Collaborative Construction

Problem Statement

Monwabisi Park is an informal settlement in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town that has been chosen by the City to be a pilot community for innovative, sustainable community upgrading. The team worked on two projects that emphasized the importance of collaboration and sustainability of community efforts. The first project included working with community members to complete repairs and improvements on an existing community hall. In the second project, the team worked with stakeholders to design and implement a sanitation system that will both serve the immediate needs of a new community facility and provide a basis for developing a testing site for sustainable sanitation options in informal settlements. Both projects presented significant challenges, such as working to meet a strict timeline, dealing with shifting goals and often incorrect information, and satisfying a variety of needs at once. These projects also offered numerous opportunities, allowing the team to work closely with a variety of stakeholders, exchanging ideas, and learning from each other. In all, these collaborative efforts helped develop community facilities that can serve as building blocks in an innovative in situ informal settlement upgrading programme in Cape Town.

b hall group resized

Mission Statement and Objectives

The goal of this project was to improve community spaces by collaborating with local residents to implement innovative, sustainable solutions to satisfy various existing needs within Monwabisi Park. Specifically, our team worked with the community to complete two projects that serve as creative solutions towards the development of important public resources within the settlement. Objectives were determined for each of two projects:

B-Section Community Hall Renovation Objectives

  • Research and understand current building techniques in Monwabisi Park.
  • Understand the impact community centers have and the resources they provide.
  • Collaborate with volunteers from the community to finalize designs for renovations.
  • Work alongside stakeholders to upgrade the functionality and security of the hall.

Sanitation System Objectives

  • Research anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) systems and wastewater disposal options.
  • Determine the applicability of an innovative ABR system to the VPUU facility.
  • Work with stakeholders to design an adapted ABR system with separate systems for the greywater and blackwater, which will be used for research and testing purposes.
  • Build a sanitation system that will satisfy the immediate needs of the VPUU facility and allow for future development.

Major Accomplishments

The team worked with the community to successfully complete two construction projects in Monwabisi Park.

  1. Completed necessary repairs on an existing community centre in B-Section.
    • Built a new roof
    • Mended a gap in one of the walls
    • Fixed the doorframe and burglar gate
    • Added a new door lock
    • Installed a second light socket and a new light switch
    • Fixed part of the floor that had been damaged
    • Built new benches for the hall
  2. Implemented a sanitation system for a new facility
    • Installed two separate sanitation systems, one for greywater and one for blackwater, each consisting of septic tanks and a leach field
    • Built access points in the piping to be used for future testing
    • Created an Operations Manual that details system procedures and precautions to ensure proper function of the system

2010 CTPC Construction Team Executive Summary [2.9 MB]