External landscaping

Local indigenous water-wise plants are used on the site with no potable water irrigation requirements.

South Africa has a wealth of indigenous plant species that range from hardy, water-conscious succulents with gorgeous flowers, to iconic fynbos, trees, shrubs and bulbs of all types. Not only are our indigenous species attractive additions to any local garden, but they are also perfectly adapted to thrive in South African conditions, climates, and seasons.

The soft landscaping on the HPI d-school Building at UCT site after construction comprises of about 25% of the site – and of water-wise indigenous plants in its entirety. Limiting the amount of hardscaping on the site, apart from the building itself, also helps to reduce the heat island effect of the local area.

For this project, an assessment of the site was done prior to construction to determine the quality of the topsoil. The tests showed that the ground was made up of rubble material, with no topsoil of enough quality to be re-used for planting. With the establishment of the indigenous plants on the site, the corresponding ecological value (measured in ecological diversity index) of the site was increased by almost 4 points.

In addition, little to no irrigation is required after the establishment of the indigenous garden, making it perfectly suitable for the water-scarce region. Should irrigation be required, recycled water from the building will be used.


  • ECO-01 – Topsoil

The aim of this credit is to encourage and recognise construction practices that preserve the ecological integrity of topsoil.

  • ECO-04 – Change in Ecological Value

The aim of this credit is to encourage and recognise developments that maintain or enhance the ecological value of their site.

  • ECO-05 – Urban Heat Island

The aim of this credit is to reduce urban heat islands to subsequently minimise impacts on microclimates, human and wildlife habitats.

  • WAT-01 – Reduction in Potable Water

The aim of this credit is to encourage and recognise building design that minimises potable water consumption

Indigenous Plant Species

Agapanthus Campanulatus

Tulbaghia Violacea

Dierama Pendulum

Clivia Miniata

Crassula Multicava Ruby red

Trachelospremum Jasminoides

Plectranthus Ciliatus

Metalasia Muricata

Helichrysum Petiolare

Seriphium Plumosum

Agathosma Ciliaris

Crassula Spathulata

Curio Talinoides

Clivia Miniata

Jasminum Multipartium

Salvia Africana-lutea

Plectranthus Ciliatus

Metalasia Muricata

Senecia Macroglossus

Podranea Ricasolina (White)

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