Ukubutha is a Zulu term meaning to ‘gather’. How can we empower less fortunate communities without having to depend on government sourced service delivery? This project proposes a formative community based waste-to-energy design with socially driven architecture, which aims to empower and collectively solve the underlying needs of access to adequate sanitation, a safe source of water and the production of energy. The independently built improved water, sanitation and energy hub, Ukubutha provides materials, system mechanisms and spatial qualities based on a response to social and environmental awareness. The design is aimed at assisting the relief of service delivery backlogs for the government, municipalities and communities in, but not limited to Pretoria, South Africa.
Eduwik Architecture Excellence Awards 2022
Second Award | Urban Design (Concept)
Project Name: UKUBUTHA
Project Category: Urban Design (concept)
Studio Name: Good.Urban.Design
Design Team: Nicole Nomsa Moyo
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Photography Credits: Nicole Nomsa Moyo
Residents in informal communities are not connected to municipal infrastructure services and residents often rely on tank trucks to deliver water once a day in limited quantities. Research found that the site located in Pretoria had 83 chemical toilets that are cleaned twice a week are dispersed and shared by over two thousand people. Beyond the site, millions of families around the world live in similar unsafe and unhuman conditions.
Given the limitations of sanitation and summer seasonal rains, the design is primarily developed around management of waste and organic waste. A waste-to energy system allows for the water collection, storage and distribution as well as the optimal usage organic waste. Designing a multi-functional sanitation hub with a dry toilet base that is able to generate heat energy (though the production of methane gas), allows for additional activities to attract the communities’ participation and ownership of the hub.
The architectural response to social and political shortcomings found throughout the Pretoria townships and present day architecture is aimed toward achieving principals of social, economical and environmental sustainability. Ukubutha is primarily designed to serve the community by improving their living conditions in a multifunctional and multi-generational gathering space.
Ukubutha, is a provocation of how design can truly transform communities for good.