RISMEDIA, August 14, 2007—Advanced Design Innovation, a subsidiary of BSB Design (formerly Bloodgood Sharp Buster), has unveiled its new Abod™ series homes in Soshanguve, South Africa. The Abod units provide a wide range of options for low-cost housing and inspire community design in areas that are presently informal settlements or where large numbers of families lack homes of any substance.
“Everyone deserves to live in a home designed by an architect.”
In 1966, this founding vision of BSB Design first took shape. Since then, the nationwide award-winning firm of residential architects and planners has developed innovative breakthroughs in design to help make this vision a reality for millions of Americans.
And now that vision reaches out to South Africa and beyond.
“Worldwide, over 600 million people are living in overcrowded, inadequate and poor-quality housing—slums, squatter settlements, shacks and shanties,” said Doug Sharp, Chairman of the Board of BSB Design. “It’s our hope that Abod will allow our firm to give something back to society. Our goal is to do what we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”
A special team of designers and architects, led by BSB Design Consulting Partner Jerry Messman, took on the challenge of developing the design breakthrough in unique value-engineered low-cost housing, including add-on options to personalize each home.
“Taking the Abod project from inception to design, development and actual construction in Soshanguve has been an amazing journey for all of us,” said Messman. “It was especially gratifying to see that a team of local women could build an Abod housing unit in just one day. The South African government is determined to provide adequate housing for its people, and we feel that Abod may be part of the solution in that it is an affordable, easy-to-construct and high quality housing alternative to traditional brick and mortar construction.”
Three of the Abod units have been constructed at the Innovative Housing Hub located in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. A crew of six local women in construction worked with a crew of BSB Design staff to build single and double Abôd structures in just a few days. Government testing of the Abôd units will take place over the next several months. In the meantime, South African partners in the Abôd venture, Barclays Bank and ABSA, will present a business plan to the government which will detail a proposal to develop a model community of Abod structures.
Leaders from South Africa, Ghana and Kenya recently toured the Abod units as a follow-up to solicitation of local feedback on the Abod design. Government leaders will receive a business plan that will identify the range of possibilities of Abod providing an innovative solution for high-quality, low-cost, low-income housing for Africans across the continent. Roll-out of Abod units on a large scale could result in the local mass manufacturing of Abod components and thus the creation of new jobs in manufacturing, distribution and construction.
With Abod prototypes now on the ground in South Africa, leaders of BSB Design and Advanced Design Innovation are exploring other opportunities for Abod housing in Central and South America. In addition, the company will also be exploring opportunities with church and social organizations that may have an interest in partnering in housing relief efforts worldwide.
The Abod design includes many features and benefits:
– Easy to construct—a family of four can assemble one unit in one day
– 10’ x 12’ and 12’ x 16’ layouts provide high-quality living space
– Easily personalized and clustered in community group settings
– Low cost—estimated at approximately $1,500 per single unit via mass manufacturing
– High-quality—constructed from enduring materials, including such advanced components as GE Thermoclear® window panels
– Unique design based on the Catenary Arch, a simple, visually appealing and structurally sound design
– Secure and permanent which can qualify owners for subsidized loans, yet owners can dismantle the homes and move should the need arise
Advanced Design Innovation is a subsidiary of BSB Design, a company which is entering its 5th decade in business as one of America’s leading architectural design and community planning firms. BSB Design is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and has nearly 300 employees in 15 offices including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (Loop), Chicago (Palatine), Costa Mesa, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Fresno, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento and Tampa.