Pole Construction using Ecological timber preservation methods


  • Poles have been used in construction for millennia.
  • Generally timber poles are a readily available renewable natural resource that can be found across the country.
  • Timber poles are a very low embodied energy structural material and as with all timber, act as act as a sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
  • Poles can be coppiced and will re-grow in a few years, depending on the species.
  • Most of the exotic “alien” tree species are highly suitable for construction purposes. Rather than being considered as a rapidly renewable resource, the use of which helps sequestrate carbon from the atmosphere, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry through it’s “Working for Water” programme treat this resource as unwanted pest to be cut down and poisoned with Glyphosate.


  • There is a high level of skills available as pole technology is widely used, both in the informal and formal construction sectors.
  • Pole harvesting and treatment not only creates local jobs but also assists in the attempt to get rid of invasive aliens. Therefore the resource is sustainable and assists in the local environment / community upliftment and empowerment.
  • With boron treatment, poles can be treated and used while still wet, unlike sawn timbers.
  • Assists with the creation of non-toxic building interiors.
  • Sparing environmental damage caused by common chemical insecticide based preservatives
  • Can cure the timber with its bark on when moon phase harvesting thus the timber can be left in the forest without fear of insect attach & ultimately be transported out of once already cured & of much lighter weight

Technical Information:

  • Poles are 2½ times stronger than sawn timber per unit volume.
  • Timber poles require a minimum of processing and can be treated on-site with non-toxic treatment methods such as clear boron based treatments.
  • Otherwise zero cost bio-dynamic moon-phase harvesting techniques & aging with branches, where trees are cut in the hibernating autumn phases, 72 hours preceding any of the new moons between autumn equinox & winter solstice, where the nutrient rich sap of the trees are at its lowest levels. As many of the trees branched are left on the tree as is practical & the cut stem is propped up such that it is higher than the crown of the feeling tree. .
  • Poles generally grow quickly & can be harvested in 2 – 5 years.

Company Track record/examples of work:

  • House Klipspringer, Wild Rivers Estate, Hoedspruit, Mpumalanga 2020-2021
  • House Olivier, Kromme Valley Farm Clan William, 2019
  • Alterations & Additions to House Bezuidenhout - Pinelands, Cape Town, 2012- 2013
  • House Ashmole – Stellenbosch 2009 - 2010
  • Mamre Heritage Revitalization Project – Phase II & III, Cape Province, 2008-10
  • House Morris, Barrydale, the Karoo, 2008
  • House Alblas – McGreggor, Western Cape, 2007
  • House Samner Ivey – Hout Bay, Cape Town,  2007
  • House Sidler - Sunset Beach Cape Town, 2006
  • Upgrade of Nieuwoudtville Caravan Park, Namaqualand 2004-2007– Won Silver 2005 in the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction in the Africa & Middle East region.
  • House McConnel - Betty’s Bay, Western Cape, 2005
  • House Brodie – Scarbourgh, Cape Peninsular 2004
  • Community Educare Centre for Flower Valley Conservation Trust, Gansbaai, Western Cape, 2002
  • Mud Gallery - R62 Barrydale, the Karoo, 2001
  • The Backpack & Africa Travel Centre – Tamboerskloof, Cape Town 2001
  • House Patience – Greyton, Western Cape, 2002
  • House Salters – Teslaarsdal, Western Cape, 1999.
  • House Prinsloo - Elands Bay, West Coast,1998.
  • Alliance Francaise Cultural Centre – Cape Town 1997 (Project Architect for ACG Architects)