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ESTATE LIVING
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212 Upper Buitengracht
Bo Kaap, Cape Town, 8001

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Jaime-Lee Gardner
jaime@estate-living.co.za
072 171 1979

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Louise Martin
louise@estate-living.co.za
073 335 4084

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A recent report by FNB points to the prospect of slowdown in building growth, with fresh data from StatsSA supporting its insights.

Slow going for building growth

3 min read A recent report by FNB points to the prospect of slowdown in building growth, with fresh data from StatsSA supporting its insights.

In a bid to reduce energy costs, the UK government last month, announced that it has scrapped VAT on energy-saving materials like solar panels, insulation, and heat pumps for the next five years. Could something similar work in South Africa?

Will tax cuts create more ‘greener’ developments

3 min read In a bid to reduce energy costs, the UK government last month, announced that it has scrapped VAT on energy-saving materials like solar panels, insulation, and heat pumps for the next five years. Could something similar work in South Africa?

There is a substantial hike – from 39% in 2019 to 43% in 2021 – in the number of homeowners leaving Gauteng.

The Gauteng exodus in perspective

3 min read There is a substantial hike – from 39% in 2019 to 43% in 2021 – in the number of homeowners leaving Gauteng.

Research released by Lightstone Property during the pandemic shows that, over a five-year period (between 2015 and 2020), single female first-time property buyers have outnumbered male buyers, as well as married couples.

How to attract the female property buyer

3 min read Research released by Lightstone Property during the pandemic shows that, over a five-year period (between 2015 and 2020), single female first-time property buyers have outnumbered male buyers, as well as married couples.

Unconventional towns have suddenly become cool. Young buyers are finding properties in non-metro towns financially attractive. They want to take advantage of lower prices and enjoy the medium- to long-term growth that investing in property in these towns brings. What’s more, they’re also keen to benefit from the lifestyle that’s on offer – clean air, country living and a laid-back lifestyle.

The growth of the small town

3 min read Unconventional towns have suddenly become cool. Young buyers are finding properties in non-metro towns financially attractive. They want to take advantage of lower prices and enjoy the medium- to long-term growth that investing in property in these towns brings. What’s more, they’re also keen to benefit from the lifestyle that’s on offer – clean air, country living and a laid-back lifestyle.

Out of home (OOH) advertising (also referred to as outdoor advertising) is advertising that consumers may come across outside of their home. It includes billboards, posters and wallscapes.

How will residential communities be affected by future corporate branding

3 min read Out of home (OOH) advertising (also referred to as outdoor advertising) is advertising that consumers may come across outside of their home. It includes billboards, posters and wallscapes.

Now that COVID-19 has changed in status from a pandemic to an endemic, many are reflecting on how they coped financially and spiritually when the disease was at its worst.

Four Ways St Francis Links Overcame The Challenges Of Covid-19

3 min read Now that COVID-19 has changed in status from a pandemic to an endemic, many are reflecting on how they coped financially and spiritually when the disease was at its worst.

Walking through Xanadu Nature Estate and meeting its residents, you quickly realise that it has become the ideal ‘work-from-home’ location. This is not because residents working in Johannesburg and Pretoria are choosing not to make the 45-minute drive to the city, but rather because families are relocating from other parts of South Africa, like Cape Town and Durban, to create their home in Xanadu Nature Estate.

Xanadu Nature Estate – The Ultimate Haven For Nature Lovers

3 min read Walking through Xanadu Nature Estate and meeting its residents, you quickly realise that it has become the ideal ‘work-from-home’ location. This is not because residents working in Johannesburg and Pretoria are choosing not to make the 45-minute drive to the city, but rather because families are relocating from other parts of South Africa, like Cape Town and Durban, to create their home in Xanadu Nature Estate.

Dancing on the fringes of Hillcrest in KwaZulu-Natal, Cotswold Downs is the place to enjoy gorgeous views of the rolling hills and indigenous forest, world-class golfing, spectacular birdlife, and free-roaming antelope – all from the comfort of your home.

Cotswold Downs – Where Even The Greens Are Greener!

3 min read Dancing on the fringes of Hillcrest in KwaZulu-Natal, Cotswold Downs is the place to enjoy gorgeous views of the rolling hills and indigenous forest, world-class golfing, spectacular birdlife, and free-roaming antelope – all from the comfort of your home.

Did you know that someone is defrauded online every 32 seconds? According to Sharon Knowles from Da Vinci Forensics, residential estates are prime pickings for scammers.  

5 Ways to protect a residential estate from fraudsters

3 min read Did you know that someone is defrauded online every 32 seconds? According to Sharon Knowles from Da Vinci Forensics, residential estates are prime pickings for scammers.  

Survival of our planet lies in alternatives to conventional energy generation, which relies on coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear technology. But when focussing on property developers, what proportion seriously considers solar power and other renewable energy sources as prevailing standard?

Self-generated Electricity 101

3 min read Survival of our planet lies in alternatives to conventional energy generation, which relies on coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear technology. But when focussing on property developers, what proportion seriously considers solar power and other renewable energy sources as prevailing standard?

They may be small, but they are the solution to the demand for more accommodation in tight spaces, particularly within city CBDs (central business districts). There are many names for them including ‘tiny homes’, ‘apodments’, ‘micro units’, ‘micro flats’, ‘nano units’ and so on.

Are high density apartments a good investment idea?

3 min read They may be small, but they are the solution to the demand for more accommodation in tight spaces, particularly within city CBDs (central business districts). There are many names for them including ‘tiny homes’, ‘apodments’, ‘micro units’, ‘micro flats’, ‘nano units’ and so on.

Female representation in the property sector is a multifaceted topic, as the property sector consists of many moving parts that revolve around the life cycle of a property – from the concept and architectural designs all the way to the delivery of the property, property sales, property management, and the services required to run and maintain a property.

All’s fair in property – or is it?

3 min read Female representation in the property sector is a multifaceted topic, as the property sector consists of many moving parts that revolve around the life cycle of a property – from the concept and architectural designs all the way to the delivery of the property, property sales, property management, and the services required to run and maintain a property.

The new South Africa was in its infancy when Golf Digest magazine started ranking the country’s best courses back in 1998. Adjudicators strive to rate candidates objectively, enabling a panel of knowledgeable reviewers to democratically decide on which courses to include in the coveted Top 100 list.

How can your estate get rated as an ‘SA Top 100 Course’?

4 min read The new South Africa was in its infancy when Golf Digest magazine started ranking the country’s best courses back in 1998. Adjudicators strive to rate candidates objectively, enabling a panel of knowledgeable reviewers to democratically decide on which courses to include in the coveted Top 100 list.

Few could predict the impact of Covid-19 and it’s reach throughout every sector, population, and country. It has caused the rise and collapse of many businesses and the construction industry has not been the exception to this.

Pandemic impact on the construction industry

3 min read Few could predict the impact of Covid-19 and it’s reach throughout every sector, population, and country. It has caused the rise and collapse of many businesses and the construction industry has not been the exception to this.

Women in Sectional Title (WiST) is a platform that focuses on connecting, supporting and uplifting women in the sectional title industry with the aim of uniting them in a vibrant and collaborative community.

Women in Sectional Title

2 min read Women in Sectional Title (WiST) is a platform that focuses on connecting, supporting and uplifting women in the sectional title industry with the aim of uniting them in a vibrant and collaborative community.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that water features are a financial boon given that properties on waterside estates like Thesen Island in Knysna tend to fetch higher asking prices and rental income than ones that don’t.

Is waterfront living a cash cow for developers?

3 min read You’d be forgiven for thinking that water features are a financial boon given that properties on waterside estates like Thesen Island in Knysna tend to fetch higher asking prices and rental income than ones that don’t.

The global shift to remote working has amplified demand for fibre services over the last few months, and developments with the best connectivity are likely to be the most attractive to tomorrow’s buyer.

Choosing the right fibre to the home (FTTH) supplier

3 min read The global shift to remote working has amplified demand for fibre services over the last few months, and developments with the best connectivity are likely to be the most attractive to tomorrow’s buyer.

Few things have a greater impact on the economy than an interest rate hike or cut. A hike is often welcomed by savers, especially if that is passed on by the banks via their savings products but it’s equally frowned upon by those of us in debt as it makes borrowing more expensive.

How will interest rates affect the retail and property market

4 min read Few things have a greater impact on the economy than an interest rate hike or cut. A hike is often welcomed by savers, especially if that is passed on by the banks via their savings products but it’s equally frowned upon by those of us in debt as it makes borrowing more expensive.

So, 2021 one has come and gone, but the trends that have affected the commercial property sector last year will no doubt trickle through 2022 as well. We are, after all, still in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, although it has recently produced what many feel is a weaker variant.

Key commercial property trends for 2022

3 min read So, 2021 one has come and gone, but the trends that have affected the commercial property sector last year will no doubt trickle through 2022 as well. We are, after all, still in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, although it has recently produced what many feel is a weaker variant.

When it was announced in November that South Africa had concluded a historic agreement to secure R131 billion for the country’s transition to a low carbon economy, the news was celebrated in international environmental circles. On a national level, estate managers and developers can contribute by building green and maintaining planet-friendly standards.

Green building

2 min read When it was announced in November that South Africa had concluded a historic agreement to secure R131 billion for the country’s transition to a low carbon economy, the news was celebrated in international environmental circles. On a national level, estate managers and developers can contribute by building green and maintaining planet-friendly standards.

Most retirement homes have strict rules about keeping pets. But now there’s one retirement village that’s going against this status quo and allowing pensioners to keep their furry friends with them in retirement.

Should developers create pet friendly estates?

2 min read Most retirement homes have strict rules about keeping pets. But now there’s one retirement village that’s going against this status quo and allowing pensioners to keep their furry friends with them in retirement.

Many countries have shut their doors to South Arica following the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant in November and foreign visitors have all but vanished over the usually busy summer.

International flight bans impact on marketing internationally

2 min read Many countries have shut their doors to South Arica following the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant in November and foreign visitors have all but vanished over the usually busy summer.

When researching technologies during the pre-construction phase, developers must consider the importance of building for a tech-driven society. During such research, one concept will underly most every alternative: fibre!

Tech needs of new homes

2 min read When researching technologies during the pre-construction phase, developers must consider the importance of building for a tech-driven society. During such research, one concept will underly most every alternative: fibre!

During the third quarter of this year, the Western Cape Government was finalising a draft policy to address affordable housing. Billed as ‘ground-breaking’, its Inclusionary Housing Policy Framework (IHPF) tackles the consequences of ‘apartheid spatial planning’ - and developers form an integral part of the plan.

Affordable housing and megacities

2 min read During the third quarter of this year, the Western Cape Government was finalising a draft policy to address affordable housing. Billed as ‘ground-breaking’, its Inclusionary Housing Policy Framework (IHPF) tackles the consequences of ‘apartheid spatial planning’ – and developers form an integral part of the plan.

Market falls don’t come along often, but when they do they could affect our pensions and fund investments, and rattle us into thinking we need to preserve our money in cash-based investments – at least until it’s all over.

Dealing With A Market Crash

3 min read Market falls don’t come along often, but when they do they could affect our pensions and fund investments, and rattle us into thinking we need to preserve our money in cash-based investments – at least until it’s all over.

Caleo Capital is a global boutique investment management firm, with a strong focus on the principles that one would associate with a family office. The business prides itself on being fiercely independent, which means they provide unique, tailor-made advice to their clients.

Be A Shrewd Global Investment Citizen With Caleo Capital

2 min read Caleo Capital is a global boutique investment management firm, with a strong focus on the principles that one would associate with a family office. The business prides itself on being fiercely independent, which means they provide unique, tailor-made advice to their clients.

Spanning 13 years, South Africans have lived with the spectre of load shedding, due to ageing and poorly maintained infrastructure. According to a report released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in August, South Africa experienced 650 hours of load shedding in the first half of 2021, shedding an estimated 963GWh of energy. This represents 76% of the total load shedding experienced in 2020.

Beat Loadshedding With Huawei Fusionsolar Residential Smart Pv Solution

4 min read Spanning 13 years, South Africans have lived with the spectre of load shedding, due to ageing and poorly maintained infrastructure. According to a report released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in August, South Africa experienced 650 hours of load shedding in the first half of 2021, shedding an estimated 963GWh of energy. This represents 76% of the total load shedding experienced in 2020.

According to one Cape Town-based landscaper, Rose Buchanan, investing in and renovating your outdoor space can increase a property’s value by up to 20%.

Green Investment

3 min read According to one Cape Town-based landscaper, Rose Buchanan, investing in and renovating your outdoor space can increase a property’s value by up to 20%.

Big or small, it is important for a business to look after its people – after all, they are your company’s most important asset.

Wellness In The Workplace

2 min read Big or small, it is important for a business to look after its people – after all, they are your company’s most important asset.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg and Pretoria, then take a 45-minute drive to North West, and you will soon stumble upon the majestic Magaliesburg Mountains and, nestled within them, the Xanadu Nature Estate.

Welcome Home. Welcome To Xanadu Nature Estate

2 min read If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg and Pretoria, then take a 45-minute drive to North West, and you will soon stumble upon the majestic Magaliesburg Mountains and, nestled within them, the Xanadu Nature Estate.

Is Steyn City the most enviable address in Gauteng? Several local and international accolades indicate that this may well be the case.

Steyn City – More Than Just A Secure Lifestyle

3 min read Is Steyn City the most enviable address in Gauteng? Several local and international accolades indicate that this may well be the case.

It’s understandable that many developers want to create high-end retirement homes aimed at wealthy boomers – it’s a very lucrative undertaking, after all. While there’s a market for that, it’s important not to lose sight of what pensioners on lower incomes may need when it comes to housing.

Why developers shouldn’t only cater to wealthy baby boomers

3 min read It’s understandable that many developers want to create high-end retirement homes aimed at wealthy boomers – it’s a very lucrative undertaking, after all. While there’s a market for that, it’s important not to lose sight of what pensioners on lower incomes may need when it comes to housing.

Activists have long called for the construction industry to ditch concrete. Back in 2019, there were calls at the Architecture of Emergency climate summit to stop using this building material because the four billion tons of cement produced each year account for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

5 Sustainable building materials that could save the planet

3 min read Activists have long called for the construction industry to ditch concrete. Back in 2019, there were calls at the Architecture of Emergency climate summit to stop using this building material because the four billion tons of cement produced each year account for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Developments in sewerage management are making a positive impact on estate infrastructure and expenses – other than the obvious use of irrigation on golf courses. This tech lightens the load on bulk services provided by municipalities and, in turn, minimises augmentation fees payable by developers to local authorities. 

Let it flow

3 min read Developments in sewerage management are making a positive impact on estate infrastructure and expenses – other than the obvious use of irrigation on golf courses. This tech lightens the load on bulk services provided by municipalities and, in turn, minimises augmentation fees payable by developers to local authorities. 

