Block-making machinery used to build affordable housing
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform built 27 affordable homes on the Radway Green Farm Agri-Village outside Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape, using brick- and block-making machine manufacturer Hydraform’s interlocking block-making technology.
The official handover ceremony took place in mid-December last year during which Radway Green Farm dwellers were addressed by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti.
The department contracted Hydraform to undertake the construction of this project for the benefit of the community.
Hydraform sales and marketing director Nazlie Dickson says, “While we supplied the block-making machinery to the project, we also engaged with the community, teaching them how to use the machinery and employing them for the duration of the project.”
The dry-stacking method also means that the bricks and blocks have a lower embodied energy than traditional bricks and blocks.
Hydraform blocks are not baked or fired but dry-stacked, which saves on energy, construction time, cement costs and contributes to the overall sustainability of the project.
Dickson explains that it was important that the company ensure that the community was trained in both block-making and construction as part of the project’s skills development drive.
The community produced 130 000 blocks that went into building their homes. The Radway Green Farm The Radway Green Farm Agri-Village project is a self-sustaining, independent development that will support its residents through a host of features, including solar geysers, solar power units, sanitation systems and rainwater harvesting tanks as well as access to borehole water.
Hydraform also left a brickmaking machine on site, giving the community the agency to manufacture their own bricks and blocks, and to apply the skills they learned during the project in future community projects.