St Joseph’s Home

Overall resource assessment and sustainability intervention plan

St. Joseph’s Home is a facility that is attempting to mitigate the sobering fact that 60% of South African children live in poverty. Ecolution had the privilege of working along side St. Joseph’s Home to make their building more sustainable. 
Client: St Joseph’s Home
Location: Cape Town

Project Details

The children being looked after at the home mostly come from informal settlements, where amenities such as clean water, electricity, sanitation and nutritious food are in short supply. Rather, these informal settlements are abundant in drug and alcohol abuse, crime and illness. The staff of the St. Joseph’s Home serve and care for these children who are poverty stricken.

In 2013, Ecolution was approached to take stock of St. Joseph’s Home’s current energy and water consumption and waste generation as well as identify opportunities for improvement and spare capacity in its electrical and mechanical systems. In this regard, Ecolution was able to recommend both the servicing of old equipment that still had the hope of good sustainable operation, as well as the replacing of thoroughly inefficient equipment with Energy Star rated and other energy efficient alternatives.

One of the aims of this was to reduce operating costs, maintenance cycles and reliance on donations as well as increase efficiency and robustness of old and new systems and equipment. Another aim was to identify what shortcomings were affecting the children’s living conditions and the functioning of the home. Ecolution was able to deliver on these aims in the consultation provided.

Furthermore, there was a large emphasis placed on interventions that have visual appeal, low maintenance and running costs, income potential, empower the children with new skills and educational learning for later upliftment of their lives and their communities. This was considered to be as crucial to the project as energy efficiency and sustainable building best practices.

Initiatives such as that of St. Joseph’s Home are only benefitted from being built and operated in a sustainable and efficient manner. It is the sincere hope of the staff of Ecolution that this is not the last project of its kind that they will have the privilege of spear-heading.

Learn more about the St. Joseph’s Home project.