Environmental Design - Yaraandoo Environmental Retreat Ebor
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Environmental Design

Yaraandoo is an outstanding showcase of ‘best practice’ environmental design, engineering, construction and management. Self-sufficient in terms of water, heat and power, this Centre combines optimum use of resources with minimum impact on local eco-systems. The selection of building materials has been governed by minimum impact, optimum energy usage and recycling guidelines. All waste from the facility, both organic and liquid, is treated on site through a Resource Recovery system. Worms and passive aeration are utilised within the system to increase biological activity increasing the rate of treatment. All treated waste water is reused for toilet flushing and plant irrigation water supplies. Yaraandoo has a back up gas fueled, engine driven 50 kVA – V8 power plant.

Uniqueness of Building

What makes Yaraandoo unique is that it has been created in accordance with stringent environmental guidelines. From site selection and building materials through to waste water management and power, the entire complex is designed to combine optimum use of resources with minimal impact on local pristine ecosystems.

Features of the building include:

  • Use of recycled timbers from Waterfall Way bridges dismantled during recent road upgrade.
  • Non load bearing walls of rammed earth construction which incorporate decomposed granite and other materials excavated on site. Thermal conduction properties of this earth based material serve as natural insulation, minimising the need for cooling and heating.
  • Use of locally sourced handmade mud bricks for internal feature and some external walls, which again offer preferred insulation properties.
  • Solar passive design parameters guided positioning and layout of the main building to achieve maximum heat exposure through the use of glass roof panels which direct the sun’s heat onto rammed earth walls.
  • Use of hydronic water heaters in bedrooms.
  • Soundproofing natural straw mat ceilings.
  • On-site back up gas-powered generator which is capable of providing all required electricity.
  • Under and above ground collection tanks for the storing of rainwater.
  • Worm farm for treatment of sewage.
  • On site natural distillation and sand filters used for processing grey water, which is then UV treated and reused in toilets.