Green Buildings In Africa That Should Be Getting More Attention

Green Buildings In Africa That Should Be Getting More Attention

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Living green and being environmentally conscious takes a real commitment and can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Companies that build green get a lot of free publicity. African developers are not shy of developing innovative ideas to make their buildings greener, even though the investment can cost more up front than traditional construction costs. From buildings that harvest rainwater to homes made with sandbags, here are some green buildings in Africa that should be getting more attention.

Sources: Ecosteps.co.za, Gbcsa.org.za, Wikipedia.org, greenbuildingafrica.co.za


1. Vodafone Site Solutions Innovation Centre -Midrand, South Africa

Voted the greenest building in Africa in 2011, the entire building is completely run on solar energy and has solar absorption chillers to control room temperature. Rainwater is harvested from the roof to supply water for toilets and for irrigating the  garden. The building is surrounded by glass to provide natural light, allowing visitors to feel more comfortable indoors.

Source: SACommercialPropNews.

floating school

2. Makoko Floating School – Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos is home to a large community of people who live on the water with few resources. Mokoko Floating School — a school built on a river — opened in 2013, allowing many children living in floating homes to access proper education. The school is made from recycled materials. It collects natural rainwater, and uses solar-powered roof panels for energy for the building.

Source: NLE

inno native house

3. Inno-native Houses – Ghana

Inno-vative homes are a new concept of affordable, eco-friendly houses for natives of Ghana. Every house is complete with solar-power energy to revitalize appliances and lighting. The goal is to kill two birds with one stone, by helping the environment and ending poverty, one house at a time.

Source: Innovativehomes-africa


4. Zarafa Lodge – Botswana

This luxury Botswana camping lodge uses solar energy to provide electricity. Everything inside the lodge is made with recycled parts and wood.

Source: LuxurySafariCamps


5. Karoo Wilderness Centre – Karoo, South Africa

Recognizable by its bowl-shaped roof, this building is not only designed to be eco-friendly but forces visitors to learn a thing or two about being environmentally conscious. Every visitor takes a tour throughout the building to learn what the builders did to be greener. Known mainly for harvesting rainwater, this center could be a model for other buildings to harvest their own water.

Source: Inhabitat

hotel verde

6. Hotel Verde – Cape Town, South Africa

This hotel is the first in Africa to provide carbon-neutral accommodation with a goal of zero carbon footprint. When hotel owners Mario and Annemarie Delicio wanted to build South Africa’s greenest hotel, they sought every way possible to make this happen. Rainwater is collected and the pool functions as an eco-system, providing nutrients to living plants and organism. The hotel has an interior living wall display of plants that receive natural sunlight from skylights, allowing visitors to enjoy living plants indoors. And these are just a fraction of many eco-friendly perks at this hotel.

Source: Hotel Verde


7. Nedbank Office – South Africa

This bank is the first building in South Africa to receive a 4-Green Star rating. Made almost entirely from recycled materials, the building has a strict policy on recycling waste. Every light bulb is energy efficient and many offices in the bank are purposely designed with lots of windows to let in natural light.

Source: Nedbank

eastgate centre

8. Eastgate Centre – Harare, Zimbabwe

This shopping center is largely composed of glass walls to control the temperature and provide natural light. This building was designed to be ventilated by natural means including passive cooling and recycling air systems.

Source: Inhabitat

mombo camp

9. Mombo Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana

A building at this game reserve is made of recycled woods and uses 100-percent solar energy. The food is all locally sourced, and because that wasn’t eco-friendly enough for its owners, they get involved with Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project to protect endangered rhinos in the area.

Source: Mombo

sand bag house

10. Sandbag Houses – South Africa

Sandbags by Eco-Beam are an environmentally friendly way to use natural resources without cutting down trees. They’re also an affordable way to build houses, costing approximately 30-to-40 percent less than the average house. Eco-Beam Sandbag houses are reportedly good at stabilizing temperatures. They allow air to pas through the seams of the bags. Because sandbags are heavy, the houses are pretty stable. You can find sandbag buildings scattered throughout South Africa including the Pavilion on Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Source: Ecosteps