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khayelitsha earthship: help set sail for a new housing destination

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-11-11 08:55

work on the earthship beginswork on the earthship beginsAn earthship house is built using an eco-friendly building technique that makes use of old rubber tyres and mud as the building bricks for a house. This idea has been around since the 1970's and the first one was built in New Mexico.

There are also a few earthships built or under construction in Southern Africa. In 1996 Angel and Yvonne Kamp built one on the borders of the Walker Bay Reserve in Hermanus. There is an earthship project in Orania and one in Swaziland.

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design cape town's future - and win

Submitted by MichaelE on Tue, 2010-10-19 14:50

Cape Town is making a bid for the title of World Design Capital 2014, and Men About Town, Mokena Makeka & Rory Williams, are running a competition to explore new ideas for the city. Selected entries will be brought together in a book, and will be considered for inclusion in Cape Town’s World Design Capital 2014 bid book.

Your entry can be submitted in written or drawn form before the 1st of November and you will be eligible for a prize and your entry considered for inclusion in the handbook. Those who submit the top 3 ideas will each get R 2000, and the next four top ideas will each get R 1000.

The topics, themes, concepts and ideas you can submit, in visual or written form, are virtually limitless. They are hoping for a mix of completely wild and wacky on the one hand, and serious planning proposals on the other.

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blog action day: reclaiming camissa

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-10-15 13:35

the camissa zonesthe camissa zonesThis is our offering as part of Blog Action Day - telling the world about Reclaim Camissa: reconnecting Capetonians with their water.

Water is vital for all life on the planet and is something many of us take for granted, yet women in parts of Africa walk up to 40 billion hours a year in search of water which is still often unhygienic. When one looks at the projected models of rainfall distribution in South Africa due to climate change, large parts of the country are going to have severe water scarcity. We have already seen how changing weather has caused a drought in the Eastern Cape this year.

The City of Cape Town believes that the city will no longer be water secure by 2013, however, there is a not-for-profit organisation that has an integrated plan for water in the City of Cape Town.

your free ticket to green building expo 2010

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2010-04-28 09:00

The 4th annual Green Building Conference and Expo kicks off tomorrow at Gallagher Estate, Midrand, Joburg. If you'd like a complimentary ticket to the expo worth R50 drop us an email at

If you're a professional in the building sector or just interested in green building this is definitely one to check out. Take a look at the Green Building Exhibition website for more information and see the list of exhibitors over here.

Rain water tanks and harvesting systems, eco-friendly flooring, fittings and furnishings made from recycled polystyrene, energy saving solutions, led lighting, green roofing, bamboo products and thermal insulation are some of the products you can check out.

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green prefab homes, jet fuel from rubbish, and eskom shuns renewable energy

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-02-23 12:04

Green prefab homes rising in popularity
A modular home manufacturer in USA says that, where other builders are cutting projects in the down economy, his company is raising production of the energy-efficient model, called the 'i-house' – a solar modular home. South Africa has its own version that's caused quite a stir, known as Zenkaya – ready-made living space that is re-defining the term 'prefab' and giving it a new eco-friendly and eco-chic slant. They're cheeky, easy, chic and unique. The designs are based on core sustainable principles – efficient use of space, reducing waste in the factory, and all materials are recyclable.

Eskom shuns renewable energy
An Irish energy company, Mainstream Renewable Power, claims that Eskom does not want renewable energy to succeed in SA. Mainstream vented its frustration over what it said was Eskom’s unwillingness to accommodate renewable energy players in the SA power generation market. It last year established a joint venture with local company Genesis Eco-Energy to build wind farms to generate 500MW in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape. “Eskom does not want renewables. They do not want competition,” Mainstream CEO Eddie O’Connor said yesterday. [businessday] read here about what Eskom should be doing...

greenest grocer in sa?, why spier is green, gm vine field trials allowed & more...

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-08-24 14:55

World's tallest wooden building for Norway. Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects are responsible for the ambitious project, which will be situated in downtown Kirkenes on the historical ground of a multiethnic area. To achieve carbon neutrality, Reiulf Ramstad Architects is relying on integrated systems that also enable it- to adapt to the changing seasons and climate. The firm also plans to reuse biodegradable household and industrial waste to produce biogas. [inhabitat]

Who is the greenest grocer in SA? According to the Sunday Times Top Brands survey, the company that has done the most to promote 'green' in South Africa is Pick n Pay, followed by Woolworths. [the times] [bizcommunity] ...

a revolution in straw - staying in elands bay

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-07-27 13:58

We recently spent the most beautiful weekend in winter in Elands Bay on the west coast. And whilst I share this with some reticence (Elands Bay can do without a stampede) I do think that sharing our hideaway (join the strawrevolution at one boom straat elands bay) is something anyone who appreciates anything built sustainably will appreciate!

So, what is there to do in Elands Bay? was the first question flung my way when I mentioned to two of my closest friends jetsetting in from Johannesburg that we were heading out to the small town on the West Coast for our long-planned weekend away.

A little research brought to light an apt description that went something like this: there is a very long beach; and you can head down to the local pub and drink coke and klippies with the local potato farmers!...

hout bay green faire this weekend!

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-02-26 11:50

Last year's spring green faire was really great - authentic green stallholders in an outdoor setting with perfect weather, good food, lots to see and talk about plus activities for the kids. We were hoping this would become a regular event and now it's back, just in time for the end of summer.

Looks from the programme that there is even more lined up including demo's on grey water systems, solar and wind power, eco-building, growing your own food and my personal favourite - compost toilets (using a compost loo for two weeks is definitely not an experience you forget!).

Water saving shower heads, making biodiesel from cooking oil, eco-awareness raising cinema, puppet edutainment for kids and music courtesy of Jamie Jupiter are some of the things you can look forward to. Here for more details.

The Green Faire will be held outside the Hout Bay Community Cultural Centre, (the old Bowling Club) adjacent to Hout Bay common and market on Baviaanskloof and Main Rds. Adults R20, kids under 10 free, Gates open from 9am to 6pm. This ‘Faire’ is a fundraising and awareness raising event, held in the spirit of community.

More info here

what makes a green building?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2008-09-01 10:08

A green building is energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible…

Calling a building green in SA, up until now, has been taken more or less at face value; those with a little bit of savvy are able to scrutinise the details more closely, but most people just have to take the developer's word for it. Not a great rating system.

But the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA) developed a rating tool for public comment on their website – Today is the last day for comment and the end of the pilot period of the rating tool. The GBCSA really want individuals and organisations to comment and will be using the feedback to influence any changes they make to the tool. Called the Green Star SA – office rating tool, it’s for use by new office construction projects and base building refurbishments. But when is a building considered green...

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moshoeshoe eco village – it’s the real thing

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2008-07-21 12:13

Moments like these make me realise I live in a bubble (this theory isn’t new to me, don’t worry, I’ve not had an epiphany, merely a moment!). Either that, or the Hull Street integrated housing project – a bona fide government eco project that uses all the alternative energy technologies available to us, built as far back as 2003, wasn’t given the press it deserved.

The Hull Street eco village, in the township of Galeshewe in Kimberley took the line ‘people have to live here’ very seriously, when it came to designing a housing project. Okay, it did receive Swedish funding, but this is an incredibly exciting project that could be in practice throughout SA!

Rather than the conventional low-cost housing that we see going up in a

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