In January, the Government Printing Works (GPW) published its last Tender Bulletin before announcing that the GPW was experiencing technical difficulties.

Tackling tender transparency

4 min read In January, the Government Printing Works (GPW) published its last Tender Bulletin before announcing that the GPW was experiencing technical difficulties.

The remote working revolution came with its fair share of benefits. As well reducing a business’s costs for water, electricity and in some cases even rent, the working-from -home model has also helped to combat some longstanding concerns regarding outsourcing.

4 Tips to make your estate outsource-ready 2022

2 min read The remote working revolution came with its fair share of benefits. As well reducing a business’s costs for water, electricity and in some cases even rent, the working-from -home model has also helped to combat some longstanding concerns regarding outsourcing.

Leading international recruitment firm, Michael Page, has just released their Mauritius Salary Guide and Hiring Insights research for 2022. In it, the recruiter focuses on several sectors including engineering, property, and construction to name but a few.

Property and construction jobs in Mauritius

2 min read Leading international recruitment firm, Michael Page, has just released their Mauritius Salary Guide and Hiring Insights research for 2022. In it, the recruiter focuses on several sectors including engineering, property, and construction to name but a few.

Technology is constantly evolving, new trends emerge and what works today, might not be useful in the next decade. As technology needs change over time, it is important for real estate developers to make room for technology advancements, by futureproofing their developments to create a quality living experience for residents.

How do you futureproof your development’s technology needs?

2 min read Technology is constantly evolving, new trends emerge and what works today, might not be useful in the next decade. As technology needs change over time, it is important for real estate developers to make room for technology advancements, by futureproofing their developments to create a quality living experience for residents.

Cable theft is a form of organised crime that has had a significant impact on businesses, communities, and the economy. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates that cable theft costs the SA economy between R5bn to R7bn a year.

Cable theft is not just a petty crime : How cable theft affects our communities

3 min read Cable theft is a form of organised crime that has had a significant impact on businesses, communities, and the economy. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates that cable theft costs the SA economy between R5bn to R7bn a year.

The realisation that you’re under insured for your home contents usually happens too late. Often, it’s during the claims stage when you need to replace an item (or many items) and the insurance pay out isn’t quite as much as you thought it would be. It’s easy to get angry, but the truth is that this is within your control. After all, insurers only know what you tell them.

Avoid being under insured

2 min read The realisation that you’re under insured for your home contents usually happens too late. Often, it’s during the claims stage when you need to replace an item (or many items) and the insurance pay out isn’t quite as much as you thought it would be. It’s easy to get angry, but the truth is that this is within your control. After all, insurers only know what you tell them.

Few will dispute that buying a home is an emotional time. It’s near impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of it all, which understandably has you racing through the mountain of paperwork, just to get those keys in your hands as soon as possible.

Do you even know who your buildings insurer is?

2 min read Few will dispute that buying a home is an emotional time. It’s near impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of it all, which understandably has you racing through the mountain of paperwork, just to get those keys in your hands as soon as possible.

Steyn City’s Ultimate Helistop was recently hailed as a first for residential developments in South Africa. Introduced to the market in 2015, the 900-hectare luxury private estate is located close to Lanseria in Joburg, and the largest in the country in terms of land size.

Elevating lifestyle

3 min read Steyn City’s Ultimate Helistop was recently hailed as a first for residential developments in South Africa. Introduced to the market in 2015, the 900-hectare luxury private estate is located close to Lanseria in Joburg, and the largest in the country in terms of land size.

Noise, a blatant disregard for the rules, too many people, and a disruption to the ‘community feel’ is just a few of the many reasons why residents on family estates are against short term rentals.

Rental revolution or residential nightmare?

3 min read Noise, a blatant disregard for the rules, too many people, and a disruption to the ‘community feel’ is just a few of the many reasons why residents on family estates are against short term rentals.

For South Africa to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of its population by December, more than half of all adults need to have had their first shot by — well now — end October.

Should Covid-19 vaccinations be compulsory?

3 min read For South Africa to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of its population by December, more than half of all adults need to have had their first shot by — well now — end October.

The focus when it came to building residential estates ten or 20 years ago was security. While security was and is as priority now, and rightly so, there’s a lot more that developers and estate managers need to focus on to cater to the demands of a modern-day South African family.

Fit for families

3 min read The focus when it came to building residential estates ten or 20 years ago was security. While security was and is as priority now, and rightly so, there’s a lot more that developers and estate managers need to focus on to cater to the demands of a modern-day South African family.

In the United Kingdom construction salaries advertised by employers have soared 6.7% in the space of just five months, according to new data by jobs site, Indeed. Here, employer demand for workers is outstripping the number of candidates, which is why salaries are being pushed up.

Are you being paid fairly?

3 min read In the United Kingdom construction salaries advertised by employers have soared 6.7% in the space of just five months, according to new data by jobs site, Indeed. Here, employer demand for workers is outstripping the number of candidates, which is why salaries are being pushed up.

Making a good impression is key in a residential estate market. An outdoor area is often the first impression potential buyers or visitors have of your estate. Buyers want to see clean and well-maintained landscapes that celebrate the local flora and fauna.

4 Ways to create the perfect ‘green’ impression

3 min read Making a good impression is key in a residential estate market. An outdoor area is often the first impression potential buyers or visitors have of your estate. Buyers want to see clean and well-maintained landscapes that celebrate the local flora and fauna.

Riots, like the ones experienced in July, may have been preventable if developers did more to address socio-economic issues in South Africa.

Investing in the community

3 min read Riots, like the ones experienced in July, may have been preventable if developers did more to address socio-economic issues in South Africa.

Residential developments can cost millions of rands to build. But raising the money can be a challenge, especially when it comes to pitching the concept to prospective lenders.

Financing your next development

3 min read Residential developments can cost millions of rands to build. But raising the money can be a challenge, especially when it comes to pitching the concept to prospective lenders.

In May this year we explored whether banks would accept bitcoin as deposits when people applied for home loans. Sadly, banks are nowhere near accepting cryptocurrency.

Pay your rental deposit with bitcoin

2 min read In May this year we explored whether banks would accept bitcoin as deposits when people applied for home loans. Sadly, banks are nowhere near accepting cryptocurrency.

South Africa needs to build 2.1 million homes in the next five years if the government is to meet its own target of providing affordable housing for 12.5 million citizens by 2030.  The monumental task has been made worse by the pandemic, which has plunged even more people into poverty and pushed up the cost of conventional building materials like bricks and cement exponentially.

Perfect prefab?

3 min read South Africa needs to build 2.1 million homes in the next five years if the government is to meet its own target of providing affordable housing for 12.5 million citizens by 2030. The monumental task has been made worse by the pandemic, which has plunged even more people into poverty and pushed up the cost of conventional building materials like bricks and cement exponentially.

We’re seeing the effects of climate change daily across the world. There’s uncontrollable fires such as the ones currently raging in Greece, extreme heat, and flash floods to name but a few related incidents.

Cement and CO2

3 min read We’re seeing the effects of climate change daily across the world. There’s uncontrollable fires such as the ones currently raging in Greece, extreme heat, and flash floods to name but a few related incidents.

Encouraging the youth to commit to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects is a challenge. This has created a skills shortage, particularly in the technically trained professions. South Africa also struggles with an unemployment crisis where half of young people are unemployed.

Building up young engineering and construction talent

3 min read Encouraging the youth to commit to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects is a challenge. This has created a skills shortage, particularly in the technically trained professions. South Africa also struggles with an unemployment crisis where half of young people are unemployed.

Recent legal developments are affecting estates and homeowners - who are only allowed to produce a percentage of alternative energy on site in relation to bulk municipal electricity supplied - in many ways, depending on local municipal bylaws. The onus is thus on developers to stay abreast of criteria and duly inform potential buyers.

Dreaming of life off the grid?

3 min read Recent legal developments are affecting estates and homeowners – who are only allowed to produce a percentage of alternative energy on site in relation to bulk municipal electricity supplied – in many ways, depending on local municipal bylaws. The onus is thus on developers to stay abreast of criteria and duly inform potential buyers.

When it comes to investing in property abroad, investors and developers have a smorgasbord of choice available to them. Overseas property investments are particularly attractive, given the current talk of a worldwide property boom, claims of better capital growth and higher rental yields.

Investing in property in UK, USA, UAE vs. South Africa

3 min read When it comes to investing in property abroad, investors and developers have a smorgasbord of choice available to them. Overseas property investments are particularly attractive, given the current talk of a worldwide property boom, claims of better capital growth and higher rental yields.

There’s a big demand from people to reconnect with nature and many are keen to leave the big city life and have homes build close to it. But being close to nature comes with its own perils.

Glowing mistakes

3 min read There’s a big demand from people to reconnect with nature and many are keen to leave the big city life and have homes build close to it. But being close to nature comes with its own perils.

According to Afrisam, the cement industry in South Africa produces approximately 20 million tons of cement a year. In 2019 the total demand for cement in South Africa was about 13 million tons but that dropped significantly last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Concrete plans

3 min read According to Afrisam, the cement industry in South Africa produces approximately 20 million tons of cement a year. In 2019 the total demand for cement in South Africa was about 13 million tons but that dropped significantly last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The demand for eco-friendly homes presents a unique opportunity to leap into a low carbon and resource-efficient future by building responsibly, incorporating energy efficient design and construction strategies.

Going Green

3 min read The demand for eco-friendly homes presents a unique opportunity to leap into a low carbon and resource-efficient future by building responsibly, incorporating energy efficient design and construction strategies.

Microfarms probably won’t solve world hunger, but it wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that they may be the best candidate for that honour. And, while it’s unlikely that many people living in residential estates are starving, it’s almost certain that most can benefit from more fresh veggies – and from fresher veggies.

Microfarms

5 min read Microfarms probably won’t solve world hunger, but it wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that they may be the best candidate for that honour. And, while it’s unlikely that many people living in residential estates are starving, it’s almost certain that most can benefit from more fresh veggies – and from fresher veggies.

Food waste, if not composted, is one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gases, as it decomposes into methane. So Tokyo University’s new research into using food waste to make cement offers an innovative way to sequester all that carbon, and – perhaps – create some tasty buildings.

Edible cement

3 min read Food waste, if not composted, is one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gases, as it decomposes into methane. So Tokyo University’s new research into using food waste to make cement offers an innovative way to sequester all that carbon, and – perhaps – create some tasty buildings.

If you live – or are planning a development – in one of the drier parts of the country, you are faced with some serious gardening and landscaping challenges. But you’re not the first person to have to deal with little or no water and hot, dry winds that shrivel up every little hopeful green shoot. Many landscapers have very successfully created dramatic xeriscapes of intriguing hard elements and extremely hardy plants.

Xeriscaping

4 min read If you live – or are planning a development – in one of the drier parts of the country, you are faced with some serious gardening and landscaping challenges. But you’re not the first person to have to deal with little or no water and hot, dry winds that shrivel up every little hopeful green shoot. Many landscapers have very successfully created dramatic xeriscapes of intriguing hard elements and extremely hardy plants.

An international study says around half of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) want to buy at least one luxury home in the next 12 months, and that South Africa is one country that they’re considering.

How can developers attract international investors?

4 min read An international study says around half of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) want to buy at least one luxury home in the next 12 months, and that South Africa is one country that they’re considering.

Researchers in Sweden have succeeded in making a sustainable, renewable transparent wood that is strong enough to use as a structural element. It will be a while before it is widely available, but it has the potential to profoundly affect the construction industry.

See the trees through the wood

3 min read Researchers in Sweden have succeeded in making a sustainable, renewable transparent wood that is strong enough to use as a structural element. It will be a while before it is widely available, but it has the potential to profoundly affect the construction industry.

A picture perfect tropical island with crystal-clear turquoise waters lapping golden beaches, Mauritius ticks all the boxes for a beach and watersports holiday. The snorkelling is fantastic, but to really appreciate life beneath the shimmering ocean surface, you need to scuba dive.

Dive Mauritius

4 min read A picture perfect tropical island with crystal-clear turquoise waters lapping golden beaches, Mauritius ticks all the boxes for a beach and watersports holiday. The snorkelling is fantastic, but to really appreciate life beneath the shimmering ocean surface, you need to scuba dive.

Until recently, most new developments had a tourism component, but some developers started rethinking that since Covid hit our shores. But perhaps it’s more a matter of tweaking your offerings to appeal to a new type of ‘tourist’ – the digital nomad.

Digital nomads are a great new market

4 min read Until recently, most new developments had a tourism component, but some developers started rethinking that since Covid hit our shores. But perhaps it’s more a matter of tweaking your offerings to appeal to a new type of ‘tourist’ – the digital nomad.

The design of the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library is a truly African interpretation of Mbeki’s concept of African Renaissance, and a wonderful example of the place- and culture-specific style of award-winning architect David Adjaye.

Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library

3 min read The design of the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library is a truly African interpretation of Mbeki’s concept of African Renaissance, and a wonderful example of the place- and culture-specific style of award-winning architect David Adjaye.

Think Mauritius and the images that spring to mind are probably of lazing on white sand beaches, swimming in the turquoise waters of the shallow lagoon, and sipping cocktails while watching spectacular sunsets. But there are plenty of active adventures in this tropical paradise.

Adventures in Mauritius

5 min read Think Mauritius and the images that spring to mind are probably of lazing on white sand beaches, swimming in the turquoise waters of the shallow lagoon, and sipping cocktails while watching spectacular sunsets. But there are plenty of active adventures in this tropical paradise.

The South African Bureau of Standards has updated the national standard on fire alarm systems, in a move that could have far-reaching consequences for residential estates.

Revised SABS standards on fire safety

2 min read The South African Bureau of Standards has updated the national standard on fire alarm systems, in a move that could have far-reaching consequences for residential estates.

The various things that we’ve all said about Eskom (especially after bashing our shins in the dark) are not printable. Let’s face it. We are all – well – tired of what has become an asymmetrical relationship in which one side fails to deliver on promises. But we feel that we’re stuck in what is becoming an increasingly toxic relationship. So it is with great interest that we anticipate the City of Durban’s imminent divorce from the power (non-) provider.

Durban to divorce Eskom

2 min read The various things that we’ve all said about Eskom (especially after bashing our shins in the dark) are not printable. Let’s face it. We are all – well – tired of what has become an asymmetrical relationship in which one side fails to deliver on promises. But we feel that we’re stuck in what is becoming an increasingly toxic relationship. So it is with great interest that we anticipate the City of Durban’s imminent divorce from the power (non-) provider.

Whether it’s just as a back-up for when Eskom throws a wobbly, or whether it’s a serious commitment to using renewable energy, storage is almost always the constraining factor. So incorporating a rechargeable battery in the actual cement structure of a building sounds like a great idea.

