First low-cost smart homes piloted in Keetmans
Affordable smart connected homes will be piloted in Keetmanshoop before the year 2018 as a model for other towns in Namibia. The Finnish Embassy and the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) are piloting affordable quality housing for the Keetmanshoop Municipality with smart home solutions. These smart homes via a means of connectivity such as a telephone line, will serve as a baseline study on how best to introduce the 21st century notion of a connected home.
Smart Community integrates service provision, community building aspects and employment creation to housing when providing some of these basic services or collecting data from buildings.The concrete results of the development process will establish the rules of conduct for the first pilot community in Namibia. The process involves an engagement approach to include residents, service providers, officials, policy makers and businesses. Going beyond the traditional participatory methods in urban planning.
The business consortium consists of Lithon Developers and its four Finnish partners , representing expertise in the field of architecture, town planning, engineering, construction and health and social service. Finnish Ambassador to Namibia, HE Anne Salorant, at the signing of the MoU with Vice-Chancellor of NUST, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, that the agreement is one that showcases the trust between the Finnish and Namibian people. A relationship that goes a long way in proving a case for sustainable development for residents of both countries.
As part of a holistic model of having the actual community decide what smart innovative solutions they want. The property developer will first embark upon a crowd sourcing of ideas from the community and traditional leaders on which needs they need fulfilled.
Speaking to the Economist, Mr Sami Juola Project Manager and the Smart Community team and CEO: of Earth House Ltd, the contracted civil engineering company, said that they will use a design thinking approach to the pilot project by enforcing the ideas of community in a layout that resembles an “Olupale” or central meeting place.
The Keetmanshoop Municipality Council and the First Capital Housing Fund will be piloting affordable housing with smart connected solution that will improve some of the resident’s daily needs such as the need for transportation, health care and the paying of municipal bills.
Lithium Construction Developers together with the the other partners will first due a base line survey. Smart Community is a solution for holistic community development initiated by a group of Finnish and Namibian partners with the aim to respond to the challenges of rapid urbanisation in Namibia. It promotes local economic and social development and value creation in an environmentally, socially and culturally sustainable way.