Better Living Challenge


About Our Finalists: Durobuild

Sep 17, 2014

IKYA Homes fill the gap between permanent homes and informal township dwellings


Cape Town-based designers roll out a proudly South African housing solution to address one of the country’s most serious social problems.


It costs from just R22 500, measures between 27m2 up to 60m2 and takes less than two hours to construct on site. So it’s no surprise that the IKYA Home has the potential to make a massive difference in the drive to provide South Africa’s low-income communities with comfortable, decent and affordable homes.


Ikya original

 Image: Perspective View of an IKYA Original 2 Bedroom Unit.


Developed by Cape Town-based firm Durobuild, the IKYA Home is the product of four years’ intensive research, design and prototyping. Built specifically to handle South Africa’s tough climatic, geographical and social conditions, these fire-proof homes are built in modular form on metal-frame structures made of South African steel. With comfort and strength in mind, they are insulated by aluminium/plastic bubble sheets between the steel structure and the external cladding. A unique metal profile sheet that has been registered as a unique design with the SA Patent Office gives the homes a very identifiable look. Called the miniRIB profile, this profile has already attracted Interior designers wanting to use it for office partitioning etc as it exhibits an industrial look. The metal sheet has various coated colour finishes (Chromadek), however the Green and Beige are the most popular colours.



 Image: The Green and Beige IKYA Home units have proved to be the most popular colours.


Using recycled materials wherever possible, IKYA Homes also feature solid front doors, small windowsills and – crucially – a functional toilet area with washbasin, toilet and shower.



 Image: Sir Lowry’s Pass Village project – exterior view of an IKYA Home.


Commenting on the inspiration behind this breakthrough solution, Durobuild’s Clinton Johns says: “We wanted to create affordable, aesthetically pleasing and comfortable homes for communities who are struggling against poverty and destructive hazards such as shack fires. The solution we have developed and refined takes every step of the production process into account − from the computer-optimised steel frame structure and factory jigs right down to the fit of the aluminium windows. No other product of its type on the market pays such close attention to such small details. The result is a solution made entirely in modular form that can be shipped anywhere in the country and assembled in a few hours using local labour.”


The IKYA Home has already passed the trial stage with impressive results. At Sir Lowry’s Pass outside Cape Town, 51 of the units were assembled and are successfully handling the area’s notoriously windy weather patterns. Recently over 20 emergency shelters where put up in Hout Bay and Delft areas. Another 500 units are set to go up Busasa (close to Khyalitsha) before the end of the year.


Says Clinton: “The market response has been incredible and the Sir Lowry’s Pass project has attracted considerable attention from numerous ward councillors and local housing authorities.”



 Image: Sir Lowry’s Pass Village project – IKYA Green unit.


Looking ahead, Clinton hopes to roll-out the IKYA Home to communities across the country while continuing to refine the concept. “There is still room for improvement,” he concludes. “The LUXkya Home, is basically taking the standard IKYA and upgrading it to incorporate electrical fittings and interior cladding made from fibre-cement and gypsum (with this upgrade it would then have the same feel as a normal home, except would be warmer in the winter, no mildew/mould growth associated with existing low cost homes made of block bricks).

Right now, a fully built IKYA Home cast on a concrete base with two doors and windows will cost around R22 500 and last 25 years. That is a very reasonable price for a product that allows people to live in comfort, safety and dignity.”