An architect with a profound appreciation for nature, Andy Horn established his practice in 1998, Eco Design – Architects and Consultants. Sustainable design is key to his work and the studio has led the way for the Green Building Movement in the South Africa and it has received a number of international sustainable building awards. We were lucky to meet him at his studio in Cape Town.
“Things in nature are cyclical and we must build in holistic ways, using natural resources in harmony with nature; water should be harvested from the rain, used efficiently and recycled. Energy should come from the sun. Structures should be built with non-toxic or moon phase harvested timber or bamboo rather than steel and concrete. Walls can be made with natural and recycled materials like, earth block, cob, rammed earth, stone, urbanite, straw bale, hemp-lime, sandbag and timber. Roofing insulation can come from nature where roofs are planted and insulated with healthy natural materials like wool, cork or recycled paper. Finishes should be non-toxic; like healthy breathing natural plasters, and zero V.O.C paints. “
There are different shades of green and you can do your bit, starting at home with energy efficient appliances and LED lights moving on to more renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and biogas, we need to look at energy saving as an investment over time rather than simply the up-front cost. Conscious design means being aware of where resources come from so that we can shift our building industry towards more post-carbon based types of construction.
“What makes me do what I do? I couldn’t do it any other way; once your eyes are open they’re open, and I can’t stand by and not act on one’s convictions. Also, it’s a great field to be in, you meet interesting people, get to work on amazing projects and you have to be extra creative.”
Get in touch with Andy Horn by visiting his website and find out more about past and current projects and the principles inspiring his work.