Green Verandah

This residential project, situated in Climatic Zone 3,in The Rest Nature Estate in Nelspruit, Mbombela, South Africa, has been designed for occupation by six people. The house is currently occupied by two people. The house has been designed with a North - South orientation, with the majority of window and door openings in the north facade. These openings are protected by moveable timber shutters (for solar control and privacy). The shape of the structure and deliberate window placement allows for solar control and cross ventilation of interior spaces. Efficiency of energy and resource usage is achieved by means of a PV panel and battery system supplying 5.5KWh/day, energy efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting. The PV panel system provides renewable energy for LED light fittings and most of the appliances in the house. Water heating is achieved by means of an 190 liter integrated heatpump system. Two full water tanks store 10 000 liters of harvested rainwater that is primarily used for water closets and refilling the pool.


Rammed Earth Walls were incorporated as decorative walls and boundary walls. These walls were constructed from the excavated soil from the site, reinforcing the buildings connection with the site. Mostly local materials manufactured and produced in close proximity of the site were used to reduce entropy. The construction of the Rammed Earth walls were an exciting first, experimenting with mix portions and colouring of layers with pigment. All the walls turned out to be a great addition and success!

The openness of the house is a great feature. All the rooms live out onto the deck, with green space in-font of the house. A constant inside/ outside connection is perceived to the North of the house. With all the sliding doors open the house becomes a verandah - a big open space with a roof over.