Tiny Green Houseboat
Ashraf helped me get my houseboat built in less than 25 days. This taught me a lot about Ashraf’s skills as a project manager, and helped build trust between us. Normally boats will take months and be created on an adhoc basis, with buyers paying for work as the money becomes available – the same applies for furniture for apartments and other preparations for marriage.
Traditionally boats aren’t used in this way, so it already acts as an inspiration point. Each part of the boat uses locally available and where possible sustainable materials.
Mina has been making multifunctional furniture from old pallets. Local pallets from Aswan are Mahogany – so it’s possible to get good quality timber for 13 EGP (about 1.30 EU), planing the wood is approx 2 EGP (20 cents) – normal Mahogany price is 100 USD a kilo.
Additional furniture, benches and tables have been made for the nubialin space, and a local farmer has already donated a sheep for our wedding in exchange for some pallet doors, and some labor on his farm. In doing so engaging in alternative economic means of exchange and mutual benefit.
Many different people have been getting involved with these furniture builds under Mina’s tuition.
Solar Water Heater
The boat will serve as a demonstrator for different green technologies, we prototyped a solar water heater on the roof (myself and Mostafa Hussien from icecairo).
We didn’t get it right first time, the above prototype was our first attempt.
Within 10 minutes the water was piping hot. This allowed us to discuss with Ashraf the merits of such technology for his house. Given that his water heater costs him 500 EGP a month, the whole system would pay for itself in a month and save him money each month thereafter.
There is much work to be done on the Boat, which ultimately should function as a small closed loop system for living, providing food, water, energy, security and comfort for our small family unit.
The boat will be rented when we’re not there to generate income for ourselves and the space, as well as providing a basis for further workshop modules at nubialin.
This activity was a part of Felucca Festival 2: A Marriage of Makers