Permaculture Farm Design – Exterior 2015

Permaculture 2015

Afrivival is a community based voluntary organisation (CBO) developing sustainable lifestyle initiatives, based in Johannesburg, and working in rural communities that span the country.

Afrivival’s primary goal is to provide food and water security to communities in rural areas. This is achieved by assisting in the development of water services infrastructure, as well as the planting and preparation of household organic food gardens and the construction of new family homes. We also introduce and supervise the training required for growing, collecting and packaging fresh farm produce – for distribution through a network of service agencies and programs that serve to enrich our target population groups.

Afrivival’s primary services include the establishment of family permaculture gardens, food programs, and community farms that provide employment opportunities to local community members. With the right direction, these programs will lead to communities that can supply their own needs and have the ability to improve their families’ overall quality of life.

The aims and focus of 2015 is for students to assist the NPO, Afrivival in delivering their ervices to the Co-Ops and communities more effectively.


Afrivival needs plans for an outdoor space, around a training center, that would allow them to cater for larger groups of people and to use the space to educate them for effectively. Certain features have been specified by the Afrivival members that have to be placed within the given area (two containers, one containing a workshop and the other a cool room, a water harvesting and storage tank, an eating area and wash-up space and a deck area). In placing these elements we need to account for sustainability, efficient energy use and aesthetics. We also have to account for a natural flow, both from one activity to another and in terms of Feng shui.


Maximise Space, Optimise Use.
In placing the stipulated features, consideration was given to the orientation of the building (North, South, East, West), through this we were able to determine the sun path. This is hugely important as it helps to designate the hottest and coldest areas of the site.

The cooling container has been placed in the coldest area throughout the day (West of the building) due to the area being shaded. The second container (South of the building) needed to be placed close to the cooling container as together they are to form the structural support for a deck. This minimises the cost of labour and materials used during the construction of a deck.

This site is elevated and because of this the view has been taken into consideration. Due to this the containers need to be sunk down 90 cm into the ground to insure that they do not impede the view at all. The deck, being placed on the South-West side of the building, takes full advantage of the setting sun. It also insulates the cooling container as well as creating a pleasing façade that hides a large portion of the containers from view.

Only 3 stairs need to be erected in order to access the deck from the patio which it is connected to. This abides by current building law in South Africa.

The deck creates additional space for use as well as allowing the patio to be used for teaching in conjunction with the interior training centre, increasing the capacity of the training facility.

Note has been taken of the slant of the roof of the building that we are designing on and around. This has dictated the placement of the tank that harvests water from the roof for use and storage. The internal kitchen and tuck-shop are located directly next to the tank as well as an external eating and wash-up area.