Who are we?
We are an urban permaculture shared learning platform based in Cape Town. We offer weekly weekend workshops on all things sustainability, from food growing to sustainable design to mushroom cultivation to fermentation to plant propagation to herbalism to grey water systems to soil fertility to soap making to compost toilets and more! Check out our Facebook page here, or check out some snaps of our workshops and the work we do here. Our suite of workshops is constantly growing, and we're now looking to add ferrocement workshops to this!
What is ferrocement?
Ferrocement simply means iron (ferro) and cement. Cement has incredible compression strength, but sucky tensile strength. Iron (steel) has incredible tensile strength, but costs much more than cement. Combine the two and you get the best of both worlds! With ferrocement tanks, you use a framework of steel rebar and mesh such as chicken wire, and plaster over it with cement. These tanks are incredibly strong and water tight, with the walls being as thin as 2cm thick in some cases. With a cost comparison of up to a third of a standard plastic tank (such as Jojo), ferrocement tanks offer an affordable alternative for those looking to harvest rainwater in drought stricken Cape Town.
Another benefit of ferrocement is that you have tremendous amount of flexibility in terms of the shapes you can go for. This lends itself well to dense urban spaces where there is, well, not much space, as well as to those artsy humans out there who love to sculpt weird and wonderful shapes into being.
What we're seeking to fund
We have searched the web far and wide for all the information we could find on ferrocement tanks, and have also purchased a very helpful book on the subject called Water Storage by renowned grey water and tank guru Art Ludwig. Based on this research, our pilot ferrocement tank will be a 1,000 litre cylindrical tank, to be situated at our Claremont venue, which is currently struggling through the drought. We will document the entire process and put together a how-to manual detailing our process, our learnings and insights, as well as a breakdown of costs and reference for local suppliers. After this pilot installation we will host regular workshops on ferrocement tanks, using the workshops to get more installed at our sites and other suitable venues all over Cape Town, and of course to have the knowledge transferred to as many humans as possible.
We will be installing the exact tank detailed in this video (just slightly bigger):
The breakdown of costs for this pilot installation are as follows:
|Rebar||3 x 6m lengths||R180|
|Chicken wire||15m x 1.2m||R490|
|Binding wire||1 kg||R55|
|Sand||2 x 30dm bags||R50|
|Building stone||3 x 30dm bags||R75|
|Plumbing materials - piping, fittings, valves, etc||Various||R325|
|Tools - trowels, floats, buckets, pliers, bolt cutters, hack saw, gloves||Various||R1,000|
We are planning to have this implemented in a workshop on 22 April 2018 (this campaign will close on Monday 16 April to give us enough time to procure the materials). Check out the event on Facebook for more details.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our compaign, and to our donors, thank you for the love! Your generosity will go a long way to helping us get this information and experience out to those who need it most!