Algoa fast-tracks Milkwoods project

Milkwoods, Port Elizabeth
Algoa fast-tracks Milkwoods project
Algoa fast-tracks Milkwoods project
The white milkwood (Xhosa: Ximafana) is a protected tree in Southern African.

Developed by Own Haven Housing Association and contracted to WBHO, Milkwoods is a R250 million, 630-unit housing development on Port Elizabeth’s Victoria Drive. Named after the protected tree species found in the area, the striking new development is visually more akin to a small village than a social housing project. The estate is ultimately expected to accommodate more than 1,000 residents in a green environment. During construction, very little of the existing vegetation was removed, and the precious milkwood trees were avoided.

Gillian Ardendorff Architects specified Ironspot Clinker with a mix of plaster and paint.  Makana's clinker brick provides a unifying element across all the buildings. The exposed brick sections are low maintenance, and their natural warm tones and textures compliment the adjacent "smooth plastered" sections painted in attractive colours.

Algoa is the accredited distributor for Makana in PE and their capacity and service gave them the edge over the other suppliers.

"This is a fast track project and at its peak there are up to 100 000 bricks being delivered per day," says Algoa Brick Sales Director Mark Hunter-Smith. "The total order was for 1.2 million Ironspot Clinker and 5.4 million plaster bricks.

Clay brick - the most suitable walling material for affordable housing

“The project is intended to provide affordable accommodation which allows clients to live closer to their places of work,” explains Mark. "The rental units will offer affordable accommodation to those who earned R15 000 a month or less.

"Clay brick has incredible thermal insulation, so that the homes remain cooler for longer. It will deals efficiently with Port Elizabeth's hot summers, keeping interiors comfortable without the need for expensive air-conditioning.  With its ability to regulate both air humidity and temperature, a brick building maintains a comfortable interior throughout hot, rainy months - rooms don’t become dank and stuffy. Double leaf clay brick walls minimise interior damp and condensation in winter rainfall regions like the Eastern Cape.

The nature of affordable housing developments often necessitates the construction of homes in relatively close proximity. Clay brick provides natural sound insulation for quieter indoor environments. Clay bricks are resistant to damage from borer and termites, moulds and fungi, insects and rodents.  They release no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) or toxic gases resulting in excellent indoor air quality.

Security is always a prime concern for home owners. Because it is a dense construction material, clay brick protects residents against natural disasters like flooding, lightning and hail, as well as civil crime, vandalism and unrest. Clay Brick is incombustible with a maximum fire rating.

"Clay bricks are the obvious choice in new affordable residential developments," concludes Mark. "Bricks don’t rot, tarnish, puncture, fade, rust, scuff, peel or erode. Building are low maintenance, and keep their value and desirability decade after decade.”