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Eco Design – Architects & Consultants is an architectural practice specialising in ecological friendly natural building and consulting. Established in 1998 by Andy Horn, the practice has been at the forefront of the green building movement in South Africa and has won a number of international awards in the field of ecological design.

Eco Design’s cutting edge regenerative design solutions have been widely published both locally and internationally and have earned them among other awards the 2004 Sustainable Building Best Practice award for Residential Projects in the Africa Region and the Silver Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction in Africa and the Middle East 2005.

Clayfest 2020

Traditionally straw bale construction involves plastering the walls once the bales have been erected into place. In more developed countries the plasters are often sprayed on. This requires machinery and skills that are scare in developing economies like South African. So both from an ecological perspective, as well as from the need to create local employment opportunities and build self-reliance, labour based plastering methods are preferred. However, plastering onto a straw surface can be very time consuming and the results often far from satisfactory, where the walls still sound hollow and require lots of mesh reinforcing to first stiffen up the surfaces.

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| Click here to Read the article by Garden and Home |


| Click here to Listen to Podcast |

Is Concrete Overrated?

Have a look at the video interview with Andy Horn that was done for a talk he had given at the 2014 Cape Construction Expo entitled “BEYOND SUSTAINABILILITY – Regenerative Design and the Transition Towards a Post Carbon Architecture???

Jeffereys Bay Wind Farm Visitors Centre

Towards the end of 2015 Eco Design Architects & Consultants took part in a limited design competition for the design of a visitors center for the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

Our design concept focused on the use of local recycled and natural building materials with rammed earth walls on plinths of urbanite (recycled concrete slabs and rubble laid like random sotnework). The roof structure proposed would be made from local timber poles and timber with reed ceilings insulated with wool and a planted roof.

Located next to an existing filling staion, the site is within sight of both the N2 highway and some of the neighbouring wind farm's 100m tall wind turbines,  The entire design was inspired by the stong prevailing westward winds that sweep accross the barren site. So the planted roofs sweep up off out of the earth to throw the stong prevailing winds over the roof thus creating wind free entrance space, facing the large existing car park. these great 2 strong forms that are linked by a wind tower that is desiged to grive the entire ventialtion system of centre. With the buildngs located in the one corner of the parking area, there aree 2 arms that extend out to embrace each side of the parking lot. The one would have a series of soalr car ports, while the other would have a series if outside exhibit panels hung off a giant turbine blade, that had been damaged on way to site. The idea was that the panels would be positioned so as to divert the prevailing winds so that the views could get out the winds. The idea was that he entire exhibit was kinetic and so each panel can rotate 180 degrees on the odd occasion that the wind prevailing westerly winds swap over to an easterly wind and the viewers would then swap over to walking on the other side of the panels to continue viewing the panels out of the winds.

By making extensive use local natural and recycled building materials the idea was reducing the environmental impacts of building while empowering the local community with skills development through a series of training workshops. The idea was that the gardens around the centre would feature a variety of wind sculptures and renewable energy showcases made by local artists.

Please Click Here for more information about this wind farm.



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Nieuwoudtville Award

Eco Design Architects was awarded the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction 2005 & took silver in the Africa and Middle East Region for their designs for the Nieuwoudtville Caravan Site Upgrade

Click here for more info on the award.


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"E-WIRE" lights by Andy Horn

The Eco Design lighting range is made from local or recycled materials. Standing Floor Lamps, Desk Lamps, Pendant Lights and Chandeliers are available. The lamp stands are from locally moon phase harvested alien timber. Recycled car parts are used as bases. Various paper shades & low energy LED light bulbs provide good lighting and create a beautiful atmosphere.

Click here for more info & prices.




Eco Design is also specialized in dome construction. A couple of dome structures have been built. Click below to view images

Project 1

Project 2

We offer a number of construction & info manuals on our website on natural building technologies which specifically refer to the South African context. The info manual "A LIME DUNG PLASTER RECIPE" has recently been added to the collection.   Click here for more information.

All our manuals are also now available as E-Book downloads. Click here for the E-Books.