Integrated energy storage

3 min read Whether it’s just as a back-up for when Eskom throws a wobbly, or whether it’s a serious commitment to using renewable energy, storage is almost always the constraining factor. So incorporating a rechargeable battery in the actual cement structure of a building sounds like a great idea.

Nobody is perfect, and no system is perfect, so we just have to do the best we can, and hope that it is good enough. But how good is ‘good enough’? Or how bad do things have to be before they are not ‘good enough’? And is this culture of ‘good enough’ wise? It’s certainly expedient but, if we trawl through the news headlines, we can find many instances of when ‘good enough’ was not good enough.

Normalisation of deviance

4 min read Nobody is perfect, and no system is perfect, so we just have to do the best we can, and hope that it is good enough. But how good is ‘good enough’? Or how bad do things have to be before they are not ‘good enough’? And is this culture of ‘good enough’ wise? It’s certainly expedient but, if we trawl through the news headlines, we can find many instances of when ‘good enough’ was not good enough.

Last year we wrote about an interesting UK-based startup that had designed a system to store electricity by raising heavy weights during low demand (or bright sunshine), and releasing them into mineshafts when needed. Seemed like a great idea – and now they are crowdfunding to build a prototype.

Renewable energy’s biggest constraint is cost-effective storage

< 1 min read Last year we wrote about an interesting UK-based startup that had designed a system to store electricity by raising heavy weights during low demand (or bright sunshine), and releasing them into mineshafts when needed. Seemed like a great idea – and now they are crowdfunding to build a prototype.

Gardens serve many purposes – decoration, food production, and even status symbols. But gardens can be so much more. Depending on what – and how – you plant, your garden can increase or decrease your risk of fire (and many other things, but let’s stick with fire).

Gardens as fire defence

3 min read Gardens serve many purposes – decoration, food production, and even status symbols. But gardens can be so much more. Depending on what – and how – you plant, your garden can increase or decrease your risk of fire (and many other things, but let’s stick with fire).

We are all familiar with the sweets and snacks in the checkout queues of supermarkets. And we have all carefully averted our eyes from them, or – somewhat more difficult – tried to distract our children from them. This is just one – and possibly the most graphic – example of how we as humans (and especially as consumers) are nudged into ‘desirable’ decisions daily. But who decides what is ‘desirable’?

Nudge, nudge, think, think

4 min read We are all familiar with the sweets and snacks in the checkout queues of supermarkets. And we have all carefully averted our eyes from them, or – somewhat more difficult – tried to distract our children from them. This is just one – and possibly the most graphic – example of how we as humans (and especially as consumers) are nudged into ‘desirable’ decisions daily. But who decides what is ‘desirable’?

As low-lying coastal homes are threatened by rising sea levels and extreme weather events, some landowners and governments are proposing proactive action. While others, of course, bury their heads in the sand, hoping against all logic to defy the tides in an ironic twist of the story of King Canute.

Rising sea levels threaten coastal homes

3 min read As low-lying coastal homes are threatened by rising sea levels and extreme weather events, some landowners and governments are proposing proactive action. While others, of course, bury their heads in the sand, hoping against all logic to defy the tides in an ironic twist of the story of King Canute.

What is the lesson we take home as we count the cost, and to try to reconstruct, after this last in a series of devastating fires? We need to think – not just about how we deal with the aftermath, or even how we deal with the actual fires – but how we prevent them from happening again. And, for those of us responsible for large tracts of land, like estates, it’s not just an academic exercise.

Forged in flame

4 min read What is the lesson we take home as we count the cost, and to try to reconstruct, after this last in a series of devastating fires? We need to think – not just about how we deal with the aftermath, or even how we deal with the actual fires – but how we prevent them from happening again. And, for those of us responsible for large tracts of land, like estates, it’s not just an academic exercise.

When the government recently published a new proposed list of critical skills, or high-demand occupations, which would make it easier for certain foreign workers to get visas to work and live in South Africa, ‘project manager’ was a recurring theme across industries. Construction – which has suffered a severe project management skills shortage for years – emerged as a particular problem area.

Construction’s deepening skills crisis

4 min read When the government recently published a new proposed list of critical skills, or high-demand occupations, which would make it easier for certain foreign workers to get visas to work and live in South Africa, ‘project manager’ was a recurring theme across industries. Construction – which has suffered a severe project management skills shortage for years – emerged as a particular problem area.

From Transkei to Alaska, round houses have been the norm for centuries – more probably millennia. In fact, it was only with the (in some case quite strong) encouragement of missionaries that Christian converts started to build ‘civilised’ square houses in southern Africa. But, while in some places and societies the stigma of ‘primitiveness’ is still associated with round houses, many forward-thinking architects and planners in all parts of the world are rediscovering the advantages of circular dwellings, and have been for decades.

Round houses

5 min read From Transkei to Alaska, round houses have been the norm for centuries – more probably millennia. In fact, it was only with the (in some case quite strong) encouragement of missionaries that Christian converts started to build ‘civilised’ square houses in southern Africa. But, while in some places and societies the stigma of ‘primitiveness’ is still associated with round houses, many forward-thinking architects and planners in all parts of the world are rediscovering the advantages of circular dwellings, and have been for decades.

We are all tired of restrictions, and many of us are aching to attend football matches, mega-church services or raves, and we all want the tourism industry to recover – both so that our economy can recover, and so that we can head off somewhere exotic to destress. We long for ‘normality’. So we are lining up for vaccinations and hoping that they (and the proof thereof) will fix the world and bring everything back to the way it was. But is a vaccine – and a ‘vaccine passport’ – the panacea it’s made out to be, or will it prove to be a two-edged sword with some unexpected consequences?

Vaccination passports

3 min read We are all tired of restrictions, and many of us are aching to attend football matches, mega-church services or raves, and we all want the tourism industry to recover – both so that our economy can recover, and so that we can head off somewhere exotic to destress. We long for ‘normality’. So we are lining up for vaccinations and hoping that they (and the proof thereof) will fix the world and bring everything back to the way it was. But is a vaccine – and a ‘vaccine passport’ – the panacea it’s made out to be, or will it prove to be a two-edged sword with some unexpected consequences?

The Traditional Courts Bill is lurching its way through Parliament, amid howls of protest – mostly, ironically, from the very people it’s intended to protect. What is the Bill, and what do we need to know about it?

Unpacking the Traditional Courts Bill

3 min read The Traditional Courts Bill is lurching its way through Parliament, amid howls of protest – mostly, ironically, from the very people it’s intended to protect. What is the Bill, and what do we need to know about it?

We’ve always known that the popular Section 12J had an expiry date, but we assumed (hoped) it would be extended. Well, it won’t be. So, if you want to take advantage of it, you had better move very, very fast to get in before the 30 June cut-off. But it’s not all bad news. While 12J is on the way out, Lucky 13sex is still around.

13sex Taxbreak promotes benefits for developers and investors alike

4 min read We’ve always known that the popular Section 12J had an expiry date, but we assumed (hoped) it would be extended. Well, it won’t be. So, if you want to take advantage of it, you had better move very, very fast to get in before the 30 June cut-off. But it’s not all bad news. While 12J is on the way out, Lucky 13sex is still around.

Most of us work because we have to, not because we want to. But New Work, as defined by Frithjof Bergmann, is work that we do because we want to – because it enriches our lives, not just our bank balances. Until recently, it’s only been artists, hippies and new-age hunter-gatherers who have managed to step off the conspicuous consumption–conspicuous busyness roller coaster, and just live. But, with new technology and an open mind, this option is open to more of us. Maybe it will, one day soon, become the new normal.

New Work

7 min read Most of us work because we have to, not because we want to. But New Work, as defined by Frithjof Bergmann, is work that we do because we want to – because it enriches our lives, not just our bank balances. Until recently, it’s only been artists, hippies and new-age hunter-gatherers who have managed to step off the conspicuous consumption–conspicuous busyness roller coaster, and just live. But, with new technology and an open mind, this option is open to more of us. Maybe it will, one day soon, become the new normal.

When wildfires swept through the hills near Santa Cruz, California, in 2020, they released toxic chemicals into the water supplies of at least two communities. One sample found benzene, a carcinogen, at 40 times the state’s drinking water standard.

Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires

4 min read When wildfires swept through the hills near Santa Cruz, California, in 2020, they released toxic chemicals into the water supplies of at least two communities. One sample found benzene, a carcinogen, at 40 times the state’s drinking water standard.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, Mauritius has upheld the sanitary safety of Mauritian nationals and that of visitors as a topmost priority. The island nation has been widely recognised as exercising one of the best responses to the pandemic – a strategy that has resulted in a surprisingly low incidence of the disease.

Mauritius is on track to achieve herd immunity

2 min read Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, Mauritius has upheld the sanitary safety of Mauritian nationals and that of visitors as a topmost priority. The island nation has been widely recognised as exercising one of the best responses to the pandemic – a strategy that has resulted in a surprisingly low incidence of the disease.

Whether it’s unlocking your phone or accessing your banking app, facial recognition technology is everywhere. It’s a tool that is rapidly gaining popularity with banks, security companies, law enforcement, retailers and – of course – social media platforms. And, like every tool from a claw hammer to a chainsaw or a steamroller, this tool can be used constructively or destructively. Or, if not actually destructively, at least creepily.

Facial recognition

6 min read Whether it’s unlocking your phone or accessing your banking app, facial recognition technology is everywhere. It’s a tool that is rapidly gaining popularity with banks, security companies, law enforcement, retailers and – of course – social media platforms. And, like every tool from a claw hammer to a chainsaw or a steamroller, this tool can be used constructively or destructively. Or, if not actually destructively, at least creepily.

Before starting projects in areas with ageing municipal infrastructure, developers should beware of the indirect – or, in some cases, direct – costs.

Ageing infrastructure: a risk to developers

3 min read Before starting projects in areas with ageing municipal infrastructure, developers should beware of the indirect – or, in some cases, direct – costs.

Whatever your field, whether you are project managing a multibillion-rand development, overseeing the security on a small estate, getting the kids to school on time, or running a large hospital, you need to manage risk, minimise accidents, and ensure the smooth flow of a number of related tasks. We all have different ways of ensuring that this happens, but one brilliant model is as simple as a slice of cheese – or, more accurately, a lot of slices of cheese.

The Swiss cheese model of risk management

4 min read Whatever your field, whether you are project managing a multibillion-rand development, overseeing the security on a small estate, getting the kids to school on time, or running a large hospital, you need to manage risk, minimise accidents, and ensure the smooth flow of a number of related tasks. We all have different ways of ensuring that this happens, but one brilliant model is as simple as a slice of cheese – or, more accurately, a lot of slices of cheese.

The Palari Group, in conjunction with Mighty Buildings, is planning the world’s first zero net energy, 3D-printed residential estate in Rancho Mirage, California, USA. It will be a small, low-density, upmarket estate but, perhaps, the ease, speed, efficiency and sustainability of the construction process may lend itself to rapid deployment of affordable housing. Or not.

The world’s first 3D-printed, zero net energy, residential estate

3 min read The Palari Group, in conjunction with Mighty Buildings, is planning the world’s first zero net energy, 3D-printed residential estate in Rancho Mirage, California, USA. It will be a small, low-density, upmarket estate but, perhaps, the ease, speed, efficiency and sustainability of the construction process may lend itself to rapid deployment of affordable housing. Or not.

You may have noticed that we’ve all been using the internet a lot more than we used to. The global shifts towards remote working, online learning, cloud-based business operations and streaming entertainment – all of which were gathering steam before 2020 happened – have been propelled forward by the local lockdowns of COVID-19. That spells opportunity for developers who can meet the growing demand for South Africa’s internet backbone infrastructure needs.

Africa’s data centre boom

3 min read You may have noticed that we’ve all been using the internet a lot more than we used to. The global shifts towards remote working, online learning, cloud-based business operations and streaming entertainment – all of which were gathering steam before 2020 happened – have been propelled forward by the local lockdowns of COVID-19. That spells opportunity for developers who can meet the growing demand for South Africa’s internet backbone infrastructure needs.

Many serious cooks swear by gas hobs. They’re reliable, incredibly controllable, efficient, cost-efficient and – best of all – they work during load shedding, as long as you have a box of matches nearby. And you can’t beat the aesthetics of a gleaming stainless steel gas hob. But how safe is cooking with gas?

Cooking with gas

3 min read Many serious cooks swear by gas hobs. They’re reliable, incredibly controllable, efficient, cost-efficient and – best of all – they work during load shedding, as long as you have a box of matches nearby. And you can’t beat the aesthetics of a gleaming stainless steel gas hob. But how safe is cooking with gas?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no internet or cell reception, you will have been bombarded with cute, adorable, clever tiny house ideas. But is there any place for the tiny house movement here in South Africa, where most of the population live in ‘houses’ that would make a tiny house seem uber-luxurious? Perhaps the most important thing the tiny house movement can do is to get people to rethink what is necessary, and what is possible. And that’s just what any smart developer should be doing.

Tiny houses

5 min read Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no internet or cell reception, you will have been bombarded with cute, adorable, clever tiny house ideas. But is there any place for the tiny house movement here in South Africa, where most of the population live in ‘houses’ that would make a tiny house seem uber-luxurious? Perhaps the most important thing the tiny house movement can do is to get people to rethink what is necessary, and what is possible. And that’s just what any smart developer should be doing.

We are all aware that we need to do an environmental impact assessment before we embark on any large-scale (or sometimes even small-scale) endeavour like mining, new building, landscaping – even farming. But this is – in the scheme of thing – relatively recent, so it is still seen by many as an inconvenience imposed by tie-dye-clad, lentil-eating tree huggers. But how did we get here? How did trees get legal standing? (And rocks, and bunnies and other natural things.) And why should we comply with the spirit of this legislation rather than trying to circumvent it by manipulating the letter?

The legal rights of trees …

3 min read We are all aware that we need to do an environmental impact assessment before we embark on any large-scale (or sometimes even small-scale) endeavour like mining, new building, landscaping – even farming. But this is – in the scheme of thing – relatively recent, so it is still seen by many as an inconvenience imposed by tie-dye-clad, lentil-eating tree huggers. But how did we get here? How did trees get legal standing? (And rocks, and bunnies and other natural things.) And why should we comply with the spirit of this legislation rather than trying to circumvent it by manipulating the letter?

What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever, and academics, economists and activists have, for decades, been exploring ways of moving beyond growth economics and towards a ‘steady-state’ economy.

Life in a degrowth economy

6 min read What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever, and academics, economists and activists have, for decades, been exploring ways of moving beyond growth economics and towards a ‘steady-state’ economy.

Usually, when you review a book that you think is good, or even – as in this case – excellent, you wax lyrical about how much you enjoyed it. Well, this was not the case here. Reading this book is not enjoyable. Every page you turn feels like being hit over the head with something big and heavy – perhaps a book, but definitely a hardcover one. Seriously, it’s a traumatic read, but a very important one, especially for developers with a social conscience who are hoping to create something sustainable.

