Johannesburg Eco City
Ivory Park, Midrand, South Africa
An Eco-village is a development model aimed specifically at sustainability. It comprises residential, commercial, community facilities, educational, agricultural, ecological and cultural components, all within a very tight knit and integrated urban design, in this case, Ivory Park.
A major destination during the World Summit, the project was considered a great success, and continues to thrive today. There is no electricity on site.
The project was a poverty alleviation project; all labour was unskilled people from the community. The project had to use the simplest innovative technologies to achieve a robust series of buildings that could cope with tough performance demands. Some walls were clad in blocks made of crumbed waste polystyrene set into building blocks with a cement slurry. Local existing concrete block makers were used to supply the remaining building blocks.
The community hall caters for 30 people up to 8 hours on a hot summer’s day; buried earth pipes provide fresh air at 17°C all year round. The building is buried to further stabilise internal temperatures. A solar lantern provides heat in winter; and is a solar powered and wind assisted vent in summer. The office component is super-insulated with zero energy solar air heaters that can also drive a summer cooling ventilation.