw issue 51 i think on legal status around
the world). In general I think this could have great potentail for
initaiting a SB home building roll-out in SA......

Other thing I would much like to combine it with is that the group present
to some relevant politicians....I have been meaning to email to set up a
meeting with our housing minister - Lindiwe Susulu - who I met briefly while
posing for a photo last year September when recieving an Interational Holcim
award for sustainable building. I have not felt well enough prepared with
ammunition for her just yet...though with all the projects I have been busy
with this year am feeling much more ready now...just need to get a
presentation and plan of action together. So maybe I should make contact
with her and then try co-ordinate a workshop with you lot and one of her
projects or one of Habitat SA's projects....The advise I have had is that it
is no good approaching these top end lot unless you are really well prepared
and have a good plan of action in mind...so maybe a c.v. /proposal of who
would be coming and what plan of action we could put on the table for
her....remember they will be hugely more impressed by you lot (being
foreigners) than what I could say/show on my own....so if this comes off we
have to take this opportunity to do presentations to those that can
influence things....We need to act quite soon as I think there may be
another bloody election next year sometime so who knows how long the present
housing minister will be good for still. So need to get that specific ball
rolling sooner so she can link us to the right people for when/if you come

Will give it further thought though....main thing will be to have a definate
beneficiery and independant funds I would say. If we tacke an orphanage at
least the legal side will be relatively easy when compared to
housing....What is the contact for the orphanage in Khyalitsha John? Will
require getting planning approval well ahead of time so will need to check
out likely viability.
sorry if thoughts all a bit jumbled......just writing aloud...

warm regards

Andy Horn

Eco Design Architects
Cape Town

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Glassford" jacksflat@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 8:45 AM
Subject: Re: GSBN: International Conference for Africa

G ' day Andy

Great to see you on the list and active mate.

Susan and I will be back in Cape Town next August.  We will be on our
way to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Rotary and the
orphan projects we are involved in.

We will also be helping Rotary Hout Bay with a Medical Care Centre,
some restoration of an existing building with funds raised by my
Rotary club.

Thinking out aloud would it be practical and or possible to run a
working straw bale bee for promotion of straw bale in South Africa,
say in Mfuleni township to build a straw bale house on a community
level.  Mama Amelia Poswa and her orphans come to mind or some one
like Amelia.  In Khayelitsha there is Mama Thope and her guest house
and I know that she wants to expand.

If such a building could be found for some of us to come over and
build in early August 2007 that maybe a way of encouraging some of us
on the GSBN list and beyond to run sush an event.  Not an ISBBC but an
International gathering in the form of a working bee.

What do you think?  I could get some of the local Rotary Clubs
involved especially Hout Bay Rotary.

I am sure that there would be a few on this list, eh Renee, who would
participate.  Then they could go on up to Mount Kilimanjaro with me
and have some fun climbing Kili:

<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/</a>

Just an idea Andy.

Kind regards
John Glassford
Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/";>http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
61 2 6927 6027

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