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studioMAS Transforms Farmland Into Picture-Perfect Sustainable Village
Posted By Tafline Laylin On March 17, 2011 @ 3:20 pm In Architecture | 2 Comments
The Boers were hardworking farmers and committed savers, and they could practically survive on a single drop of water for weeks. It is this close-to-the-land ethos that studioMAS is re-inventing with their tidy retirement village De Land, which will be built on re-zoned farmland just outside of Potchefstroom. Like the Forum Homini boutique hotel featured here previously, this design incorporates many of the green techniques available to South African architects, including solar-heated water and passive design.
Taking “New-Urbanism” to heart, studioMAS has designed a village that combines day-to-day green living  with work and play. Without compromising privacy or security, De Land’s numerous green-lined paths and open spaces encourage community engagement and good health.
Most of the landscaping  comprises indigenous plant species that require very little water, appropriate for a water-scarce site, while harvested rainwater is channeled to retention ponds. Although some are left unpaved, the majority of streets are maintained with permeable pavers.
The pedestrian-friendly village is also within walking distance of numerous amenities and optional activities – enough to satisfy a broad range of interests and discourage car traffic  in one fell swoop. And for the more shy resident, private gardens offer a peaceful respite from nosey neighbors.
Most of the building materials will be sourced locally and kept simple, with masonry walls and zinc roofs, and solar-heated geysers will keep energy costs relatively low. North and northeast-facing buildings will also contribute to a passive cooling effect . Finally, though we take this for granted in developed countries, village-wide high speed internet connectivity will enable working-age residents to stay home and avoid the carbon-spewing commute.
+ studioMAS 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/studiomas-sustainable-village/
URLs in this post:
 day-to-day green living: http://inhabitat.com/5-tips-to-green-your-living-space-from-zem-joaquin/
 Most of the landscaping: http://inhabitat.com/massive-underground-home-in-california-virtually-disappears-into-the-landscape/
 discourage car traffic: http://inhabitat.com/plan-for-1680-miles-of-bikeways-receives-unanimous-los-angeles-city-council-approval/
 passive cooling effect: http://inhabitat.com/stockholms-undulating-waterfront-centre-is-a-transforming-low-energy-venue/?isalt=0
 + studioMAS: http://www.studiomas.co.za/de-land.php
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