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Eco Design – Architects & Consultants is an architectural practice which specializes in regenerative design, 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 regenerative design.
The practice has worked on a wide range of projects and consulting jobs across the country and abroad to a broad range of clients.

Clients have included:
  • Namaqua National Park
  • Conservation International – tourism charettes
  • WESSA-Natal funded by Mondi Forests
  • International Fauna and Flora Department
  • Eskom- Demand Side Management
  • National Water Saving Campaign
  • SA Heritage Resource Agency
  • Hantam Municipality
  • East Coast Architects with Oprah’s Angel Network
  • Overstrand Municipality – under Andrew Greef Architects
  • City of Cape Town – Heritage Dept.
  • Mandela Rhodes Foundation
  • Village & Life – Camps Bay Retreat

Over the years we have built up an extensive resource base of knowledge in this field, which can add enormous value to projects.

Typical benefits of green buildings are:

  • Reduced operational costs
  • Community involvement and benefit to local economies
  • Healthy buildings
  • Higher occupancy rates
  • Improved productivity of work spaces
  • Better sales with retail
  • Improved learner-ship in education
  • Lower environmental impacts
  • Improved marketability
  • Regenerative by design

In 1995 Andy Horn graduated from the University of Cape Town and has built up experience in the field of ecological design. While encompassing an holistic vision, his special focus has always been on the use of local, natural, non-toxic and recycled materials such as stone, clay, sand, straw, reeds, thatch, cob, compressed earth, bottles, poles etc.

In 1998, he founded Eco Design out of a life-long concern for the rapidly degrading natural environment and widening social inequalities.

Eco Design’s first commission as an independent practice was to rebuild an old langhuis for actress Sandra Prinsloo. The project used straw bale infill construction techniques which set the tone for much of Eco Design’s subsequent work which has afforded us the opportunity to continue to explore and refine the use of natural and local materials.

With many of the older buildings built using local, natural materials, Eco Design’s experience has also lead to some historical restoration work, including several reports for the South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA).

The use of natural, local materials lends itself to community participation and Eco Design has had a modus to support community development and help people to gain access to good quality housing with minimal means. Eco Design has held numerous on site workshops to train unskilled labour and owner builders.

Education has formed an integral part of the practice, whilst Eco Design is continually updating knowledge through research in the field. Andy Horn has lectured widely at conferences and has held a part time environmental lecturing post at UCT’s department of Architecture. Eco Design staff are encouraged to enrich their knowledge and skills in the environmental field

In addition to being an architectural practice, Eco design has consulted to a wide range of clients including inter alia the Department of Water Affairs, Eskom, Conservation International SA, The South African National Parks Board, International Fauna and Flora, Hantam Municipality, and Mondi Timbers.

Eco Design’s cutting edge regenerative solutions have been widely published both locally and internationally and have earned them 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.



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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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.