For landowners with staff living on their properties, swiftly erecting temporary housing after disasters, such as the 2007 wildfires that razed many rural homes, can pose a major challenge.
In most cases tents are unavailable, building materials have to be sourced and transported to the building sites, skilled labour must be contracted and, most importantly, the building process can take precious days – a difficult situation for families who’ve lost their shelters.
Invented in South Africa, the Foldaway House will significantly help landowners seeking temporary housing solutions. It was invented by Rajen Harinarian of Richards Bay, KZN. The concept came to him after he began thinking about a solution to the living conditions in squatter camps. “I thought that squatter camps were disasters in the making,” he says. “The way the dwellings are made, the materials used to build them, and the fact that shacks are so close together make them susceptible to floods, fires and any other disasters. began thinking of a way to design a structure that could offer a long-term solution for informal dwellers and for those who’ve lost their homes.”
Shelter in the blink of an eye
According to Rajen, his complete Foldaway House can be transported in one load to wherever it is needed, and erected in one motion in mere minutes. The basic size of the living area is 14m2, but individual houses can be joined together.
Bigger Foldaway Houses can be built on order. Each house comes with a floor, cladded walls, a door and windows. Rajen says his invention is strong, safe, comfortable and fairly fireproof. The patented Foldaway House is marketed by Abie Dlamini of the Zululand Chamber of Business.
He says government has shown much interest in buying hundreds of Foldaway Houses for various initiatives across the country. Big corporates whose staff lost houses in the 2007 wildfires have also asked for information on the product. “These houses have an estimated lifespan of 20 years, so farmers could use them as long-term and portable housing for their staff, or put them up and down as needed,” Abie explains. “They’re very easy to store when not in use. We even have Foldaway storage sheds that can be used on building sites to safely store equipment.”
At the time of going to print, a standard Foldaway House was selling for R19 000, excluding VAT and delivery. For more information contact Auriel Mitchley on (011) 889 0796 or e-mail [email protected]. |fw