Design and implementation of sustainable development programs using permaculture as a guiding methodology

Campus Greening Maharishi University

Afristar has developed a strategy for the Maharishi Invincibility Institute campus, housed in an 8-story building in downtown Johannesburg, to become a largely self-sufficient green building that provides a model for a sustainable CBD.

This project aims to create a visible demonstration model of urban sustainability for the City of Johannesburg, showcasing ways to mitigate the urban impacts of climate change, and to proactively build an example for the green cities of our future. The retrofitted building will be re-designed with the objective of operating as a closed system that generates its own power, harvests its own water, reticulates its own waste, produces its own organic food, and addresses primary health care.

The strategy includes the design and development of a rooftop garden for permaculture and medicinal gardens, as well as a green conference center, and green office with interactive learning pathways.

The rooftop gardens would provide fresh, organic vegetables to the university kitchen, reduce the urban heat effect and create an attractive, energy-saving rooftop alternative that can produce food and medicine, naturally cool the building, save energy, extend the useful life of the roof, reduce air pollution and add beauty and usable space to the MII campus.

The project ultimately aims to create a vibrant, largely self-sufficient campus that demonstrates to the youth and the greater public practical methods for healthy and sustainable city living. The green building will offer a model of best practice for urban greening, and will demonstrate cutting edge architectural techniques for urban sustainability.