Case Study

Durban North Coast Beach Shack - (Sustainable Construction)

WIHL+CO and Boast Architects
Project manager
Private Owner


This 3-bedroom residential house is located on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal and is a new build. The remarkable beach house project is a real-life demonstration of the Saint-Gobain building's better approach, in which the comfort and well-being of the occupants are at the heart of the design and its execution.

This home demonstrates that certain simple adaptations and material choices are required at the design stage to deliver against the homeowner's requirements for comfort and well-being in an energy-efficient home.


The site is located within a highly environmentally sensitive zone and is just 30 m from the beach. There were overarching environmental considerations during the planning and construction phases, in addition to the design, building typography, and system/materials selection being of prime importance to a humid subtropical climate.


  • Independent consultants performed an EIA. It included struct assessments of how the property design and building could impact the land and cause minimal disruption. 
  • The house sits on concrete stilts on a floating slab, located 1.8 m above ground level. This facilitates airflow for mass cooling in summer.
  • The building footprint was minimised to have the least impact on the site. The second floor cantilevers the smaller first floor which is raised off the ground.
  • Water usage during the build was kept to a minimum due to the shuttering of the concrete with no mixing required on site and the usage of lightweight dry construction materials from Saint-Gobain.
  • Rainwater is harvested into two tanks under the house, further supporting low water consumption.

Isover Products and Systems:

  • Ceiling products supported by Aerolite® Soft Touch which has exceptional acoustic insulation properties; it enhances your indoor.
  • 135 mm Aerolite® Soft Touch Glasswool with up to 85% recycled glass above the ceiling boards which exceeds SANS 10400-XA requirements for the region as well as a 200 mm air gap under the roof.
  • The wall cavities contain Isover® Cavitybatt™/Cavitylite® insulation to an R value of 2.68 m2k/w.
  • The interior walls and interior drywalls – track system insulated with 102 mm Isover Cavitylite™.


Systems Supporting Comfort:

Key Achievements:

  • Indoor environments perform better for acoustic and thermal comfort while promoting required passive fire safety.
  • The ceiling and walls perform to levels above the requirements in SANS 10400-XA which delivers cost savings as less cooling or heating is required to keep the house comfortable.