Horror story

4 min read Usually, when you review a book that you think is good, or even – as in this case – excellent, you wax lyrical about how much you enjoyed it. Well, this was not the case here. Reading this book is not enjoyable. Every page you turn feels like being hit over the head with something big and heavy – perhaps a book, but definitely a hardcover one. Seriously, it’s a traumatic read, but a very important one, especially for developers with a social conscience who are hoping to create something sustainable.

Property development is about more than buying low, adding value and selling high. It’s about creating communities because, without the potential to be part of a community, no-one will buy into a development. This is why it is important to not only envision the community you want to create, but also to take cognisance of the existing community, and to balance their needs with those of the development and any future residents.

Balancing community needs with developer’s needs

3 min read Property development is about more than buying low, adding value and selling high. It’s about creating communities because, without the potential to be part of a community, no-one will buy into a development. This is why it is important to not only envision the community you want to create, but also to take cognisance of the existing community, and to balance their needs with those of the development and any future residents.

Japan, rightly, has the reputation of having one of the world’s safest and most efficient rail transport systems. And one of the most important contributors to its impeccable safety record is a simple, inexpensive technique that can be used by anyone in almost any industry – it’s the simple system the Japanese call shisa kanko, or point-and-call.

Point-and-call

4 min read Japan, rightly, has the reputation of having one of the world’s safest and most efficient rail transport systems. And one of the most important contributors to its impeccable safety record is a simple, inexpensive technique that can be used by anyone in almost any industry – it’s the simple system the Japanese call shisa kanko, or point-and-call.

The plethora of ‘information’ about how colour affects mood has had property managers considering painting their facilities green for calming, or orange to increase food sales. But the relationship between colour and mood is not an exact science, and one person’s happy colour may well make another person positively nauseous – at least when it comes to paint. But available evidence indicates that different coloured light can reliably affect a person’s state of mind.

How to make every place a happy place

3 min read The plethora of ‘information’ about how colour affects mood has had property managers considering painting their facilities green for calming, or orange to increase food sales. But the relationship between colour and mood is not an exact science, and one person’s happy colour may well make another person positively nauseous – at least when it comes to paint. But available evidence indicates that different coloured light can reliably affect a person’s state of mind.

The recent announcement by the Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, of a tariff freeze preventing the water boards from increasing their charges sounds like a good idea, but it is likely to have serious consequences.

Water tariff freeze

4 min read The recent announcement by the Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, of a tariff freeze preventing the water boards from increasing their charges sounds like a good idea, but it is likely to have serious consequences.

As we become more and more disillusioned with the inequity and unsustainability inherent in the way society is run, we sometimes dream of living in a utopia – a community in which everyone is respected equally, there is no poverty, and we live in harmony with the seasons and the rhythms of the planets.

Historical intentional communities

6 min read As we become more and more disillusioned with the inequity and unsustainability inherent in the way society is run, we sometimes dream of living in a utopia – a community in which everyone is respected equally, there is no poverty, and we live in harmony with the seasons and the rhythms of the planets.

A few years ago I stopped at a farm stall selling pumpkins and cucumbers, and not much else. Now you may think that’s pretty boring – until you see the range of pumpkins and cucumbers!

Heirloom vegetables

3 min read A few years ago I stopped at a farm stall selling pumpkins and cucumbers, and not much else. Now you may think that’s pretty boring – until you see the range of pumpkins and cucumbers!

Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a new way to reinforce concrete with a polymer lattice, an advance that could rival other polymer-based enhancements and improve concrete’s ductility while reducing the material’s carbon emissions.

Berkeley researchers use 3D printer to make concrete stronger

4 min read Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a new way to reinforce concrete with a polymer lattice, an advance that could rival other polymer-based enhancements and improve concrete’s ductility while reducing the material’s carbon emissions.

A few days ago, when I was walking in Cecelia Forest – one of my regular haunts – I noticed a stream that had not been there previously. Or, at least, I thought I did. I’d walked around a corner and, yes – there it was – I could hear a stream. But I knew there wasn’t one there, so I stopped and thought.

Audio camouflage

3 min read A few days ago, when I was walking in Cecelia Forest – one of my regular haunts – I noticed a stream that had not been there previously. Or, at least, I thought I did. I’d walked around a corner and, yes – there it was – I could hear a stream. But I knew there wasn’t one there, so I stopped and thought.

We know that – as a country, and as property developers – we have failed to effectively and equitably utilise South Africa’s resources. Land use is illogical – based on narrow perceptions, and still subject to the legacy of colonial and apartheid spatial planning – and decidedly inequitable. We know that we have to change the relationship of people to land, but we are almost paralysed by the enormity of the challenge.

Are intentional communities a viable investment?

6 min read We know that – as a country, and as property developers – we have failed to effectively and equitably utilise South Africa’s resources. Land use is illogical – based on narrow perceptions, and still subject to the legacy of colonial and apartheid spatial planning – and decidedly inequitable. We know that we have to change the relationship of people to land, but we are almost paralysed by the enormity of the challenge.

Houses in warm parts of the world are traditionally painted white – think of Greek islands, or Cape Dutch houses. Now that might be through lack of alternatives – or lack of imagination – but it is actually a good idea. White paint reflects sunlight, which means the walls absorb less heat.

Keep cool

4 min read Houses in warm parts of the world are traditionally painted white – think of Greek islands, or Cape Dutch houses. Now that might be through lack of alternatives – or lack of imagination – but it is actually a good idea. White paint reflects sunlight, which means the walls absorb less heat.

In a document entitled ‘Our Shared Water Future – Cape Town’s Water Strategy’, the City of Cape Town has announced its intention to make a fundamental change in its management of risk – a clear indication that they are taking to heart the lessons learned from the Day Zero near-miss.

Cape Town’s bold new water strategy

4 min read In a document entitled ‘Our Shared Water Future – Cape Town’s Water Strategy’, the City of Cape Town has announced its intention to make a fundamental change in its management of risk – a clear indication that they are taking to heart the lessons learned from the Day Zero near-miss.

On 28 February 2020, Johannesburg woke up to a new city map: one based on the Nodal Review, which had passed a council vote the day before. The Nodal Review, which aims to deliver on the City of Johannesburg’s Spatial Development Framework, could have far-reaching impacts for residents and property developers.

Development Opportunities in Joburg’s Nodal Review

3 min read On 28 February 2020, Johannesburg woke up to a new city map: one based on the Nodal Review, which had passed a council vote the day before. The Nodal Review, which aims to deliver on the City of Johannesburg’s Spatial Development Framework, could have far-reaching impacts for residents and property developers.

In an environment in which retail is under pressure, and there’s already an oversupply of shopping centres, mall owners are being forced to rethink how they use their space.

Empty shopping malls: crisis or opportunity?

3 min read In an environment in which retail is under pressure, and there’s already an oversupply of shopping centres, mall owners are being forced to rethink how they use their space.

There are very few people by now who don’t acknowledge that renewable energy is the way of the future, but there is that pesky problem with managing peak demand, and the storage of, for example, solar energy for ‘a rainy day’. Storage is the main constraint for the installation of renewable energy, so it’s not surprising that this is a growing field.

A matter of some gravity

3 min read There are very few people by now who don’t acknowledge that renewable energy is the way of the future, but there is that pesky problem with managing peak demand, and the storage of, for example, solar energy for ‘a rainy day’. Storage is the main constraint for the installation of renewable energy, so it’s not surprising that this is a growing field.

A new design concept is pushing the limits of green building. Extreme as it may seem, this approach is an indication of where architecture is going.

Living architecture: A Greener Building Approach

3 min read A new design concept is pushing the limits of green building. Extreme as it may seem, this approach is an indication of where architecture is going.

Port Elizabeth has hit Day Zero – that dreaded spectre that had Capetonians tossing and turning in their unwashed sheets a few years ago. In some parts of the city the taps have – literally – been turned off, and water is trucked in by tanker. All this while Cape Town is revelling in full dams and continuing rainfall, but there is a distinct possibility of a Day Zero in Gauteng too. How did we get here?

Understanding the Eastern Cape’s Day Zero

5 min read Port Elizabeth has hit Day Zero – that dreaded spectre that had Capetonians tossing and turning in their unwashed sheets a few years ago. In some parts of the city the taps have – literally – been turned off, and water is trucked in by tanker. All this while Cape Town is revelling in full dams and continuing rainfall, but there is a distinct possibility of a Day Zero in Gauteng too. How did we get here?

5G will change our lives, as the fifth generation of cell phone technology catapults South Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With faster connectivity and more bandwidth enabling Augmented Reality, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, and mobile data connections at unimaginable speeds, 5G is amazing. A whacking great 5G tower erected on your property without your permission? Not so amazing.

Policy allows 5G towers to be installed on private property

3 min read 5G will change our lives, as the fifth generation of cell phone technology catapults South Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With faster connectivity and more bandwidth enabling Augmented Reality, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, and mobile data connections at unimaginable speeds, 5G is amazing. A whacking great 5G tower erected on your property without your permission? Not so amazing.

Moving to a retirement estate can be – and should be – a positive, liberating experience. It’s a line in the sand that states that you are no longer planning your life around your children, and that you have time for yourself. It’s a time to decide exactly how you want to live without the albatross of a huge suburban home, lawn, garden and two-car garage full of tools hanging around your neck. It’s time to lighten up. There’s even a word for it: dostadning.

Scaling down

4 min read Moving to a retirement estate can be – and should be – a positive, liberating experience. It’s a line in the sand that states that you are no longer planning your life around your children, and that you have time for yourself. It’s a time to decide exactly how you want to live without the albatross of a huge suburban home, lawn, garden and two-car garage full of tools hanging around your neck. It’s time to lighten up. There’s even a word for it: dostadning.

When we talk of semigration now, we are no longer just talking about the familiar pattern of movement from Gauteng to Cape Town, but about the worldwide counter-urbanisation or de-urbanisation movement, which sees people actively moving away from cities to smaller towns in search of a less stressful, more peaceful country lifestyle, while still retaining their city jobs, if they wish to do so, by working remotely.

Top property trend

3 min read When we talk of semigration now, we are no longer just talking about the familiar pattern of movement from Gauteng to Cape Town, but about the worldwide counter-urbanisation or de-urbanisation movement, which sees people actively moving away from cities to smaller towns in search of a less stressful, more peaceful country lifestyle, while still retaining their city jobs, if they wish to do so, by working remotely.

If you love beautiful design in the bathroom and kitchen, and recognise the importance of excellent quality that doesn’t compromise on functionality, Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers are the perfect fit for you. While Hansgrohe is known for being a leading bathroom specialist, kitchens have also become an important focus for them in recent years. Their innovative, state-of-the-art mixers are testament to their longstanding commitment to quality.

Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers

2 min read If you love beautiful design in the bathroom and kitchen, and recognise the importance of excellent quality that doesn’t compromise on functionality, Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers are the perfect fit for you. While Hansgrohe is known for being a leading bathroom specialist, kitchens have also become an important focus for them in recent years. Their innovative, state-of-the-art mixers are testament to their longstanding commitment to quality.

While the country slowly starts to open up after an extensive lockdown period, the spread and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic are far from over. As scientists begin to understand the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, new methods of potential spread are emerging.

Can air conditioners spread coronavirus?

3 min read While the country slowly starts to open up after an extensive lockdown period, the spread and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic are far from over. As scientists begin to understand the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, new methods of potential spread are emerging.

SARS-CoV-2 has changed so many things – the way we socialise, the way we work, and – yes – even the way we think. But will it irrevocably change the landscape in which we live? Cities evolved to accommodate the way people worked, so will they now evolve to embrace a new work-life balance? And how will this affect our bottom line as developers? Do we need to think outside of yet another box that we thought was watertight?

Working from home is becoming the norm

5 min read SARS-CoV-2 has changed so many things – the way we socialise, the way we work, and – yes – even the way we think. But will it irrevocably change the landscape in which we live? Cities evolved to accommodate the way people worked, so will they now evolve to embrace a new work-life balance? And how will this affect our bottom line as developers? Do we need to think outside of yet another box that we thought was watertight?

Virtual property viewings in South Africa were few and far between pre-COVID-19, but they have been rapidly gaining traction, especially during the national lockdown. As we now begin to adapt to a new, post-pandemic, socially distanced normal, they could become part and parcel of buying and selling a home. So, what exactly does a virtual viewing entail, what are the positives and possible pitfalls, and is the South African property market ready for it?

The real estate market has gone virtual

3 min read Virtual property viewings in South Africa were few and far between pre-COVID-19, but they have been rapidly gaining traction, especially during the national lockdown. As we now begin to adapt to a new, post-pandemic, socially distanced normal, they could become part and parcel of buying and selling a home. So, what exactly does a virtual viewing entail, what are the positives and possible pitfalls, and is the South African property market ready for it?

It sounds like a win-win deal: you invest in a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SMME), helping it to grow by increasing its access to equity finance, and in return SARS gives you a handsome tax deduction. From a property investment point of view, many of these 12J enterprises were in the hospitality space, with investors buying into properties that catered to South Africa’s booming tourism industry. Then, in early 2020, COVID-19 struck. Boom turned to bust, leaving investors wondering if there’s any future for 12J.

The future of 12J

3 min read It sounds like a win-win deal: you invest in a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SMME), helping it to grow by increasing its access to equity finance, and in return SARS gives you a handsome tax deduction. From a property investment point of view, many of these 12J enterprises were in the hospitality space, with investors buying into properties that catered to South Africa’s booming tourism industry. Then, in early 2020, COVID-19 struck. Boom turned to bust, leaving investors wondering if there’s any future for 12J.

Buying a property for rental is a big investment that is not without risk. So, can rental guarantees sweeten the deal? Rental income is key for investors, so developers offer rental guarantees as a way to entice investors to sign on the dotted line. A rental guarantee is usually a net return that a developer promises to pay an investor purchasing a buy-to-let property.

Rental Guarantees

3 min read Buying a property for rental is a big investment that is not without risk. So, can rental guarantees sweeten the deal? Rental income is key for investors, so developers offer rental guarantees as a way to entice investors to sign on the dotted line. A rental guarantee is usually a net return that a developer promises to pay an investor purchasing a buy-to-let property.

South African communities are buckling under the weight of municipal mismanagement and broken promises. What role could – and should – developers play in digging local municipalities out of the mess?

Picking up the slack for municipal incompetence

3 min read South African communities are buckling under the weight of municipal mismanagement and broken promises. What role could – and should – developers play in digging local municipalities out of the mess?

This spectacular, low-impact Frankie Pappas-designed home in the Waterberg sits lightly on the land, appearing to float among the trees. The brief was to design a home that disappears into the landscape, that sits among the rocks and trees and birds, that offers animals and plants and humans equal opportunity to find shelter, and that treats the bushveld with the respect it deserves.

