Putting heart in the home again

House in box con­cept opens the door to dig­ni­fied liv­ing

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - THABANG RAMMUTLA thabang.rammutla@inl.co.za

THE quest to see more people liv­ing in a “dig­ni­fied” way has led to a lo­cal com­pany build­ing homes it be­lieves will achieve this.

The com­pany has cre­ated mo­biles houses made of wood and rang­ing in size be­tween 18m² and 60m², which it calls dig­nity houses.

Ac­cord­ing to Dar­ren Bibby, the founder of the project, the aim is to in­tro­duce an in­no­va­tive, dig­ni­fied and sys­tem­atic way of liv­ing in a beau­ti­fully con­structed deck house.

He said it was called a dig­nity house be­cause it was felt South Africa needed its people to live in dig­ni­fied homes.

He said they hoped to make the homes af­ford­able, and a two-bed­room, one bath­room home would cost about R399 000, ex­clud­ing VAT.

The cost would not in­clude the land. “We will give you the house with the kitchen. It will have the floors, the ceil­ings and the lights.

“We’ll give you a house in a box,” Bibby said.

The house has in­ter­est­ing and new tech­no­log­i­cal fea­tures.

Be­cause of the small size of the bed­rooms, a desk, for in­stance, would dou­ble up as a bed.

Bibby said that for stu­dents need­ing a space to study, the “dig­nity house” was ideal.

“All these lit­tle ideas, even with the din­ing-room suite, we are go­ing to make one that goes into the wall.”

There was no need to have a big space for a din­ing-room ta­ble when fam­i­lies ate at only cer­tain times of the day, he ex­plained.

“We want to build houses, we want to change hous­ing… we want to build houses in fac­to­ries that can be trans­ported to site be­cause if you get to a build­ing site, ma­te­ri­als get dam­aged and stolen,” he added.

“The govern­ment should not be build­ing houses, but rather pro­vid­ing the land and ser­vices, and leave the build­ing of houses to me,” he said.

“I’ve heard people say­ing: ‘this is too good for the poor, so stuff them’. This is not too good for the poor, this is what the poor need.”

Ac­cord­ing to Bibby, the com­pa­nies they dealt with would guar­an­tee the prod­uct, adding that it’s made to supreme stan­dards and could last be­tween 20 and 25 years.

The ma­te­ri­als used to build the homes were SA Bureau of Stan­dards ap­proved, he said. The aim, Bibby em­pha­sised, was to take the tra­di­tional build­ing and make some­thing amaz­ing out of it.

“This is what I think is the fu­ture for South Africa. I think that for the mil­lions of people liv­ing in shacks, it’s wrong that they can­not live in a dig­ni­fied way.”

Those want­ing more in­for­ma­tion on “the dig­nity house project” should call 011 472 7420.

‘This is ideal for the mil­lions liv­ing in shacks’

STEP RIGHT IN: The at­trac­tive ex­te­rior of the mo­bile home, above, and the neat kitchen in­side the house.

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