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Steel-frame house turns heads in Hout Bay

Steel-frame house turns heads in Hout Bay

Nestled between indigenous vegetation, with a spectacular view of Chapman’s Peak and Hout Bay, a new development that can be seen from the harbour has been turning heads. It is a 340 m2 triple-storey house, with four garages, that is not only eco-friendly, but will also take only three months to complete. Dieter Losskarn, 55, has substituted conventional materials such as brick and mortar for eco-friendly alternatives such as light frame steel – a growing trend in South Africa.

Construction of the house produces no waste and has an 80 per cent smaller carbon footprint than conventional building practices.

Should Losskarn choose to move, he will be able to take his entire house with him, because unlike concrete and brick houses, all the materials are reusable.

Construction began at the end of February and is due for completion at the end of next month.

He said he was inspired by a similar building on a smaller plot elsewhere in Hout Bay, which sparked the idea.

‘I was driving past the International School of Hout Bay, noticed some empty land and didn’t think much of it. When I drove past there again, two weeks later, I saw a building, near completion which sparked my interest.

‘I went to the site and asked the guys what they were busy with. That’s when they told me about the light frame steel house and I went home and Googled it. All the other houses in the area were too expensive and weren’t quite my taste, anyway,’ Losskarn said.

The structure, including the property price has set Losskarn back about R3 million. Another perk of his new eco-friendly house is the better insulation which brick houses don’t offer.

Losskarn’s house will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Charl van Zyl, the chief executive of Silverline Group – the construction company building Losskarn’s house – said he noticed a growing trend of people opting for light frame steel houses instead of conventional concrete ones.

Van Zyl said since 2011 the company had built about 30 structures in Cape Town. With the light frame steel panels protruding from the roof, the house creates the feel of a warehouse inside – which was precisely Losskarn’s aim.

Without spending too much money on decor, Losskarn has made ‘industrial warehouse’ the theme of his property. The house is complete with a four-car garage and two balconies overlooking the bay. Losskarn said to make the house even more environmentally friendly, he will be using solar heating and recycling rainwater which he will use to water the plants in his garden.

Project manager Ruann Mare flew down to Cape Town especially to take on this project which he sees as a ‘constructive challenge’.

‘I have never been part of a team which has built with eco-friendly materials. This is definitely the future and I think many people should consider building this way,’ Mare said.

Source: IOL Property

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