A house with a unique thatch roof design, to allow maximum daylight into all the rooms, was built on a game farm in the bushveld. The house is orientated due north with large windows to connect interior and exterior spaces. Large roof overhangs protect the rooms from summer sun but allow winter sun to penetrate into the bedrooms and living areas. Passive heating and cooling principals controls the thermal conditions in the house. The louvres in the clearstory window in the living area can be opened to aid natural ventilation.
Hot water is generated from a self-designed solar system with black HDPE water pipes on a timber structure on the northern side of the house. This system is linked with insulated pipes to two insulated storage vessels located inside the house close to the bathrooms. Enough solar hot water is stored for two sessions per day. When the water temperature in the solar pipes rises to 3°C above the temperature of the water in the vessels, an electrical pump circulates the water until the temperature in vessels and the pipes is equal. The maximum recorded water temperature in summer is 52°C and the lowest recorded temperature in winter is 27°C. The electrical elements in the vessels are manually operated to raise the water temperature if required. The result is that very little electricity is used to heat water.
All light fittings are specially designed with low energy tubes and globes.