The diagram below represents Eco Design’s qualitative framework; where sustainability is understood to simply be a neutral position, being an inflection point between degenerative and regenerative design systems.
The philosophy at Eco Design is to move increasingly toward regenerative designs & materials, where through more conscious design choices, one is able to move away from degenerative dislocated systems and processes that pollute, deplete and drain the earth and its inhabitants. Thus the idea is to rather create beautiful buildings made of benign materials that incorporate cyclical processes, which assist in connecting mind, body and spirit with the inherent nurturing and healing, life-giving forces of local community and the planet at large:


*Note: The Manifesto for Green Architecture, written by A.R. Horn, was first presented in 1998 at South Africa’s first conference of “Sustainability in the Built Environment??? and forms part of Earthlife Africa’s web site known as the Green Living and Development or GLAD files @ www.earthlife.org.za. You can download a text only version of the Manifesto by following this link: MANIFESTO FOR GREEN ARCHITECTURE. Or get the illustrated version in our ONLINE SHOP

Written by A. R. Horn

B.A.S. (UCT), B. Arch. (UCT), Pr. Arch (SACAP), MIA, CIA

Taking into consideration our global and local environment has become of paramount importance. ECO DESIGN is a practice that endeavours to create a greener architecture.

But what is green architecture? Green architecture is not a style, trend or a vernacular. Neither is it new. It is a climatically, geographically and culturally appropriate method of designing architecture and constructing buildings. It combines the best of both old and new technology. Green Architecture treads lightly on this planet and respects and cares for the Earth in a sustainable manner. The key benefits are:



  • Reduced operating-costs for buildings and their landscapes.


  • Improved occupancy rates.


  • Improved health and productivity for building inhabitants.


  • Higher property values.


  • Low environmental impact.


  • Sustainable development.


In our MANIFESTO FOR GREEN ARCHITECTURE the following 6 broad principles for a greener approach to architecture are proposed:


Promoting social, economic & cultural upliftment.


Use that is respectful and in symbiosis with the local environment and its resources.


The protection, conservation, efficiency and re-use of water.


The conservation, efficiency, and renewable use of energy.


Non-polluting environments and healthy materials.


Holistic, Intrinsically Recyclable, Restorative and Regenerative


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.