No trees were harmed in the construction of this skinny house

2 min read This spectacular, low-impact Frankie Pappas-designed home in the Waterberg sits lightly on the land, appearing to float among the trees. The brief was to design a home that disappears into the landscape, that sits among the rocks and trees and birds, that offers animals and plants and humans equal opportunity to find shelter, and that treats the bushveld with the respect it deserves.

Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a new microchip that enables continuous monitoring of pH and chlorine levels in swimming pools, and that will vastly improve water safety. New research shows that it can deliver consistent and accurate pool chemistry for reliable pool management, so it can safely be used by individual home owners and estate management.

Keep safe and cool in the pool

3 min read Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a new microchip that enables continuous monitoring of pH and chlorine levels in swimming pools, and that will vastly improve water safety. New research shows that it can deliver consistent and accurate pool chemistry for reliable pool management, so it can safely be used by individual home owners and estate management.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in the student housing sector, because the number of international students coming to the UK has fallen dramatically. This has left cities like Cardiff with an oversupply of high-end, purpose-built student accommodation blocks (PBSAs).

Repurposing student housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic

3 min read The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in the student housing sector, because the number of international students coming to the UK has fallen dramatically. This has left cities like Cardiff with an oversupply of high-end, purpose-built student accommodation blocks (PBSAs).

There is a new foodie trend sweeping across five-star hotels, award-winning restaurants and granite-topped kitchens in leafy suburbs. Actually, maybe ‘new’ is not quite the right word. The trend is foraging, and – let’s be honest – it’s hardly new.

Wild at heart

4 min read There is a new foodie trend sweeping across five-star hotels, award-winning restaurants and granite-topped kitchens in leafy suburbs. Actually, maybe ‘new’ is not quite the right word. The trend is foraging, and – let’s be honest – it’s hardly new.

Property buyers and sellers are facing uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers who are accustomed to a regular salary cheque are concerned that they will no longer qualify for a home loan, as many consumers face the dire reality of a salary cut, retrenchment, or shorter working hours. All these events can result in a substantial reduction of income.

Conveyancers support property owners and sellers during COVID-19

9 min read Property buyers and sellers are facing uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers who are accustomed to a regular salary cheque are concerned that they will no longer qualify for a home loan, as many consumers face the dire reality of a salary cut, retrenchment, or shorter working hours. All these events can result in a substantial reduction of income.

Some residential estates are very big so it can be difficult to know what’s going on, especially in the wilder sections. Even if your estate is not strictly a wildlife estate, it’s important to know the condition of the veld and the health – or otherwise – of animal communities. The old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – is particularly true here. And, surprisingly, there is a fantastic app that you can download for free that will do just that.

Smart management is cleverer than you think

4 min read Some residential estates are very big so it can be difficult to know what’s going on, especially in the wilder sections. Even if your estate is not strictly a wildlife estate, it’s important to know the condition of the veld and the health – or otherwise – of animal communities. The old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – is particularly true here. And, surprisingly, there is a fantastic app that you can download for free that will do just that.

The outcome of a recently published financial survey amongst the members of the Old Mutual Rewards Programme is a significant one for property industry.

Old Mutual survey results are in

6 min read The outcome of a recently published financial survey amongst the members of the Old Mutual Rewards Programme is a significant one for property industry.

Permaculture is one of those words being bandied about as possibly the only way to save the planet, and to slow down or prevent the demise of humanity. Well, that’s probably a bit over the top, but it is a revolutionary way of looking at how we relate to our world, and – who knows – it might just save the planet after all. Whether you are developing an estate from scratch, managing an existing estate, or just wanting to decrease your personal carbon footprint, permaculture principles can increase efficiency and save costs.

Sensible permaculture for residential estates and developments

4 min read Permaculture is one of those words being bandied about as possibly the only way to save the planet, and to slow down or prevent the demise of humanity. Well, that’s probably a bit over the top, but it is a revolutionary way of looking at how we relate to our world, and – who knows – it might just save the planet after all. Whether you are developing an estate from scratch, managing an existing estate, or just wanting to decrease your personal carbon footprint, permaculture principles can increase efficiency and save costs.

A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

Smooth and seamless transitions

5 min read A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

You know you need to manage COVID-19 but you can’t manage what you can’t measure. So how do you measure the extent of SARS-Cov-2 infection in your estate? Sounds like a long, involved process, but it isn’t. In fact, it can be done really simply.

Hunting SARS-Cov-2

3 min read You know you need to manage COVID-19 but you can’t manage what you can’t measure. So how do you measure the extent of SARS-Cov-2 infection in your estate? Sounds like a long, involved process, but it isn’t. In fact, it can be done really simply.

Buying off-plan is the norm for new residential estates, but it has proven to be not that popular in the retirement village market.

Retirees buying off plan: risks and rewards

3 min read Buying off-plan is the norm for new residential estates, but it has proven to be not that popular in the retirement village market.

When you look at them closely, the gardens and protected wildlife areas on your estate probably host an astonishing number of different plants, insects, birds, and even reptiles and mammals. Your observations about the natural world around you can be enormously helpful to scientists – and collecting them can be a lot of fun, and a great way of building your community, too.

Citizen science

4 min read When you look at them closely, the gardens and protected wildlife areas on your estate probably host an astonishing number of different plants, insects, birds, and even reptiles and mammals. Your observations about the natural world around you can be enormously helpful to scientists – and collecting them can be a lot of fun, and a great way of building your community, too.

Good news for property buyers, but even better news for property developers and sellers. The affordability ceiling for first-time buyers who qualify for a FLISP subsidy has been increased from the previous average home loan amount of R 680,000.00 to R 870,000.

FLISP subsidy buyers can now qualify for a home loan of up to R 870,000.00

5 min read Good news for property buyers, but even better news for property developers and sellers. The affordability ceiling for first-time buyers who qualify for a FLISP subsidy has been increased from the previous average home loan amount of R 680,000.00 to R 870,000.

A 2019 report by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) states that nearly 20% of the office space in the Durban CBD and Rosebank (Gauteng) was empty in the last quarter of that year. And that was before office workers skedaddled home en masse and cyber-commuted while battening down the hatches against SARS-CoV-2. What does that mean for our cities, and for the people who live in them? Or, more importantly, the people who don’t live in them. And what does it mean for developers?

Commercial space is standing empty in South African cities

6 min read A 2019 report by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) states that nearly 20% of the office space in the Durban CBD and Rosebank (Gauteng) was empty in the last quarter of that year. And that was before office workers skedaddled home en masse and cyber-commuted while battening down the hatches against SARS-CoV-2. What does that mean for our cities, and for the people who live in them? Or, more importantly, the people who don’t live in them. And what does it mean for developers?

South Africa has had an oversupply of tourist accommodation since at least 2010. With the hotel industry now reeling from COVID-19, what are the prospects for owners and developers of hospitality properties?

A second life for hotels?

3 min read South Africa has had an oversupply of tourist accommodation since at least 2010. With the hotel industry now reeling from COVID-19, what are the prospects for owners and developers of hospitality properties?

The introduction of the National Credit Act had an immediate impact on the approval of credit agreements. The affordability factor, which is the capability of a debtor to pay back a loan became, the lender’s primary focus of a lender before granting a credit facility. Lenders are imposed with severe penalties if found guilty of risky lending but, as the market experienced a major decline in home loan approvals, there was an unsurpassed increase in unsecured lending. Capitec Bank is a prime example of expansion of unsecured lending, and African Bank is an example of a lender that was almost sunk as a result of risky lending practices.

Products and tools developed by Meyer de Waal

4 min read The introduction of the National Credit Act had an immediate impact on the approval of credit agreements. The affordability factor, which is the capability of a debtor to pay back a loan became, the lender’s primary focus of a lender before granting a credit facility. Lenders are imposed with severe penalties if found guilty of risky lending but, as the market experienced a major decline in home loan approvals, there was an unsurpassed increase in unsecured lending. Capitec Bank is a prime example of expansion of unsecured lending, and African Bank is an example of a lender that was almost sunk as a result of risky lending practices.

One of the main advantages of living in a residential estate is that – usually – you are surrounded by significant tracts of open land. And very often that land will be left in a relatively natural state. This is a good thing for a whole lot of reasons.

Green, green, green

4 min read One of the main advantages of living in a residential estate is that – usually – you are surrounded by significant tracts of open land. And very often that land will be left in a relatively natural state. This is a good thing for a whole lot of reasons.

Inspired, in part, by the tiny house movement, micro apartments have been touted as a solution to the housing shortage, the increasing cost of urban land, and the need to conserve resources. But, as with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some shortcomings of these tiny spaces.

Micro apartments

3 min read Inspired, in part, by the tiny house movement, micro apartments have been touted as a solution to the housing shortage, the increasing cost of urban land, and the need to conserve resources. But, as with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some shortcomings of these tiny spaces.

Your development is ready for sales, and you need widespread marketing to reach as many potential buyers as possible, followed by a flawless sales process. What is the best way – a dedicated sales team, or an estate agency?

Selling your development: estate agent vs sales team

3 min read Your development is ready for sales, and you need widespread marketing to reach as many potential buyers as possible, followed by a flawless sales process. What is the best way – a dedicated sales team, or an estate agency?

There’s more to offshore investing than money laundering and preserving mega wealth. It’s also about the lifestyle – sitting back with a glass of wine and your little piece of offshore paradise.

Own a piece of a vineyard

4 min read There’s more to offshore investing than money laundering and preserving mega wealth. It’s also about the lifestyle – sitting back with a glass of wine and your little piece of offshore paradise.

Other than developments specifically designed for retirees, students and/or ‘young professionals’, the homes on estates, and even in apartment blocks, are designed as ‘family homes’, and estates are marketed as places in which families can thrive. But what, exactly, is a family? First let’s look at those ‘family homes’.

Are nuclear families really the norm?

5 min read Other than developments specifically designed for retirees, students and/or ‘young professionals’, the homes on estates, and even in apartment blocks, are designed as ‘family homes’, and estates are marketed as places in which families can thrive. But what, exactly, is a family? First let’s look at those ‘family homes’.

On 15 March 2020, in terms of Section 3 of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, the Covid-19 pandemic was classified as a national disaster, due to its potential severity and magnitude. Pursuant thereto, on 29 April 2020, the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations were published. These Regulations can be made available upon request.

Community Scheme COVID-19 Code Of Conduct/Policy & Workplace Plan (Level 4)

4 min read On 15 March 2020, in terms of Section 3 of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, the Covid-19 pandemic was classified as a national disaster, due to its potential severity and magnitude. Pursuant thereto, on 29 April 2020, the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations were published. These Regulations can be made available upon request.

Trout are originally from the northern hemisphere, but they are a highly sought-after species for epicureans and anglers alike, so they have been introduced worldwide. Their popularity as a fly-angling species makes their introduction into dams or lakes well worth considering. But consider carefully.

Trout

4 min read Trout are originally from the northern hemisphere, but they are a highly sought-after species for epicureans and anglers alike, so they have been introduced worldwide. Their popularity as a fly-angling species makes their introduction into dams or lakes well worth considering. But consider carefully.

COVID-19 has had a massive impact on how we interact with others. This impact is particularly felt by essential services staff, who have to continue working despite unsafe conditions. We examine the dangers of COVID-19 to estate security staff, and what companies are doing to keep both their clients and workers safe during this uncertain time.

What are security companies doing to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

2 min read COVID-19 has had a massive impact on how we interact with others. This impact is particularly felt by essential services staff, who have to continue working despite unsafe conditions. We examine the dangers of COVID-19 to estate security staff, and what companies are doing to keep both their clients and workers safe during this uncertain time.

As we change the way we physically interact, all industries have to change the way they do business – and the real estate industry is no exception. Even before the lockdown, estate agents and prospective sellers were reluctant to let people into their houses – and prospective buyers were reluctant to enter houses where the absent owners may or may not be carriers of SARS-CoV-2. So, even once the lockdown is over, it’s clear we will have to make some serious changes in the way we market, buy and sell property.

COVID-19 and the property market

3 min read As we change the way we physically interact, all industries have to change the way they do business – and the real estate industry is no exception. Even before the lockdown, estate agents and prospective sellers were reluctant to let people into their houses – and prospective buyers were reluctant to enter houses where the absent owners may or may not be carriers of SARS-CoV-2. So, even once the lockdown is over, it’s clear we will have to make some serious changes in the way we market, buy and sell property.

There can be few things as rewarding as watching a healthy natural mini biome unfold in your own garden. A close encounter with one of our amazing four-legged reptiles reminds me that biodiversity can be maintained in even the smallest of suburban gardens.

Geckos, lizards and chameleons

5 min read There can be few things as rewarding as watching a healthy natural mini biome unfold in your own garden. A close encounter with one of our amazing four-legged reptiles reminds me that biodiversity can be maintained in even the smallest of suburban gardens.

At a time when all non-essential services are either in lockdown or reeling from the multiple blows to the economy, a handful of businesses are changing the way they work to stay relevant, and to stay in operation, and to make a difference.

Agility is the new normal

3 min read At a time when all non-essential services are either in lockdown or reeling from the multiple blows to the economy, a handful of businesses are changing the way they work to stay relevant, and to stay in operation, and to make a difference.

We hope that the increased police and army presence on our streets means that we’re safer from crime as well as the Corona-19 virus during the lockdown. But there will always be those opportunistic thieves that take a chance, so here are some tips from Trellidor to help you stay safe while home during the lockdown.

5 Ways to keep safe from crime during the lockdown

2 min read We hope that the increased police and army presence on our streets means that we’re safer from crime as well as the Corona-19 virus during the lockdown. But there will always be those opportunistic thieves that take a chance, so here are some tips from Trellidor to help you stay safe while home during the lockdown.

The National Water Act of 1998 (NWA), which was the first comprehensive legislation adopted immediately after the transition to democracy, has far-reaching implications of which most people are blissfully unaware.

Unpacking the National Water Act

5 min read The National Water Act of 1998 (NWA), which was the first comprehensive legislation adopted immediately after the transition to democracy, has far-reaching implications of which most people are blissfully unaware.

There is a worldwide trend towards the uptake of renewable resources for power generation, but it seems that South Africa is lagging behind. So let’s have a look at what other countries are doing, focusing mainly on solar, and see how we compare.

Solar energy around the world

4 min read There is a worldwide trend towards the uptake of renewable resources for power generation, but it seems that South Africa is lagging behind. So let’s have a look at what other countries are doing, focusing mainly on solar, and see how we compare.

In times of drought, it’s common practice to sink a borehole. Many estates, and individuals, do this without fully appreciating how an aquifer works, and what legal implications are associated with going off grid, even partially.

