Visits to STRAWTEC and Skat – 20/07/18

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The team headed off on their second industrial visit of the project to the company STRAWTEC building solutions. STRAWTEC provide affordable, eco friendly, high performance wall systems using a core made from compressed agricultural materials.

The team was given the opportunity to observe the production line from straw to panel, followed by a demonstration of the panel’s fire resistant properties. Finally, we saw a model room completely built by the straw panels.

Following the factory tour, the leaders spoke to the teams about internship opportunities at the company. The leader of the 2017 Rwanda Team, Olga, is interning with STRAWTEC this summer and had a key role in setting up a connection between them and FemEng in Rwanda. The team really enjoyed the visit and hope that STRAWTEC will be keen to welcome FemEng back for another tour next year!

 

 

After a quick stop for lunch the teams went to visit Skat. Skat Consulting Ltd. is an independent Swiss consulting company and resource centre working in the fields of development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Their work in Rwanda includes the extraction and production of clay bricks which are then used to build affordable homes.

The first stop was in the marshlands of Rugende, where we saw clay being extracted and then carried to the factory where processed and fired in the kiln. We learnt how the bricks are processed in a environmentally friendly manner.

 

 

The second stop was “The 8 Million House” in Gikondo. This “Swiss Cube” is a demonstration of a house which has optimised architecture, simple in shape, elegant in appearance and made of high quality materials. Additionally, it costs only 8 million rwf (approx. £7000) to build!

The final stop for the team was at the Skat housing project in Mpazi. The project is another demonstration of the style of affordable houses that can be build in the area. Skat aim to convert the concrete built, older houses in rural Kigali into safer, affordable, brick built housing.

The FemEng in Rwanda team had a wonderful time visiting both STRAWTEC and Skat and were very grateful to be given the opportunity to see such innovative solutions for affordable housing in Rwanda.

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