Case Study

Durban North Coast Beach Shack - Sustainable Construction Case Study

Project manager

Beach Shack Durban 4000 South Africa


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.


  • 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.

See the PDF for more information. 

Gyproc® Products and Systems :

  • Gyptone® Bigline 6 was combined with RhinoBoard® 9 mm when a smooth ceiling or bulkhead was required.

  • The upper level veranda has RhinoBoard® MoistureResistant plasterboard skimmed with RhinoLite®, as it is a covered space.

  • The interior walls and interior drywalls – 12.5 mm RhinoBoard®, RhinoLite® supported by a 102 mm Gypframe® UltraSTEEL® Stud and track system. 

Systems Supporting Comfort

  • Gyptone® Big Line 6 – helps improve indoor air quality by absorbing formaldehydes due to ActivAir technology.

Key Achievements 

  • Indoor environments perform better for acoustic and thermal comfort while promoting require passive fire safety.

  • Aesthetically pleasing spaces.

  • Wall mounted fixtures properly fixed to the walls: “We absolutely do believe that the right
    choices were made as we considered every detail of the interior layout of wall fixtures and applications”.