How boreholes work

4 min read In times of drought, it’s common practice to sink a borehole. Many estates, and individuals, do this without fully appreciating how an aquifer works, and what legal implications are associated with going off grid, even partially.

Employers – including HOAs – must provide a safe workplace, even if that means insisting on disease tests for employees. During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise ships turned into living, floating laboratories for scientists studying the disease. With their close confines and high proportions of older people (who tend to be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus), combined with their lack of access to the outside world, cruise ships were – tragically, in some cases – the perfect incubator.

Infectious diseases and the workplace

4 min read Employers – including HOAs – must provide a safe workplace, even if that means insisting on disease tests for employees. During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise ships turned into living, floating laboratories for scientists studying the disease. With their close confines and high proportions of older people (who tend to be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus), combined with their lack of access to the outside world, cruise ships were – tragically, in some cases – the perfect incubator.

Last week’s webinar saw Derek and our expert panel give their opinions on the merits of investing in property on the North Coast of KZN, and brief insights on the SA property market as a whole.

Let’s Talk Property, Hosted by Derek Watts

2 min read Last week’s webinar saw Derek and our expert panel give their opinions on the merits of investing in property on the North Coast of KZN, and brief insights on the SA property market as a whole.

The construction industry has the potential to create employment opportunities to cushion the impact of an anticipated increase in unemployment in the immediate aftermath of the current nation-wide lockdown. This is according to a submission made by the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CCRR19TT) to motivate for a phased reactivation of the Construction Sector. The task team is a body representing major organizations in the sector including contractors, property developers, construction professionals, suppliers, and service providers.

Call for the designation of construction sector as essential services

3 min read The construction industry has the potential to create employment opportunities to cushion the impact of an anticipated increase in unemployment in the immediate aftermath of the current nation-wide lockdown. This is according to a submission made by the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CCRR19TT) to motivate for a phased reactivation of the Construction Sector. The task team is a body representing major organizations in the sector including contractors, property developers, construction professionals, suppliers, and service providers.

Sea Point has long been regarded as one of the property jewels of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. But does it still offer good investments? With Sea Point’s natural attractions and strong short-stay letting market, but should investors be scared off by talk of ‘carnage’ in the local market, and new regulations around short-term rentals?

Sea Point: An Investor’s Eye View

3 min read Sea Point has long been regarded as one of the property jewels of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. But does it still offer good investments? With Sea Point’s natural attractions and strong short-stay letting market, but should investors be scared off by talk of ‘carnage’ in the local market, and new regulations around short-term rentals?

The crisis we are going through is unprecedented in our lifetime – even in living memory. But it’s not unprecedented in the history of the world and, almost invariably, this kind of crisis leads to immense social, technological and philosophical change. The one thing we can be sure of is that life after COVID-19 will be different, but we can’t be sure of the form that difference will take. So it’s up to us to decide how we want to change, and how we want to live in the future.

Never let a good crisis go to waste

4 min read The crisis we are going through is unprecedented in our lifetime – even in living memory. But it’s not unprecedented in the history of the world and, almost invariably, this kind of crisis leads to immense social, technological and philosophical change. The one thing we can be sure of is that life after COVID-19 will be different, but we can’t be sure of the form that difference will take. So it’s up to us to decide how we want to change, and how we want to live in the future.

When we think of bricks, we tend to think of either baked clay bricks or cement bricks, both of which have a very high carbon footprint – conventional clay bricks are fired at temperatures of over 1,000C, and cement requires temperatures in excess of 1,400C, which requires the burning of coal with all its attendant environmental fallout. But there are bricks – or brick-like things – that can be produced at much lower temperatures, thereby using much less carbon, and producing less pollution. Some are the result of amazing new technological breakthroughs, and are only in the trail phase, while some are so old as to have been virtually forgotten.

Another brick in the wall

4 min read When we think of bricks, we tend to think of either baked clay bricks or cement bricks, both of which have a very high carbon footprint – conventional clay bricks are fired at temperatures of over 1,000C, and cement requires temperatures in excess of 1,400C, which requires the burning of coal with all its attendant environmental fallout. But there are bricks – or brick-like things – that can be produced at much lower temperatures, thereby using much less carbon, and producing less pollution. Some are the result of amazing new technological breakthroughs, and are only in the trail phase, while some are so old as to have been virtually forgotten.

With construction not categorised as an essential service, all projects are suspended under the national COVID-19 lockdown – leaving the sector facing a deeply uncertain future.

Builders face an uncertain post-COVID-19 future

3 min read With construction not categorised as an essential service, all projects are suspended under the national COVID-19 lockdown – leaving the sector facing a deeply uncertain future.

Johannesburg lays claim to being the largest artificially cultivated urban forest in the world, which is great, even if it’s not entirely true. It’s great because it instils a sense of pride in the trees of the city, encouraging citizens and authorities alike to nurture them, and to plant more. And the Soweto Greening Project is extending that tree-planting spirit with – so far – more than 200,000 trees having been planted in Soweto. Not surprisingly, cities worldwide are becoming more and more creative in their greening efforts, with possibly the most spectacular of these being the innovation of vertical forests. Would this be a good idea here too?

Vertical forests

4 min read Johannesburg lays claim to being the largest artificially cultivated urban forest in the world, which is great, even if it’s not entirely true. It’s great because it instils a sense of pride in the trees of the city, encouraging citizens and authorities alike to nurture them, and to plant more. And the Soweto Greening Project is extending that tree-planting spirit with – so far – more than 200,000 trees having been planted in Soweto. Not surprisingly, cities worldwide are becoming more and more creative in their greening efforts, with possibly the most spectacular of these being the innovation of vertical forests. Would this be a good idea here too?

If you own, live on, or are developing a piece of land of significant natural value, you will need to come up with a way of ensuring that you manage it responsibly – and the best way to do that is to think beyond your boundary fence. The plants, soil, birds and animals don’t recognise title deeds, so managing for nature requires thinking outside of the strict ownership model of land use.

Conservancies

4 min read If you own, live on, or are developing a piece of land of significant natural value, you will need to come up with a way of ensuring that you manage it responsibly – and the best way to do that is to think beyond your boundary fence. The plants, soil, birds and animals don’t recognise title deeds, so managing for nature requires thinking outside of the strict ownership model of land use.

Our ancestors were devastated by diseases like smallpox, polio and measles, but we hardly give these ailments a thought. They’re just not a threat, due to an interesting phenomenon called herd immunity – a term that’s being optimistically bandied about in relation to COVID-19.

Herd immunity

3 min read Our ancestors were devastated by diseases like smallpox, polio and measles, but we hardly give these ailments a thought. They’re just not a threat, due to an interesting phenomenon called herd immunity – a term that’s being optimistically bandied about in relation to COVID-19.

Government gazetted amendments to the BBBEE legislation on 31 May 2019, with a six-month implementation timeframe. This limited implementation period could negatively impact on your business, depending on your financial year end, and the date of the next BBBEE verification.

The 2019 amendments to BBBEE legislation

2 min read Government gazetted amendments to the BBBEE legislation on 31 May 2019, with a six-month implementation timeframe. This limited implementation period could negatively impact on your business, depending on your financial year end, and the date of the next BBBEE verification.

Conradie Park, a new mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in Cape Town, has been launched for sale to the public. Its marketing campaign lauds its ‘affordability, sustainability and security’, but how exactly will it be funded and maintained in the long run?

Conradie Park’s model for sustainability

4 min read Conradie Park, a new mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in Cape Town, has been launched for sale to the public. Its marketing campaign lauds its ‘affordability, sustainability and security’, but how exactly will it be funded and maintained in the long run?

Corporate social investment is a great way for companies – and for estates – to give back to the community. But, while any CSI is a good thing, there is a huge difference between merely diverting funds to a good cause and actually getting involved with the community on a person-to-person basis. The former – at best – improves living standards for the target community, while the latter builds real relationships that can grow into an ongoing circle of benefit.

Sustainable, impactful CSI

4 min read Corporate social investment is a great way for companies – and for estates – to give back to the community. But, while any CSI is a good thing, there is a huge difference between merely diverting funds to a good cause and actually getting involved with the community on a person-to-person basis. The former – at best – improves living standards for the target community, while the latter builds real relationships that can grow into an ongoing circle of benefit.

Under capitalism, the argument goes, it’s every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour.

Tackling salary inequity

6 min read Under capitalism, the argument goes, it’s every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour.

As South Africa becomes more water-stressed, many home owners and estate managers are considering replacing lawns with artificial turf. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so you need to look carefully at how the two options stack up against each other in terms of eco-friendliness, durability, and convenience.

The grass is greener

3 min read As South Africa becomes more water-stressed, many home owners and estate managers are considering replacing lawns with artificial turf. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so you need to look carefully at how the two options stack up against each other in terms of eco-friendliness, durability, and convenience.

Marina Costas of BBM Law is offering free telephonic or Zoom 30 min conversations from Thursday the 2nd of April until the end of lock down from 11 am - 1 pm. All Trustees can join one meeting and ask top of mind questions around the implications and requirements of the lockdown on Sectional Title Schemes.

Free telephonic consultation for Sectional Title Scheme dwellers

< 1 min read Marina Costas of BBM Law is offering free telephonic or Zoom 30 min conversations from Thursday the 2nd of April until the end of lock down from 11 am – 1 pm. All Trustees can join one meeting and ask top of mind questions around the implications and requirements of the lockdown on Sectional Title Schemes.

While green building practices – and Green Building Council certification – are known to improve sustainability and reduce running costs, EDGE certification is now also showing its worth as a marketing tool for estate developers.

Giving developers a greener EDGE

3 min read While green building practices – and Green Building Council certification – are known to improve sustainability and reduce running costs, EDGE certification is now also showing its worth as a marketing tool for estate developers.

Property developers are encouraged to invest in District Six, despite rumours that the historic Cape Town precinct might be declared a National Heritage site. That’s according to Shahied Ajam, chairperson of the District Six Working Committee (D6WC).

District Six open for development

4 min read Property developers are encouraged to invest in District Six, despite rumours that the historic Cape Town precinct might be declared a National Heritage site. That’s according to Shahied Ajam, chairperson of the District Six Working Committee (D6WC).

Estates offer families the opportunity to ‘live, work, and play’ in a single space, which has led to a demand for practical schooling solutions in or close to estates. 
But schools take up a lot of space, so it’s worth considering smaller collaborative learning spaces, fuelled by online educational centres and curriculums.

Schooling solutions

3 min read Estates offer families the opportunity to ‘live, work, and play’ in a single space, which has led to a demand for practical schooling solutions in or close to estates.
But schools take up a lot of space, so it’s worth considering smaller collaborative learning spaces, fuelled by online educational centres and curriculums.

Developing trails in estates not only adds value to properties but provides safe and healthy opportunities for residents – and also creates unique selling features with little investment.

Creating value with running trails

3 min read Developing trails in estates not only adds value to properties but provides safe and healthy opportunities for residents – and also creates unique selling features with little investment.

Okay, it’s official. COVID-19 is a pandemic – and it’s caused a national and international emergency. This is serious, and – yes – there is a risk of contracting the disease, and even of dying from it. But is this really the biggest risk? As with many things, it is easier to see the problems ‘out there’ and ignore the ones in our heads. So, while I’m not for one moment denying the seriousness of COVID-19, let’s look at the real risks.

COVID-19

3 min read Okay, it’s official. COVID-19 is a pandemic – and it’s caused a national and international emergency. This is serious, and – yes – there is a risk of contracting the disease, and even of dying from it. But is this really the biggest risk? As with many things, it is easier to see the problems ‘out there’ and ignore the ones in our heads. So, while I’m not for one moment denying the seriousness of COVID-19, let’s look at the real risks.

Single moms have become a force to be reckoned with in the property market. Developers who want their estates to appeal to this growing demographic will need to keep in mind factors such as security, open spaces, schools and modern living units.

Single mothers constitute a growing demographic of home buyers in South Africa

3 min read Single moms have become a force to be reckoned with in the property market. Developers who want their estates to appeal to this growing demographic will need to keep in mind factors such as security, open spaces, schools and modern living units.

Should we be looking to the past for ideas for alternative building methods to reduce our carbon footprint? It makes sense, because traditional, low-tech building methods are almost naturally low carbon-intensive.

Mud buildings of Groot Constantia

3 min read Should we be looking to the past for ideas for alternative building methods to reduce our carbon footprint? It makes sense, because traditional, low-tech building methods are almost naturally low carbon-intensive.

Most of us can point to the black stuff growing in our shower and say: ‘That’s mould.’ Fewer people can say what mould actually is. There are thousands of different species of mould that all spread through spores. Some of these moulds can cause significant health concerns, ranging from allergies to asthma attacks, and even fungal infections in immunocompromised people. Understanding what mould is, and how it grows, is the first step towards preventing it from growing and spreading in your home.

What is mould

3 min read Most of us can point to the black stuff growing in our shower and say: ‘That’s mould.’ Fewer people can say what mould actually is. There are thousands of different species of mould that all spread through spores. Some of these moulds can cause significant health concerns, ranging from allergies to asthma attacks, and even fungal infections in immunocompromised people. Understanding what mould is, and how it grows, is the first step towards preventing it from growing and spreading in your home.

While the property industry has historically been dominated by men, an increasing number of women are making their mark in property development.

Top influential women developers share their industry experience

3 min read While the property industry has historically been dominated by men, an increasing number of women are making their mark in property development.

As sustainability and the desire to live off grid have become mainstream, so too has the trend of tiny homes risen in popularity. We take a closer look at BDI’s PanGoPod home and explore how developers can utilise these methods by thinking out of the box.

BDI pod homes

3 min read As sustainability and the desire to live off grid have become mainstream, so too has the trend of tiny homes risen in popularity. We take a closer look at BDI’s PanGoPod home and explore how developers can utilise these methods by thinking out of the box.

After years of controversy, the old Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home near Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to be developed into social housing following the City’s decision to rezone the site for this purpose. However, the building remains occupied by the Reclaim The City activist group, who moved in in March 2017 and renamed the site Ahmed Kathrada House.

Somerset Nurse’s’ Home to become affordable housing

3 min read After years of controversy, the old Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home near Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to be developed into social housing following the City’s decision to rezone the site for this purpose. However, the building remains occupied by the Reclaim The City activist group, who moved in in March 2017 and renamed the site Ahmed Kathrada House.

The Property Practitioner Act is a new piece of legislation that, once it is signed into law – probably mid-2020 – will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. Its main purpose is to establish the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board; to regulate the affairs of all property practitioners; to allow for transformation in the property sector; and to provide for consumer protection.

The Property Practitioners Act

2 min read The Property Practitioner Act is a new piece of legislation that, once it is signed into law – probably mid-2020 – will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. Its main purpose is to establish the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board; to regulate the affairs of all property practitioners; to allow for transformation in the property sector; and to provide for consumer protection.

