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This power collab is building sustainable housing in Uganda

Architect and industrial designer Marc Thorpe has partnered with Échale International and Stage Six on striking sustainable housing units

By House & Garden South Africa | January 27, 2022 | Architecture

Using environmentally friendly materials and working in partnership with social housing company Échale International and Stage Six, Marc Thorp Design is part of a plan to address the immense housing deficit in Uganda. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the East African nation has a deficit of 2.1 million housing units which is expected to reach three million units by 2030.

To address the growing problem and relieve this pressure on the country’s housing market, Marc Thorpe Design, Stage Six and Échale International are developing sustainable and ecologically responsible houses for middle to lower-income families.

Picture: Supplied

The group recently completed the first house in their planned series called the Kampala House. It was constructed using Échale International’s EcoBlock which is essentially a brick made of compressed earth. The EcoBlock is produced with 90% local soil and a 10% mixture of cement, lime, sand and water, making it ecologically sustainable as well as a thermal and acoustic insulator that produces 30% less CO2.

Picture: Supplied

The Kampala house features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living and dining area and a kitchen. A large terrace wraps the front and side of the house, perfect for leisure activities, and connected to the kitchen exterior is a traditional Ugandan wood burning stove for outdoor cooking.

The house is fitted with a large corrugated steel and wood roof designed to support solar panels and to harvest rainwater which is stored in an adjacent water tower. The concept of the water tower for each home is to provide a community network of water supply so that the community will be able to access it and share in the event of a drought.

Picture: Supplied

“The goal of the house is to create an environmentally responsible home that responds to its surrounding context and environment while providing a socio-economic opportunity to homeownership and community stewardship. The first houses of Echale International will be constructed in Uganda this Spring 2022. We believe in an architecture of responsibility.”, says Marc.

Take a look inside the Kampala house and at visuals of the potential sustainable housing village in the gallery below.

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