It is important to us to leave as small an ecological footprint as possible.
Therefore, the house was built from renewable raw materials. - At least wherever it makes sense and is possible.
The electricity is produced by our own photovoltaic system. Hot water, pool and underfloor heating (in winter) are heated by a solar-powered heat pump.
The house is far better insulated than it is usual in South Africa. We have double glazed windows with plastic frames (German standard for significantly better sound and heat insulation values than in South Africa) and also walls and floor are well insulated, the insulation is made of recycled materials. Therefore it is always quiet and pleasant in the house.
As water is a scarce resource in South Africa, the house has a separate service water circuit for the toilet. No valuable drinking water from the public mains is wasted in the toilet. We collect rainwater and store it in tanks. If a tank is empty, it is filled up with groundwater from its own well. Groundwater does not pollute the public drinking water supply. The water in the kitchen and shower is of course drinking water. By the way: The water from the public mains in South Africa is among the best in the world and meets the standards for drinking water of the World Health Organization (WHO). Our pool is filled with filtered groundwater and the garden is also watered with groundwater. So our property always has a full pool and green lawn in good conscience. - And yet we consume extremely little drinking water.
The precipitation and the savings measures are having a major impact: the reservoirs are currently twice as full as last year at the same time. The authorities therefore assume that there is no threat of a "day zero" for 2019 - so the water does not have to be turned off.