Winners: AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation


COMPILED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring

The eleven winners of this year’s AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation, made up of seven awarded projects and four commended projects, were recently announced at an event in Cape Town.

“The Awarded and Commended projects amply demonstrate the three main criteria that the adjudicating panel was looking at;- regeneration, reconciliation and restoration,” says AfriSam’s Richard Tomes. “These projects all make the world a better place by minimising their impact on the environment. They also bear the hallmarks of great architectural and social design. Together they represent the very best in sustainable architecture and innovation.”

The Awards were divided into four categories, namely Sustainable Architecture, Research in Sustainability, Sustainable Product/Technology and Sustainable Social Programme.

Below you’ll find a list of all winners, both awarded and commended.

For Sustainable Architecture (Category A)

  1. DEA Building, Pretoria (AWARDED)

Architects: Boogertman+Partners Architects

The Department of Environmental Affairs building in the City of Tshwane has a 6 star green office v1 design rating, boasting a number of sustainable features including rainwater and greywater harvesting, double glazed windows, evaporative cooling for air conditioning, solar heating, environmentally-savvy insulation and photovoltaic cells.

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  1. Gorgeous Green House, KwaZulu-Natal (AWARDED)

Architects: Sagnelli Associate Architects

This eco-friendly house makes use of rooftop gardens, evaporative cooling ponds, rainwater harvesting and recycling, as well as solar power and green walls. Together with the use of environmentally friendly materials like bamboo, the interiors of the house make use of recycled carpets and kitchen countertops. There is also a veggie garden, bee hives and a natural swimming pool with fish that attracts over 40 species to the house.

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  1. Oudebosch Camp Kogelberg, Western Cape (AWARDED)

Architects: Architecture Coop

This camp, surrounded by an extremely biodiverse conservation area above Betty’s Bay, features a collection of lightweight, stilted buildings on stone bases with planted roofs. The project focused on non-toxic materials and renewable energy.

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  1. iCat Eco Factory, Pretoria (COMMENDED)

Architects: Earthworld Architects

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  1. Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg (COMMENDED)

Architects: Daffonchio & Associate Architects


  1. Outreach Foundation Community Centre, Johannesburg (COMMENDED)

Architects: Local Studio

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  1. WWF SA Braamfontein, Johannesburg

Architects: Alive Architecture


For Research in Sustainability (Category B)

  1. Designing Hope for Pathways to Regenerative Sustainbility (AWARDED)

By: Dominique Hes & Chrisna du Plessis


For Sustainable Product/Technology (Category C)

  1. Otto Cottage, Botswana (AWARDED)

Architect: Paul Marais

This small house is built using natural materials, from rammed earth and timber to locally harvested reeds. It’s 100% off the grid, not being connected to local electricity or water services.

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For Sustainable Social Programme (Category D)

  1. Bridgingmzamba, Mbizana, Eastern Cape (AWARDED)

Architects: buildCollectiveNPO with Carinthia University of Applied Science

This community-led project came about as a result of the local residents’ desperate need for a way to cross a nearby river safely. The result of this project is a 140 metre long suspension bridge that made us of local resources and concentrated on low environmental impact.

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  1. Malawi School, Malawi (AWARDED)

Architects: Architecture for a Change

This project involved the construction of a canopy for a local school. The canopy makes use of shade netting, lightweight steel and corrugated iron, while the the masonry was completed by local women.

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