Johannesburg is a unique city because it was built without a local water supply. It has become the only major city in the world totally reliant on water sourced from distant rivers and pumped across mountain ranges. This creates a vulnerability that few appreciate when buying or developing real estate.

Where does Johannesburg get its water

3 min read Johannesburg is a unique city because it was built without a local water supply. It has become the only major city in the world totally reliant on water sourced from distant rivers and pumped across mountain ranges. This creates a vulnerability that few appreciate when buying or developing real estate.

A seemingly innocuous comment about overpopulation at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos highlights how oversimplification of the issues and processes can exacerbate the problem, and shift blame from the perpetrators to the victims.

Is overpopulation to blame for climate change

3 min read A seemingly innocuous comment about overpopulation at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos highlights how oversimplification of the issues and processes can exacerbate the problem, and shift blame from the perpetrators to the victims.

One of the main reasons people move into residential estates is to recreate the sense of community typical of villages or small, well-defined suburbs. People knew their neighbours – and their neighbours’ pets – and they memorised each other’s phone numbers. In their heads! Kids played in the street or in public open space, wandered in and out of each other’s houses, and only came home when they were hungry.

Size counts

4 min read One of the main reasons people move into residential estates is to recreate the sense of community typical of villages or small, well-defined suburbs. People knew their neighbours – and their neighbours’ pets – and they memorised each other’s phone numbers. In their heads! Kids played in the street or in public open space, wandered in and out of each other’s houses, and only came home when they were hungry.

Building a dog park on an estate can bring in increased revenue and foster a sense of community. Many of the drawbacks of being dog-friendly can be mitigated through careful planning.

Is it worth building a doggy park on an estate?

2 min read Building a dog park on an estate can bring in increased revenue and foster a sense of community. Many of the drawbacks of being dog-friendly can be mitigated through careful planning.

New technologies allow security teams to identify guests – and intruders – by how they walk. Is this the future of estate access?

Biometrics: Is Gait ID The New Gate ID?

2 min read New technologies allow security teams to identify guests – and intruders – by how they walk. Is this the future of estate access?

Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape is best known as a top surf spot, home to the perfect wave. The J-Bay Open is one of the stops on the Men’s Surfing Championship Tour, and boasts the longest right-hand point break on the planet.

Forget streets paved in gold – plastic roads are the future, and Jeffreys Bay is leading the way.

3 min read Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape is best known as a top surf spot, home to the perfect wave. The J-Bay Open is one of the stops on the Men’s Surfing Championship Tour, and boasts the longest right-hand point break on the planet.

The AfrAsia Bank SA Wealth Report for 2019 has named Durban-Umhlanga-Ballito corridor as the fastest growing wealth market in South Africa, with a 25% growth trajectory reported over the last decade.

KZN fastest growing wealth market in SA

3 min read The AfrAsia Bank SA Wealth Report for 2019 has named Durban-Umhlanga-Ballito corridor as the fastest growing wealth market in South Africa, with a 25% growth trajectory reported over the last decade.

Estate Living discusses opportunities for development at the gorgeous Zimbali Lakes Resort

Zimbali Lakes Resort – Development Site available for development

< 1 min read Estate Living discusses opportunities for development at the gorgeous Zimbali Lakes Resort

Early October 2019 saw the Property Practitioners Act of 2019  signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The new law was generally welcomed by property practitioners … even if there was initially some confusion about who exactly counts as a property practitioner!

Property Practitioners Act: What it means for developers

3 min read Early October 2019 saw the Property Practitioners Act of 2019  signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The new law was generally welcomed by property practitioners … even if there was initially some confusion about who exactly counts as a property practitioner!

Chris Mulder is no stranger to winning awards. In his illustrious career, Dr Mulder – together with his team from CMAI Architects – has won numerous awards from US and South African professional associations and universities since he founded the firm in 1980.

Dr Mulder does it again

2 min read Chris Mulder is no stranger to winning awards. In his illustrious career, Dr Mulder – together with his team from CMAI Architects – has won numerous awards from US and South African professional associations and universities since he founded the firm in 1980.

Finding the right property is hard enough but negotiating the right price and related fees can be harder, especially if one party is unwilling. Sometimes you may need to walk away from the deal.

Negotiation is key when purchasing a property

2 min read Finding the right property is hard enough but negotiating the right price and related fees can be harder, especially if one party is unwilling. Sometimes you may need to walk away from the deal.

We all know retirement facilities are the new big investment opportunity, and research shows that the R1.5 million price mark is the sweet spot. The most recent census conducted in 2011 put the total South African population at 57.7 million people. Of this number, 5.4% were aged 65 and over. When compared to the same figure in 2000, only 3.7% were aged 65 and over.

Why developing retirement facilities under R1.5m is a no-brainer

3 min read We all know retirement facilities are the new big investment opportunity, and research shows that the R1.5 million price mark is the sweet spot. The most recent census conducted in 2011 put the total South African population at 57.7 million people. Of this number, 5.4% were aged 65 and over. When compared to the same figure in 2000, only 3.7% were aged 65 and over.

Joburg is fast becoming a megacity, but how does it compare with existing African megacities for return on investment? Cairo, Kinshasa and Lagos all carry the status of megacity – cities with a population of at least 10 million inhabitants. Fast on their heels are Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Johannesburg, which are predicted to attain the status of megacity by 2030, according to the United Nations.

How does Johannesburg measure up as a megacity?

3 min read Joburg is fast becoming a megacity, but how does it compare with existing African megacities for return on investment? Cairo, Kinshasa and Lagos all carry the status of megacity – cities with a population of at least 10 million inhabitants. Fast on their heels are Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Johannesburg, which are predicted to attain the status of megacity by 2030, according to the United Nations.

Bamboo is sustainable and easy to grow, and South Africa has the perfect conditions for cultivation. Could this be the answer as a building material for affordable housing?

Bamboo houses … are they the answer to the affordable housing crisis?

3 min read Bamboo is sustainable and easy to grow, and South Africa has the perfect conditions for cultivation. Could this be the answer as a building material for affordable housing?

To take the greening of your estate seriously, you must consider each step from conception to design, through the building process and continuing to operation and management.

How green is green?

3 min read To take the greening of your estate seriously, you must consider each step from conception to design, through the building process and continuing to operation and management.

As Gen X hits 50, existing and planned estates need to re-evaluate their position on retirement, and on multi-generational living. As the oldest of the Gen Xers are turning 50, and watching their baby boomer parents ‘raging against the [dimming] of the light’, they are starting to ponder their own mortality, potential morbidity and – shock, horror, gasp – old age!

Xers mark the spot

2 min read As Gen X hits 50, existing and planned estates need to re-evaluate their position on retirement, and on multi-generational living. As the oldest of the Gen Xers are turning 50, and watching their baby boomer parents ‘raging against the [dimming] of the light’, they are starting to ponder their own mortality, potential morbidity and – shock, horror, gasp – old age!

Louise Martin, COO of Estate Living, interviews Santams Head of specialist real estate, Karl Bishop, on Santam's development guarantees.

Estate Living interview with Santam

< 1 min read Louise Martin, COO of Estate Living, interviews Santams Head of specialist real estate, Karl Bishop, on Santam’s development guarantees.

It should seem unsurprising to most of us that urban space is at a growing premium. It’s been a growing trend across the world since the industrial revolution, but particularly so in the last few decades as people flock to urban areas.

A global trend

2 min read It should seem unsurprising to most of us that urban space is at a growing premium. It’s been a growing trend across the world since the industrial revolution, but particularly so in the last few decades as people flock to urban areas.

Not so long ago, if somebody wanted to have their complaint heard, the best options were to write a letter to the newspaper (and hope that it would be published) or dial into the radio. now, in the digital age, everyone has a voice. Never before has it been easier to have your concerns or thoughts heard – no matter how insignificant or trivial they are – and that has implications for estate managers

Customer complaints & social media

3 min read Not so long ago, if somebody wanted to have their complaint heard, the best options were to write a letter to the newspaper (and hope that it would be published) or dial into the radio. now, in the digital age, everyone has a voice. Never before has it been easier to have your concerns or thoughts heard – no matter how insignificant or trivial they are – and that has implications for estate managers

The Section 12J tax allowance has introduced an exciting new asset class that has attracted over R6 billion within a very short period of time. Let’s explore how this can benefit developers.

Property Development and Section 12J

3 min read The Section 12J tax allowance has introduced an exciting new asset class that has attracted over R6 billion within a very short period of time. Let’s explore how this can benefit developers.

Your home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you will own. While you put a lot of time, effort and money into making it the ideal home, it is equally important to keep yourself informed on how well this investment is protected.

Protecting your investment with insurance

3 min read Your home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you will own. While you put a lot of time, effort and money into making it the ideal home, it is equally important to keep yourself informed on how well this investment is protected.

As with anything in life, knowledge is power and in today’s risky economic climate, investors need as much as possible to make bold, calculated investment moves that yield great results. Cue Estate Living, South Africa’s leading resource and specialist consultancy within the community living environments. Masters at building relationships and identifying new opportunities, Louise Martin and Jaime-Lee Gardner’s innovative services are helping investors and developers all over the country to understand their market.  

Estate living: getting ahead in today’s risky property market

2 min read As with anything in life, knowledge is power and in today’s risky economic climate, investors need as much as possible to make bold, calculated investment moves that yield great results. Cue Estate Living, South Africa’s leading resource and specialist consultancy within the community living environments. Masters at building relationships and identifying new opportunities, Louise Martin and Jaime-Lee Gardner’s innovative services are helping investors and developers all over the country to understand their market.  

Some of us get the idea of “Joburg luxury” completely wrong: We see ourselves in the car of our dreams driving down William Nicol on the way to work. When in fact, real city luxury (or perhaps even city happiness) could be found not when you upgrade your ride but when you shorten your commute. Living closer to work does not only add more time to your day and more buck to your budget, but recent research shows that it can also improve your overall wellness.

How to find the luxury in city living

2 min read Some of us get the idea of “Joburg luxury” completely wrong: We see ourselves in the car of our dreams driving down William Nicol on the way to work. When in fact, real city luxury (or perhaps even city happiness) could be found not when you upgrade your ride but when you shorten your commute. Living closer to work does not only add more time to your day and more buck to your budget, but recent research shows that it can also improve your overall wellness.

Not a day goes by without one hearing of some municipal crisis somewhere in the country. These range from banal but extremely annoying stories of billing crises, lack of budgetary control and bloated bureaucracies to the horror story unfolding in Emfuleni, where total collapse of the municipality as a functional entity has unleashed a tsunami of raw sewage flowing unabated along the streets and through the buildings, as it makes its way to the nearest river.

What deteriorating municipal infrastructure means for residential estates

5 min read Not a day goes by without one hearing of some municipal crisis somewhere in the country. These range from banal but extremely annoying stories of billing crises, lack of budgetary control and bloated bureaucracies to the horror story unfolding in Emfuleni, where total collapse of the municipality as a functional entity has unleashed a tsunami of raw sewage flowing unabated along the streets and through the buildings, as it makes its way to the nearest river.

In a worryingly flat property market, developers are facing an ever-growing challenge to find value-adds to help them move units.

Simple, transparent utility metering can be a differentiator for developers

3 min read In a worryingly flat property market, developers are facing an ever-growing challenge to find value-adds to help them move units.

We’ve come a long way since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary in 2006. Although not the first we’d heard of climate change and the effects of globalisation, it was an eye-opener for many and it sparked fierce debate. Things that were only spoken of then are now becoming reality, and we probably all understand the severity of global climate change, and what this means for future generations. 

Investing in a sustainable future

3 min read We’ve come a long way since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary in 2006. Although not the first we’d heard of climate change and the effects of globalisation, it was an eye-opener for many and it sparked fierce debate. Things that were only spoken of then are now becoming reality, and we probably all understand the severity of global climate change, and what this means for future generations. 

People aren’t retiring like they used to. Instead, many are working longer out of necessity or from a desire to remain vital and engaged.

Building Retirement Communities

3 min read People aren’t retiring like they used to. Instead, many are working longer out of necessity or from a desire to remain vital and engaged.

Probably one of the most difficult issues facing estate managers is waste management. It’s a truly Sisyphean endeavour – just when you think you’ve cleared the pile, it grows back. But creative waste management is essential, not only to maintain the beauty and integrity of our estates, but of – yes – the whole world.

Keep it Clean

3 min read Probably one of the most difficult issues facing estate managers is waste management. It’s a truly Sisyphean endeavour – just when you think you’ve cleared the pile, it grows back. But creative waste management is essential, not only to maintain the beauty and integrity of our estates, but of – yes – the whole world.

Every time we hear stories of veld fires, we are alerted to the very real danger to our homes of a runaway fire. The devastating Knysna fires of 2017 are a vivid reminder of just how quickly a fire can rage out of control and cause millions of rands of damages. Coupled with domestic risks such as faulty wiring or appliances, it’s essential that bodies corporate and trustees review their estate’s insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered against fire risk.

Fire Risk Management for Estates

3 min read Every time we hear stories of veld fires, we are alerted to the very real danger to our homes of a runaway fire. The devastating Knysna fires of 2017 are a vivid reminder of just how quickly a fire can rage out of control and cause millions of rands of damages. Coupled with domestic risks such as faulty wiring or appliances, it’s essential that bodies corporate and trustees review their estate’s insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered against fire risk.

ARC (Association for Residential Community), proactively supports Homeowners Associations and Bodies Corporate, their management teams and trustees, to establish, maintain and enhance the value of residential communities and mixed-use developments.

The Next Chapter

< 1 min read ARC (Association for Residential Community), proactively supports Homeowners Associations and Bodies Corporate, their management teams and trustees, to establish, maintain and enhance the value of residential communities and mixed-use developments.

A recently concluded joint venture between Evergreen Retirement Holdings and the Uvest Property Group will see the development of Evergreen Sitari, a premier retirement village, set within the Sitari Country Estate in Somerset West.

Evergreen Sitari

4 min read A recently concluded joint venture between Evergreen Retirement Holdings and the Uvest Property Group will see the development of Evergreen Sitari, a premier retirement village, set within the Sitari Country Estate in Somerset West.

Bamboo is one of the world’s oldest natural building materials. In Asia and South America, where it occurs naturally, it’s been the building material of choice for centuries for everything from homes to bridges and scaffolding. This wonder plant of the past offers a multitude of options for the contemporary homemaker.

Bamboo

5 min read Bamboo is one of the world’s oldest natural building materials. In Asia and South America, where it occurs naturally, it’s been the building material of choice for centuries for everything from homes to bridges and scaffolding. This wonder plant of the past offers a multitude of options for the contemporary homemaker.

The KwaZulu-Natal province is set to see the development of a number of new retirement villages, designed as vibrant communities to accommodate active, healthy and happy retirees.

