The design for a Kindergarten for up to 80 children from the families of farm labourers in Raithby, a village some 35 kilometers east of Capetown in the Western Cape Region, came to be within the framework of an interdisciplinary project of the Architectural and Civil Engineer departments in the winter semester of 2008/2009.
The aim was to develop an energy independant building whilst using indigenous building materials which could be errected from a group of students along with local support and rudimentary tools within the very short time frame of nine weeks. A long stretched flat building was realised which offered an array of closed and open roofed rooms under a large single pitched roof. It offers the sheltered spaces which are needed for outdoor activities both during the hot summers and the wet winters of the Cape.
The building consists of an enveloping masonary wall of air dried clay blocks and weather protected inner timber frame walls. The timber frames are either filled with insulation as exterior walls or with bricks as interior partitions.
For the choice of materials it was essential that they should be locally made, highly degradable, contain little or no harmful substances and have good ecological qualities, low embedded energy for instance.Heating is provided with help from a solar collector. This new building will represent a pilot project for energy saving construction and the use of regenerative sources for heating rooms.