Rob Katz

At Home and “Kozi” in a Dome

In August, mainstream media attention focused on the plightof thousands of Americans living in domes – most notably New Orleans’ Superdomeand the Houston Astrodome – after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. For those looking to read a vastly more positivestory about dome-dwelling, here it is: Cape Town-based N’Kozi Homes.

N’Kozi Homes’ motto is “doing more with less” -they manufacture and sell geodesic domes (think Buckminster Fuller) aslow-income housing. What N’Kozi does isbuild geodesic dome houses out of locally-sourced low-cost, energy efficient materials. The dome design is, in itself, incrediblyefficient: by enclosing the largest volume of interior space with the least amountof surface area, they save on materials and cost. N’Kozi has taken it further – its basic introductory modelmeasures 33 meters square, and could be erected with all solar panelling,lighting and plumbing included for around R2000 per square metre – or justunder R66,000 (US$10,000) for a ready-to-livehouse.Sound like an off-beat idea? The Age of Innovation and Sustainability Awards doesn’t think so – theyjust gave N’Kozi Homes and founder Joseph Feigelson its Grand Prize. N’Kozi is looking to ramp up, franchising its technology and approaches to other parts of South Africa and throughout the developing world.