The Green Housing Company is a Gauteng-based building and property development company. They work across a spectrum of markets including domestic and commercial buildings such as off-grid shopping malls.
Their specialty is building highly insulated and energy-efficient homes for both the high-end luxury property market and the affordable housing sector.
Their expertise lies in insulation, solar power, gas and water recycling solutions. This enables people to live off grid, and to generate sufficient power to export to neighbours or to feed back into the grid. The beauty of this is that owners can live off-grid. Their products are viable, sustainable and legally compliant, and are supported by the banking and building industry, including the NHBRC.
Founder, Brett Petzer, has over 30 years’ experience in the property industry, and has been involved in the construction of over 100 residential estates. He is a highly skilled real estate developer with extensive sales experience, including the prestigious Michelangelo Towers in Sandton – a Legacy Hotels development.
Brett’s experience and skill set includes identifying real estate opportunities, conceptualising property development plans, and building to the highest green building standards in the country.
The concept of an off-grid housing development occurred to him after he bought a large tract of land that he was unable to develop because, at the time, Eskom had a moratorium on supplying power to new developments, which led to his coming up with the Green Housing concept.
Rather than just offer buyers a solar-assisted house, he decided to offer them the opportunity to live free of the the problems associated with power delivery in South Africa.
The building technology
Alternative and advanced building technologies including UPVC double glazing and roof and floor insulation, to achieve a housing product that is completely insulated, which eliminates the need for heating and/or cooling, thus making the developments commercially viable and self sustainable.
Each house is fitted with a solar geyser, which is a legal requirement for new houses. But buyers can also opt for a more extensive solar system, with batteries capable of storing enough power for their lifestyles.
Yingli photovoltaic panels, which Petzer says feature the most energy-intensive technology currently available, can provide 6.5 KVA. The Alpha-ESS Home Series Solar Inverter: Lithium Ion batteries have a life of up to 10 years, and can be refurbished. The supplier will maintain them for the first year to ensure that they are compatible with the rest of the system.
108 on 8th Noordwyk – the first development of its kind in South Africa – was the catalyst that convinced the building and banking industry that such a housing system is both viable and desirable in the market.
The latest and current project is Greenhill Estate in Waterkloof Heights, Pretoria East. The estate features passive solar design, ensuring that the contemporary-styled homes will require minimal (if any) heating and cooling, and solar energy generation also offers the potential for residents to live off grid. The well-designed indigenous garden minimises water usage. The estate has drilled for water and all systems have been adjusted to ensure Borehole water to each home.
Water will be tanked at the guard house and a tank provided at each home, ensuring an indefinite water supply to every household. Thereby alleviating future water supply issues, which Brett believes are imminent.
The 39 stands average about 600 square metres, with homes ranging from 273 to 358 square metres. Off-plan buyers can customise footprint, design and finishes – with expert advice from the design team at every step of the construction process.
Some highlights include:
- 24-hour security
- indigenous water-wise gardens
- stunning views
- easy access to Pretoria and the N1
- smart homes with FTTH
- potential off-grid living right in the city.
Green Housing Company continues to use their hard-won experience and technical know-how to build private-sector affordable housing – particularly in rural areas, where the lack of services infrastructure is a serious obstacle to development. Their continued engagement with local Tshwane government at the highest level means that they are constantly informing stakeholders of every aspect of the green building process. What this ultimately means is that eco homes are opening up to more people in South Africa at grassroots level.