A vegetated roof helps to manage storm-water run off and erosion. The biggest benefit however, is the way it limits heat gain through the roof into the house during hot summer months – perfect for keeping houses cool in warm climates. Where to get it Contact Vertical Plantscapes for modular, easy-to-install, DIY green-roof systems or let them do the custom planting for you.
Originally a dilapidated garage, this project by US-based design firm Graypants was converted to a residential cabin using as much of the old construction as possible. Slatted timber screening and an adjustable glass shell allow for temperature and light to be managed manually. Canvas interior walls are lit up with LEDs and diffuse sound and light, creating an ambient glow. Where to get it Consult the Green Building Council of South Africa for a list of accredited members specialising in eco-friendly architecture.
The ‘Kubu‘ is a human-sized version of a weavers nest that can be hung in a tree or inside the home. Where to get it Creative consultant Porky Hefer of Animal Farm is known for his innovative designs and customises these creations according to the size and the client.
Built on a steel-framed system that hovers above the ground, this Johannesburg home treats the surrounding ecology very gently. Like many of the materials, the floating wall was locally sourced and is made up of granite harvested on the site itself. Who to consult This home was designed by GASS Architecture Studios, a Johannesburg-based firm and a member of the Green Building Council of South Africa.
Add character to a space by installing aa sliding barn-style door made from reclaimed timber and track-barn hardware. A customisable solution, it is a clever way to conceal odd-shaped openings and saves on space in small areas. Where to get it Revamp Home – a specialist in bespoke reclaimed wooden furniture – provides a range of tailor-made options in a variety of sizes and finishes.
This apartment block on Durban’s North Coast makes use of a hardy balau-timber ‘exoskeleton’, allowing residents to open floor-to-ceiling glass doors for natural ventilation and expansive views, while still enjoying privacy. The rust-proof aluminium stairs are also well-suited to withstanding the elements. Who to consult The brainchild of Design Workshop: SA, Dash Apartments merges subtly into its lush surroundings.
Bring your kitchen walls to life with a wall-mounted planter. Perfect for easy access to fresh herbs while cooking, it’s a fun new way to create interest in a space and bring the outdoors in. Where to get it Cape Contours specialises in creating expansive living wall gardens but for DIY options available in a range of sizes, go to Vertical Plantscapes.
Doubling up as both a screen and a herb garden, this clever wall construction provides a sense of privacy, while filtering light. The concrete shelves, staggered at different intervals, allow for plants of various heights and sizes to be incorporated, creating a beautiful and extensive focal point. Where to get it Consult an architect to incorporate layers of concrete planters into your home. Consider which are receives the most sunlight to ensure that the plants receive an adequate amount.
With a surface area that is almost totally covered in solar panels, this two-storey house, designed by students from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany, can produce an incredible 220-per-cent of the energy needed by the structure. The windows are covered with s system of automated louvres that block unwanted solar heat. Where to get it Solar solution experts, Emergent Energy, can customise a system that suits your energy needs.