Team Mahali is made up of students from various countries and study fields who design and construct an affordable and innovative net-zero-energy house suited to the African context by combining solar technologies, green building design principles, and local materials.
Local students from UCT and Stellenbosch University have designed and built a zero-energy house in Franschhoek, Western Cape which received acclaim at Africa’s first solar design competition. This social initiative came alive after they had built a prototype of the house at Solar Decathlon Africa in Morocco and won second prize in the architecture category.
The house collects its own water and uses it for evaporative cooling, has a dry toilet, reclaims greywater and has an innovative solar system that generates more electricity than the house uses. They used a 12m side-opening shipping container for the living space, with timber pods attached.
Furthermore, they covered the house in recycled plastic bags, which have been turned into yarn and crocheted into 250m² wall panels by unemployed women at the Plastic Project. “These designs have been used for centuries for their exceptional performance in terms of climate control, security, privacy, flexibility and adaptability,” said Team Mahali.