Permaculture H2Solar 2016

Permaculture 2016

Permaculture is a tool that is currently being implemented by various organisations as a platform for empowering previously disadvantaged communities. Permaculture could be revolutionary in a South African context especially in previously disadvantaged communities by:

  1.  improving the health of communities through a healthier and affordable eating plan,
  2. Through creating awareness of self-sustainability as promoted through Permaculture
  3.  and by educating communities in the philosophy and implementation of Permaculture
  4. and using Permaculture to create small-business opportunities and thus alleviating poverty

But there exist various factors that challenges the successful implementation of Permaculture for organisations that promotes its benefits. These will be addressed in this 10 Percent project!
Aims and focus of the project
Students will be confronted with the opportunities and challenges of the ‘Green Sector’, the role Permaculture plays in uplifting communities within a South African context. The students are tasked to:
• Understand and define issues from a design perspective
• Generate multiple potential solutions
• Build a prototype testing a design solution in a tangible manner

The aim of the project is therefore for students to gain an understanding of Permaculture entering the ‘Green Sector’ in South Africa and to write a brief that addresses the issues involved.
A design solution must be executed to illustrate how Permaculture can improve communities that considers the various constraints posed by the ‘green Sector’, Permaculture and impoverishment.


As a group our understanding of sustainable design links very much into the core ideals of permaculture and briefly designing sustainably is to consistently keep in mind the impact design can have on people, culture, the planet and the economy and do your best job to design ethically and effectively , with longevity and thorough insight into the power and impact that design has in shaping the paradigm we exist in.
After a week of intensive insight into permaculture and sustainable design as a whole we were tasked to identify a problem and try to use design as a tool to better and improve the issue.
Our selected area of focus was to look at water security and sustainability and in specific the Mdumbi community, Eastern Cape as a hypothetic case study to centre our design around.
The issue at hand was the issue of creating an alternate/emergency source of clean water for people to access and have use of , abiding by all ideas of what sustainable design and permaculture is centred around.
To solve this our team conceptualised H2Solar.


A water filtration/ desalination system that will provide the filtered water for people with poor access to clean water systems in coastal areas.  It is a closed loop design system, that uses nature’s existing systems to provide people with sustainable water sources and potential financial benefit s from the by- product.

The system in essence is a solution to the biggest source of water being unsafe for consumption, and changing that, separating salt from water and ensuring that all links in the system are closed loops.

Rather than one design intervention, we are creating a design system/framework, integrating designs that already abide by the principles of sustainability and fit in the ideals of permaculture thinking. The designs we are integrating are:

  • Hydraulic Ram Pump
  • H2O solar filtration
  • Hippo rollers


The end goal -Creates an eco friendly, sustainable source of clean water that doesn’t use harmful energy sources to pump, evaporate and collect water.

  • -Serves an emergency or alternate source of water that does not rely on local municipalities.
  • -Prevents communities from contracting water- borne illnesses found in stagnant water sources.
  • -Economically it does not need any money to run once it is set up, as the salt will form an income for the maintenance of the system .
  • -Socially it helps people because of the hippo rollers, giving a healthier way to move water around.