Corobrik provided high-quality bricks and training for the construction of housing in the Thembelihle Village in Pretoria.
Thembelihle Village is a R265m mixed-income residential development in the Pretoria Central Business District that includes studio units as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Part of the regeneration of the city centre, this social housing initiative is developed by Yeast City Housing NPC with financing from the government.
An after-care facility, gym, swimming pool, mini soccer field, vegetable garden as well as a job and training centre are also part of the development, while cutting-edge technology such as biometric access control, CCTV cameras and 24-hour security will ensure the safety of residents.
The first phase, completed in June, made 241 quality affordable apartments available for rent, with a further 492 units set for completion in April 2017.
Every square counts
ASA Architectural Design team head, Anca Szalavicz, points out that her team sought the most efficient unit design and tried to allow for as much green space as possible.
Situated on the corner of Johannes Ramokhoase and Sophie de Bruyn Streets, the 733 units will be clustered around a green lane within a four-storey walk-up, as well as ten- and eleven-storey high-rise towers. Retail and food outlets are planned along Sophie de Bruyn Street, which has been identified as a major pedestrian thoroughfare.
“As this project occupies most of the city block, particular attention was paid to the treatment of buildings and enhancement of street corners. We also focused on pedestrians, with the creation of covered arcades, for an interactive, safe, public realm,” adds Szalavicz.
Brick the material of choice
One of the challenges of developing high-quality social housing is to keep costs down while procuring quality products which will provide a sense of pride for residents. According to Scalavicz, this is why Corobrik’s Montana Light Travertine face bricks, being both affordable and low maintenance, were selected for the development.
Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s commercial director, reiterated that brick is the best option for social housing developments in the long run, and that the lack of maintenance needed in the form of plastering and painting means ongoing cost savings.
“The bricks have incredible thermal insulation, which means there is no need for artificial heating and cooling within the buildings, further saving on costs, as well as providing sound insulation,” says Shangase.
In addition, Corobrik provided essential on-site bricklaying training for subcontractors involved in the construction.
“Training coordinator, Alex Phatudi, from the Lawley 2 Factory, trained about 20 bricklayers at the Thembelihle Village construction site from November 2015 to January 2016,” says Shangase. “Those individuals who underwent the six-week course, received a CETA-accredited certification in bricklaying, which provides them with real potential for future job opportunities.”
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Caption: Once completed, Thembelihle Village will include 733 new residences that range from studio units to one-, two- and three-bedroom units.