Home>Cardiff Met News>Architect Wins South African National Award for Sustainable Design

Architect Wins South African National Award for Sustainable Design



​Paul's winning design, Otto Cottage in Botswana.


Paul Marais, an architect and Professional Doctorate student studying a Doctorate in Ecological Building Practices (D.EBP) at Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD), has won a prestigious South African National Award for Sustainable Design. 

Paul works and lives in South Africa, where he runs his own architectural practice specialising in a variety of work from urban design to tiny cottages. 

Paul’s winning design, Otto Cottage in Botswana, was submitted by one of his clients and won the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation. The award recognises contributions that bring sustainable innovation to living environments through an integrated approach to communities, planning, design, architecture, building practice, and natural systems and technology.

Otto Cottage is hand-made using natural materials comprised of rammed earth from the construction site, timber and locally harvested reeds; dramatically decreasing the carbon footprint of the construction process. Paul’s ecological design for Otto Cottage also includes using water from a nearby river in order to help 'free' cool the house through a series of external water features.

Paul said: “I enjoyed designing and building Otto cottage tremendously. I really enjoy natural building techniques, as opposed to conventional building because of the creative freedom it allows and the fact that the building is not harmful to mankind or the planet and its ecosystem and resources.”

Dr John Littlewood, Senior Lecturer, CSAD Professional Doctorate Coordinator and Head of CSAD’s Ecological Built Environment group added: “Congratulations to Paul on his ecological approach to design and construction of affordable dwellings in South Africa. He has put in plenty of effort to raise the awareness of rammed earth construction in South Africa."

Professor George Karani, Paul’s second supervisor from Cardiff School of Health Sciences said: “I am honoured to play a part in guiding Paul through the process of changing housing construction practice and people’s opinions in South Africa.”

You can view Paul’s winning design video here: http://sustainabledesign.co.za/awards/awarded-projects/2016/otto-cottage/#video