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

In this day and age, the concept of green building has become heavily commercialized and is not enough to move us beyond systems that are inherently degenerative. Sustainability is an inflection point between a degenerative and a regenerative system. It is simply a neutral position. So for us as a design practice, the challenge is to move beyond sustainability towards systems of regenerative design:


*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 @ 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