Wednesday 11 May 2016

Human Habitat Creation

Habitats are defined as the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds (influences and is utilized by) a species population.

This was the subject of an Institute of Landscape Architects of South Africa (ILASA) Seminar on 11 May 2016 and number of interesting presentations were made by John Masson, Siegwalt Kusel and Ben Breedlove.

My contribution was titled 'Human Habitat Creation' and addressed the following questions:

  • What is a sustainable human habit?
  • What are the specific requirements for a sustainable human habitat? 
  • How can sustainable human habitats be achieved?
  • Can a structured process be developed to enable this to happen at a neighbourhood level?

The presentations led to a very interesting discussion on how  methodologies used by Landscape Architects and Habitat Designers to design habitats can be applied at a wider built environment scale.  Copies of the presentation on gauge site soon.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Why buildings collapse

Buildings in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, a bridge, a mall in South Africa, and a church building in Nigeria have collapsed. Building Investigators attribute these failures to:
  • Inadequate foundations
  • Poor and counterfeit building materials 
  • Workers making mistakes and a lack of supervision
  • Excessive loading 
  • Non-compliance with building regulations and a lack of controls

They suggest that often corners are cut during construction to maximise profit and that corruption is usually the reason that standards are not adhered to and proper checks are not carried out.