Retirement developer expands into KZN region

3 min read The KwaZulu-Natal province is set to see the development of a number of new retirement villages, designed as vibrant communities to accommodate active, healthy and happy retirees.

In this video we show you how to make a DIY chalkboard serving tray that's cute and easy to make.

Builders DIY: How to Make a DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

< 1 min read In this video we show you how to make a DIY chalkboard serving tray that’s cute and easy to make.

In this video Tanya Visser talks about the different types of insecticides and how to use them. Insecticides are ideal to use for eliminating insects in your garden. Make sure you choose an insecticide that's suitable for your needs in order to get the best results

How Do Insecticides Work

< 1 min read In this video Tanya Visser talks about the different types of insecticides and how to use them.

Insecticides are ideal to use for eliminating insects in your garden. Make sure you choose an insecticide that’s suitable for your needs in order to get the best results

The Efekto water-wise crystals is a polymer which attracts water and it's completely biodegradable and non-toxic. This means it's safe and good for your plants. The crystals turn int o jelly when mixed with water, plants then absorb the water from the jelly.It's perfect to use for garden beds, lawns, plants in containers, hanging baskets and more.

Using Water Crystals For Your Plants

< 1 min read The Efekto water-wise crystals is a polymer which attracts water and it’s completely biodegradable and non-toxic.

This means it’s safe and good for your plants. The crystals turn int o jelly when mixed with water, plants then absorb the water from the jelly.It’s perfect to use for garden beds, lawns, plants in containers, hanging baskets and more.

Fired Earth Woodworks is a water based wood stainer and sealer that's perfect for interior and exterior use.

How To Use Fired Earth Woodworks

< 1 min read Fired Earth Woodworks is a water based wood stainer and sealer that’s perfect for interior and exterior use.

One paint with five applications. It's a world-first in paint technology.

Protect your walls with Fired Earth Breakthrough 5-in-1

< 1 min read One paint with five applications. It’s a world-first in paint technology.

It applies pink and dries white - so you'll never miss a spot again.

Builders DIY: Paint your ceiling with Fired Earth Ceiling Paint

< 1 min read It applies pink and dries white – so you’ll never miss a spot again.

Transform a bland white space into a stunning feature wall in a snap with this short and sweet DIY video!

Builders DIY: Geometric feature wall

< 1 min read Transform a bland white space into a stunning feature wall in a snap with this short and sweet DIY video!

The exclusive Somerset Lakes is situated in Somerset West close to the Hottentots Holland Mountains, False Bay, and the Western Cape’s wonderful wine country.

Redefine typology

2 min read The exclusive Somerset Lakes is situated in Somerset West close to the Hottentots Holland Mountains, False Bay, and the Western Cape’s wonderful wine country.

'Our upcoming studio units in Obs are ideal for first-time investors’ – Rawson Developers’s Brad Morgan. Smaller units geared to students and short-term renters, sold at competitive price points to first-time buyers or investors, is Rawson Developers’s winning formula that is leading the property market in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.

Breaking Ground with Cape Town student accommodation at the right price

3 min read ‘Our upcoming studio units in Obs are ideal for first-time investors’ – Rawson Developers’s Brad Morgan. Smaller units geared to students and short-term renters, sold at competitive price points to first-time buyers or investors, is Rawson Developers’s winning formula that is leading the property market in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.

Is bigger always better? Not always – and especially not if you want the convenience of living close to your workplace, and you happen to work in one of the world’s increasingly congested cities.

Trending small

4 min read Is bigger always better? Not always – and especially not if you want the convenience of living close to your workplace, and you happen to work in one of the world’s increasingly congested cities.

The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) has been in existence for over 10 years, with 11 founder members, 10 chapters around the country and over 300 member estates, home to over 200,000 residents and representing 58% of the market in respect of number of homes.

Why estates should join association of residential communities and estate living partnership

2 min read The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) has been in existence for over 10 years, with 11 founder members, 10 chapters around the country and over 300 member estates, home to over 200,000 residents and representing 58% of the market in respect of number of homes.

So, you’ve gazed upon your ‘fields of corn’ … you’ve dreamt, you’ve designed and you’ve built. Now what? Do you sit back and ‘wait for them to come’, as Ray Kinsella (a.k.a. Kevin Costner), the Iowa farmer in the movie Field of Dreams, did? If you’re Kevin Costner or some other A-list Hollywood star, chances are they’ll come in droves; unfortunately, the rest of us must rely on good, not-soold-fashioned sales communication strategies and good marketing, which curates leads, from a qualified market.

If you build it, they will come – or will they?

5 min read So, you’ve gazed upon your ‘fields of corn’ … you’ve dreamt, you’ve designed and you’ve built. Now what? Do you sit back and ‘wait for them to come’, as Ray Kinsella (a.k.a. Kevin Costner), the Iowa farmer in the movie Field of Dreams, did? If you’re Kevin Costner or some other A-list Hollywood star, chances are they’ll come in droves; unfortunately, the rest of us must rely on good, not-soold-fashioned sales communication strategies and good marketing, which curates leads, from a qualified market.

A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out, and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

Best practice transition

5 min read A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out, and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

It’s good business to protect natural areas within your housing estate, not only because they make it a nicer living space that can command a higher property price, but also because the functions they provide have monetary value for both you as the property owner and also the municipality within which you live.

Going green is profitable

3 min read It’s good business to protect natural areas within your housing estate, not only because they make it a nicer living space that can command a higher property price, but also because the functions they provide have monetary value for both you as the property owner and also the municipality within which you live.

Brand image is everything. We understand the importance of this, which is why we ensure that your image reflects perfection and elegance.

Landscape construction

3 min read Brand image is everything. We understand the importance of this, which is why we ensure that your image reflects perfection and elegance.

A professional security presence with 24/7 staffed access is a given, but sometimes a developer needs to add an extra loss prevention and safety component to its security plan.

Security and beyond security

5 min read A professional security presence with 24/7 staffed access is a given, but sometimes a developer needs to add an extra loss prevention and safety component to its security plan.

As a developer, you are already adding fibre to new properties; in fact, you may very well be retrofitting it to old buildings. Why? Because fibre is the digital differentiator. It adds value to a property and is a make-or-break factor in the buying decisions of property and business owners alike.

Fibre is the digital differentiator but what is the cost to you?

2 min read As a developer, you are already adding fibre to new properties; in fact, you may very well be retrofitting it to old buildings. Why? Because fibre is the digital differentiator. It adds value to a property and is a make-or-break factor in the buying decisions of property and business owners alike.

As providers prepare to roll out 5G mobile technology, what does this mean for us? A generation ago, mobile video calls were the stuff of spy movies and science fiction. Now, as mobile technology enters its fifth wave of evolution, we’re stepping into a future that not even James Bond or Star Trek could have imagined. And that’s not hype.

Mobile’s next generation

3 min read As providers prepare to roll out 5G mobile technology, what does this mean for us? A generation ago, mobile video calls were the stuff of spy movies and science fiction. Now, as mobile technology enters its fifth wave of evolution, we’re stepping into a future that not even James Bond or Star Trek could have imagined. And that’s not hype.

There are people who get a thrill out of picking out new furniture and appliances when they move house – and then there are the rest of us, which explains the growing appreciation of, and demand for, integrated appliances.

The battle of the brands

3 min read There are people who get a thrill out of picking out new furniture and appliances when they move house – and then there are the rest of us, which explains the growing appreciation of, and demand for, integrated appliances.

Gone are the days when developers took a shot in the dark choosing retail tenants, with some white elephants that followed.

Getting the retail mix right in mixed-use developments

3 min read Gone are the days when developers took a shot in the dark choosing retail tenants, with some white elephants that followed.

The beautiful plantations of sugar cane that are such an intrinsic part of the landscape of the KZN North Coast are transforming into new urban spaces made up of well-planned mixed-use precincts, and also into green open space and rehabilitated coastal forest.

Sweet spot

6 min read The beautiful plantations of sugar cane that are such an intrinsic part of the landscape of the KZN North Coast are transforming into new urban spaces made up of well-planned mixed-use precincts, and also into green open space and rehabilitated coastal forest.

Rejuvenating inner-city neighbourhoods can be an uplifting, progressive and profitable enterprise, but it’s not as simple as that.

Urban regeneration vs gentrification

6 min read Rejuvenating inner-city neighbourhoods can be an uplifting, progressive and profitable enterprise, but it’s not as simple as that.

You’ve probably heard all the hype about Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind, but there is a lot more to it than the tourism marketers make out.

Dem bones

6 min read You’ve probably heard all the hype about Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind, but there is a lot more to it than the tourism marketers make out.

In an urban world where we are increasingly paying attention to our physical and mental health needs, the buildings that we occupy can be designed and managed in ways that help us improve our health and wellbeing. The WELL Building Standard provides indicators that can be used by the designers, owners and managers of buildings to create a healthier built environment.

Building well for living well

4 min read In an urban world where we are increasingly paying attention to our physical and mental health needs, the buildings that we occupy can be designed and managed in ways that help us improve our health and wellbeing. The WELL Building Standard provides indicators that can be used by the designers, owners and managers of buildings to create a healthier built environment.

Estate Living and the FTTX Council Africa will once again be hosting a Property Stakeholder Workshop during the annual FTTX Council Africa Conference taking place at the Durban Exhibition Centre in September 2018.

FTTX Council Africa workshop for estate managers and property developers

< 1 min read Estate Living and the FTTX Council Africa will once again be hosting a Property Stakeholder Workshop during the annual FTTX Council Africa Conference taking place at the Durban Exhibition Centre in September 2018.

Construction is a hazardous endeavour, so here’s how you can make it as safe as possible – and stay on the right side of the law. Let’s say, for example, ABC Development and Property Management is planning to build a new ultra-modern clubhouse at ABC Golf Estate.

Work hard, work fair, nobody hurt

3 min read Construction is a hazardous endeavour, so here’s how you can make it as safe as possible – and stay on the right side of the law. Let’s say, for example, ABC Development and Property Management is planning to build a new ultra-modern clubhouse at ABC Golf Estate.

Andrew Donkin and Builders Warehouse show you how to build your own DIY kitchen Stand.

Builders DIY: DIY Kitchen Stand

< 1 min read Andrew Donkin and Builders Warehouse show you how to build your own DIY kitchen Stand.

Creating a kitchen with off-the-shelf units not only makes building your kitchen a breeze, but is really affordable too.

Builders DIY: How to build a Kitchen

< 1 min read Creating a kitchen with off-the-shelf units not only makes building your kitchen a breeze, but is really affordable too.

Come and join Estate Living at JNCS Beyond Security's highly informative presentation on the Future of proactive Estate Security at the Featherbrooke Estate on 8 August 2018. Gain invaluable insights from experts in the industry JNCS Beyond security, Axis Communications and IMC.

JNCS Beyond Security presents the future of proactive estate security

< 1 min read Come and join Estate Living at JNCS Beyond Security’s highly informative presentation on the Future of proactive Estate Security at the Featherbrooke Estate on 8 August 2018. Gain invaluable insights from experts in the industry JNCS Beyond security, Axis Communications and IMC.

Security is top of mind for people looking for a retirement village, so cutting edge security systems such as CCTV surveillance, intercom systems and 24-hour security guards are the norm – much as   they are on many existing residential estates. But, according to Edward van der Linde of JNCS Beyond Security, the best-of-breed security goes beyond these standard measures.

Proactive Security is the best protection for todays retirement village

3 min read Security is top of mind for people looking for a retirement village, so cutting edge security systems such as CCTV surveillance, intercom systems and 24-hour security guards are the norm – much as   they are on many existing residential estates. But, according to Edward van der Linde of JNCS Beyond Security, the best-of-breed security goes beyond these standard measures.

Mobile and wireless data are expected to increase a thousandfold over the next decade as more than 50 billion devices, all of which will be able to access and share data, anywhere and any time, connect to the cloud by 2020.

Wireless – the 5G vision

2 min read Mobile and wireless data are expected to increase a thousandfold over the next decade as more than 50 billion devices, all of which will be able to access and share data, anywhere and any time, connect to the cloud by 2020.

Central to any estate security product offering should be the understanding that estate security is not only about keeping the criminals out, but also about managing the behaviour of those that belong in the community. This includes residents, personal and recreational guests, staff and contractors.

Dynamic security solutions with Enforce Security Excellerate Services’

3 min read Central to any estate security product offering should be the understanding that estate security is not only about keeping the criminals out, but also about managing the behaviour of those that belong in the community. This includes residents, personal and recreational guests, staff and contractors.

Most companies and HOAs strive to appoint a board of directors that will be competent and effective in providing leadership and good governance but, in my opinion, vested interests and limited stakeholder perspectives often reduce the long-term effectiveness of their efforts.

Smart City: Security adds value to estates

3 min read Most companies and HOAs strive to appoint a board of directors that will be competent and effective in providing leadership and good governance but, in my opinion, vested interests and limited stakeholder perspectives often reduce the long-term effectiveness of their efforts.

Perspectives change, and that’s just one of the reasons you need to keep an open mind. This whole management-speak gobbledygook of “thinking outside the box”, “blue-sky thinking”, and – my favourite – “win-win situation”... they’re all just words, until they’re backed up by action. So I was recently delighted to actually witness a bit of corporate blue-sky, out-the-box thinking that really did produce a win-win situation.

Treasure in the cellar

4 min read Perspectives change, and that’s just one of the reasons you need to keep an open mind. This whole management-speak gobbledygook of “thinking outside the box”, “blue-sky thinking”, and – my favourite – “win-win situation”… they’re all just words, until they’re backed up by action. So I was recently delighted to actually witness a bit of corporate blue-sky, out-the-box thinking that really did produce a win-win situation.

If there’s one strong design feature that defines homes in a modern estate, it has to be expansive, frameless glass doors, enabling a seamless transition from inside to outside, and letting in tons of natural light.

Open up your Views

3 min read If there’s one strong design feature that defines homes in a modern estate, it has to be expansive, frameless glass doors, enabling a seamless transition from inside to outside, and letting in tons of natural light.

The Western Cape may be the primary destination for inlanders seeking a coastal lifestyle, but soaring property prices in the province, and Cape Town in particular, have made potential home buyers turn their focus to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) North and South coasts.

A new semigration destination

2 min read The Western Cape may be the primary destination for inlanders seeking a coastal lifestyle, but soaring property prices in the province, and Cape Town in particular, have made potential home buyers turn their focus to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) North and South coasts.

Having launched 9 months ago, Enigma Private Estate in KwaZulu-Natal has had a positive response, so positive that this new development is in the lead as the fastest selling estate in the greater Umhlanga area. More interestingly, the beginning of this year has been one of the most successful sales phases to date. The recent announcement confirming that construction is set to commence at the end of April 2018  has stimulated a strong response from the market, with the sales team achieving R30 million in sales in just one week.