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Description: Architecture Keywords: unesco logo

The UEC (Unit for Earth Construction) was formally established in May 1996 and is part of the Department of Architecture at the UFS. In 2012, it was decided to change the name of the UEC to the Earth Unit (EU), with a broader focus on sustainability, rather than only earth-building methods.

Description: A hut built using earth construction techniques.  Tags: department of architecture, architecture, UEC, unit for earth construction, earth construction, constructionDescription: A man building with earthen bricks.  Tags: department of architecture, architecture, UEC, unit for earth construction, earth construction, construction Description: A group of people watching a UEC demonstration.  Tags: department of architecture, architecture, UEC, unit for earth construction, earth construction, constructionDescription: A hut built using earth construction techniques.  Tags: department of architecture, architecture, UEC, unit for earth construction, earth construction, construction

The EU was involved in the building of many community projects, like crèches, community halls, a school, a craft centre, prototype workers houses, and others. In the past nineteen years, the EU has spent most of its activities on research in perceptions of earth construction in Southern Africa.

From 2003 to 2009, the EU conducted a research project in collaboration with the Bouwkunde Department of the Technical University of Eindhoven (TUE). The research project was funded by SANPAD (South-Africa–Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development). The title of the project: A South African Building Renaissance; acceptability of sustainable, high quality, public and private buildings to support local economic development.

The SANPAD-project provided a research focus on the acceptability of earth construction in South Africa. Several national and international seminars and paper contributions resulted from the data gathered during this project. As a representative partner of the UNESCO Earth Architecture Chair, Gerhard Bosman presented the work of the EU at national and international forums. The Earth Unit continued with responsibilities as a UNESCO Earth Architecture member by acting in the scientific committees of international conferences hosted by UNESCO partners. Gerhard Bosman is acting on the scientific committee panels for the Vernacular Heritage VERSUS2014-2016 Sustainable Architecture Congress (VERSUS 2014-2018) and the XIIth World Congress on Earthen Architecture (TERRA 2016-2020).

Community Service Learning

The current modules accommodate community service learning since 2003, with a direct exchange of knowledge between the students and members of the community regarding a specific set of aims that can be evaluated. CSL projects conducted since the 2012 Validation visit were in Rosendal (2013-14), Lebone Village (2015), and the Mangauang experimental house (2015-1017). Environmental, social and economic sustainability concepts were applied to a broad range of areas, from managing a business, to helping protect the global environment through more efficient energy and resource use.  .

Each year, the department needs to apply for funding from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in order to cover costs for students to be involved in CSL projects.

Mautse Community: Rosendal (2013–2014)

The Rosendal Mautse Development Association is working with the Dihlabeng Local Municipality on a long-term economic and tourism development proposal for the town, focusing on arts, crafts, and the environment, as unique signatures. We looked at an integrated plan containing projects which benefit the entire community, but are joined by a common thread of environmental and social sustainability.
rosendal

FACULTY CONTACT

Faculty Manager: Ms Lee-Ann Frazenburg
T: +27 51 401 3199
E: damonsle@ufs.ac.za

Marketing Manager: Mrs Elfrieda Lötter
T: +27 51 401 2531
E: lottere@ufs.ac.za

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