The My Clean Green Home pop-up exhibit in Green Point Urban Park opened this week, giving Capetonians a chance to walk through and experience a full-sized model of a net zero carbon home.
Team Mahali, a group of recent graduates and young African professionals from South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria, designed the sustainable home as part of the City of Cape Town’s Future Energy Festival. Their design was awarded first prize in the ultimate ‘Clean Green Home’ design competition which was hosted by the City in partnership with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). The competition’s brief was to design a net zero carbon home for display and exhibition purposes and the City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato met with the team to hand over their award in December 2020.
“It is an honour to be one of the first to visit this special future fit home. It contains ideas and a vision that we could all benefit from, even small actions can make a difference, irrespective of our walks of life” said Mayor Plato.
“As part of the City’s actions against climate change, we are aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050. The City has committed that all new buildings in Cape Town will be net zero carbon by 2030. While net zero carbon homes are seemingly challenging to create, the aim of the competition is to showcase the technologies and building techniques that already exist and which are becoming increasingly within reach of the average household. Team Mahali’s winning design incorporates solar power generation, passive cooling, rainwater harvesting, and an edible food garden”.
Carbon neutrality – what is it?
Carbon neutrality means introducing new technologies to completely clean up the fuels and activities that currently cause greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming, while enhancing social, economic, and environmental goals. In support of the growing global momentum to tackle climate change, Cape Town, along with other cities in South Africa and worldwide, have committed to achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2050 to keep global warming to 1,5˚C. One of the main contributors to global warming is greenhouse gas emissions from manmade sources, including buildings and transport, so reducing emissions by changing the way we live, work, and exist together.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the devastating economic impacts that global crises can have and has shown that planning for climate resilience and reducing emissions is increasingly important for all arms of government, institutions and businesses” commented the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti.
“This is another exciting opportunity for our residents to see for themselves what is required to tackle our future climate challenges and opportunities. It is one thing to hear and read about climate change and the need for cities to be carbon neutral, and another to be able to walk around inside a net zero carbon home. This shows that not only do we need greater design solutions and innovation to ensure that we all become more sustainable and resilient, but that it is already possible and that households can take even small actions to increase their energy, water, and waste efficiency among others”.
The virtual walk-through tool is a first for a South African city
The My Clean Green Home virtual experience of this net zero carbon home design was launched on the 29th of January 2021. The digital walk through provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about sustainable living and better understand their electricity consumption especially. This interactive, immersive educational tool which allows the user to experience a net zero carbon that provides a wealth of information which users can use in their own homes.
The City’s Cape Town Future Energy Festival comprised a series of virtual events, which are taking place to educate adults and children on how they could use energy efficiently and make sustainable choices at home through engaging activities, tips to help households save money and information about what our energy future may look like. It aimed to create conversations inspired by climate change, energy efficiency, solar and wind power, water saving, waste reduction, smart transport, and sustainable living.
The exhibit is open to the public from 10:00am to 16:00pm until the 14th of March 2021 at Green Point Urban Park.