Inclusive and sustainable housing in Cape Town

Low impact strategies for high comfort and affordable housing

Cities are major contributors to climate change, and the city of Cape Town is no exception, but this is only one of the many challenges it faces. As a consequence of apartheid planning the city layout of Cape Town remains highly segregated. Approximately 25% of the population remain in informal housing situations, far from the economic hub and opportunities of the city. Innovative development in these areas is a good starting point, but does not address the issues of segregation, or provide equal opportunities for city’s residents. A solution is needed that tries to mitigate both climate change and the reverse past effects of spatial planning.
Providing affordable housing in the central city is one solution that creates a sustainable approach through urban regeneration. The objective of the project, aims to establish an inclusive and sustainable housing strategy for the city of Cape Town. More specifically, it seeks to achieve a methodology to convert underutilized office spaces in the city centre for a residential purpose while simultaneously providing high comfort with no active conditioning systems that is affordable and requires low maintenance.
The findings have justified that an indoor comfort criteria is achievable in Cape Town through passive design strategies. The implications of the proposed passive design strategies on a transformed residential unit, can result in a comfortable indoor environment with an overall reduction of the buildings energy consumption, intended to alleviate the ongoing energy crises in South Africa, while simultaneously making use of existing building stock in the city. As a consequence of this solution, improved access to job opportunities around main economic nodes are more viable and increased densities within close proximities can result in more sustainable public transport system, as well as improved inner city safety. It can also assist in mitigating issues of urban sprawl, reducing infrastructure and service costs, and reversing the effects of current spatial planning within the Cape Town metropolitan area. The project offers a viable solution to the constraints facing the city and is one that can assist in providing an inclusive and sustainable housing alternative that can provide high comfort with no active conditioning systems that is affordable and requires low maintenance.

Project mentors: Tommaso Bitossi, Matthias Rammig

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Amy Sara Koshy – South Africa

Amy Sara Koshy – South Africa

Amy completed her Bachelor of Architectural Studies at the University of Cape Town. As preparation for post-graduate studies, Amy worked as a sustainability consultant at PJC Consulting in Cape Town and has now joined the TS Academy.