Experience Ekubo’s first ‘Green’ home
Welcome to Socoro’s first house, our ‘show house’ at Ekubo Coastal Estate. Comprising 350 square metres this architectural gem was designed by Durban architect Jimmy Velissariou to fit onto stand 1585, one of the most densely treed stands at Ekubo.
With some masterful planning Jimmy managed to position the house with a minimum loss of natural vegetation resulting in a house surrounded by some of the oldest trees on the estate. Master builder Simon Papenfus was left the task of turning the architectural drawing into brick and mortar, a task he performed with perfection.
The general layout of the house is unusual in that the four en-suite bedrooms together with the pool room are downstairs leaving the entire top story as an entertainment area comprising kitchen, dining room and lounge with stack doors leading seamlessly to two balconies, the larger of which is covered and is equipped with a stainless steel built-in barbeque. Over and above the sea view from the top story there is a view over a large tract of natural vegetation, creating the impression of one of the largest “gardens” on the estate!
Your four week share in this dream home comes at an attractive and affordable R 440 000 on the easiest of terms!
In return for your investment you get:
- A four bedroom en-suite Bali style house with a sea view
- A tastefully furnished luxury interior
- Pool room and swimming pool
- Four seater golf cart for beach access
- Recreation Club Membership. The club offers tennis, squash, a gym and swimming pool
- State of the art security in an estate with a fully developed infrastructure
House 1585 is Ekubo’s first ‘Green’ home
You've probably noticed that green is everywhere these days. The good news is that as individual’s we have the power to control most of our choices and the way we do things to lessen our impact on the earth. But embracing a greener lifestyle isn't just about helping to preserve equatorial rain forests and such, it can also mean improving the way we build our homes and what we use in them. Green building is on the rise and Ekubo is keeping up with the times with their first ever ‘Green’ House and no not the kind that you grow plants in! We spoke to builder Simon Papenfus…. to find out what exactly a ‘Green’ home is and what goes into designing and building one.
What is a ‘Green’ home?
Basically it’s a home designed to be environmentally friendly, including energy and water efficiency by reducing building impact on human health and the environment through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance and removal — the complete building lifecycle.
Is the process of building the actual house ‘green’ as well or is it just the elements such as solar panels etc that go into the house that are green?
No. The design of the house is very important to make the other elements such a solar panels (photo voltaic panels) more efficient. Below are some of the things we implement when designing a ‘Green’ home.
- Orientation of the home. The longest side of your house must face north, as the northern side of your house receives the most sun. Windows should be shaded in summer when the sun is high, while allowing the sun’s rays through the windows in winter when the angle of the sun is low.
- A skylight in the roof allows natural light into the house on sunny days and eliminates the use of artificial lighting.
- Natural materials (stone, timber, thatch and clay), are most suited to keeping the home cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Floors made out of brick or concrete maintain comfortable temperatures in your house as they are good at absorbing heat during the day and releasing this slowly at night
- A ceiling and insulation in a small house can reduce your energy requirements by as much as 124 kWh a month – saving roughly R50,00/month.
What other elements such as above are found in the house that make it essentially green?
To name a few:
- Insulation. This is very important. You need to insulate the roof area of a ‘Green’ house to prevent heat loss in winter and to keep the living areas warm in winter. To heat or cool a home needs a lot of electrical energy. That costs money and burns fossil fuels, which is harming our environment.
- Reduce your energy needs by only using LED lighting. They use less than 10% of the energy of incandescent lighting.
- Use a heat pump for water heating. It only needs to run for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening to heat sufficient hot water for a large family home and it uses 850 watts of electrical power for 4 hours out of 24. (Electrical geysers use 3 kw for 24 hours!)
- Use instant hot water geysers in your kitchen area where you need hot water for washing dishes etc. They use minute amounts of energy as they only switch the element on for the few seconds that the tap is open and running.
- Only buy Energy Efficient A++ appliances to reduce your energy needs. An energy efficient Fridge/Freezer needs only 160 watt of energy. Old style fridges use 750 to 1000 watt running 24 hours a day!
- Use a energy efficient pool pump. They use 75% less than standard pool pumps.
Now that you have reduced your energy needs by about 80% it is now possible to produce your own electrical power by using photo voltaic solar panels. This system uses the sun's rays to produce free, clean and sustainable energy. It also rids you of your monthly energy bill! (Do not confuse photo voltaic solar panels with solar water heating panels.( Solar water heating panels are just heat accumulators and do not produce electrical current) They are also a better way to heat water than an electrical geyser but also needs an electrical element to assist with heat loss in winter
How much people will save in the long-run by building a green house?
The average monthly energy bill of a medium family home varies between R1200 and up to R2500 per month. By going "green" you could reduce your energy needs by up to 80% with a "grid tie" solar energy system or become totally energy independent by installing a large enough system to go totally off the "grid"! These systems cost between R70 000 to R150 000. An interesting fact is that what you are going to spend over the next five years on your monthly energy bill with an escalation of 8% (+/- R145 000) is the same amount you need to install a solar energy system to make you totally energy independent. In other words, you spend that amount now to install your solar system and never ever pay an energy bill again!
Tell us about ‘Green’ gardens?
It is possible to have a lush garden with a vegetable section that can be watered by collecting and storing your own rainwater. We live in a country with enough rainfall to harvest large amounts of water. This can be used for watering your garden or to become self-sufficient. In new dwellings, large water tanks or reservoirs can be built either underground or in basement areas. By installing a pressure pump system with filters and UV protection, water of a much greater quality can become available for all your home needs.