BEAUTIFUL THATCH ROOF
Traditional thatch roofing is arguably the most beautiful and
natural looking roofing material available, you might well be
surprised by the availability of alternative similar products
that can be very innovatively used to create a specific look or
be used at locations where this material might not be as readily
MUKUTI LEAVES AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THATCH
Makuti is a
perfectly natural & ecological product. It is consists of coco
palm leaves , knitted on the stem of the plant, which tastefully
combine with the natural environment, due to their earthly color
and their discreet natural perfume.
come from Africa and they are used in constructions with
techniques that have been used for centuries in many countries
for ordinary thatching.
These leaves, as
a raw material, is not considered to be a construction material
although it has been tested for a long time against all weather
conditions, presenting a great resistance towards rain, snow,
strong winds and other weather phenomena. Except for the above
qualities, as with ordinary thatching, makuti leaf constructions
offer excellent insulation and sound absorbance.
especially in rural environments, makuti leaves creates a unique
result with constructions such as ecological roofs, umbrellas,
pergolas, kiosks etc.
these leaves most of the time only has a 10 year life duration
opposed to ordinary thatching which can easily last for 25
years, but the main reason for application would be its’
incomparable aesthetics in rustic or other specific environments
where it can be very innovatively incorporated with the natural
A SUBSTITUTE FOR THATCH
In the past few
years architects & designers have become much more
environmentally aware, and lately words like ‘sustainability’
‘green architecture’ & ‘strawbale construction’ is used very
often. It is not very common to have straw bale blocks as a
roofing material but can be very innovatively used as can be
seen in the pictures above (see below for website details).
Like wood, straw
is produced by photosynthesis, a natural, non-polluting process
which is fuelled by solar energy. Unlike wood, straw is annually
renewable. Being a non-nutritious by-product of cereal grain
farming, straw is often laid to waste and sometimes burnt,
causing air pollution.
construction is much faster and less labour intensive than
conventional thatching. The battens are spaced further apart and
thus less roof timber is used as well. Unlike conventional
thatching, straw bale roof construction techniques are
uncomplicated and easy to learn by unskilled people and do not
require expensive tools.
Straw bales also
do not pose a fire hazard as, having been compressed, they lack
sufficient oxygen to support combustion.
Straw bale roof
construction might well be an innovative substitute to ordinary
thatching, in some places where aesthetics is not of that much
importance and where a cheaper, faster and perhaps temporary
solution is needed.
Author: JB (Founder of dreamhouses.co.za)