We have a passion for the environment, and understand that it is fundamental to our harmonious existence on the planet. Even more importantly, we recognize the gravity of taking responsibility for the environment today, and seek to inform our clients of proven environmentally friendly solutions, in the hope that they too may take responsibility and allow future generations to enjoy the fruits of their commitment – to quote an old friend: “Being a good ancestor is about being environmentally responsible.” We serve on the Plettenberg Bay Community Environmental Forum and participate in, and offer our services to the forum, which testifies to our commitment to this critically important cause.
No matter whether it is an entire development or single residential unit, we seek to inform our clients directly, or through their architects, that it makes perfect sense to do the best we can in applying sound green technologies and principles.
Engineers are notoriously environmentally insensitive, and we strive to make good this imbalance of the past, by our approach to projects, and by constantly updating ourselves on new developments in the renewable energy and other environmentally significant fields.
- Water: We support the collection and storage of rain water, stormwater run-off and the use thereof to irrigate where indigenous plants are not planted, to use for basic outdoor washing and cleaning, topping up and filling of swimming pools etc. This reduces the demand on the municipal supply, saving on expansion thereof by more efficient use of current facilities, together with the reduction in use of other non-renewable resources (electricity, fossil fuels, building & construction materials etc.) Indigenous plants are the most efficient in terms of water demand, and are surprisingly drought-resistant.
- Refuse: We promote recycling and re-use of refuse, thereby reducing the need for dealing with refuse at great environmental and financial costs. Household recycling and re-use can potentially reduce refuse volumes by as much as 70-80%, but require complete buy-in from the local authority and importantly, from all citizens. Most interestingly, the highest per capita production of refuse rests with the more affluent residential areas of Plettenberg Bay.
- Electricity: We support the use of renewable energy, primarily in the form of water heating, utilizing the basic solar panel and geyser, and heat pumps. We recommend the use of energy efficient lighting such as LED’s and compact fluorescents, but with particular attention being paid to responsible and safe disposal of spent units. Many upmarket houses place high demands on the electricity supply, and we recommend load-shedding within such households. This entails the lowering of demand by automated switching off of non-essential appliances and equipment while there is high demand from others within the household.
- General Energy Efficiency: Simple measures such as ceiling void insulation, circulation of ceiling void warm air during the winter months, correct orientation of buildings to exploit natural energy from the sun, shading of windows and glass to infuse winter sun, but shade from the harsh summer sun etc. are some of the ways we can become less demanding on energy resources, with the resulting benefits to our environment.
We subscribe to the quotation attributed to Albert Einstein, which so succinctly embraces every aspect of our existence:
“Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive!”