A benchmark that could be used to gauge the ‘shades of green’ that Stand 47 embodies, is that set up by the Green Building Council of South Africa. As stated in their website “The green building movement addresses what are becoming the major issues of our time: excess energy consumption and the related CO2 emissions from burning carbon fuels; the pollution of air, water and land; the depletion of natural resources; and the disposal of waste. Green buildings have lower operating costs, are more efficient, future-proof, provide a higher rate of return and have been shown to promote wellness, healing and productivity.” Using the Green Star rating tools (Multi-unit Residential, Public & Educational, Office, Retail and more recently, Existing Building Performance PILOT, Interiors PILOT and Socio-economic Category PILOT), buildings can be assessed, achieving the maximum rating of 6 stars either during design phase or after completion.
On site, construction progresses as weather conditions allow; the retaining walls continued to be clad with stone obtained from a local quarry while the ETICS walls are going up at a steady pace.
Interior space – the clerestory window frames the trees & the overhang
Stone clad walls
These regulations are usually in the form of title deeds, zoning as well as the National Building Regulations. Broadly speaking, a title deed, stipulates the ownership of a property, and includes the rights and obligations that pertain to the property. Land-use and zoning is decided by the municipality’s town planning departments and controls the heights, coverage and setbacks a building must adhere to, as well as its functions (eg. residential, commercial or a mix of uses). Thirdly, the National Building Regulation (NBR) maintain the standard and quality of construction (and hence the built environment) in South Africa. It is in the pursuit of quality and excellent, that the building regulations are a benefit: since all properties should by law conform to these regulations, the collective value of our built environment improves.
New building regulations overview
For the purposes of building a home, the building regulations consist of a number of parts that together comprise SANS 10400. These include (among others) regulations for dimensions, structural design, public safety, excavations, foundations, floors, walls, roofs, accessibility and fire safety.
In the last few years, the SABS have responded to the growing pressure from development on limited environmental resources by adding new part, SANS 10400-XA, which are the deemed-to-satisfy rules that deal with energy usage in the home as well as SANS 204 which are the guidelines that look at how to achieve energy efficiency. This is done through passive design strategies including orientation towards north, window sizing and positioning, shading, materials (thermal and insulation properties), solar heating, natural cooling and daylighting.
Summary of a few key areas of SANS 10400-XA:
- Windows – the total fenestration area cannot exceed 15% of the floor area unless the design can accommodate alternatives that demonstrate that heat will not be lost. This could for example be through the glazing specification, materials, insulation, or roof overhangs, which is the case in Stand 47.
- Roofs – The minimum R-Value of an assembled roof structure is roughly R3.7 depending on the climatic zone. There is a substantial difference between the roof structure and cladding, meaning that insulation like Saint-Gobain’s aerolite, become necessary.
- Walls – Non-masonry walls like the ETICS walls being used at Stand 47, must achieve a minimum total R-Value of R2,2 or R1.9 depending on the climatic zones. The ETICS Wall system from Saint-Gobain has an astounding R3.76 R-Value.
- Artificial lighting – Plans must now specify light levels, energy demand and energy consumption in the lighting plans. Stand 47 have specified low energy bulbs throughout the house, and using their electrical consumption calculations have specified Photovoltaic panels to run the household, supplemented by grid-electricity when necessary.
- Geysers – 50% of all hot water in new builds must be sourced from alternative energy, not grid-electricity. Therefore, hot water must be supplied by either solar water heating systems, natural gas or alternatively a heat-pump. In Stand 47, gas and heat-pump options were explored.
Etics walls – a close-up gallery of photos
Roof structure + cladding
How does it work?
Striving for excellence
Did you know?
- To properly insulate a ceiling and geyser system in a typical home costs less than 1% of the total per square-metre building costs and positively influences 63% of the electrical consumption, therefore reducing energy bills considerably.
- By installing insulation, the building’s thermal comfort is improved not only in winter by reducing the energy consumed for heating, but also in summer for cooling.
- Insulation also provides acoustic comfort and reduces noise transmission.
- Insulating hot water pipes can save up to 37% of the energy used by the geyser system, offering a payback period within 6 months.