The end of fire damaged homes in informal settlements?

The end of fire damaged homes in informal settlements?

Artist’s impression of The Square, an innovative home made of fire retardant MagnaBoards, designed specially for informal settlements.

After witnessing countless fires in informal settlements, Dave Lindup, chief executive of Magnastruct, is planning a new affordable informal dwelling with fire retardant capabilities, which can be assembled on site by people with no construction skills or experience.

“Fires in informal settlements result in widespread devastation, pain and loss. Unfortunately, the local authorities continually – and frustratingly – rehabilitate by once again using zinc sheets,” says Lindup.

“This ongoing scenario has prompted us to research a home designed for informal settlements, made from our MagnaBoards. These building boards are made of magnesium oxide and the breakthrough advantage of these boards is that they are 100 percent fire retardant, water impervious, mould and mildew resistant. This makes MagnaBoards the ideal building material for informal homes, where fires are a constant hazard.”

Currently in the planning stages, the 2.7m2 x2.7m2 The Square will be sold in kit form, which will include roof, walls, window, door, floor and bolts and screws with instructions for self assembly. The flat pack kit will retail for under R7 500, whereas similar-size Wendy houses – without the fire retardant benefits – usually sell for around R18 000.

“We are really excited about this project. The dwellings will be safe and secure when the owners are away from home, and although the starter homes are small, rooms can easily be added as funds become available. A further advantage is MagnaBoard is great to paint on, so the owners can easily decorate the exteriors as they wish,” says Lindup.

“We are talking to a finance house for small loans for our customers, and plan to launch later this year.”

Call Dave Lindup on 021 531 2145.