Curriculum integration

The global awakening regarding sustainability in general has moved towards a clear paradigm shift regarding the way that architectural higher education has to equip the architect of tomorrow. The Earth Unit (EU) and the Department of Architecture train and develop graduates who will in future implement a paradigm of sustainability as a crucial need for society through architectural intervention, becoming positive change agents for society. 

The EU provides an innovation and experimentation space for students and local architects to make this transition easier through a hands-on approach. The Environmental Built Innovations (EBI) programme (implemented in 1996) is an integrated course running within the four DESN Modules of the BArch and BArch(Hons) student programmes.  It focuses on sustainable human interaction with the natural environment through the field of architecture.  The sustainability of the broader ecological systems and the interrelationship and interaction between natural and constructed landscape, climate, social/cultural communities and their needs with reference to human well-being and economic wealth, are investigated.

The EBI programme is based on the experience, completed projects, and buildings of the EU, and Construction’s previous teaching, training, and research capabilities. The EBI programme development continued through staff input and changes to the curricula, which was made from 2008 to 2012 in the era of 'sustainability' and 'sustainable development' to keep up with the growing demand for sustainable solutions needed in the building industry.


Community service-learning projects developed from 1996 to December 2004 under supervision of G Bosman and P Smit:

  • Qala Phelang Tala and Community Service Learning Project at Lebone Village (2015)

  • A prototype house constructed with environmentally friendly building methods, Mangaung (2014- 2017)

Community builders

Community builders have been trained by G Bosman and P Smit at the UEC:

  • Glen: 12 (all male)
  • Albert Luthuli: 23 (5 female, 18 male)
  • Kopano Nokeng: 29 (12 female, 17 male)
  • MUCPP: 27 (13 female, 14 male)
  • Paliso: 11 (all male)
  • MUCPP: 20 (9 female, 11 male)
  • Bankhara Bodulong: 29 (6 female, 23 male)
  • Gariep Dam Crafts and Tourism Centre: 16 (all male)
  • House Mohant


Students trained in the use of earth-construction techniques through theoretical and practical classes by G Bosman, P Smit, and P Venter at the UEC:

2007 to 2017
  • All first-year students in the BArch programme
  • All second-year students in the BArch programme
  • All third-year students in the BArch programme
  • Postgraduate students in the BArchHons programme
  • EU
  • EU 4
  • EU 5
  • EU 3
  • EU 2


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531

Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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